Located on Oregon’s Central Coast, Newport is a small town with much to offer to tourists and locals, from the surrounding magnificent beaches and parks to the unique brew pubs, restaurants, and museums. When visiting Newport, guests will find uninhibited access to whale watching tours, Dungeness crabbing, and a plethora of options to satiate all of their seafood desires. But food isn’t all that is on the table, as Newport also contains Oregon’s highest rated aquarium, intricate local history that can be explored through many museums, and a number of lighthouses that are a must-see for any enthusiast. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Hatfield Marine Science Center
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Operated by Oregon State University, the Hatfield Marine Science Center covers 20 acres of land in Newport, Oregon, and opened the Hatfield Marine Science Visitors Center to the public in 1965. The visitors center showcases a large assortment of exhibits, some with live marine animals and others with educational displays about weather, ocean resource management, fishing, tidepool creatures, and other ocean-related topics. The Hatfield Marine Science Visitors Center offers many public programs and various tours, is open all year round, and admission cost is through donation. Specific details about current exhibits, donations of live octopus, and hours of operation can be directed to the HMSC website or by contacting them via telephone.
2030 SE Marine Science Drive Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-867-0100
2.South Beach State Park, Newport, OR
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Open to the public all year round for general access as well as camping, South Beach State Park covers approximately 500 acres of land and has many facilities to please visitors. Hiking, viewpoints, wildlife sighting, biking paths, fishing, beach access, kayak launching, and hot showers are just a few of the things guests will find when visiting this state park. With over 800,000 annual day-use attendees, South Beach State Park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike due to its extensive open spaces, many high-quality campsites, and well-maintained bike and hiking trails.
5580 SW Coast Hwy, Newport, OR 97366, Phone: 800-551-6949
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3.Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
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Overlooking the mouth of the Yaquina Bay and its merging with the Pacific Ocean, the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site was given to Oregon State by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in two sections, the first in 1934 and the last in 1971. The land contained a historic lighthouse that was later repurposed as a lifeboat station, however modern-day visitors will find the lighthouse restored to its original purpose. The recreation site contains approximately 32 acres of land, many of which were originally curated by the Civilian Conservation Corps to make them more accessible to the public by building trails and rest areas. With a yearly average of over 1.5 million guests, the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site is a sure hit with tourists and locals alike.
Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 800-551-6949
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4.Newport Farmer's Market
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Depending on the time of year, guests to the Newport Farmer’s Market will either find the summer market or the winter market, both specializing in various fruits, vegetables, and other items that are primarily seasonal. The Newport Farmer’s Market has been running since 1978, rain or shine, and always operates on Saturdays. The farmers that participate in this market offer locally grown produce, eggs, meats, honey, as well as other seasonal items. The market also offers hand-crafted items as well as the chance to listen to local musicians and drink some lemonade to support a local cause. One of the best ways to feel like a local while visiting Newport is to spend a Saturday morning at the Newport Farmer’s Market and enjoy all the local community has to offer.
P.O. Box 1633, Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-961-8236
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5.Newport Historic Bayfront, Newport, Oregon
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The Newport Historic Bayfront has been entertaining visitors and locals alike for generations, and there are a few specific things that are considered a must-see when in the area. As perhaps Newport’s most iconic and easily recognized landmark, the Yaquina Bay Bridge is designed in art deco architecture and is more than just a means of crossing the bay to get to the Newport area. For many guests travelling here, seeing a lighthouse will be a first-time experience, and Newport offers two distinct lighthouses for guests to visit. Lastly, and perhaps the more important to the area, is the Dungeness crab, and Newport has officially nabbed the title of Dungeness Crab Capital of the World.
250-300 SW Bay Blvd, Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 401-845-5300
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6.Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Oregon
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Presented as a living classroom for nearly all learning styles and ages, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is one of Oregon’s top tourist attractions and is visited annually by over 440,000 guests on average. Since its opening on May 23rd, 1992, the Oregon Coast Aquarium has been a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike, and its popularity only increased thanks in part to the nearly 2 years the Oregon Coast Aquarium was home to Keiko, the killer whale who starred in the film Free Willy. The aquarium showcases some very special exhibits, such as their Passages of the Deep tunnel, which takes guests through a large exhibit containing sharks, rays, rockfish, and more.
2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-867-3474
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7.Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, Newport, OR
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Known as a center that celebrates history and diverse culture while focusing on scientifically researching the ocean, the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is located in an historic Bayfront building that was purchased in 2004 by the Lincoln County Historical Society. The center is a working museum that features a working wharf, many maritime-themed exhibits, and various interactive sections to help educate tourists and locals alike. Many of the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center’s exhibits tell the stories of folks who live and work on sea, on land, and along local rivers and other waterways.
333 SE Bay Blvd Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-265-7509
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8.Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
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Featuring Oregon’s tallest lighthouse and much more, the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is aptly named considering the range of adventure that can be had inside the area. The natural area is a piece of land that extends for a mile from the rest of the coast toward the ocean, a detail which makes it particularly important to have a bright light atop the 93-foot tall lighthouse, which has been in service since August 20th, 1873. There is also an interpretive learning center that showcases exhibits on marine life, sea birds, and human history within the area. The interpretive center can be explored during any open hours, but to visit the lighthouse guests must participate in a park ranger-led tour.
750 NW Lighthouse Dr Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-574-3100
9.Beverly Beach State Park
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Covering over 135 acres and hosting more than 300,000 visitors each year, the Beverly Beach State Park is a local treasure that remains popular for a variety of reasons. With the appropriate weather, guests may find kites flying, sand castles being built, and surfers enjoying the waves of the North Beach, while other guests search for fossils on the South Beach. Near the beach itself lies the campground, fully equipped with a visitors center that offers campsite registration and firewood purchase, and a large variety of campsite and RV hookup stations to suit the needs of any visitor.
198 NE 123rd St Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 800-551-6949
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© Burrows House
The modern-day Burrows House now stands as a museum, however this Queen Anne Victorian style building has not always been an establishment focused on educating the public. When it was first built, the Burrows House was the home of newlyweds Susan and John Burrows, but after a short-lived marriage the house became a boarding house run by Susan. Eventually, Susan sold the house to Warren and Aileen Hartley, who turned the building into a funeral parlor. After a few more sales and purchases, the Burrows House ended up being purchased by the Bank of Newport, which donated the building to the Lincoln County Historical Society, and on September 24th, 1978, the Burrows House Museum officially opened to the public.
545 SW 9th Street Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-265-7509
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Located approximately 9 miles north of Newport, Oregon, on Route 101, Cape Foulweather was originally named by Captain James Cook in 1778 after he experienced particularly bad weather in the area. Noted as a popular tourist destination for its beautiful scenery and ocean views, Cape Foulweather consists of an open overlook and a gift ship very near to the coast. During inclement weather, visitors are invited to seek refuge in the gift shop, which features a cliff-side panoramic view of the water and kelp beds. There is a small parking lot to serve visitors, and the gift shop is open all year round.
4905 Otter Crest Loop Depoe Bay, OR 97341, Phone: 541-765-2270
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12.Captain’s Reel Deep Sea Fishing
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This family-owned and operated business has been running for over 30 years when the season is right and the weather permits. Captain’s Reel Charters offers groups and individuals deep sea fishing adventures as well as ocean and bay crabbing. With every new season during the year the chartered trips will vary, leading to new attractions and destinations to find the best catch. Some excursions may be close to shore, but Captain’s Reel Deep Sea Fishing also offers deep water trips for halibut and even trips up to 100 miles offshore to fish for albacore tuna. For more information about booking an experience with Captain’s Reel Deep Sea Fishing, visit their website or contact them via telephone, as booking dates vary heavily depending on season, weather, and availability.
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13.Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach, Newport, Oregon
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Nestled into Nye Beach since its inception in the 1980s, Chowder Bowl has been serving their milk-based award-winning chowder with local ingredients to customers from around the world. Featuring not only chowder, but also fish and chips, certified Angus burgers, salads, seafood dishes, and handmade desserts, Chowder Bowl is sure to have an option to please everyone in the family. Chowder Bowl also offers a chance to check out beach conditions before visiting by looking at their live webcam on their website. Chowder Bowl is open all year round, however they do hold different summer and winter hours and can get fairly busy during peak hours, so calling ahead is never a bad idea.
728 NW Beach Dr Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-265-7477
14.Things to Do in Newport, Oregon: Devil's Punchbowl
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Slowly acquired and pieced together between 1929 and 1971 through various donations and purchases, Devil’s Punchbowl eventually became the park that it is today. In the 1900s a long wooden slide provided access from the bluffs to the beach, and in the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps greatly improved the daily use features of the park, including picnic tables, restrooms, water supply, fire pits, and steps/foot trails leading to and from the beach. Devil’s Punchbowl covers approximately 8 acres of land and has an annual average attendance of around 580,000 guests. The park is best known for surfers and surf watchers, whale watching, and tidepool exploration.
Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area Otter Rock, OR 97369, Phone: 800-551-6949
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15.Things to Do in Newport, Oregon: Georgie's Beachside Grill
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Built to accentuate the striking ocean views offered by its location, Georgie’s Beachside Grill features a large number of tableside windows that showcase its finest asset, the Pacific Ocean. Even given its prestigious location and breathtaking vista, Georgie’s Beachside Grill strives to welcome all of its guests with warm smiles and a kind demeanor. The food is served in good size portions that will leave guests satisfied, whether they are eating Yaquina Bay oysters or delving into the Dungeness crab. Although the menu has an emphasis on seafood, that doesn’t mean that it is the only option, as Georgie’s features vegetarian, gluten-free, and full kids menus as well.
744 SW Elizabeth St Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-265-9800
16.Things to Do in Newport, Oregon: Marine Discovery Tour
© Marine Discovery Tour
Endorsed by the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, the Marine Discovery Tour offers a variety of tour options for groups, individuals, and adventure seekers of all types. Operating daily between the months of March and October, guests can partake in whale watching and sea life cruises with an experienced crew and captain to guide them. When it comes to ocean, bay, and river cruises, guests aboard the 65-foot ship will experience a narrated tour that will educate them on everything from grey whales to plankton. For special group rates, specific tour times, and any other questions, guests are directed to contact Marine Discovery Tour via telephone or via their website.
345 SW Bay Boulevard Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-265-6200
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17.Ossie's Surf Shop Kayak Tour, Newport, Oregon
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Known regionally as a credible surf shop, Ossie’s has been serving the community and tourists for over 15 years. Although Ossie’s Surf Shop primarily focuses on all things surfing, they have also branched into kayak tours and offer five separate guided kayak tours for guests to choose from: Beaver Creek, Newport Bayfront, Olalla Lake, Otter Rock Marine Reserve, and Siletz River. These tours are guided by a professional, take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, include kayak rental, and have space for anywhere between 6 and 9 people, depending on the tour. Some of the tours require guests to have prior kayaking experience, while others welcome guests of all skill levels. The costs vary, and tours can be booked either through the Ossie’s Surf Shop website or by contacting them by telephone.
4860 North Coast Hwy Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-574-4634
18.Panini Bakery, Newport, Oregon
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A short stroll from the ocean and even closer to Nye Beach, the Panini Bakery has been a local favorite since it was founded and often draws large crowds during its peak hours. They offer a variety of pastries, pizza, sandwiches, and breakfast options for guests to enjoy throughout the day. It is recommended to show up hungry to this cozy spot since the portions are sure to fill patrons up; be aware that guests may have to wait since the seating is moderately limited. Many locals rave about the house coffee and the food to-go option, since it enables visitors to get all the perks without having to wait for a table.
232 NW Coast St Newport, OR 97365-3605, Phone: 541-265-5033
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19.Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits, Newport, Oregon
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When the owner of the Rogue brewpub in Ashland, Oregon, travelled to Newport to seek out a new location for Rogue, he encountered an unfortunately powerful snowstorm that temporarily trapped him in the town. While wandering the snow-covered streets, he came across Mohava Niemi, founder of Mo’s Restaurant, and she extended her hospitality through a bowl of her famous clam chowder. Over that bowl of chowder, it was agreed upon that the next location of Rogue Ales Brew Pub would be in a building Mo owned and, thus, Rogue Nation Brewery and Spirits in Newport was founded and opened in May of 1989, the same location it exists at today.
2320 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-867-3660
20 Best Things to Do in Newport, Oregon
- Hatfield Marine Science Center, Photo: Courtesy of tosamanoi - Fotolia.com
- South Beach State Park, Newport, OR, Photo: Courtesy of cascoly2 - Fotolia.com
- Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, Photo: Courtesy of The Speedy Butterfly - Fotolia.com
- Newport Farmer's Market, Photo: Courtesy of Marija - Fotolia.com
- Newport Historic Bayfront, Newport, Oregon, Photo: Courtesy of Pix by Marti - Fotolia.com
- Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Oregon, Photo: Courtesy of serkan52 - Fotolia.com
- Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, Newport, OR, Photo: Pacific Maritime Heritage Center
- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Photo: Courtesy of tusharkoley - Fotolia.com
- Beverly Beach State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Irochka - Fotolia.com
- Burrows House, Photo: Burrows House
- Cape Foulweather, Photo: Courtesy of cascoly2 - Fotolia.com
- Captain’s Reel Deep Sea Fishing, Photo: Courtesy of paulvelgos - Fotolia.com
- Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach, Newport, Oregon, Photo: Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach
- Things to Do in Newport, Oregon: Devil's Punchbowl, Photo: Courtesy of kellyvandellen - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Newport, Oregon: Georgie's Beachside Grill, Photo: Georgie's Beachside Grill
- Things to Do in Newport, Oregon: Marine Discovery Tour, Photo: Marine Discovery Tour
- Ossie's Surf Shop Kayak Tour, Newport, Oregon, Photo: Courtesy of chachanit - Fotolia.com
- Panini Bakery, Newport, Oregon, Photo: Courtesy of Philipimage - Fotolia.com
- Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits, Newport, Oregon, Photo: Courtesy of David Prahl - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of RG - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Pacific Maritime Heritage Center
The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center in Oregon’s historic Newport Bayfront celebrates the history of art, culture, commerce and science as it relates to the ocean and the Pacific northwest. The Maritime operates a large museum and interactive center, as well as art galleries and a commercial fishing fleet.
Exhibits at the Maritime tell the history of over 150 years of innovation in commercial fishing along the Oregon coast. ‘Our Beautiful and Wild Oregon Fisheries’ teaches visitors the little known story about Yaquina Bay’s role in developing the fishing industry in the American West. The exhibit includes the role of Yaquina’s Dungeness crab fisheries, the largest in the United States, as well as the industries of Chinook salmon, albacore tuna and pink shrimp, among others. Oregon’s response to ever changing politics, environmental concerns, consumer preferences and globalization are all explored throughout the display.
‘Rescued Recovered and Lost’ is an exhibit focused on Oregon shipwrecks. The exhibit examines the effect of shipwrecks on the local fishing industry and community, as well as the role of shipwrecks as an artist’s tool to discuss themes of drama, life and loss. The exhibit displays items recovered from shipwrecks and their significance in our ongoing fascination with getting lost at sea, as well as highlighting industry practices in safety, search and rescue.
‘Then and Now: Roger Hart and Bill Posner’ is a photography exhibit that compares and contrasts the work of Roger A. Hart, a famous local who photographed daily life in Newport through the 1940’s, and that of Bill Posner, who re-shot Hart’s original photographs in 2017.
The Maritime is also home to a gift shop and bookstore, which sell locally made arts and crafts. Among the books offered is The Bayfront Book, a history of the region based upon the stories of those who have lived there, written by The Bayfront Magazine’s Steven Wyatt.
History: The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is operated by the Lincoln County Historical Society, founded in 1948 with a mission to ‘preserve, publish and educate.’ The society’s first museum project was the preservation and restoration of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and the publication of Lt. Theodore Talbot’s chronicles of his visit to the Bay in 1849.
The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is housed in a historic building, built upon the foundations of a home from the 1880’s for Dr. James Bayley and his family. The current 1925 structure incorporates the original foundation and chimney, and was built for General Ulysses Grant McAlexander, the World War I hero. The home was purchased and renovated by the Lincoln County Historical Society in 2004 after a brief life as the popular bar and nightclub, Smuggler’s Cove in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
In 2014, the Maritime embarked upon a Phase II restoration and renovation project that will update the Maritime’s first floor exhibits, and incorporate a 140-seat theater with panoramic views of the Bayfront. A large-capacity conference room, catering facilities and modifications to increase ADA compliance will also be added. The Lincoln County Historical Society is currently fundraising to complete these efforts.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Annual events at the Maritime Heritage Center include February’s Crab Krack. 2018 celebrated the 10th anniversary of this Dungeness crab dinner and live jazz performance. Proceeds from the event go towards ongoing renovations of the Maritime. Each year on Christmas Eve, the Maritime offers free admission, as well as hot chocolate, popcorn and snacks for an evening of shopping for last minute gifts. Fireworks at the Maritime was first held in 2013 and has since become an annual event. Each July 4th, the museum is open for dinner, dancing and a live jazz band performance, while guests enjoy the view of fireworks over Yaquina Bay. The Maritime is available for private parties and events, and offers both indoor and outdoor venues overlooking Yaquina Bay.
What’s Nearby: Also under the direction of the Lincoln County Historical Society is the Burrows House, a Queen Anne Victorian historical home museum. The collection of the Lincoln County Historical Society, who manages the Maritime and the Burrows House Museum, consists of over 40,000 objects related to the history of the region. Items include Native American and maritime objects, as well as textiles and clothing, ceramics and every-day objects, jewelry, furniture, firearms and tools. While some items are on display at the Maritime, much of the collection is housed in the Log Cabin Research Library adjacent to the Burrows House.
333 SE Bay Blvd., Newport, OR 97365, Phone: 541-265-7509
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Attraction Spotlight: Newport Historic Bayfront
Newport is a small coastal town in Oregon with a historic bayfront, which is now home to several shops, restaurants and attractions. Visitors can stroll through the piers and boardwalks, and view the bay and historical landmarks. The Yaquina Bay Bridge is the most recognizable and iconic in the area.
The art deco structure was built in 1936 by Oregon’s Conde McCullogh, who designed several of Oregon’s coastal bridges along Highway 101, and the bridge is considered the masterpiece of his career. Two historic lighthouses, Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head no longer serve as navigational guides, but are open to visitors as museums. Yaquina Bay lighthouse was built in 1871 and is believed to be Newport’s oldest structure. Yaquina Head lighthouse was completed in 1873, stands tallest at 93 feet, and is home to a historic Fresnel lens, which celebrates its 150th birthday in 2018.
Sea lion watching is a favorite activity. Visitors can hear the sea lions barking before they can see them, the animals may be viewed from several points along the pier in the Historic Bayfront district. Known as the Dungeness Crab Capital of the World, Newport is home to the state’s most prolific commercial crabbers, and visitors can do their own crabbing from the docks of Yaquina Bay or by boat during the harvesting season, which takes place between September and January each year. Visitors can purchase fresh caught fish directly from the fishermen at the docks on Piers 3, 5 and 7, or from the South Beach Marina.
Downtown Newport’s Deco District begins at the foot of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Designated in 2007, the site is home to several restored 1930’s era art deco buildings. The Deco buildings are home to the famous Pig 'N Pancake Restaurant, the locally owned Diamonds by the Sea jewelry shop, Go Fly a Kite, a family-owned kite shop and The Olde Telephone Company, which sells antique phones, signage and tin toys.
Historic Nye Beach is at the heart of Newport’s art scene. While the beach proper offers recreational activities, the historic district is home to several art galleries, the Newport Performing Arts Center, Newport Visual Arts Center, and Yaquina Art Association. Shops include the Nye Beach Bookhouse, Tu Tu Tu Kitchenware, the metaphysical gift shop Mind Body Soul, and gift shops such as the Peerless Puffin, Jovi, and Charisma Gifts.
South Beach is home to the Edge Art Gallery, where guests can watch glassworks being made on site at the glass shop, or make something themselves by enrolling in a workshop. Pirates Plunder Antiques and Collectibles is a popular antique fair, which hosts several different vendors. South Beach is home to a marina where visitors may purchase fresh fish or begin a boat tour of the bay.
More than 80 restaurants in the historic Newport area range from small cafes to fine dining. The popular Oregon brewery, Rogue Brewing opened in Newport in 1989 and today offers the original Brewery, as well as the Rogue House of Spirits, located directly across from the distillery. Mo’s Restaurant is a favorite, serving meals on the Historic Bayfront for over 70 years. The family operated restaurant has been open since 1946, and is famous for their clam chowder, Oregon seafood, and homemade cobblers and pies. Mo’s Annex is a smaller restaurant across the street from the original, overlooking the bay.
History: Newport’s origins began in the mid-1800’s when Oyster beds were discovered in the Yaquina Bay and settlers discovered the great profit in shipping the Oysters throughout the west coast. Newport’s Bayfront was incorporated in 1882, at which point large numbers of Europeans were fishing and living along the shore. Fish processing plants sprung up in the early 1900’s, making fishing the number one industry in the area, until the 1930’s when the Yaquina Bay Bridge was complete and tourism began to take over. Today, the area is still popular as a crabbing and fishing destination, along with shopping, art galleries, restaurants and nightlife.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Events take place year round in Newport and along the Historic Bayfront. Annual events include April’s Oregon Coast Aquarium 5K and Kid’s Dash. Now in it’s 6th year, the family-friendly road race benefits animal care programs at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. April also celebrates National Kite Month. Local kite shop Go Fly a Kite outfits visitors with different types of kites to enjoy along the miles of windy shoreline.
460 SW Bay Blvd; Newport, Oregon 97365
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