Seaside Oregon – The Beach Is Less Than 2 Hours From Portland
The historic town of Seaside Oregon is at the end of the Oregon Trail, and today is a short drive from the Portland metro area. An easy and comfortable place to relax and reconnect with nature, Seaside has something to offer everyone’s interest and abilities.
Winter In Seaside Oregon Is Outdoorsy Too
If you think the beach is just for summer, you are missing out on half the fun! Winter on the Oregon Coast is both exciting and cozy, with a fraction of the crowds that make summer so crowded. Outdoor experiences include beachcombing, clamming and crabbing, and wildlife watching.
Seaside Has a Secret! (not too secret)
This is a GREAT place to collect sand dollars! No one is sure exactly why, but Seaside Oregon is home to thousands of sand dollars, who leave behind their distinct skeletons when they depart. It’s a bit of a walk, but heading to the secluded beaches just south or north of the mouth of the Necanicum River means you’ll have the best choice of sea souvenirs. You’ll recognize the ones that are OK to collect because they are bleached out grey or white. Sand dollars that are purplish or fuzzy looking are still alive! Please leave them to finish their lives in the wild.
Clamming and Crabbing for Your Supper
Chances are, you’ve never been clamming or crabbing, Oregon-style. You really should give it a try! Foraging for your food is easy on the north Oregon Coast. Our local beaches account for 95% of Oregon’s razor clam harvest; the densest razor clam population in the state is in Seaside. Digging them is a fun activity for all ages in most weather and is a popular Oregon coast activity. Crabbing in the Necanicum estuary is open year ‘round. The 12th Ave bridge is a popular spot to stop and chat with other fisherfolk for ideas, inspiration or tall tales if you can’t participate.
Make sure you get the right fishing permit, short stay ones are available, and find the gear for your foraging dreams. You can get these at Trucke’s 1-Stop or Rite Aid in Seaside or Bud’s Campground & Grocery in Gearhart.
Wandering Wildlife of the North Coast
The Roosevelt elk that live on Oregon’s north coast have discovered good summer eating in the gardens of our coastal towns but they head for the foothills in the late fall. For winter wildlife viewing, take a side trip from your Seaside stay to visit the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area in the scenic Coast Range. This winter feeding station offers excellent viewing of up to 200 elk. Elk feeding tours are offered from December through February (reservations required, 503-755-2264) but you can see them in the area November – April. There’s an amazing array of wildlife living in the area if you miss the elk – Bald Eagles, Red Tailed Hawks, Owls, Coyotes, Bobcats, Weasels, River otters, Beaver, Stellar’s Jay and their forest friends. The site is ADA accessible, and has a picnic area and restrooms. Some parking areas require a permit; ask the ranger.
Winter in Seaside has plenty of adventure to offer; try it out in the un-summer!
Whale Watching: No Depoe Bay Boats
Oregon’s Whale Watching Week returns in person this winter! Trained volunteers meet at 17 designated Whale Watching sites along the coast to help you spot the spouts, tails and flukes of the migrating gray whales from December 28 – Jan 1. (10 a.m. to 1 p.m daily). Look for the Whale Watching Spoken Here signs along the high promontories along the north coast where Oregon State Parks volunteers can guide your viewing. The north coast headlands let you view farther out to sea than a Depoe Bay boat.
Mild Average Temps Make Getting Outside Fun
DYK? The Oregon Coast’s temperatures are surprisingly mild in winter, with average highs in the 50s and average lows above freezing. The trick to a comfortable visit to Seaside in winter is layers; wear layers and add and subtract throughout the day. A rain layer is practical and recommended but sweatshirts and jackets are enough for most folks.
Our Beach Vacation Rentals Make Travel So Comfortable!
Make your vacation special with a stay at one of our Seaside Oregon vacation rentals. With room for everyone to spread out, keeping your own schedules, it’s more comfortable to coordinate meals, golf games and beach excursions from one cozy location. Solo travelers and couples appreciate the privacy and comfort of their own vacation rentals, too!