1 Feature: Featured

Christmas time in Newport

We all know the saying that everything is better at the beach, but with Scuba Santa and Christmas lights on boats, it’s hard to deny that it’s true.

Christmas in Newport is truly unique and full of spirit. Here are a few upcoming events to get your family excited about the holiday:

Sea of Lights — On Dec. 6, the Oregon Coast Aquarium will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a spectacular lights display. Over half a million colorful lights and holiday decorations will surround visitors with the spirit of the season as they explore the Aquarium after hours. For the kick-off weekend, admission is $2 with a donation of two cans of food (for people or pets) which will go to the Food Share of Lincoln County and the event is open 6-9 p.m. The additional weekends, admission is $10 or free with same-day paid admission and the event will be open 5-8 p.m.

The Lighted Boat Parade — On Dec. 7, Yaquina Bay will be host to boats decked out with strings of beautiful lights. There are great views of the parade all along the Bayfront, including on the decks of some restaurants. Viewing the parade is free, however, for a fee you can ride on one of the boats around the bay — for more information on this opportunity, call Marine Discovery Tours at 541-265-6200. The parade begins at dusk.

The Historical Society’s holiday gathering — The Lincoln County Historical Society's Holiday Gathering, a fun and casual get together will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 1-4 p.m. Brent Bunker and his rare vintage instruments will be on stage in the Doerfler Family Theater beginning at 1 p.m. Upstairs on the Mezzanine, Gyotaku artist and teacher Bruce Koike will be demonstrating the fascinating art of fish printing, and you can sign-up for our upcoming workshop while you’re there. In the Great Room, gather ‘round the glowing warmth of the fireplace and enjoy some refreshments. Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is located at 333 SE Bay Boulevard on Newport’s Historic Bayfront. For more information, call 541-265-7509.

2 Feature: Featured

Best times to go crabbing: The “er” month myth

There are many myths and superstitions around when exactly is the best time to go crabbing. 

This is partly because you can crab at any time of year here on the central Oregon coast, so making a guess as to when the best time would be is a tradition as old as the act itself.

Some swear that the springtime is the best, while others hold off until midsummer or fall.

The “er” month myth is perhaps the most prevalent: fishermen for generations have passed down the belief that months ending in “er” — the last four of the year — are when crabbing is at its best. The truth: they’re not entirely wrong. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, crabs will tend to be more “filled out," meaning there is a higher percentage of quality meat, beginning in September.

As for the best time of day, slack water, or the times of peak high or low tide, are the best times to crab. During swift tidal exchanges crab often bury themselves, but at slack water more crab are walking around foraging, since they are being less affected by tidal currents. Though other factors can affect a crabbing trip, for example, after heavy rainfall, crab tend to be less abundant in the bays. So make sure to check a tide table and keep an eye on the forecast before packing your pots and rings for the weekend.

And whenever you decide to go crabbing, make sure to have your shellfish license and crab measuring device to abide by state crabbing regulations.

3 Feature: Featured

Watching wildlife around Newport

Newport is home to all kinds of creatures on land and in the sea, but there are a few that are more iconic than others.

 If you want to get a good look at some of our untamed neighbors, there are a few spots to check out.

Anyone who’s been to the bayfront can tell you, there’s one sound that’s always there: the barking of sealions. Down near dock 5, families gather regularly to watch these marine mammals laze about on the dock on sunny days. If you’ve never seen them before, just follow your ears and you’ll spot them soon enough.

For those looking for a quieter wildlife watching experience, consider looking for whales. There are many whale watching tour agencies that take landlubbers out daily to watch whales in their natural habitat. However, if you’re more comfortable on solid ground, grab some binoculars and head up to Yaquina Head Natural Area, which offers a great whale watching view.

If you’re a birdwatcher planning a trip to the coast, you’re in luck: Newport has a number of great spots to seek out wild birds. With almost 10 stops on the Oregon Coast Birding Trail within city limits, Newport offers great parks and trails to walk while looking for warblers, creepers, flycatchers, woodpeckers, thrushes and more. Check out our information on where to go birding in Newport Under the “Activities” tab.

But wherever you go and whatever you look for, remember to let the wildlife be — for your safety and theirs — and take only pictures.

4 Feature: Featured

Shop local this holiday season

Newport is blessed with a large community of locally owned and operated businesses, from fish markets and restaurants to gift shops and boutiques — we have it all.

And with Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and Yule on the way, it’s time to think about holiday gift shopping. This December, shop local for these gifts.

Small Business Saturday is a tradition which was started 10 years ago to encourage people to support small and local businesses while gift shopping, rather than flocking to big stores on Black Friday. When you shop local, you’re supporting a local family directly and you know where the products are coming from. So whether it’s a new toy, beautiful jewelry, a new musical instrument, art or home decor — take a look at what Newport has to offer. Whether you’re walking down Newport’s historic Bayfront, the Aquarium Village or Nye Beach, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list.

Browse the Newport Chamber of Commerce directory here.

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Fishing adventures in the bay and off the coast

Fishing adventures in the bay and off the coast

Whether you need someone to walk you through getting your first fishing license or just need a captain to get you out on the water, there are many knowledgeable charters around Newport that will get you fishing in the bay or on the ocean in no time. Right now, rockfish is the main catch, and these charters are ready to take you out for your next big catch.

Yaquina Bay Charters offers regular group fishing trips, as well as private bay crabbing trips seven days a week. Check out their Facebook page to see upcoming trips, or call 541-265-6800.

Newport Marina Store and Charters has tons of gear and expertise to get you kitted up for your next fishing adventure — and you can book your next trip to catch salmon, halibut, tuna, crab and more. Visit nmscharters.com for more information, or stop by the store at 2128 SE Marine Science Drive.

Newport Tradewinds Deep Sea Fishing opened in 1949, making it the oldest established charter fishing service on Newport’s Bayfront. This family-owned and -operated charter service offers seasonal and year-round trips, and has special rates for children. Make memories to last a lifetime out on the water catching salmon, halibut, tuna and more. Visit newporttradewinds.com for more information or call 541-265-2101.

Wherever you set out from, good luck and happy fishing!

1 Feature: Featured

Where to stay: Watch the whales in Newport

December is here, and with it comes the winter migration of gray whales!

Twice each year, our coast is blessed with the opportunity to see whales multiple times a day every day, as nearly 20,000 gray whales travel between Alaska and Mexico. For winter, the whales are heading south and passing by the Oregon coast in the coming weeks. The biggest week for whale watching this month will take place Dec. 27-31.

Looking to migrate to the coast to catch a view of the whales? Here’s a quick list of places you can stay in Newport to get a good glimpse of these gigantic creatures.

The Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn is a good walk or a short drive from the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Outstanding Natural Area, which not only offers incredible views for whale watching, but it’s also one of two “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites. During whale watch weeks, such as the Dec. 27-31 period coming up, volunteers will be at designated Whale Watching Spoken Here sites to help onlookers learn about whales and spot some cetaceans in the water. The Whaler and Elizabeth Oceanfront Suites are both close enough to walk to the other site, located at Don & Ann Davis Park.

But, for those looking to get an up-close look at the whales, a charter is the way to go. In that case, lodging at the Embarcadero Resort Hotel or The Landing at Newport, which are located near the Bayfront, where you can find many charter services to take you on that once-in-a-lifetime trip out on the water.

Travel Newport Magazine

2019 Edition