Bayfront Newport Oregon
Newport Oregon is a small coastal city that has a rich history, scenic beauty, Newport dunes, and year-round adventure for young and old alike. It’s a great family destination and serves as a getaway for all economic classes. The population is around 10,000 most of the year but goes up by a few thousand during spring and summer months as people come to stay or come to work for the tourists.
Oregon beaches are becoming a popular family vacation destination, Newport has been the place to go since the late 1800s. In 1890 the ‘summer people’ began arriving in large numbers by train as far as the tracks went, then by ferry to the bay-front, and finally by the boardwalk that was built in 1891. Ever since, the public has come from near and far to rejuvenate, heal, and relax.
Newport Makes it an Easy Oregon Visit
The city has public transportation that runs daily through the length of the town and it’s free to visitors that stay in commercial lodging. Hotel and motel offices will give out passes if asked. There’s so much to see and do in Newport. Most interesting are the two lighthouses, the Yaquina Bay State Park Lighthouse and Yaquina Head Natural Area and Lighthouse. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is the second oldest, in service only from 1871 to 1874, and is now a museum..
The historic bay-front is where one can find all the shops, restaurants, and the historic docks where fisherman bring in their catch every day. Also at the bay-front is the largest US gathering of California sea lions. They gather on the wooden docks and rock jetties off Bay Boulevard, and the best place to see them up close is between the Undersea Gardens aquarium and the Port Dock One Restaurant.
Arriving in Newport Oregon
U.S. Route 101, the Pacific Coast Byway, runs through the heart of Newport. To the west of 101 are the beaches of Newport, along with the allegedly haunted lighthouse.
To the east of 101, several roads run down to the Bayfront. The route to the Bayfront is clearly marked with signs, and Bay Street runs directly to the entertainment area. Parking is available and free, but limited, with a few lots and some on-street parking.
Restaurants in Bayfront Newport
The entire Bayfront area, about one half mile long, is lined with bars, restaurants, and shops. Seafood is most popular here, headed Oregon Coast tradition Mo’s at 622 SW Bay Blvd (541-265-7512).
Mo’s Annex is right across the street on the water. Both are famous for chowder, but the popular broth can also be found next door at Fish Peddler’s Market Restaurant (541-265-7057). The list of seafood choices at these and other seafood restaurants on Bay Street is extensive, the atmosphere casual, and the prices reasonable (under $10 for most selections).
If you don’t have any particular restaurant in mind, take some time to stroll up and down the Bayfront and view the menus of the various establishments. Reservations are not taken at many places, and there can be a wait on weekend evenings.
The smells of coffee and fresh-made donuts entice amblers on Bay Street, surprising hawked by a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, out in the Great Northwest.
Several restaurants offer quick meals of pizza, and the Rouge Ale’s Public House (748 Bay Blvd. 541-265-3188 offers specialty beers and a wide variety on the menu.
Activities in Newport Oregon
Befitting its heritage as the seaside village, there are fishing and whale watching tours that leave from the bayfront piers. The trips offer great views of the Bay Bridge, beyond which lies the might Pacific Ocean.
There are a number of gift shops on the Bayfront, as well as the Undersea Gardens. Other area attractions include the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, Marine Discovery Tours Ripley’s, and the Wax Works.
The Newport area is a popular tourist destination in summer to enjoy the mild days on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Any time is a good time to enjoy the restaurants and fun of the Newport Bayfront.
Learn About Oregon Beaches
Aside from the historic bay-front district is the Mark O Hatfield Marine Science Center where there are aquariums and interactive exhibits. There’s also the Oregon Coast Aquarium where one can see sea otters, sea lions, puffins, octopus, jellyfish, sharks, bat rays, and more. The Oregon Coast History Center is a plethora of coastal history exhibits, a research library, museum and store.
There are three golf courses nearby with Agate Beach Golf Course right here in Newport. Its regulation 9 hole public par 36 has a restaurant on site. Boat rentals, charter fishing, whale watching, indoor mini-golf, recreation centers, sand boarding, surfing, sun bathing, sandcastle building, wave watching, storm watching and there’s RV resort camping available, too.
Newport sports four candle companies, a rock shop, and lapidary, and several toy stores with artisan-made inventories. There are many annual events that take place at this beach town, such as Jazz at Newport; a culture shock festival that draws thousands every year, Newport Microbrew Festival, the Seafood and Crafts Festival in October and the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival the last weekend in February.
Newport Holds 41 Fun Family-Annual Events
One of the many annual events in Newport is the Paper Arts Festival on the last weekend in April. Celebrating paper arts and book arts, the entire weekend is filled with galleries, displays, and workshops. There are thirteen instructors offering everything from making paper from plants to felting paper to make a durable material and basket weaving.
Visitors can find 11 parks in the city of Newport and most of them consist of more than two acres. One acre of them is Agate Beach Neighborhood Park which is dog-friendly with covered picnic areas, playing field, BBQ grill, play structure, and restrooms. Most of the parks have great amenities.
This is a city that participates in Geocaching – the newest rage for gamers of all ages. It’s an electronic treasure hunt for people with a GPS and access to the Internet. They try to find several caches hidden in and around Newport. Learn more at www.geocaching.com.
Newport Lodging is Easy and Abundant
Lodging is not only abundant, but people can get ocean views at most of them. Prices range for those with a family budget and those who live luxurious lives, there’s something for everyone. Most of them have a restaurant on-site or there is one within walking distance.
Plenty to do on the Oregon Coast, and even more to see. It’s a great family destination and is quickly becoming a surfer’s getaway. From sea lions, anemones, and tide-pools to antiquing and a haunted lighthouse, Newport on the central Oregon coast is the place for vacationers young and old alike.
More information on Newport, Oregon can be found here:
- The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
- 555 SW Coast Hwy
- Newport, Oregon 97365
Newport Oregon Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 3pm PST
Newport Oregon Visitor’s Center, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 4pm PST