The coast you remember
The Wilder Disc Golf Course is 18 holes and made possible by an agreement by the Wilder family, owners of the forest, with the City of Newport to provide outdoor recreation.
“Awesome course,” one reviewer has written. “I may be a bit prejudiced as I live on the coast but this course has a great layout with a wide variety of shots. It's long enough to challenge for long arms and also plenty of birdie opportunities for people like me with modest length off the tee. You will be treated with a challenging walk/hike in a pristine forest with huge trees and wonderful oxygen rich fresh air to breathe.”
The course features both wooded and open fairways. Set up among the spruce and hemlock of the coastal rainforest where wildlife like bald eagles is frequently seen, the course features cement tee pads, creative signage and even benches.
There are also miles of hiking trails and mountain biking trails through the Wilder Forest, some traveling deeply off the beaten path, others connecting to popular destinations like Hatfield Marine Science Center and Mike Miller Park.
While it is open to the public, each visitor needs to get a permit to be in the forest. The Wilder Disc Golf Course Facebook page has more information.
Wilder Twin Park is the ideal place to go with the youngsters to stretch out and climb, slide and run. Located at 625 SE 43rd Street, the park features slides, a jungle gym, and sawdust ground cover.
For four-legged youngsters, look no further than the nearby Wilder Dog Park. With plenty of room to frolic, the .7-acre facility has a transitional entry and exit corral and water spigots.
Relax after exploring the forest with a stop at Wolf Tree Brewery Taproom & Cafe. The business features an array of craft brews and special release brews, lunch, pub food and coffee. Friendly dogs are allowed in the outdoor seating area.
For tens of thousands of seabirds nesting in the cliffs — plus a gut-wrenching drama of life and death fit for a nature program narrated by David Attenborough — look no further than Yaquina Head. This basalt headland and offshore rocks are home to at least 65,000 common murres, Brandt's and pelagic cormorants, pigeon guillemots, western gulls and glaucous-winged gulls. In a symphony of cries, spray and clattering wings, seabirds battle to raise their chicks and keep them safe from the clutches of hungry bald eagles and peregrine falcons. This is a pure unfolding of nature’s drama, visceral and gripping at the ocean’s door.
The interpretive center at Yaquina Head is also a favorite stopping point for birders scanning for the falcons, barn swallows and violet-green swallows nesting in the cliff ledges above the center. Watch right from the parking lot. Chances are there will be an interpreter around who can tell you more.
Look for birds along the edges of Yaquina Bay, including the jetty rocks at Southwest Jetty Way. The Mike Miller State Park Educational Trails in South Beach lead though wetlands that offer good bird viewing. The mile-long Yaquina Bay Estuary Trail, located off of Marine Science Drive, offers priming sightings of wetland birds along the mile-long walk which can also be combined with a visit to Hatfield Marine Science Center.
The birds which call the coast home could fill a guidebook. Some notable ones you’ll see in just about any estuary are the great blue heron on the hunt, spindly egrets and common loons. Perched like slick, dark sentries on pilings, jetty rocks and shoreline trees are Brandt’s cormorants — brazen fisher-birds with an oily appearance and a startling throat of bright blue.
Bald eagles nest in snags along the shore and ospreys can be seen hovering in a shimmer of wings, ready to dive on fish in the surf.
See a dark bird with an outsized orange beak and startling pumpkin-colored eyes hopping around the rocks and tidepools? It’s probably the famed black oystercatcher, rare but year-round and a sight to behold. A brown denizen with white wing patches and red feet is probably a pigeon guillemot.
You may see the scurried takeoff of a tufted puffin or a serene line of brown pelicans cruising just above the sea surface.
You will see western gulls everywhere; the mature ones sporting pure white with sharp lines of black — the juveniles looking a little uncomfortable in rumpled, mottled suits of gray and brown. No trip to the ocean would be complete without the familiar voices of these highly successful residents.
These birds are a small sample of what is in store. You could spend a lifetime birdwatching on the Oregon coast. Come get started while the weather is nice!
The Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn in Newport, Oregon recently completed a $7 million renovation updating not only the décor of the hotel but the entire guest experience. The hotel has added new amenities including a complimentary daily wine social featuring award-winning Oregon wines, and a doggy welcome kit for guests checking into one of their pet-friendly rooms.
There are 148 guest rooms in a wide range of accommodations, including oceanfront rooms with a lighthouse view and hillside rooms, all of which were remodeled with new furnishings and brand new mattresses.
The hotel's on-site restaurant was also fully renovated. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also offering in-room dining, the Sea Glass Bistro & Lounge features coastal cuisine and a variety of cocktails, wine and beer all with an ocean view. The ocean views are even better from the wind-blocked outdoor dining area.
The Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn has direct access to one of Oregon's most coveted beaches. It is the ideal location for romantic getaways, business travel, and family adventures alike. Nearby are top attractions like the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Historic Nye Beach and the Historic Bayfront.
Just in time for the summer season, the property now boasts outdoor fire pits, yard games, s'mores packages, and a large telescope to spot gray whales or to take in close up views of Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
While Newport experiences moderate temperatures year-round, the summer often sees plenty of sunshine and days in the 70s or sometimes 80s. The Agate Beach Inn is one of the only airconditioned oceanfront hotels in Newport, providing guests with enhanced comfort during their stay.
And on rainy winter days, guests will stay warm and dry as they go from their room to the lobby or restaurant through the hotels' all interior corridors.
The Agate Beach Inn also boasts one of the largest indoor pools on the Oregon Coast which also received updates during the renovation.
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.
In centuries past, three-masted schooners made their way about the bay heavy with lumber. Today, the bright surface is dotted with fleece white as a new generation of sailors take to water for pure joy rather than industry.
So come try it out! There will never be a better time for the wind to carry you. And on Saturday, June 22, the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club makes it easy with their annual Summer Sailstice Sailebration. The club allows even the worst landlubber a free chance to experience an hour of sailing aboard a member’s boat, from noon to 5 p.m., with the last trip departing at 4 p.m. Trips depend on weather and available space. Children over five are welcome with a well-fitted life vest and a guardian
Sign-ups begin at 11 am at the clubhouse located at 750 SW Bay Blvd.
Stick around until 5 p.m., when a party kicks off at the clubhouse featuring the blues of the Lloyd Jones Quartet. A barbeque dinner, beer and wine will be on offer, along with a silent auction; music starts at 6 p.m. All profits will go to support Youth Sailing programs at the club, though unfortunately the party is adults only due to OLCC regulations.
More info at yaquinabayyachtclub.org/summer-sailstice.html
It’s prime sailing season at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club. Sign up for the Wednesday Racing Series and come down for the fun. Wednesday Night Racing kicked off in May and runs through October 9. The YBYC website has loads of details, including schedules and registration. Here are the basics.
Anyone interested is welcome to join. Sailors must submit a race entry and waiver form. Even people interested just in crewing will have a shot at the water, as the race chairperson will work to put you in touch with boats seeking crew members. Skippers should be members of US Sailing. Non club members new to racing at YBYC may race on two Wednesdays before they must pay entry fees.
If you are trailering your boat, the Port of Newport has you covered. A wide and easily accessible paved boat is at your service in South Beach. The South Beach Marina features a courtesy dock and staging area with daily trailer parking available.
Looking for the perfect wedding venue with views to the sea to boot? Here are some hot spots for taking and renewing those vows.
People often think of the Oregon Coast Aquarium as a stop for taking in the wonder of marine life, but it’s also a spot for getting married, with 15,000 animals as witnesses.
Evening ceremonies and receptions of just about any size can reserve the entire facility. The aquarium provides full event and catering services. For views into the Open Sea exhibit, along with patio and estuary views, consider the Gleason Room, for up to 100 guests.
Or, during the day, small weddings with groups of 20 or less are welcomed among the exhibits. Best of all, proceeds from your wedding go to animal care and rehabilitation, scientific research and education.
For large facilities facing the sea, the Shilo Inn is a favored venue, with 179 guest rooms and proximity to both the historic bayfront and Nye Beach. For weddings with a touch of history and class and modest size, look no further than Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
The lighthouse parlor can accommodate up to 20 people and additional guests can congregate on the side lawn. The natural area, under the auspices of the Bureau of Land Management, charges a $150 fee for weddings.
Oregon State Parks are perennial favorites for outdoor weddings, with spots like Yaquina Bay State Park offering views to the Yaquina River Bar and South Beach State Park opening right onto expanses of shore and dunes, perfect for beach weddings. Be sure to contact the park’s department for information and permits.
Let’s not forget the old wedding standby. The Lincoln County Clerk’s Office is located at 225 W. Olive Street, Room 201 in Newport. The clerk is available most weekdays and Saturdays to perform ceremonies, including those in outdoor locations of your choosing. Call the clerk’s office to schedule.
Click here to visit the online addition to the 2019 edition of Travel Newport