If you love to chew on saltwater taffy while walking along the crab-shell-covered shores of charming beach towns, you shouldn’t miss Seaside, Oregon. Couples flock here for the romantic accommodations, and friends and families go for the outdoor recreation—including the world’s largest amateur beach volleyball tournament, held every summer (August 6–9). The options are many, so whether your trip is a relaxing, wine-drinking respite or a paragliding, volleyball-digging jaunt is entirely up to you.
Indulge in coastal novelties
The epicenter of Seaside’s allure is the wide, misty beach and the paved promenade (locally called the prom) that runs parallel to it. On it, in addition to resorts and restaurants, you’ll find the Seaside Aquarium. Founded in 1937, the aquarium is known for its harbor seal exhibit, which has 11 resident seals, some of them members of the third or fourth generation at the aquarium, who will do tricks in exchange for fish. Just a block off the prom, pick your favorite treats from among the whopping 180 flavors of saltwater taffy (jalapeño, anyone?) on offer at Seaside Candyman.
Family-friendly Seaside offers old school charm for a playful beach getaway. Photo by Don Frank for the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau
Dig your feet into the sand while sitting in an Adirondack chair outside Inn at the Prom, where the beach is the backyard. Indoors, find fireplaces and jetted tubs in every room. The Gilbert Inn was once the home of one of Seaside’s founders, and has since been converted into a bed-and-breakfast for couples and decorated with period furnishings.
Let the sea feed you
For an exquisite seafood experience, Maggie’s on the Prom offers some of the finest dining in Seaside, along with an oceanfront view. A more casual, served-on-a-paper-plate joint is Buoy’s Best Fish House, dishing up fresh, locally-sourced seafood staples like fish and chips and clam chowder.
View the coast by air
For a scenic thrill ride, soar through the canopy of conifers and over a 7-acre lake with High Life Adventures zip lining. Seaside Helicopters provides aerial tours of the coast as far south as Cannon Beach, 10 miles away. Or, if you prefer a little more ocean spray on your cheeks, there’s Discover Paragliding for a solo or tandem airborne adventure.