Oregon has some magnificent coastal areas that are more than just beaches. Several rock formations create some very unique landscapes that you cannot find anywhere else. Last weekend we enjoyed our time with family, an accommodation with a view, and some delicious seafood during our stay. The weather felt like it was summer even though it was early November.
Where to Stay
Newport is located about two and a half hours southwest of Portland, so it makes an easy weekend trip for the locals. We stayed in a VRBO with a view near Beverly Beach, just north of Newport. It was just far enough out of the city to have a nearly empty beach but close enough to do all of the sightseeing and other touristy things.
Our rental had 3 bedrooms, two living room areas, and a third ground level play room with a pool table. Even if a storm came in, we would be sufficiently entertained in this cozy home.
What to Do
One of our favorite stops on this trip was Devils Punchbowl. At the edge of the parking lot, you can view the bowl from above and watch the waves crashing inside.
You can also take the short hike down to sea level where you can walk inside the bowl. The bowl is completely consumed by water at high tide, so know the tide tables and enter only at low tide! You don’t want to get stuck in there when it is coming in; the situation can get dangerous very quickly. Rocks are also slick with sea water and seaweed, so be careful.
We timed it perfectly at about an hour before low tide, and made it in before everyone else.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
This lighthouse is still operational, however it is fully automated, like most modern lighthouses. Tours are available to go inside where you can spiral your way up to the lighting element and also enjoy the view from the top. We skipped the tour on this trip (we’ve done it before and it’s really cool!) and just took in the sights around the lighthouse. There are trails above and below the Yaquina Head for different perspectives of the area.
Fun Fact: This is Oregon’s Tallest lighthouse at 93 feet tall.
We walked around the lighthouse and also went down to a nearby rocky beach which was formed from prior volcanic activity. It reminded us of Hawaii.
While you might think of a rock that has seals all over it, this landscape is more of a rock in the shape of a giant seal. This part of coastline has many rock features out in the water and is quite visually stunning. We found an area behind the rock where you can peer between two volcanic layers that formed a window to the ocean. This was a relaxing place to just let our worries melt away.
On Bay Boulevard, you will find many fine restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops, tourist attractions, and sea lions. We ended up here several times for food, mostly, and the cute barking sea lions. The bridge makes for a nice backdrop so it is no wonder that all these great places are here.
What to Eat
These are some of our favorite spots we ate at while in Newport. None of these were really cheap, but this is vacation and not budget world travel. We will save that for next year.
Georgie’s Beachside Grill
Georgie’s has an excellent menu with many seafood options including Oregon Coast staples of dungeness crab cakes, salmon, halibut fish & chips, oysters, and fish tacos. With an ocean view, it is a great spot for a romantic evening or a night out with family. The food was awesome. Yum!
In Newport Bay, the Clearwater Restaurant is right on the bay near the point most well known for sea lions. The food there is on par with Georgie’s with surf & turf, fish & chips, crab cakes, and even burgers if you aren’t in the mood for seafood. It was very hard to go wrong at this restaurant. We opted for the crab mac & cheese… can you blame us?
Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach
If you like clam chowder, the Chowder Bowl is a decent place right on the beach. Their signature dish is the large bowl of sourdough bread heaped full with their renowned clam chowder. We’ve had something similar before, but that no longer suits our diet. We had naked fish & chips here which was alright.
Rogue Public House
Rogue Brewery dominates this area with three locations, and we visited two of them. Both locations we visited offered different experiences since one was their main brewing operation. If you like dark beer, get the Dead Guy Ale while you are there. They have a typical brewery menu that will easily compliment your beer. Rogue also has a distillery in town if you like pure spirits.
Ready to Go?
With the fantastic weather, the excellent food, and beautiful scenery, Newport was definitely worth the visit. If you end up in Oregon, we would highly recommend the central coast as it has so much to offer.
Which beach city do you like most and what makes it special?
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