A Weekenders Guide to Seaside, Oregon
When you’re planning a trip to the Oregon Coast, it’s important to remember: less sunscreen, more sweatshirts. The Oregon Coast is a fickle thing, but that’s what we love about her. She is sometimes moody, never dull, and always eventful. So, no matter the season, come prepared for sunshine, maybe a little rain, and to leave your beach reading at home.
We chatted with our Seaside Tasting Room staff to get the lowdown on how to do the Oregon Coast right. They helped us create this weekend itinerary for you, but feel free to take inspiration and don’t be afraid to go off-script. There are hidden pockets of adventure around every corner of the Oregon Coast. Go ahead, those memories aren’t going to make themselves.
We recommend making Seaside your home base. Seaside is an hour and a half from downtown Portland, add another 30 minutes if you’re coming from Portland International Airport. Seaside is home to a beautiful large beach promenade, quirky shops, and out-of-the-box activities like razor clamming and ziplining. We love staying in Seaside because you can often find more affordable hotels and Airbnb’s than nearby Cannon Beach. Plus, you’re centrally located, making it the perfect spot to explore all of Oregon’s northern coast. Bonus: it's the home of our coastal tasting room!
So, without any further ado...your weekend itinerary:
9 am | Welcome to the Coast
Drive through coastal Douglas Fir forests on US-26 until you reach Cannon Beach, home to the iconic Haystack Rock you see on any “Oregon Coast” Google search. (It’s also featured in “The Goonies.” Remember that movie?) Make your obligatory stop at the Haystack, snap a pic, then get back in the car.
The real magic of Cannon Beach is just north at Ecola State Park, where lush forests meet the rugged coastline. Park at Indian Beach to watch people surf, explore tide pools and hike the 2.8 mile Clatsop Loop Trail. Back at Indian Beach, cook fresh oysters for lunch over the fire with supplies you can get at Fresh Foods Cannon Beach.
(If you have more time in Cannon Beach, Jason from our Seaside Tasting Room recommends Hug Point, a beach a little south of Cannon Beach, with great rock collecting and beautiful scenery. If you catch it at low tide, you can walk around a point to see a waterfall on the beach. Also, Cannon Beach has no open container law, so def take advantage of that. 😉)
3 pm | Hey, you’re on vacay
Drive 15-minutes north to Seaside and see if you can check in early to your lodging. If you’re looking for a unique stay and not trying to break the bank, we recommend staying at the Coast River Inn, a colorful converted motel that’s near downtown and steps away from the beach. The best part of this quirky-in-a-cool-way hotel is that it comes with complimentary bike rentals. Ditch your car and take to the Seaside’s bike-friendly streets and promenade.
After checking in, roll on over to Evoke Winery’s Seaside Tasting Room, located at 270 S Columbia St, steps away from Seaside’s downtown shops. At Evoke, you can expect good wine, good conversation and good company. We have tasting rooms throughout the PNW (Hood River, Bend, and Seaside — coming soon to Vancouver, too!), but Seaside has its own special charm (you can thank the rockstar staff for that). Come and sip your next favorite wine, play some games, and see if you can find all the Trolls (you’ll see what we mean) hidden throughout the tasting room.
After your wine flight, make sure to grab at least one bottle of Outdoor Vino to go. Outdoor Vino is Evoke’s adventure-ready wine that comes in shatter-proof bottles. You’ll need those for tonight…
6 pm | Eat like a local
But first, let’s get some food in that belly. Jason recommends the End of Trail Public House, a local watering hole with great bar food and an even better beer selection. Come for the pool tables, and stay for the good stories from the locals (or trivia on Thursday nights). The Public House gets extra points for being owned by a Club Evoke member! After filling up on pub grub, get back on your bicycle and head to where the sand meets the sea.
8 pm | Burn, baby, burn
Jason’s all-time favorite activity to do in Seaside? Having a bonfire on the beach! Along the Seaside beach, it’s legal to have fires and open adult beverages. Remember that Outdoor Vino you picked up from Evoke? Now’s the time to pull that out, kick off your shoes, and get lost in conversation under the stars. It’s easy to lose track of time, but hey - isn’t that kinda the point?
If you’re looking to get a little groovy, we recommend checking the live music schedule at the McMenamin’s Gearhart Hotel and Sand Trap Pub in Gearhart, which is just a few minutes north of Seaside. Every Friday, they host no cover, all-ages shows with bands from the PNW. A guaranteed good time!
10 am | Wake up slow
There’s lots to do, but we’ve got longgg days here in the summer, so wake up slow and start your day at Fireside Grill, where you can get breakfast all day and bloody's, mimosas, beer, wine and cocktails to go. We recommend sticking around to eat and ordering the Toad in the Hole (a hollowed out buttermilk biscuit filled with an egg, served with house fried potatoes, onions and thick bacon. Yum.)
12 pm | Roll on
Looking forward to some great family fun? Head to Wheel Fun Rentals and rent a Surrey 4-person bike and mosey along the Prom while taking in the sights and shops of Seaside. In the spring and summer, Wheel Fun also rents paddle boats, kayaks and paddle boards to use on the Necanicum River if it’s warm and you’re looking to get wet.
We’re sure that all that pedaling and paddling is going to make you work up an appetite. Head to Grizzly Tuna for a mid-afternoon lunch for some of the best fish-n-chips and fish tacos on the coast.
Weather not cooperating? If it’s looking like you might have a soggy coastal weekend, take refuge from the weather by playing like a kid at the Funland Arcade or hangout with seals at the Seaside Aquarium.
3 pm | History time
Just north of Seaside is the historic town of Astoria that’s famous for its antique shops, bars and being the film location for The Goonies.
On your way up to Astoria, stop at Fort Steven State Park, which has awesome paved trails for hiking and more biking. You can also see a real life shipwreck! Once into town, stop at the Astoria Column for majestic views of the Columbia River, Megler Bridge, ships, and a distant view of the ocean. If your legs are totally burnt out from all that biking, you can climb all the way to the top of the column up a narrow staircase. The views are 100% worth it! There’s also a great short hike next to the Column that leads you to a 300-year-old Sitka spruce, aptly named “Cathedral Tree.”
7 pm | Brewery tour
Back in town, explore Astoria’s many antique shops and specialty stores, to work up your appetite. For dinner, find yourself at home at one of Astoria’s many breweries. We asked Sarah, the Evoke Tasting Room manager and native Astorian, which ones are her favorites. She talked up Bridge & Tunnel Bottleshop and Taproom, which she said has the best craft beer, cider, and wine selection outside of Portland. Bonus points: you can bring your pup! Fort George Brewery and Reach Break Brewing also made the list.
9 pm | Nightcap
End your night with live music and dessert at Post 99, the Seaside American Legion.
9 am | Goodbyes are the hardest
It’s your last day and we know you’ll be sad to go. Wake up early and ride your bike over to Seaside’s secret Painted Rock Beach on the south end of town. The entrance is a little hard to find, but it’s just west of Ocean Vista Drive and Avenue W. But once you find it, you’ll find a quiet beach with colorful rocks painted with names and memories from times spent in Seaside. Pick one up and take it with you...just promise to bring it back, painted, on your next trip to Seaside!
On your way out of town, stop for one last hurrah at the Osprey Cafe, an American breakfast spot that has all of your favorite breakfast foods, done up with a twist. After a weekend of reveling on the Coast, your body will thank you for stopping by this soul-fueling, low-grease diner.
Remember, drink good wine and have a damn good time! Cheers... until next time.