After meeting some good friends in Bend, we decided to join them in Seaside for another week of fun. Seaside is one of the northernmost coastal cities in Oregon, located only 20 miles from the Washington border. Astoria and Cannon Beach, both popular tourist destinations, are only 16 and 8 miles away (respectively), making Seaside an ideal “home base.” October isn’t prime tourist season, so the area was peaceful and quiet. My favorite afternoon was spent on the beach with friends, flying their kite, searching for sand dollars, and learning about clam digging.
Camping: We stayed at the Seaside RV Resort, which is a Thousand Trails/Encore campground. The resort itself is wonderful: clean, surrounded by trees and greenery, and close to everything. It is conveniently located about a mile from downtown, a movie theater, grocery shopping, an outlet mall and the beach! It has two clubhouses (one for families and one for adults), really nice laundry facilities that take credit cards (yay, AMEX points!), and a small workout room. It has pickleball and volleyball courts, billiards, foosball, and an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. All of the facilities are well maintained, and the staff is very friendly and helpful, which is a nice bonus. The pool was as crowded as Disneyland, but other than that, we had no complaints and would recommend it to any RVer.
Food: We have been trying to eat in as much as possible, but we did enjoy two awesome meals out while in Seaside. The first was a brunch at Firehouse Grill. The homemade biscuits and sausage gravy were swoon-worthy (which is saying something, as I am primarily a vegetarian), the red potato hash browns were perfectly seasoned, and the atmosphere was a lot of fun. Tip from the top: the lunch is also good, but the breakfast is legendary. Don’t miss it. We also really enjoyed one of Seasides newest restaurants, Nonni’s Italian Bistro. I ordered the lasagne and Brandon had the spaghetti and meatballs; both were fabulous. Our waiter was very knowledgable about the menu, and he made the whole evening fun. Fun fact: Firehouse and Nonni’s are right next to each other, so if you feel like taking a day to eat your way through Seaside, you can roll yourself from one to the next.
Fort Stevens State Park: We had a few days or torrential rain (which is sort of expected in the Northwest), so once we were given a sunny day we took full advantage of it. Our first stop was Fort Stevens, which is a 4,000 acre state park outside of Astoria with a rich history. It was an operational fort for more than 80 years (from the Civil War through WWII), and was used to guard the mouth of the Columbia River. Several of the bunkers are still standing, and you can explore all of them without admission or a guide.
While we were there, our friends decided to join in on a state park “mushroom hunting” activity, so we decided to tag along. Actively seeking out rainforest-dwelling fungi isn’t exactly my idea of a perfect afternoon, but given the enormous turn out for the event, I figured I should broaden my horizons. The park ranger, who, I must say, was extremely well versed in said fungi, gave a small speech to his captive audience about how to determine whether a mushroom is edible. “Luckily, here in the pacific Northwest, if you eat a poisonous mushroom, you probably won’t die,” he boasted. The lady standing next to me cast a sideways glance in my direction and laughed, “Oh, that’s reassuring!” Eventually, the ranger instructed everyone to break off for an hour, pick what truffles they could find, and return to find out if they picked the edible ones. To my surprise, most of the people who attended walked away with a whole bag filled with ‘shrooms. This was a fun little afternoon lesson in ‘doing something that you wouldn’t normally do.’ We have been doing a lot of those things since we began trailer dwelling!
Fort Stevens also boasts the beached remains of the Peter Iredale, a steel sailing ship that became sandlocked in the early 1900s. Truthfully, I had imagined a little bit of a cooler shipwreck; maybe a little more “Pirates of the Caribbean?” Only a small piece of the ship is still visible, and the rest is entombed beneath the sand. Regardless, how often do you get to see such a unique piece of history outside of a museum? All things considered, Fort Stevens is definitely worth a visit.
Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock: One cloudy evening, we took a drive down the coast to nearby Cannon Beach. This area is a bit more upscale than Seaside; it has quite a few fancy restaurants and nice hotels. Quite frankly, the only thing I cared to do while we were there was see Haystack Rock, an 235-foot sea stack that brings a lot of attention to this little costal town. It was foggy and damp when we arrived, but that didn’t stop hundreds of other beach goers from enjoying the view right along with us. We walked the entire length of the beach and back to our parking spot, which ended up being about 5 miles. Haystack was beautiful from every angle, and certainly worthy of the attention that it receives.
No matter how long we spend in any given place, we always miss it when we leave. We loved our time in Seaside and are already looking forward to our return, whenever that may be.