Seaside, Oregon: A Top Beach Vacation
By GL Hamilton
In real estate, the mantra is location, location, location. Seaside's location in Oregon is a positive in attracting tourists from all over the I-5 corridor. Seaside is a little over one hour from Portland and about three hours from Seattle in the Northwest corner of the state, just south of Astoria. Seaside is full of history, as they are located off of Highway 101, and at the end of the Lewis and Clark trail. Lewis and Clark is significant in the town, as there is a statue of them at the end of Broadway at "The Turnaround", on the famous Seaside Promenade, and the Lewis and Clark Salt Camp, where there is a museum to show where salt was produced for all kinds of uses in the history of the area.
Our beach house was on 7th Ave, four houses up from the beach with easy walking access to The Promenade which gives fabulous views of the ocean and Tillamook Head. The Promenade allows you to walk all through Seaside without having to drive your car while exploring the town. (Walking is a good idea, since there is not a whole lot of parking areas downtown.) Two bedrooms, 1 and 1/2 baths for $125.00 per night. A quick trip to Safeway for supplies, and we were all set for the three days.
The first place within walking distance is the Seaside Aquarium, located between Second and Thrid Street. You can't miss the place, with its big AQUARIUM sign on the Promenade. The Aquarium is a long time tradition in the area, going back to 1937, being one of the oldest on the West Coast. Live exhibits include an octopus, sunflower sea stars, and a wolf eel. They have an interactive section where kids can touch crabs, starfish, and sea anemones. Also at the Aquarium, visible from the street, is the skeleton of a 36 foot long gray whale. It's an amazing visual. Apparently, the weight of the whale was about 35 tons. The Aquarium was also the fisrt one to breed Harbor Seals in captivity.
People were very friendly in the town, offering to take family pictures with our camera as we were setting up pictures with my wife and children. The good service continued to our stop for ice cream at Zinger's Ice Cream (210 Broadway). The offerings there included the usual sundaes and milkshakes, plus fudge, saltwater taffy, cotton candy, and a wide wariety of no carb/diabetic options. One plus for the store is they were open late, until 10 pm. I was surprised that so many businesses closed early, such as the Carousel Mall which closed at 8 pm. Granted, we were there during the week, but schools were out, so there were plenty of people wandering around.
The rest of our days allowed for more exploring and shopping in town. At the north end of town, there is a small outlet mall. It is big enough to have a Nike store, Eddie Bauer outlet, and a Big Dogs store, but some people may prefer the bigger outlet mall in Lincoln City about 90 minutes south. We also had a chance to visit the local Cannes Theater to check out a movie, go karting, and a visit to a local icon called The Pig 'n Pancake. Needless to say, the end of our vacation came far too soon.
GL Hamilton writes from Everett, WA, and has a BA in Recreation Management from Eastern Washington University. If you are looking to take up a new sports and leisure activity, please visit http://findasport.blogspot.com. This article may be reprinted with the link to my website.
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