A bustling beach town and one of the best stops on the Oregon Coast, there are lots of fun things to do in Seaside, Oregon. Packed with quaint shops, great restaurants and vast stretches of the sandy beach, a visit to Seaside is always an adventure. Having spent time exploring Seaside and its surrounds, we’ve put together this list of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon and included our recommendations on where to stay and what to eat.
The Best Things to do in Seaside Oregon
From chilling on the beach to hiking your heart out on the trails nearby here are our 14 best things to do in Seaside Oregon, one of our favorite stops on our Oregon Coast Road Trip. Seaside can also be visited as a day trip from Portland.
1 | Seaside Promenade and Beach
Nothing beats a walk along the Seaside promenade on a sunny afternoon. At around 1.5 miles long, the ‘Prom’ as it’s known locally, is of the most popular places in Seaside. The Prom is paved its entire length and it’s a beautiful walk. Visitors can rent bicycles or roller blades and enjoy the promenade from end to end. It’s also possible to spot whales from the prom and you’ll likely see some people with binoculars scanning the ocean for them.
The beach in front of the Prom is beautiful and, on sunny days, is busy with families and groups taking in the ocean views and relaxing on the wide stretch of sand. The Tillamook Lighthouse is also visible from the beach in front of the Ecola State Park headland to the south.
Many of the Seaside hotels are located along the Prom so you never have to walk very far in Seaside to reach the beach. Our favorite memory of Seaside is sunset strolls on the beach as the sun dipped below the Pacific horizon.
2 | Stay in a unique hotel
Seaside has several beautiful and unique seafront properties that range from traditional to the quirky.
We stayed in the Ashore Hotel, a recently renovated modern hotel with 22 retro decorated rooms. There’s a rustic reception area with a fire pit and a small indoor pool. There are bikes to explore the town and board games you can take to your room. It’s one of the most memorable hotels from our time in Oregon. The best thing is that it is located just seconds from the prom – check prices now!
Another great option is Lanai at the Cove. This family-friendly hotel is located at the south end of Seaside beach and offers panoramic views of the ocean and Seaside itself – check prices now!
The Gilbert Inn is a great option for couples that is steps from the prom and downtown. Offering individually decorated rooms and a lounge with a fire pit for guests a stay here is sure to be memorable. Guests must be over 18 to stay – check prices now!
3 | Take a stroll around old Seaside
Like most towns and cities, the best way to experience Seaside is to take a stroll. After a brisk walk on the prom, head for Broadway at the Seaside Turnaround and explore the area. There are lots of cute shops and old school diners that will keep you entertained for hours.
4 | Goonies Filming Location Chasing!
Seaside is a great base for exploring the many filming locations in the area, including the the iconic 1980’s movie The Goonies. The majority of the recognizable Goonies filming locations were shot in the areas surrounding Seaside. From the Fratelli’s Hideout shot in Ecola State Park to the opening scene which was shot at Cannon Beach, fans of the movie will have a lot of fun exploring these iconic locations. If you have time the nearby town of Astoria is also home to many more filming locations including the jail from the movies itself, the legendary Goonies House itself – in fact, checking out the Goonies filming locations was one of our favorite things to do in Astoria. Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park are also home to filming location for Point Break and Twilight.
5 | Try Some Incredible Seafood
Due it’s location by the ocean, visitors can expect that the seafood on offer in Seaside is amazing. With everything from fine dining to casual food, seafood lovers will love Seaside! We recommend Buoy’s Best Restaurant that also offers delicious takeaway seafood. Try the shrimp and crab melts – they are out of this world!!
6 | Sea Star Gelato
We’ve eaten a lot of gelato on our travels and may have lived on the healthy diet of it during our many trips to Italy. Make sure to stop by Sea Star Gelato to try their delicious icecreams. Sea Star specializes in gelato and dairy-free sorbet and we made a dessert stop every evening!
7 | Seaside Aquarium
The historic Seaside Aquarium is located just off the prom on 2nd Avenue. The Seaside Aquarium is a small, privately run business that has been open to the public since 1937. One of its unique exhibits is the seal pool where visitors can get up close and to the local seals! Kids especially will love a visit to this historic Seaside Landmark.
Things to do near Seaside
There are lots of cool places to see and things to do in the area around Seaside, from hikes in the many state parks to movie location hunting in nearby Astoria.
8 | Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock
A short drive south of Seaside is the incredible Cannon Beach. There are lots of things to do in Cannon Beach and its iconic Haystack rock that rises majestically out of the sand close to the shore, are among the most beautiful places in Oregon. It’s worth planning an entire day to explore Cannon Beach and the nearby Ecola State park and it’s a perfect day trip from Seaside. Cannon Beach town is located alongside the beach and is packed with cute galleries, shops and restaurants which are fun to explore.
Movie fans may recognize Cannon Beach as it was the location for scenes in The Goonies and Point Break. Haystack rock rises over 200 feet out of the sand but is surrounded by water at higher tides.
9 | Ecola State Park
One of the best things to do in Seaside is to spend some time exploring the picturesque Ecola State Park that reaches out into the pacific ocean on Tillamook Head. The park is easy to access via car and the two main stops are Ecola Point and Indian Beach. Many of the hiking trails in the park resemble the rain forest parks of Washington State.
Access to the park is just north of Cannon Beach and a day entry permit is a very reasonable $5 per car. Overnight parking in Ecola State Park is prohibited.
There are lots of hiking trails in Ecola State Park, with the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) running down through the length of the park. Popular trails in the park include the relatively easy short hikes from Ecola Point to Indian Beach or the Tillamook Lighthouse Trail. For the more adventurous check out the Clatsop Loop Trail which begins at the Indian Beach parking lot and offers stunning views of the Oregon Coast.
Ecola State Park: a number of the trails in Ecola State Park are currently closed due to storm damage so make sure to check the state park website for updates.
Things to do in Seaside tip: During the busy summer months from June to September the limited space parking lots at Indian Beach and Ecola Point can get very busy so it’s worth arriving early during these periods to avoid disappointment.
10 | Visit Astoria
A short drive north of Seaside is the small town of Astoria on the banks of the Columbia River. Despite its size, there are lots of things to do in Astoria and movie fans will especially love it. Astoria has been the location for some epic movies over the years, the most famous of which was The Goonies that was shot here in the 1980s. Other movies filmed in Astoria include Kindergarten Cop and Free Willy!
Make sure to check out the views from the Astoria Column which towers over the city and the delicious fish and chips at Bowpicker Fish and Chips!
11 | Tillamook Head
Tillamook Head sits on the peninsula just south of Seaside and is visible from beach and prom in Seaside. It’s home to the epic Ecola State Park and packed with winding hiking paths and stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
Tillamook Head is also home to the best viewpoint of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse which is visible from many parts of the coast. The viewpoint is located on the Clatsop Loop Trail and offers the closest view of the lighthouse from the mainland.
12 | Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens State Park is one of the largest public campgrounds in the USA and is set in the grounds of a former military installation. The park entrance is a 20-minute drive north of Seaside and is packed with things to do. With 6 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of paved bicycles trails and freshwater lake swimming, there is something for everyone here. The entrance fee of $5 for a day-use pass is well worth it.
Fort Stevens State Park is home to the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale. The ship was a steel sailing vessel that ran aground in 1906, the remains of which are still visible on the beach at Fort Stevens. There is a parking lot close to the beach that is a short walk to the Peter Iredale wreck.
14 | Cape Disappointment State Park
Note: as of April 2021 the trail to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and Dead Man’s Cove has been closed indefinitely. You might want to skip this one if you were planning to check out Dead Man’s Cove.
This epic state park is located just across the Astoria-Megler Bridge in Washington State and is perfect to combine with a trip to Astoria from Seaside. Don’t be fooled by the name, however, as this state park is anything but a disappointment!
Cape Disappointment is located on a peninsula with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the mouth of the Columbia River on the other. One of the most beautiful spots in the park is a secluded cove known as Dead Man’s Cove. This stunning cove is protected from the harsh waves of the Pacific and is a real gem.