Defining the character of Seaside

Work on the 2019 Seaside Visitor Guide is officially underway at the Visitors Bureau. Staff sent letters and emails to all lodging partners on file in the city to make sure we have the most up-to-date and accurate information in the coming guide and also on our website at

We try to list everything equitably but I do want to point out that those entities that advertise in the guide receive an enhanced listing with an expanded description — space to show a little character. Ultimately, the amount of advertising is directly related to the amount of content we can offer potential visitors, so consider the annual guide an important contribution to Seaside’s marketing efforts.

Close to 100 important voices from the North Coast community gathered at the Old Mill Center in Garibaldi late last month for the opening act of the North Coast Tourism Studio. As a reminder, the studio is a joint venture between Travel Oregon and a steering committee comprised of diverse players from Astoria down to Pacific City. The aim is to connect stakeholders to empower a sustainable regional tourism economy while addressing critical management issues such as congestion and preserving the area’s natural and cultural assets.

Although the numbers could have been higher, Seaside had quality representation for the day-long workshop including City Council President Tita Montero and CEDR Executive Director Kevin Leahy who both contributed much to the conversation.

One of the biggest takeaways for me was simply that this studio system works — it’s been done to great effect in the Gorge region recently — and that we should trust the process and get as many voices to the table as possible for the remaining workshops.

As luck would have it, the next two dates are scheduled to happen in Seaside at the Best Western Plus Ocean View Resort (thank you for hosting!). On Tuesday, Oct. 16, we’ll learn about stewardship best practices and initiatives already underway in the region at an evening networking event from 5 to 8 p.m. Then all day on Wednesday, Oct. 17, we’ll really get into the weeds looking for innovative solutions to improve visitor transportation options and ease congestion problems during peak season.

Everyone is invited to participate from community members and public officials to lodging owners and conservation groups. The evening event is free and the all-day workshop is just $10 to cover lunch. Go to for more information and to register. If you’re on the fence or need assistance signing up, reach out to me and I’d be happy to help.

If you’ve lived in Seaside for any length of time, you might sometimes forget just how remarkable this corner of the earth actually is. The city received a Facebook review from a woman who traveled here from Minnesota for a wedding, staying at the Sandy Cove Inn on Avenue U. She’d never even seen the ocean before and cried tears of joy as she ran down to the waters edge. Although I’ve lived in various locations on the West Coast for 15 years now, I grew up in Minnesota and I’ve never forgotten that feeling.

In fact, I felt it strongly again on a Saturday in late September when Lexie Hallahan, director of Northwest Women’s Surf Camps, made good on a promise from our July Facebook Live segment and took me out for a surfing lesson in the Cove.

There were two kinds of jellyfish beneath the whitewater and bands of light rain scurrying across the horizon. Despite my poor technique, I was on my feet no less than ten times all the way back to the beach, unable to wipe a stupid grin off my face. My own private lesson in how to feel like a kid again in Seaside.

Got a tourism-related comment, tip, or project? I’d love to hear about it. Write me at

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