Just a three hour drive from Portland, Seabrook is a small town on the Washington coast offering families a dream retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Imagine a beautiful PNW beach destination that you and your kids can enjoy year round. With a stunning stretch of beach to play on and a fairytale like town packed with cozy rental cottages, unique shopping options, and a variety of activities, Seabrook is ideal for a quick family escape during the summer, fall, winter or spring. Read on to find out more.
Seabrook, Wa. may require a longer drive to get to than some of the coastal towns in Oregon, but the journey is worth it. There are essentially two routes you can take. One is faster, but less scenic. The other takes you along the picturesque coastline.
Route 1: Take I-5N to US-12 for 93 miles.Stay on US-12 west for approximately 26 miles to US 101. The total distance you travel is 170.6 miles with drive time around 3 hours and 4 minutes. (map for detailed directions)
Route 2: This option adds about an hour to your drive but if you have time and you want to make a day out of your travels, there are plenty of fun stops along the way. Take Wa-4 W to US-101. Drive time is 4 hours and 11 minutes.
Seabrook is full of cozy, comfy, and way cool cottages ready to become your dream home-base. The most difficult thing about finding a place to stay is picking from all of the incredible options available through Seabrook Cottage Rentals. If you prefer to be in the midst of all the action there are accommodations in the center of town. Enjoy stepping out your front door and hopping into a local shop, or grabbing a bite at one of the local eateries without taking more than a couple of steps. If you prefer to get away from it all and drift off at night with the ocean right outside your front door, rent a luxury oceanfront home. There are options perfect for a small family or bring the extended tribe and fit everyone in with extra room to move.
Amenities are abundant when choosing from Seabrook Rentals stock of homes. Think hot tubs, fireplaces, grills, billiard and foosball tables, and flat screen TVs stocked with Xbox systems and piles of movies. The kitchens are all fully equipped so that all you have to haul in is whatever you want to feed the fam. And the beds…oh the glorious beds! This might be the one time you won’t catch yourself looking forward to getting back to your own familiar mattress at bedtime.
Whatever the size of your needs or the types of interests your family has, there is a place that’s perfect waiting for you. Just remember, don’t get too cozy, you don’t want to lose your motivation to leave your stunning abode.
Travel Tip: Bring the family dog! There are cottages ready to house your sweet furry family members.
People tend to think of the Oregon coast as a place to go in the summer. They envision rainy, dreary days that make an afternoon playing in the sand impossible during the winter months. The truth is that Seabrook is a perfect year-round destination. We found that there were plenty of opportunities to get outside as the sun peeked its head out from between clouds again and again. But when it turned wet, there was still plenty to do inside.
Outdoor activities are bountiful in Seabrook. Visitors are able to tour the town by bike year-round, but don’t worry about bringing your own. Bucks Bikes is stocked with rentals for all seasons. There are bicycles available for all sizes and if you want to up the fun and togetherness, you can even get a tandum bike for mom and dad. Think of it as a natural form of therapy and relationship skill building.
When the weather is warm or the season is right, Buck’s offers skimboards, bodyboards, SUP and all the gear you need to keep warm. Bucks also provides guided experiences that include rentals and lessons for biking or water adventure. If you prefer to hoof it, there are tons of trails nearby for hiking. Don’t bother researching where you want to go, just contact Bucks! They have maps and can point you in the right direction.
If you are looking for leisurely outdoor fun, wander down to the beach with some kites and sand toys. On the way to the water make sure to make your way through the Gnome Trail, it is truly magical. There you will find gnome homes and fairy houses made from natural materials. If you are lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a friendly woodland creature. Let your kids add to the area, but be careful! Remember: little mystical creatures live there!
Whether you need a break from the great outdoors or the temps have forced you in, there’s plenty to do indoors during your time at Seabrook. There is a warm indoor pool that guests are able to use for entertainment and exercise. The kids can splash and swim while parents soak in the spa Jacuzzi. When you’ve gotten all of the wiggles out, get in some arts and crafts at Imagine that Shel’s Pottery Painting Studio. Shel herself is a jewel, and takes time to greet and talk to each person who comes in. She is passionate about her shop and creates an atmosphere of fun and celebration with brightly colored walls and seasonal music. Your kids can kill hours working on whatever piece of pottery they choose to decorate. From coffee mugs to objects for living room decor there’s a variety to choose from. And all of the fun isn’t just for kids, there are plenty of adults who dedicate their vacation time to art at her shop, so mom and dad shouldn’t hold back. If the kids finish first, this idealistic little town gives kids plenty of room to roam safely while you get your painting on.
Ok, it’s a family vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab a little time away from the kids for love. Especially if you’ve brought the grandparents along. There’s no better way to ignite romance then by obliterating stress and that’s just what the professionals at Spa Elizabeth will do for you. There are a variety of massage packages to choose from and we suggest you go big because you are guaranteed an unparalleled experience that you are unlikely to find easily when you get back home. From the traditional massage to therapeutic and deep tissue massages to pregnancy massages there is something to suit your preferences. Add hot stones, aroma therapy or a foot soak and while they offer a 60 minute option, 90 minutes is well worth the cost.
After you are warmed up and relaxed head over to The Stowaway Wine and Cheese Bar for a sip and a nibble. This cozy little retreat has a lovely variety of wines to choose from. We suggest trying a flight (or two) and ordering up one or two of their plates. The Cheese and Charcuterie Plate is filled with salami, coppa, and prosciutto along with artisan cheeses, olives, figs and more. If you aren’t much of a meat person go for a cheese plate or nibble on their fresh french bread.
The food you encounter in Seabrook, across the board, is delicious. Whether you hit Front Street Market for pasta makings or a taco dinner or you head to Frontager’s Pizza Co. for genuine brick-oven pizza, every bite you take will taste as though it was made from scratch just moments ago (in some cases it is).
Front Street Market is the place to go for all of your basic needs. They are a small neighborhood market and they carry only the best. There’s plenty available for meals in between trips to the restaurants, especially when you want something like a bottle of wine or some high-end snacks on a whim.
Frontager’s makes its dishes right in front of you and you can taste the difference. They have a menu full of unique pies to choose from. We suggest the Fresh Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, House Ricotta, Parmesan, San Marzano Tomato. It’s incredible. If your little foodies prefer to stick to the typical, talk to your wait staff, they are happy to whip up a plain pepperoni that will taste anything but plain. Don’t forget to try the Stromboli, which is essentially a little package of goodness wrapped in pizza dough and cooked, and the Panzanella Arugula Blend, Roasted Cannellini, Kalamata Olive, Heirloom Tomato, House Ricotta, Red Wine Vinaigrette salad is delish. Even the kids will love it.
Another great dinner option is the Mill 109. This friendly restaurant fills it’s menu with Northwest coastal cuisine and plenty of family fare. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and you can find family favorites like bread pudding french toast, steamers, pan-fried oysters, clam chowder, and classic sandwiches like the Reuben and the Mainline Burger. Plenty of items to choose from during your stay. And don’t forget to check out the cocktail list for a nice way to relax after a big meal.
If you are looking for a quick bite and a bit of coffee in the morning, Red Velvet Bakery is your go-to cafe. Beware, their pastry case will cast a spell on you and once you get a taste, you won’t be able to stop. The cinnamon rolls are one-of-a-kind sweet-to-perfection and the maple bars are straight up addictive (just like their lattes). You can also order something on the savory side like a quiche or a breakfast sandwich. And that’s just a couple of the treats waiting for you.
Speaking of treats, don’t forget to stop over at the Sweet Life Ice Cream and candy shop before you hit the road. Whether it’s candy or ice cream you crave, you’ll find exactly what you need for that little extra rush you need to keep up with the kiddos in tow.
As perfectly amazing as Seabrook is right now, it’s growing fast. Market Street, at the town center, is under construction and scheduled to open up and bring even more shops and restaurants to the town. Expect this place to became one of your favorite year-round destinations. And if you are looking for somewhere to spend the holidays—any holiday—don’t forget to book ahead. With its thoughtfully developed property and incredible family activities, it’s sure to book up fast for those looking to make memories that last.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget to check their calendar for upcoming events. They bring in popular bands for concerts and host cool fun-for-the-whole-family activities.
24 Front Street
What is your favorite family coastal getaway. Share it with us in the comments below?
—story and images by Annette Benedetti