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Hunt for mushrooms in the coastal rain-forest

There are many seasonal ingredients found and enjoyed on the Oregon coast, but fall is for mushroom foraging in our beautiful coastal rainforest.

Around Newport, head out after a good rain to find chanterelles, slippery jacks and king boletus (also known as porcini) mushrooms plentiful and ready to eat.

State parks and public forests are great places to take a scenic hike to hunt for fungi — but make sure to check if the area requires a permit for foraging. The great news: often, permits are free, and some areas don’t require permits at all. Either way, you can find restaurant-quality ingredients for little-to-no cost.

Once you’re in the wilderness, make sure not to wander too far off the trail while foraging. It’s easy to get turned around when you’re focused on the ground rather than your surroundings.

Another important safety tip: don’t pick something to take home if you can’t identify it. A mushroom book is a great resource to bring out with you while looking for fungi, but you’ll still need to put in some investigative work to make sure you’ve got the right item. Aside from looking at the basic shape of the mushroom, smelling the mushroom can be incredibly helpful, as some have particular smells. Checking the underside of the cap is also key: the mushroom may have gills, spines or pores — and even within those, they can be very different.

A good thing to know in our neck of the woods: chanterelles and false chanterelles are most easily distinguished by their gills: real chanterelles have vein-like, forked gills that are thinner than the deep, traditional gills of a false chanterelle. It’s important to know what you’re looking at, because false chanterelles are reported by some to be poisonous — though others say they’re simply too bitter to taste good in anything.

If you know where to go and what to look for, you can bring home a bounty of delicious mushrooms with a number of uses. So get out there and try your hand at a mushroom hunt — you’d be amazed what you can find, just across the highway from the beach

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Get married on the Beach

Long stretches of sand and waves, a lighthouse snatched from a postcard and hotels perched above the shore. There are plenty of reasons why people have journeyed to the coast and to Newport for decades to tie the knot.

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.

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Celebrating Cider by the Sea

The first-ever Newport Cider Festival is just a few weeks away, and it promises to be an annual stop for anyone who loves hard cider and a good show.

On October 4th and 5th, the Newport Armory will be host to a celebration of Pacific Northwest cider makers, including Bandon Rain, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Avid Cider Co., Garibaldi Cellars, Nectar Creek and Newport’s very own: Rogue Ales. Other local artisans will be at the festival, giving everyone a chance to experience the pride of Newport: locally owned businesses!

Following in the footsteps of the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, which is held each February, visitors at the fest will have the chance to peruse the fine foods and craftsmanship of many coastal vendors. From doughnuts to honey, jewelry to succulents — everyone can find the perfect souvenir to remember their visit.

And once you’ve found a bite and a beverage, you can settle in for some entertainment. Not only will Correll Cider Presses be demonstrating each day just how exactly cider is pressed, but the line-up is stacked live music and circus-style acts which are sure to leave audience members of all ages with a smile. This event is family-friendly, complete with a Kidz Zone which has activities just for the kids.

Tickets are on sale now, and those who buy ahead get a discount — so be sure to purchase yours soon! Tickets and more information are available at newportchamber.org/newport-cider-festival

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Where to eat: fresh crab

Anyone looking to eat fresh crab in Newport has come to the right place. Home to a massive crabbing fleet, Newport is also known as the Dungeness Crab Capital of the World.

Anyone is welcome to buy crab directly from fishermen or purchase them from restaurant cases around town to take home and cook themselves. However, if you’re not looking for the mess and hassle — let the experts handle it. Newport is host to a plethora of expert seafood chefs who have spent years honing their craft. Here are a few of the best places around Newport to grab a crab to eat:

Local Ocean

Located near Dock 5 on Newport’s Historic Bayfront, Local Ocean highlights seafood in the best ways possible while keeping their focus on one thing: freshness. Here you can find a number of crab dishes incorporating fresh, locally caught crab: crab cakes, soups, crab po’boys, crab patty and chips. Customers also have the option of adding crab to any of the salads on the menu, or buying a whole crab to take home from the display case.

Clearwater Restaurant

Just down the street from Dock 5, Clearwater Restaurant boasts a one of a kind waterfront view and the status as Best Overall Restaurant as voted in the 2019 Best of Newport contest. Here, you’ll see fresh, local crab featured all over the menu: from local Dungeness crab mac and cheese to crab Louie, from crab melts to crab cocktail and more. Or, if you want it straight up, Clearwater offers whole and half crabs served in the shell with corn on the cob and melted butter.

South Beach Fish Market

This local legend has a simple philosophy: no-frills, just good eats. South Beach Fish Market has a huge display case that rotates products regularly so that only the freshest catches in season are sold. But if you choose to sit down to eat at one of the outdoor tables, you may have a chance to see their massive crab cooker, which heats up delicious meat for the market’s many crab offerings: crab cocktail, crab burgers, crab-stuffed shrimp — and, of course, fresh-cooked crab with fries, garlic butter and sauce.

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Get jazzed on the Oregon coast

The Oregon Coast Jazz Party returns for its 16th year on Oct. 4, filling the Newport Performing Arts Center with the smooth sounds of the saxophone, bass, piano, drums, trumpet, clarinet and flute, as well as timeless vocal performances.

Whether you’ve been a fan of jazz for decades or days, this festival has something for everyone to enjoy — all in the beautiful town of Newport.

This annual festival brings renowned jazz talent from around the country to put on stunning shows. This year, music directors Holly Hofmann and Ken Peplowski — both of whom will also perform — present a roster featuring Dave Captein on bass; Roxy Coss on soprano sax, tenor sax and flute; Dena DeRose on vocals and piano; Gary Hobbs on drums; guitarist Larry Koonse; drummer Lewis Nash; Nicki Parrott on bass and vocals; Houston Person on tenor sax; pianist Randy Porter; Terell Stafford on trumpet; vocalist Veronica Swift; drummer Matt Wilson; bassist Martin Wind and pianist Mike Wofford.

Tickets vary in price among the seven sessions, but there’s room for everyone to come in and listen. Not to mention, the party also offers a free lecture and demonstration with pianist and vocalist Dena DeRose on Oct. 5. As the professor of jazz voice at the Jazz Institute of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, DeRose knows how to teach a thing or two to newbies who haven’t experienced much jazz.

And when you’re not in the concert hall, Newport has endless options for food, fun and fresh air. Come experience the Oregon Coast Jazz Party a celebration of live jazz and the fans who enjoy it by the ocean.

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Pet friendly is the way to go in Newport

Sometimes we can’t be separated from our pets and other times we just don’t want to be — especially when we’re headed to a place whose sand, smells and surf can seem tailor-made for a doggie pal.

Don’t despair. Newport has plenty of hotels where your pet is welcome. 

Starfish Point in Agate Beach offers condos with fireplaces and kitchens and easy beach access with Agate Beach Golf Course nearby. The Inn at Nye Beach is another good choice, with free breakfast, good access to browsing Nye Beach and spa tub and services, along with its pet-friendly status.

On the harbor side of things, consider The Landing at Newport, located at 890 SE Bay Blvd., which has smoke-free condos and welcomes Fido. A free area shuttle and 24-hour fitness center are also pluses here.

The Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn is a perennial favorite for pet owners, as is Elizabeth Oceanfront Suites perched on the sea cliffs above Nye Beach.

For economy travelers, Motel 6 at 2633 S SE Pacific Way and Econo Lodge at 606 SW Coast Highway also allow guests to keep pets in the room.

If you do bring your pal, remember, it is cooler on the coast but the inside of vehicles can still heat up fast. Keep those windows cracked, make sure your pet has plenty of water and only leave them briefly and if you have to. Travel with your dog’s pillow or mat, water dish and chew toys so they have familiar objects around to help them stay calm.

Looking for a dog-friendly place to eat? The following Newport establishments allow well-behaved dogs in their outdoor seating areas: Nana’s Irish Pub, Cafe Mundo, South Beach Fish Market, Ocean Bleu @ Gino’s, The Coffee House and SeaDogs Restaurant & Lounge. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, these establishments should have you covered.

Don’t leave the dog behind when there’s so much you can all enjoy together on the coast. 

Travel Newport Magazine

2019 Edition