A few weeks back I spent a wonderful weekend in the beautiful coast town of Newport in Oregon. Newport is located right on the Pacific coastline and along Highway 101, the Oregon Coast Highway. I drove the Highway along the coast already a couple of times. It is an amazing drive from San Francisco, CA almost all the way up to Seattle, WA.
I was working close to Eugene, OR and decided to head out to the coast to recharge my batteries and enjoy the beautiful Oregon Coast. My choice for this trip was Newport.
My home for this weekend was the Best Western Agate Beach Inn (check my review). The hotel is located right off Highway 101 and close to the beach. Just a very small road is between the hotel and the beach and the beach is within walking distance. As mentioned in my review, get a room with ocean-view, you won’t regret it.
Newport has a lot to offer and more adventures lie within short drives. For example head up north to Depoe Bay to see the World’s smallest Harbor and a few miles further north you will find “D River” – World’s shortest river.
Let’s get started with things to do in Newport.
Depending on what direction you arrive in Newport, you will notice the Yaquina Bay Bridge. You definitely should take a walk and cross the bridge. From the bridge, you get an amazing view of the Newport Harbor and Historic Bay Front.
The Historic Bay Front is a place you have to explore during your visit in Newport. Here a few things you have to check out.
- One of the many Bayfront Seafood Restaurants
- Oregon Undersea Garden
- Newport Sea Lion Docks
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
- Murals on the Bayfront District Buildings
- Whale Watching or Fishing Tour
On the other sideHatfield Marine Science Center – Oregon State University (free Admission) to get more in-depth knowledge about marine life and the pacific coast. This place is great to visit with kids. They offer a lot of hands-on experiments to learn more about water and sea life.
Not too far from here is the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Also great for kids so see and experience sea life.
Towards the sea, on the other side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, is the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is one place, which shouldn’t be missing on your list of things to do in Newport. The Lighthouse was put in service 1871 and already decommissioned in 1874 after completion of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse just north of Newport. The Lighthouse is open to the public every day except for holidays such as Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving. The hours during the summer, Memorial Day weekend through the end of September, are 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. and during the months of October to Memorial Day, the hours are 12:00 noon until 4:00 P.M. November through February the lighthouse is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Entrance is free by donation. The lighthouse gives you insights how it was to be the keeper of a lighthouse and how his family lived here. Don’t forget to donate when you visit to support this amazing and historic place.
The new Yaquina Head Lighthouse is located in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area just north of Newport. The lighthouse is even visible from the Best Western Agate Beach Inn. This area around the lighthouse is amazing. There is a great visitor center and just a short walk away from the visitor center is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. It’s a great place to take pictures of the Oregon Coast, Newport, and of course the Lighthouse itself. This location is perfect for sunset pictures as well. This area is also great for whale watching. I saw a whale swimming closely along the coastline.
For more whale watching adventures you can go north on Highway 101 and stop at Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint. This viewpoint is just located south of Depoe Bay and if you pass the Whale Cove Inn, you missed the entrance to the parking area. Its a short hike from the parking lot to get some great views of Whale Cove. Depoe Bay offers many whale watching tours and they will come also come to Whale Cove by boat.
Two more spots are worth mentioning along Highway 101 and north of Newport:
The lookout is located high up on the cliffs of the Oregon Coast and gives you a great view of the coastline. Definetely worth a pullout and some photos.
Famous for the Devils Punchbowl Arch, which used to be a cave before the roof collapsed. Now you can hike down to the arch and get great pictures.
Newport is definitely a great place for a weekend getaway no matter if you are single, a group of friends or a family with kids. Come here and relax and have a good time.
Have you been to Newport, OR before? What was your favorite place to visit or see?