The coast you remember
It’s time to Hang 10.
The winter ocean can be a tangled behemoth of waves, but the summer surf provides the mellow breaks perfect for learning — plus much of the ocean bottom is sandy, taking away the danger of making an unpleasant connection with a reef. Ossies Surf Shop at
4860 Oregon Coast Highway is right across from a sheltered break on the south side of Yaquina Head popular with groms and veteran surfers alike. The shop can provide you with all the gear and inside knowledge you need and lessons to boot. Grab your wetsuit and make a playdate with the waves, even if that Hang 10 maneuver still eludes you.
Stand up paddling has skyrocketed in popularity as people have caught onto its benefits for core muscles and the plain fun of it. The Yaquina Bay and river are a great place to stand-up paddle and Ossies has the gear if you don’t have your own.
Kayaking is never out of fashion. Head out for some surf or ocean kayaking through the Yaquina Bay bar, just make sure you have a deep understanding of the risks and elements involved any time you go into the ocean. Or serenely paddle the wide and scenic estuary for a more contemplative experience of water, sky and birds. Newport also makes a great staging point for adventures just 10 minutes south at the Beaver Creek Outstanding Natural Area, where kayaks and canoes can be paddled through a wetland so teeming with wildlife that it has always been apparent the area should be cherished and protected.
It’s also getting to the time of year where kiteboarders start to show up, their colorful kites towing their riders across the ocean just south of the South Jetty in Newport. This hybrid of wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing and paragliding is undertaken by only a daring and skilled few but the spectacle of these aquatic athletes catching 40 to 50 feet of air is open to anyone standing on the beach.
Sailing is popular on Yaquina Bay and in the adjacent ocean as well, with regattas dotting the surface with their white sails. An easily accessible paved launch ramp and parking area is available at the South Beach Marina. Put in your motorboat as well for easy access to the Pacific for deep sea fishing, or just a cruise up the river.
Beach fires are usually easy to start and burn nicely with the ocean breeze. A fire can be big on the list of fun for visitors to the beach.
But conditions are turning dry with the advent of summer and the state parks department joins fire departments along the coast in urging caution and the following of simple steps to make sure the fun doesn’t get out of hand.
Here’s what you should know before kindling that blaze:
Check to make sure a burn ban is not in effect for that beach due to weather. Monitor the media, check with local parks officials and look for posted signs at beach parking areas.
Fires should only be started on open sand away from vegetation and driftwood.
Never leave a fire unattended.
Manage your fuel: Use small pieces and never burn logs, which can create large flames or smoulder dangerously even when extinguished with water.
Limit the size of the fire. Keep flames no higher than knee height to prevent embers from becomes airborne.
Always keep a bucket of water handy to extinguish the fire if necessary.
When the fun is over, thoroughly douse the embers with water. Shoveling sand over the coals in no substitute and can trap heat that has the potential to burn people’s feet many hours later.
Stay safe and enjoy all that our beaches have to offer.
There’s always a wave to catch in Newport. One of the new hot activities is beach bicycling.
People tried it on and off for years with regular bikes, and their skinny tires would bog down in the sand. Then someone slapped big fat tires on their bike, and the rest is history.
Miles of sand are available for cruising. Really all you need to do is get your fat bike and pick a beach. Like stand-up paddling, this activity is really catching on. Remember, it has roots in history — the entire coastline was made public and your access was assured decades ago when the beaches of Oregon were designated under the state highway system. You may just feel the ghost of the old stagecoaches whip past just as they did in the days before Highway 101.
Besides the benefit of the fresh salt air, you can stop and check out the marine life in the tidepools or climb a sand dune. At South Jetty State Park, you can quickly move over to the shelter and shade of the forested South Jetty Trail. At Nye Beach, hop from the sand into downtown and grab lunch.
Need help figuring this all out? Bike Newport offers fat bike rentals and group beach tours as well as a diversity of bikes for purchase. Featuring a wealth of knowledge about bikes and where to go, this is your definitive stop for beach biking. Be a part of the wave.
One great ride from the lighthouse to the lighthouse takes you about three miles one way along the sand from the historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Nye Beach makes a good midpoint to pause. Equipped with a road bicycle instead? A five-mile paved version traverses the Oregon Coast Bike Route through historic Nye Beach and out to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Or bicycle the beautiful route along the Yaquina River from Newport to Toledo, 13.5 miles one way along an estuary teaming with life. Most logging roads are also great for mountain biking, just stay off the ones that are posted and signed as active operation sites.
Whether it’s the beach or forests, the options for getting out and hitting the road, trail or sand are only as limited as your imagination.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Seapunk: Powered by Imagination, will open Saturday, May 25. The exhibit is modeled after a subgenre of science fiction, art, technology and fashion inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery: Steampunk.
Seapunk: Powered by Imagination shows a whole new perspective on tropical marine life, using a fantastical hands-on and interactive extravaganza of the senses. Guests will experience an underwater fantasy that follows the travails of “Phineas K. Brinker” - a retro-futuristic and intrepid inventor who strands in a submarine at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. In order to survive underwater, Brinker rebuilds the crippled submarine into a modern marvel of engineering by constructing imaginative variations on contraptions one may be familiar with today.
Turn a crank to illuminate the cragged teeth of a mechanical angler fish and flip lenses of giant metal goggles to magnify vibrant, schooling fish within. The Helmetoid, an oversized fanciful version of an undersea helmet, inspires awe at first glance; And upon closer inspection, the elaborate apparatus affords views of brain coral teeming with clownfish.
Meet the oversized, sprawling octopus “Butler,”—a companion designed by Brinker to keep him company in the ocean depths. Climb through a seahorse gallery, discover lionfish within an undersea glider and peer through a “Helmet Memorial” to spot the elusive moray eel. The story of Brinker’s fateful stranding and consequent determination to survive comes to life as guests pass through the galleries and fully immerse in his undersea world.
By pushing buttons, spinning wheels and pushing levers, visitors of all ages activate the bubbles, sparks, light, and sounds of each aquatic exhibit. Seapunk: Powered by Imagination transforms the spectacle of the typical aquarium gallery by merging Steampunk technology with marine exploration.
The Seapunk: Powered by Imagination grand opening will feature a magician, the live steampunk band, “Cascadian Airship,” face painting and regular scheduled animal feedings and presentations on Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26.
The band, Cascadian Airship, who describe their sound as gypsypunkjazzrockfolksurf, have played venues, events and festivals all over the state since 2014, including last month's Astoria Crab , Seafood and Wine Festival.
The Aquarium will be open every day this summer from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit aquarium.org or call 541-867-FISH for more information or to purchase advance tickets.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR.www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium for the latest updates.
Newport has a number of choices for places to call your home away from home, from small facilities right on the shore to larger parks in town and near the action.
It’s hard to miss with the Port of Newport RV Park & Marina in South Beach, with beach, bridge views and brewery right at hand. Set your RV up for a stay at the ocean’s door by reserving a space on the bay’s edge in South Beach. Located at 2120 SE Marine Science Drive, it’s within walking distance to Hatfield Marine Science Center and Oregon Coast Aquarium and a public fishing dock, and includes a fish cleaning area, picnic areas and easy access to miles of coastal trails. The RV park and annex have 144 spaces, many designed for big rigs. Other features include full hook-ups, cable TV, showers and laundry, limited Wi-Fi, Good Sam or veterans discounts, separate RV dump station and dry camping. Reach them at 541-867-3321.
Or, look to Whaler’s Rest RV & Camping Resort, located at 50 SE 123 Street South Beach, where you won’t be roughing it. The year-round resort has 164 sites and is located a mere 150 yards from the ocean and all it has to offer. But with all the amenities, there might not be a reason to look outside the resort for entertainment. An on-site indoor pool, plus spa, clubhouse, volleyball, basketball, DVD rentals, fitness center and business center are just a few examples of what is on offer. Reach them at 888-481-6348.
Pacific Shores Motorcoach Resort has oceanfront sites and views west over the Pacific. Amenities include a clubhouse with big screen TV, fitness and welcome centers, pool, spa and sauna, dog runs and shoreline trails. The resort is a triple 10-rated Good Sam resort accepting only well-maintained Class A and Class C motorcoaches. Located at 6225 North Coast Hwy 101, they can be reached at 800-333-1583.
Pacific Surf Motorcoach Estate is located just north of Newport, with six sites and sweeping ocean vistas at 8143 North Coast Highway. The facility is gated for security. Amenities include ocean fire pit, outdoor kitchen and entertainment center, cable, WIFI and the option for fractional ownership. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Harbor Village RV Park offers 140 RV spaces along a meandering creek, with a feeling of seclusion but amenities like free cable and Wi-Fi, laundry and showers. Located at 923 SE Bay Blvd., the park offers easy access to the docks and historic bayfront district, fishing, crabbing and clamming. Reach them at 541-265-5088.
Just up the river from town there is also Sawyer’s Landing Marina & RV, at 4098 Yaquina Bay Rd, located at a beautiful bend of the river bank. Reach them at 541-265-3907.
This June 16 — or any day for that matter — take your father out for one of Newport’s fun and defining activities.
Plunking in the bait and waiting for the fish to strike is never a bad way to get outside and catch up. It’s a time-honored tradition and chances are your dad has stories about doing the same thing with his father. Big Creek reservoirs at the north end of Newport are stocked with large trout and ready for your line and some placid fishing.
Or cast off the jetties with a heavy jig and retrieve with a slow, jerking motion for lingcod, sea bass and perch. Surfperch fishing is always an option on mellow days if you’re equipped with waders and curious enough to learn how to ply the areas just outside the first couple of set of breakers with a lead weight and jig setup with rubber sandworms. The public fishing dock in South Beach offers a prime area of Yaquina Bay for crabbing, and shellfish ranging from delicious razor clams to butter clams can be dug from the bay’s tidal flats. Check the weather and your tidebook.
For result-oriented fishing or crabbing, hire an outfitter whose prime mission is to put you and your dad on fish. Charter operators will whisk you offshore to fish for the prized Chinook or coho salmon, abundant bottomfish and lingcod and many offer crab trips or crab-and-fish combo trips with poles, bait and tackle provided.
Newport has plenty of choices for charters. Here are some of the local guides:
Newport Tradewinds, located at 653 SW Bay Blvd, has a three-hour crabbing trip onto the Pacific Ocean, where you’ll pluck crab from the same rich grounds plied by the commercial operators during the winter. Chinook salmon and bottom fishing trips ranging from five to eight hours, plus a 10-hour combo trip. Call 541-265-2101 for details.
Captain’s Reel Deep Sea Fishing offers three-hour crabbing trips, five-hour and eight-hour rockfishing, and six-hour and eight-hour deep sea salmon fishing. The fishing trips have an optional crabbing add-on well worth the extra money. The charter business is located at 343 SW Bay Blvd. Call 541-265-7441.
Yaquina Bay Charters takes you on salmon, rockfish, crab or halibut trips in state-of-the art fiberglass boats straight to famed haunts like the Rockpile, 11 miles west of South Beach. This outfit — always on top of what’s biting and where to find it — received the News-Times Readers’ Choice Award in 2018. They are located at 1000 SE Bay Blvd and can be reached at 541-265-6800.
Newport Marina Store & Charter is located in South Beach at 2128 SE Marine Science Drive and can be reached at 541-867-4470. Bait, tackle and hot coffee included. This outfit loves to set crab gear on the way out, then fish and pull the pots on the return, so the crabbing add-on is a good option. Let them take you on the chase for rockfish and lingcod in the inner reefs or salmon and halibut in the deep.
Most outfits also chase tuna in the fall, and the halibut seasons are limited openers so check in advance. With any outfitter, it is smart to call ahead at least 24 hours for up-to-date departure information.
Click here to visit the online addition to the 2019 edition of Travel Newport