Gearhart and Seaside Beaches, Oregon
Gearhart Beach AKA Sand Dollar Beach
I was looking forward to going to Gearhart Beach after learning that it is also known as Sand Dollar Beach. Evidently, after high tide, there are a lot of sand dollars that can be found on Gearhart Beach, but you have to go early.
Unfortunately, we are NOT morning people and our morning to Gearhart Beach did NOT go as planned. By the time we got there, only broken sand dollars were to be found.
If you have a 4-wheel drive, you might consider parking down on the sand, where it is permitted. We had our car and didn’t trust we would be able to get out of the sand. Many of the locals have air compressors they can hook up to their vehicles. They deflate their tires a little bit, to get better traction on the sand and then re-inflate them before they go very far up the road.
We found a place to park, on a side street.
It is a sandy beach, but not my favorite. It was a little dirtier looking with all the ocean debris. Lots of dried seaweed and dead crabs with sea gulls picking at them. This was the windiest place we went! The waves were very choppy. It didn’t seem as windy anywhere else we went.
The town of Gearhart is quaint. We went into a couple of gift shops and strolled around the streets a bit.
If you are into watching volleyball, the 2nd week of August is a great time to go! There are all kinds of volleyball tournaments that go on during this week. We were told more than 3,000 people were visiting Seaside for the tournaments.
Parking was crazy and not well marked. Thankfully someone gave us a heads up that the car we just waited for, had been given a parking ticket and so would we, if we parked there. Very faded on the ground was paint that said, “No Parking”. Here’s the kicker, it was just a few stalls in a public parking lot, that you weren’t allowed to park in and the paint was almost gone!!!
The Carousel Mall is a big draw in Seaside! It of course has a carousel inside the mall! There are lots of fun shops and food places to visit.
One of my daughter’s has a lot of anxiety in crowds and with all the people visiting for the volleyball tournament, it went into full swing. She was over-whelmed by the crowds and quickly wanting to escape and be done. So, there is a lot here we didn’t get to.
What to do in Seaside
There is a beautiful promenade to stroll down. We have been there before and it is quite lovely. There are landmarks and information about Lewis and Clark and their travels, blazing the Oregon Trail.
The promenade is a great place for strollers and wheelchairs. At the Sunset Empire Parks & Recreation District beach accessible wheelchairs can be rented.
Admission to the aquarium is $8.50 for adults, $4.25 for kids 6-13, $7.25 for seniors 64+, $29 for a family (up to 6 paid admissions), Free for children under 5 with someone who has paid admission. The aquarium opens at 9 a.m. and closing varies.
They have many seals, an underwater tank and a touch tank. The touch tank is fun for kids and adults!
I couldn’t find information for how much it is to ride the carousel and didn’t think about it while we were sitting in front of it. Near the carousel, you can find public restrooms.
The mall has many shops and places to eat! Almost anything you want can be found in or around the mall!
More to do in Seaside:
- Bird watching
- Whale watching
- Biking (there are many trails)
- Trace Lewis and Clark’s steps, finding a beached whale
- Find out more about Tilly aka the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse (evidently it is haunted and there are tales about it)
- Visit the Seaside Historical Society Museum
- Go to the skateboard park
Gluten Free Dining in Seaside
There are a lot of options for gluten free dining in Seaside! We decided to try Doogers.
Unfortunately, our experience there wasn’t stellar. They have a lot of gluten free options and what they got wrong with our order didn’t put us at risk for getting sick. I ordered a sandwich without the bread and it came with gluten free bread. (I’m just not a fan of gf bread and prefer lettuce wrapped or just without the bread.) It was dry. Sometimes they leave everything that makes a sandwich good off it, because you are gluten free. That seemed to be the case.
My husband’s food was also dry and lacked the umph we were hoping for. However, our daughters got the fish and loved their food. They said it was fantastic and they wouldn’t mind going here again. So, hit and miss, was our experience.
I Love Oregon Vacations!!!
I love vacationing here and can’t wait to come back! There is so much we still haven’t done here. Not to mention, traveling farther down the Oregon coast and exploring more there.