If you find yourself in Oregon on a sunny day, which is nearly an oxymoron, I highly recommend taking in the views around the Seaside area. Located about 80 miles outside of Portland, Seaside can make for a refreshing day trip outside the city. Cruise along the highway and you’ll notice several scenic ‘lookout’ sites where you can pull over. When taking in the view, keep an eye out for hidden pathways leading to even better and more private viewing areas.
Z knew of one such pathway at one of the first major lookout sites, where the path entrance starts at an unmarked couple of stone steps to the right of the lookout. You’ll likely need some good shoes, and be okay with a little mud, because the path is a bit overgrown and probably stays pretty wet. A word of caution, there are very steep cliffs that drop off into the ocean here, so take your time, stay away from the edges, and keep kids in sight. But once you get to the end of the trail (only about 5-10 minutes easy walking), you will be rewarded with some breath-taking views of the coast and maybe even Seaside itself.
It’s certainly worth continuing along the highway to downtown Seaside, where you will surely be charmed by the quaintness of the town. As stated on the city website:
“Seaside is surrounded by natural wonders and attractions, tourists and locals enjoy hiking, bird watching, surfing, kayaking, fishing, crabbing, clam digging, and looking for gray whales as they migrate along the coast. Our magnificant City also provides a great place to shop and dine with blocks of art galleries, restaurants and shops.”
Some other views worth checking out are found when you are actually on the beach. The beach itself is very wide, about 250 feet wide, according to Seaside’s website, and you are bound to notice a few monolithic rock structures shooting up right at the waters edge. We parked at a random hotel and used their boardwalk to access the beach (although I am sure there is public access as well) and walked out to one of these monoliths.
There were quite a few people out, despite the winds and cold, but we didn’t feel crowded at all – likely because the beach is so huge. At the base of the rock formation, you will often find park ranger types who are there to protect the sea life and to educate visitors about the fauna and flora. We saw many gulls, gigantic starfish, crustaceans, and mollusks.
If you are going to be in the area for more than a day, be sure to check out Falcon Cove as well. It’s a short hike along a small river to the cove, where you will find small waterfalls, little hidden caves, and a beautiful northern forest to explore.