Part of the fun of Newport is exploring its four distinct districts, each with its own flavor, history, and points of interest.
Due north of Newport is Agate Beach, a beachcomber’s paradise named for the smooth, translucent stones that are a hallmark of the area’s shoreline. Visitors to Agate Beach are often delighted by the historic tunnel on the path to the ocean—a passageway used by early cattle farmers, to allow their herds to enjoy the ocean’s salty deposits along the water’s edge. American composer Ernest Bloch called Agate Beach home, and created many of his works here.
Historic Nye Beach is Newport's original oceanfront resort district and artist’s colony. This district is a mix of the tiny seaside cottages of the pioneer beach visitors and new architecture. Starting at the south end of the beach, overlooking the jetties that protect the entrance to the harbor, take a tour through the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. Starting at the south end of the beach, overlooking the jetties that protect the entrance to the harbor, take a tour through the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
Discover this district’s collection of restaurants – from the freshest lattes and chowder, to wines and fine dining. Plus lovely little shops full of gifts and galleries filled with art. Ready to sit and relax? Around every corner, public art is tucked in, with the Visual and Performing Arts Center always producing the next great show. www.nyebeach.org
An exciting renaissance is underway in the historic heart of the city, largely designed in the Art Deco style. Hugging both sides of the road, this little architectural jewel is mid-point on the ribbon of US Hwy 101 which connects the four main Newport districts, running north and south. Tucked in along Hwy 101 are the services needed when you’re on the road, a collection of hometown and ethnic restaurants, a local coffee roaster, surf board shops, day spas and salons. Explore more charming blocks of shops as you head east down the hill to the Bayfront or west to the ocean side of town. www.citycenternewport.com
Newport’s Historic Bayfront is a shoreline boulevard where you’ll want to put on your windbreaker, jeans and walking shoes to stroll along an authentic slice of the coast. The Port of Newport services Yaquina Bay, a bustling harbor and home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in Oregon. They routinely bring in record landings of Dungeness crab, Albacore tuna, Pacific whiting, shrimp, halibut and a large variety of rockfish, which are caught throughout the year. Forklifts constantly move loads of fresh product up and down the street. Marine hardware stores, crabpots and stacked fishing gear add to the local color. http://www.newportchamber.org/history.htm#bayfront
Driving south from the Deco District on US Hwy 101 will lead you directly over the majestic Yaquina Bay Bridge, a 1936 art deco showpiece. This district is filled with all things marine – the Oregon Coast Aquarium, consistently on the “Top 10 Aquariums in America” list, is a favorite with all ages, engaged in active outreach programs and offering outstanding interactive exhibits of marine animals, sea birds & landscaping. A walking trail along the shore of Yaquina Bay connects it to its near neighbor, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. 4southbeach.com