Seaside had all the makings of a great beach town. There is a huge beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. There are lifeguards. There is a great promenade along the beach. There are a bunch of really cute shops. The whole town looked adorable.
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And yet, at the same time, it all looked artificial. Like a beach version of Disneyland. I can almost understand how that came to be however. Seaside as we know it today, is built from Seaside House, a summer resort that once stood here.
The beach was gorgeous though. I’ll give them that. I loved seeing Tillamook Head looming high above the beach on the left. It seems so far away and despite walking closer and closer to it, it doesn’t seem to be getting any nearer.
But when it came to the town, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. Everything seemed a little too perfect and a little too fake. Like Disneyland, but minus the rides and abundance of people in costumes.
I can see what they were after. A fun and vibrant seaside holiday town. Maybe it was at one point in its lifetime exactly how they planned it. However, now, it seems almost forgotten. Wandering the streets at night and the air is still and quiet. Wandering the streets in the morning is equally quiet, but at least the sun is out. It wasn’t even that late (8-9 pm) nor that early (9-10am).
Where do all the people go? Do they just come for the day and then leave? Disappear into their hotel rooms? Our hotel said that they were completely sold out so there must be people. So where were they?
Perhaps it was bad timing. We had arrived at the tail end of a huge running race that happened that weekend. We could see the crew cleaning up whatever that was set up on the beach. Maybe it was because it was a Monday and everyone had gone back to work.
The one place we did find a lot of people was at the local arcade. We could hear it before we could see it. On one side, it was a dark room, wall to wall of wooden playing boards, lights flashing, people cheering and a caller. The other, was the glitzier arcade room with the typical games.
We sat down where the people were. The premise was easy. Make a line of lights light up in a row kind of like bingo. You need to get the ball through the corresponding hole in front of you to light it up. In reality, it was extremely frustrating. The ball never went where you wanted it to go! Each game was only 25 cents and I can see how this could easily dissolve into an addiction. The more I played, the more I wanted to win. Later, I learned this game is called Fascination. Who knew?
A little further inland, the Necanicum River bisects the city and there is another dock and water area. Ready for people to have a little bit of water fun. When we drove into the Seaside, we saw plenty of fishermen hanging out on the bridges. I wonder how successful they are at catching fish.
There’s also a small mall with a carousel in the middle.
Otherwise, I found Seaside to be a sleepy town, with the potential to be more. Perhaps my visit was coloured by a terrible run in at a restaurant the night we were there (pro tip: I would not recommend eating at Twisted Fish Steakhouse in Seaside). You can read about our whole experience in this review my friend left. Regardless, I was eager to leave Seaside and to see what the rest of the coast of Oregon had to offer.
Good to Know
Getting here: Seaside, Oregon is located a 2 hour drive from Portland. It is a relatively easy drive through the mountains on Highway 26. You can’t miss it.
There isn’t much to do in the town other than going to the beach and the water activities in the river. Playing Fascination at the arcade was pretty entertaining though.
Have you ever been somewhere and really wanted to like it? Has a bad encounter in a restaurant ever completely ruined your time in a town?
This post is a part of #TheWeeklyPostcard.