Off-Season Vintage Fun in Seaside

by Henry Allen

Seaside is an Oregon Coast original. As one of the oldest vacation destinations on the Northwest coast, it has all the elements of a family-friendly beach town, complete with saltwater taffy, a carousel, a vintage aquarium, an oceanfront promenade and fresh seafood. The city has embraced its history and heritage, making a visit to Seaside all the more appealing. 

Summer brings throngs of vacationers to Seaside, but the winter months tend to be a bit more relaxed. And, in the off-season, you can take in all the same attractions that summer visitors enjoy. 

Start with a stroll or a bike ride along 1.5-mile Prom (the promenade). The Prom has survived since 1920 and is still a popular pedestrian route allowing easy access to downtown Seaside. As you explore the Prom, you’ll encounter the Seaside Aquarium, which opened in 1937 on the site of an indoor saltwater pool from 1924. Little has changed at the aquarium since the day it opened, except the animals and staff. 

You’ll know you’ve reached downtown’s main drag when you see the Lewis and Clark statue on the Prom. Head a few blocks into downtown, where you’ll find Funland, which opened in 1931. You can’t miss its art deco marquee towering above the main downtown drag. Once inside, you won’t want to miss its vintage games, such as Fascination, a game with its own dedicated room and an MC with carny skills. Of course, modern games have been added to the mix as well. 

Also downtown, stop in at the Seaside Carousel, sporting 24 exquisitely designed and painted creatures. Besides the standard carousel horses, you can ride a cat with a fish in its mouth, a goose and even a giraffe. 

History in Seaside stretches way back before the 20th century. The Lewis and Clark expedition spent a winter not far away and established a salt harvesting operation in what today is Seaside. The Salt Works is part of the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park and is located on Lewis and Clark Way between Beach Drive and the Prom. It is nothing more than a stone cairn, topped with five pots for rendering salt, but for the sense of history, it’s worth a visit.

Lodging in Seaside appeals to every taste and budget. For a full list of lodging, dining and things to do, go to