If you’re a fan of sunny beaches, vintage shops, quirky museums and more seafood joints than you know what to do with, you’ll definitely want to check out Seaside, Oregon.
It more than lives up to its name with breezy destinations and fun summertime tourist attractions.
It’s also located near cities like Portland, so it’s a great launching pad for further travel in the Pacific Northwest!
If you’re making your bucket list, here are just a few cool things to do in Seaside, Oregon.
1. Seaside Promenade
Also known as “The Prom,” the Seaside Promenade is the shining jewel of the region.
It dates all the way back to the 1920s and even retains some of its original wooden features on various boardwalks and trail markers.
What is the Prom?
It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s basically a long stretch of coastline that runs for 1.5 miles along the Oregon shore.
It’s a popular place for walkers, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, sightseers and more.
The scenery ranges from golden sand dunes to deeply green forests rising in the distance.
Entertainment options include shops, restaurants and movie theaters, and after the sun goes down, the walkway is illuminated for the nightlife.
There are also a number of hotels for those who enjoy waking up to the sounds of the ocean in the morning.
If you’re wondering what to do in Seaside, start with the Seaside Promenade.
There’s a lot of fun to be had here.
Address: Seaside, OR 97138, United States
2. Seaside Aquarium
As one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast, the Seaside Aquarium has a long, dedicated history to preserving and protecting marine life.
In fact, it still responds to things like beached whales and other stranded mammals along the coast.
It offers a lot more than just conservation, however.
With events, attractions and animal fairs, it’s also one of the most fun things to do in Seaside, Oregon.
Visitors can marvel at crabs, eels, octopuses and stingrays in underwater tanks.
They can run a finger down starfish and sea urchins in the “touch tank.”
They can even greet a family of harbor seals!
These friendly creatures are always willing to put on a show for visitors, so they’re a favorite of all ages.
The Seaside Aquarium is one of the best places to visit in Oregon.
Not only will it offer a fun day among the fish, but your money will also go to the life-saving support of animals in need.
Everyone wins with a trip to the Seaside Aquarium!
Address: 200 N Prom, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
3. Seaside Beach
It doesn’t get better than Seaside Beach.
With a gorgeously windswept coastline that includes everything from wild, craggy bluffs to neat and tidy trails along the water, there’s a little something for everyone here.
Adventure seekers can hit the water for swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and wave jumping.
Beachgoers can join volleyball games and ice cream eating contests.
Couples can picnic; families can go combing for shells; shopaholics can have fun at kiosks selling all kinds of trinkets and snacks.
Whether you’re in the mood for jewelry or gelato, you can find it here.
Another nice thing about the beach is that it routinely plays host to big events like the Hood to Coast Relay, so if you’ll be visiting Oregon at a specific time, make sure to check the beach’s event roster.
There might be great things scheduled for this weekend!
Seaside Beach is one of the biggest points of interest in Seaside.
If you want to hit the hot spots of the city, it should be one of your top picks.
Address: 229-299 S Promenade, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
4. Seaside Carousel Mall
You can’t miss the Seaside Carousel Mall.
It’s a brightly-colored building where the aroma of hot dogs nachos wafts through the air along with the fun, cheerful notes of children’s songs.
It’s one of the best places to visit for families… or for people who just want to rediscover their inner child!
The centerpiece of the mall is an old-fashioned, hand-painted carousel where kids can hop on for a ride.
There’s also a distinctly vintage feeling to some of the small mom-and-pop shops that surround it, including the candy store with its gigantic lollipops and the toy store with its tiny dolls and funky music boxes.
If you’d prefer more modern activities, however, there are also artsy boutiques and gourmet restaurants to enjoy, and there’s a lively arena for laser tag.
You can enjoy old-school and new-school fun at the Seaside Carousel Mall.
It offers the best of both worlds!
Address: 300 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
5. Turnaround at Seaside
Did you know that Seaside was the final stop on Lewis and Clark’s epic journey to the west?
The Turnaround marks the exact spot.
It’s located at the end of the Seaside Promenade, so as you might expect, the views are incredible.
You can see for miles along the ocean as you overlook the sandy shores and water-beaten cliffs.
You might also appreciate the statue of Lewis and Clark that was raised to commemorate their travels; it’s a popular site for selfies.
The best thing about the Turnaround, however, is that it’s one of the city’s free things to do.
You don’t have to pay anything for the privilege of visiting.
If you’re heading to Seaside and wondering what to do on a budget, this can be a very wallet-friendly choice!
Address: 30 N Prom, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
6. Saddle Mountain Trail
If you like the outdoors, this destination is for you.
The Saddle Mountain Trail is an absolutely gorgeous path that climbs to the peak of Saddle Mountain, one of Oregon’s most well-known hiking and trekking spots.
While other trails only dither around the hills, forests and cliffs, the Saddle Mountain Trail will take you all the way to the top.
As you might expect, it’s quite the climb.
The summit is a good 3,290 feet above sea level, and many parts of the path can be steep and slippery, so you’ll want to be in good physical condition before you go.
If you’re fit, however, and if you aren’t afraid of heights, the Saddle Mountain Trail is a must-do.
The panoramas are stunning; the activities that you can enjoy are both numerous and varied.
There’s a reason why Oregon is considered one of the most beautiful states in America, and this destination will prove it to you.
Address: Seaside, OR 97138, United States
7. Lewis and Clark Salt Makers Return
The Lewis and Clark Salt Makers Return is an annual event hosted by the Seaside Museum.
It celebrates the exhaustive efforts of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to bring more than 100 liters of salt into Oregon to preserve their meat for their journey east.
Visitors today can enjoy food and drink while learning about the past through lectures, workshops and demonstrations.
There’s also a reenactment that shows what life was really like for the members of the expedition.
The Lewis and Clark Salt Makers Return isn’t one of the big and flashy tourist attractions of Seaside, but it’s something that you can only see when you visit this particular destination.
It’s utterly unique to its location.
If you’re what to do in this city that you can’t find anywhere else, it’s time to get salty.
8. Dooger’s Seafood and Grill
You can’t travel to a coastal town like Seaside without indulging in some freshly-caught seafood.
Fortunately, Dooger’s Seafood and Grill is both centrally located and reasonably priced, so you can feed the whole family at an authentic beachside restaurant.
The menu is filled with delicious eats such as clams, crab legs and lobster tails.
The atmosphere is casual, so feel free to just wander in wearing board shorts and flip flops; no one will judge you.
It should also be mentioned that Dooger’s sells clam chowder kits to take home, so if you really enjoy your meal, grab some ingredients to go!
Dooger’s Seafood and Grill is just one of the many seafood options around town, but in terms of seaside attractions, this tasty restaurant is a must.
Address: 505 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
9. Skookum Fishing Charter
Located just a few miles north of Seaside in Astoria, Oregon, the Skookum Fishing Charter is a way for the whole family to get on the water and do some fishing.
It starts with the chartering of a boat.
All vessels are captained and manned by professionals, so you don’t have to worry about steering, navigating or even finding good spots for fish.
It’s all taken care of by your guides.
As for the day’s catches, you might reel in everything from tiny crabs to seven-foot sturgeons.
It all depends on what’s biting.
Kids are welcome to cast a reel, or you could turn it into a bachelor’s event or some other kind of party.
Just let your guides know.
If you love fishing and want the help of experienced seamen to help you bag something bag, call up the Skookum Fishing Charter.
Address: 739 34th St, Astoria, OR 97103, United States
Planning to visit Astoria soon? Why not check out some of the fun things to do in Astoria before you go?
10. Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site
As you might expect from the name, Seaside is no stranger to beaches, and travel guides will happily point you in their direction if you want to get some sun and surf while you’re in Oregon.
But what if you’re after something a little different?
What if you want to enjoy the beach without encountering crowds or tripping over towels and sandcastle buckets?
The Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site is a quiet, sedate place where you can catch a breath after all of the excitement of travel.
The waves are mild, and the air is warm and salty.
The trees are constantly waving with gentle breezes.
It’s the perfect spot for lounging with a cocktail or going for a romantic swim.
Other benefits include amenities like picnic areas and bathrooms.
It’s a fully-developed beach; it’s just gets less tourists than others.
If you want to live like a local while you’re in Seaside, check out the Arcadia Beach State Recreation Area.
Address: Arcadia Beach State Park, Arch Cape, OR 97102, United States
If there’s one word to describe Sunrose, it’s “whimsical.”
This small shop of knickknacks is filled with everything from glass-blown bird feeders to mosaics made from broken credit cards.
That said, it isn’t just a novelty store.
You can find genuinely valuable antiques alongside the eclectic works of art and handcrafted jewelry and furniture.
You’ll just have to sift through the wall-to-wall goods and find them.
If you’re wondering what to see in Seaside that isn’t listed in glossy travel brochures, get lost among the odds and ends at Sunrose.
It might not be one of the major points of interest in the region, but you’ll have fun regardless.
Address: 606 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
12. Captain Kid Amusement Park
Captain Kid Amusement Park is one of the top things to do in Seaside, Oregon.
It offers games, bumper cars, roto-whips, go-karts, climbing walls and 18 rounds of mini-golf.
Interestingly, however, the park isn’t just marketed to children or families.
It makes a point of inviting guests of all ages, which is why it bears the name “Captain Kid” with a logo of a bearded man in a go-kart.
It’s a place where anyone and everyone is welcome as long as they have a fun-loving spirit!
If you’re ready to cut loose, head out to the Captain Kid Amusement Park.
You don’t have to reserve tickets or buy bracelets; you can just show up and pay for the rides and games that interest you.
It’s a no-fuss, no-stress destination in Seaside that’s truly meant for visitors of all ages!
Address: 2735 S Roosevelt Dr, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
13. Cannon Beach
It’s a little bit south of Seaside, so you’ll have to be okay with taking a drive, but it’ll be worth it when you’re stepping barefoot onto the warm, golden sands of the shore.
Activities at Cannon Beach range from traditional things like swimming and picnicking to cool, bucket-list affairs like horseback riding along the coast.
You can also plan to attend several major fairs and festivals that take place annually.
Check the schedule; a little preparation today can make for lots of fun this weekend!
As far as seaside attractions go, Cannon Beach is definitely one of the top destinations in Seaside.
Make time for it while you’re visiting, and once you’re settled on the sand with a coconut umbrella drink, you won’t regret it.
Address: Cannon Beach, OR 97110, United States
14. Clatsop Plains
Despite the name, the Clatsop Plains aren’t found on dry land.
They’re actually one of the best seaside attractions in the area.
They get their name from the Clatsop people, a group of Native Americans who lived in the Pacific Northwest during the 18th and 19th centuries.
They were drawn to the relative flatness of the land, which is quite unlike the bluffs and cliffs that circle other beaches in and near Seaside.
Today, the Clatsop Plains don’t have any permanent residents, but they’re a popular sightseeing destination thanks to their wide, expansive views and beautifully eroded sand and rock formations.
They’re also home to several rare and exotic species in Oregon, including the silverspot butterfly and the razor clam.
If you’re looking for cool stuff to do while you’re in Seaside, make time for the Clatsop Plains.
Their attractions are just as interesting as their name!
Address: Oregon 97146, United States
15. Seaside Farmers Market
Another great place for travelers on a budget, the Seaside Farmers Market can be considered one of the best free things to do in the area.
While it’s true that you’ll need to pay for anything that you want to buy, it’s also entirely possible to walk the streets, see the stalls, talk to the vendors and gorge yourself on free samples without paying a dime.
The market typically runs from June to September of each year.
People come from all around the state to sell their meat, cheese, produce, spices, crafts and dry goods.
There’s very little that you can’t find here.
As with most farmers markets, you can also take pride in the fact that you’re supporting small and local businesses rather than big box chains.
In addition to the farmers and food vendors, there are also people like florists, musicians and craftsmen that benefit from your patronage.
Are you traveling to Seaside in the summer or the fall?
Do you prefer to do your own cooking rather than relying on restaurants for every meal, or are you looking for cool, handcrafted souvenirs to take home and give to your friends?
The Seaside Farmers Market can offer a good time for all!
Address: 1120 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
Exploring other areas of Oregon? Why not check out some of the things to do in Eugene, Oregon?
16. Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge
Seaside doesn’t have a zoo, but if you’re an animal lover, you’ll definitely want to check out the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge.
For starters, it’s a genuine refuge for wild creatures.
It hasn’t been commercialized or overdeveloped; it’s a collection of murky swamps, rugged pastures and tidal sand flats that are equal parts beautiful and remote.
They’re so off the beaten path that they’re only accessible by boat.
You won’t find any tourists with fanny packs here!
Another great thing about the refuge is the sheer amount of critters that you can encounter.
There are snakes in the grass, ducks in the water, songbirds in the trees and gulls and raptors in the sky.
The diverse range of ecosystems means that all kinds of wildlife can thrive.
The Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best things to do in Seaside, Oregon.
It’s a real, authentic place, and it’s serving a good purpose in the region.
Your money will be well-spent here.
Address: 46 Steamboat Slough Rd, Cathlamet, WA 98612, United States
17. Camp 18 Museum
There was a time when steam-powered engines and railroad logging cars were the height of technology.
You can revisit these marvels with a trip to the Camp 18 Museum.
Located on the edge of Seaside, the Camp 18 Museum is dedicated to logging.
It has one of the industry’s largest collections of pictures, videos, artifacts and trade tools, including rusted antique band saws that were actually used by Oregon professionals back in the day.
There’s also a vintage photography collection from the 19th century and beyond if you want to see the loggers at work.
The Camp 18 Museum might not be what you usually think about when you envision seaside attractions, but the proximity of the coast played a huge role in Oregon’s early logging industry, and its museum celebrates that history and legacy.
Give it a visit if you’re interested in the lives of real, working-class folks back in the day.
Address: 42362 Highway 26, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
18. Ecola State Park
Known for its biodiversity, Ecola State Park has lush, beautiful landscapes that are absolutely teeming with greenery.
Some visitors have even been known to call it “Oregon’s Garden of Eden.”
The best place for panoramic views is Ecola Point, an observation point that overlooks both forested woods and wide, sandy coasts.
Other places to visit include Indian Beach, the Tillamook Lighthouse and the Oregon Coast Trail.
Entertainment at the park is quite varied.
Joggers and cyclists can enjoy the trails; outdoorsy folk can sleep under the stars in designated campgrounds.
Nature lovers can explore woods, beaches, swamps, hills and tide pools.
Many photographers and video bloggers can be seen on the landscapes.
If you’re wondering what to do while traveling in Seaside, Oregon, make time for Ecola State Park.
It offers so many activities that it’ll be like having several vacations in one.
Address: Cannon Beach, OR 97110, United States
19. Miss Oregon
Miss Oregon is the statewide beauty pageant of Oregon, and it’s hosted every year at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center.
Contestants are women aged 17 – 24 who are judged on beauty, talent and poise.
The various competitions and interviews take place over two days; after the first day, the number of contestants is narrowed down to the top 10.
Tickets are open to the public on both dates but must be purchased in advance.
Not many people can say that they’ve been to a real beauty pageant.
If you’re looking for fun, unique things to do in Oregon, this could be your opportunity to do something that most people never have the chance to… and who knows?
The winner crowned at your Miss Oregon might go on to become Miss USA!
Address: 415 1st Ave, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
20. Clatsop County Historical Society
Another great place to visit if you’re interested in Oregon’s history, the Clatsop County Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of news, events, activities and individuals in the area.
There are four things to see if you want to visit all of the properties owned by the society:
– Flavel House Museum
– Heritage Museum
– Oregon Film Museum
– Uppertown Firefighters Museum
Each one is dedicated to a unique aspect of the region, so you can have a lot of fun visiting different locations.
The fighters museum, for example, is located in a red brick building with a real 1946 Mack fire truck outside; the Flavel House museum has Queen Anne architecture and dates back to 1884.
If you’re a history buff visiting Seaside, inquire about the Clatsop County Historical Society.
They’ll steer you in the right direction for all kinds of knowledge.
Address: 714 Exchange St, Astoria, OR 97103, United States
21. Wreck of the Peter Iredale
You don’t have to wait for Halloween to enjoy a little spookiness in Seaside.
It’s part of the “Graveyard of the Pacific,” a stretch of rocky, murky and foggy land that stretches from Canada to the northwestern United States and has caused thousands of shipwrecks over the years.
The most famous is the Wreck of the Peter Iredale.
Named for its owner, a prominent British shipping merchant, it’s a four-masted barque that met its doom while sailing the Columbia River in 1906.
High winds forced its crew to slam it into the shore and abandon it there.
Today, it’s right where the crew left it, decaying to a ruined skeleton along a sandy stretch of coastline near Seaside.
It’s become something of a landmark for both the city and the Graveyard of the Pacific in general.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Seaside, Oregon, it’s hard to beat a visit to a genuine turn-of-the-century shipwreck.
Address: Peter Iredale Rd, Hammond, OR 97121, United States
22. Necanicum Estuary Natural History Park
Many free things to do in Seaside, Oregon involve the outdoors.
With the exception of parks and nature preserves that require an entrance fee, there’s no charge for breathing fresh air and soaking up the sunshine.
The Necanicum Estuary Natural History Park isn’t the only place to experience nature without having to open your wallet, but it’s one of the best.
If you don’t know what an estuary is, it’s basically a place where small rivers and streams meet larger seas.
The result is a “brackish” combination of saltwater and freshwater, and it creates a lot of interesting landscapes with diverse mixes of flora and fauna.
There are lots of cool things to see at the park.
The animals are curious; the plants are wild and vibrant.
Since the estuary is where the Necanicum, Neawanna and Neacoxie Rivers all meet, it’s triple the observational opportunities.
Take an afternoon and go exploring at the Necanicum Estuary Natural History Park.
If your camera roll isn’t full by the time that you finish, you’ll be a stronger person than most.
Address: 989 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
23. Seaside Inverted Experience
Inverted Experience is one of the most fun places to visit in Seaside.
Not-so-incidentally, it’s also one of the most unique!
It’s basically a portrait studio, but instead of sitting still for stuffy, boring photos, you’ll get to pick from a variety of themes in a variety of rooms.
If you like westerns, for example, you can pose in a saloon with rustic wooden walls and bar stools.
If you enjoy fantasy landscapes, you can pretend like you’re flying on a broom across the city lights at night.
Here’s the twist: Every photo at Inverted Experience is flipped upside down when you’re done.
That’s why it has “inverted” in the name!
The end results are crazy, colorful and one-of-a-kind photos for your travel scrapbook.
If you want to make a lasting memory while you’re in Seaside, Inverted Experience is the place to do it!
Address: 111 Broadway St #11, Seaside, OR 97138, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Seaside, Oregon
These are just a few of the most fun things to do in Seaside, Oregon.
Whether you’re passing through on your way to Portland or settling down for an extended vacation or honeymoon, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for eating, drinking, shopping, touring and adventuring!