Jon Rahl: The road to, from and around Seaside has many options


6:45 p.m.: Not a cloud in the sky from Seaside all the way to Portland! What a day.

Transportation is on my mind this month. And what better place to pen some thoughts on moving from one place to another than by using one of the more uncommon methods folks use to visit Oregon’s North Coast? So this is a first for me, but I’m typing this month’s column on the road, via a bus.

Thanks to some personal travel to see my parents, it worked best for me to take advantage of NorthWest POINT’s twice-daily bus service to and from the coast. My family was already in Portland for the day to see friends, so rather than have them come back to get me for our bigger trip, I thought it would be a good opportunity to use one of the resources we regularly tell visitors about at the Seaside Visitors Bureau.

I’ve passed the big, white motor coach along U.S. Highway 26, seen it picking up and dropping off patrons at the two locations in Seaside, and not a week goes by that someone doesn’t call or stop by to ask about alternative methods of traveling between our beach town and the valley.

7:23 p.m.: We just passed Camp 18. It’s a Friday evening, so traffic is pretty heavy heading west, but our 60-percent full bus is chugging right along towards the east at a nice pace, with a light air conditioning keeping the coach comfortable. It’s a fast-paced world we live in these days (as a Toyota FourRunner just happens to zip by us in a passing zone at the same moment I typed that sentence), but I have to admit taking this drive while someone else worries about lane changes and wildlife potentially crossing the road is pretty relaxing.

It’s remarkable how easy it is to experience one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders (the Oregon Coast that is). Though not as fast as a personal automobile, for a $17, one-way trip, it’s a pretty good bargain. And with additional stops in Astoria and Cannon Beach, the flexibility of this service is also really good.

Beyond a bus (which is also available throughout Clatsop County using Sunset Empire Transportation District), how do you, as a resident of our community, see Seaside? By water, wheels or foot? All of the above? One of the biggest selling points we have in our community is the walkability it affords locals and visitors alike. It’s usually flat enough to keep the pace leisurely, but the nearby hills can bump the resistance level quickly, if one is interested. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s also possible – in addition to regular helicopter tours – to see Seaside by air, thanks to the return of the biplane tours from the Seaside Airport.

7:51 p.m.: We just dropped down the hill near the turnoff to Vernonia. My head’s been pointed down at the screen a fair amount, but the coast range is truly a beautiful setting.

Did I miss a mode of transportation to, from or around Seaside? Have another thought about tourism in Seaside, drop me an email at

Jon Rahl is the director of the Seaside Visitors Bureau and assistant general manager of the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.

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