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Hike, bike or skate — explore the South Beach trails

Newport has an abundance of beautiful hikes for anyone, whether you enjoy more of a scenic walk or a challenging incline with a rewarding view.

Just south of the bridge, South Beach State Park offers trails that can be explored on foot, bikes, skates and horseback.

Around the edge of the park’s campground is the Cooper Ridge Nature Trail, a 1.75-mile loop through dense, lush forest and meadow habitats. While walking through this wildly vegetated area, hikers can see sala, evergreen huckleberry, and Sitka spruce while surrounded by the sounds of the forest.

The South Jetty Trail is a 10-foot wide, paved, ADA-accessible path, which links the park and the South Jetty recreation area. The one-mile hike is a great way to start the morning after waking up at the campground or to get some time in the forest before heading to the beach that’s just a few feet away. The paved path makes it a great choice for those riding city bikes or roller skates/blades, as well as for wheelchair users.

The Old Jetty Trail is another wooded alternative, which basically parallels the paved trail but goes through the shore pine forest and dune habitats of the park.

The equestrian trail begins at the South Jetty and leads to the beach, providing the perfect opportunity to get in an early morning ride or for a sunset ride on the beach.

With all the trails running through the park, there’s hours of hiking to do and only one way to start — head over to South Beach State Park!

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Whale watching viewpoints

If you care deeply about the environment, you’ll be right at home in Newport.

Not only did the city pass a plastic bag ban before the state law was passed, but we also have our own local chapter of Surfrider Foundation, a grassroots non-profit environmental organization that works to protect and preserve the world's oceans, waves, and beaches.

Surfrider advocates for environmental issues locally, at the state level and nationally. Not to mention, our local chapter regularly hosts beach cleanups around town, which encourage people to get outside more and help pitch in to keep our beaches free of litter. If you’re interested in participating in cleanup during your visit, check out the Newport Surfrider or SOLVE websites to see if cleanup is scheduled during that time — though you can take a bag and go walking on the sand with friends to clean up at any time.

Another fun eco-fact about our town — Newport is home to a massive Dungeness crab fishery, which is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as a sustainable fishery. So rather than going for a burger, try a crab cake or take the dive and eat cooked crab in the shell — there are lots of places to eat locally caught crab.

With those efforts, our area is full of natural beauty. We ask those who visit to help maintain that beauty by being mindful of the environment and cleaning up anything they bring down to the sand. While you’re here, we hope you enjoy the benefits of our eco-friendly community.

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Great indoor activities bad weather

Spending the day at the beach in Oregon is a gamble. While a sunny day at the beach is ideal, sometimes Oregon’s notoriously rainy weather has other plans. But when you come to Newport, there’s always plenty to do — rain or shine.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium offers hours of fun walking through sea life habitats indoors. You can get a little wet in the touch pool, where you can “shake hands” with starfish, sea cucumbers, anemones and more. Or take a trip through the Passages of the Deep shark tunnels to get an underwater view while staying completely dry.

Rogue world headquarters offers tours daily at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. This is a chance to see the whole process of your favorite beers being brewed, from hop to bottle. Plus, after the tour, you can hang out at Rogue Brewer’s on the Bay, a two-story brewpub with great beers and ales, as well as some good eats to enjoy while looking out over the Yaquina Bay and marina.

Looking for an indoor adventure? Check out Escape Rooms Newport for fully immersive puzzles you can solve with friends or Coastal Combat which offers laser tag in addition to escape rooms. Both businesses are a great way to build teamwork and bond with a group of friends or family.

There’s also plenty of shopping to do at our local businesses. The Historic Newport Bayfront provides an almost completely covered walking path between all of its businesses. Plus, there’s great food to be had — whether it’s Local Ocean’s innovative takes on fresh seafood, or visiting the very first Mo’s for some classic clam chowder. You can also take a trip over to South Beach Fish Market and sample their fish n chips that were recently named best on the Oregon coast by the Oregonian. 

But rain or shine, we hope to see you soon!

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Coastal hobbies: storm watching and beachcombing

If you’re a cup half-full kind of person, storm watching is an easy way to make the best of a rainy day. While the sound of rain and the smell of petrichor are beautiful on their own, on the coast, we get the benefit of watching the waves as well.

The rain and winds that come with storms are accompanied by huge waves, which bring some people a sense of serene wonder. As long as you’re viewing the sea from a safe place, it’s a wonderful way to spend a rainy day. In Newport, the best spot, by far, is Yaquina Head on the north side of town. From there, not only do you get a spectacular view, but you can take a tour of the lighthouse for a quick break from the downpour.

But once the storm passes, the fun isn’t over — right after a storm is a prime time to go beachcombing, when the rain and winds unbury treasures in the sand and erode agates off of the cliffs. With a bucket and a walk along the shoreline, you can come home with a number of beautiful treasures from sand dollars to agates and more!
Around Newport, Agate Beach and South Beach both offer great beachcombing opportunities — though you’re more likely to find fossils on Nye Beach near Jump-Off Joe. Wherever you decide to look, happy combing!

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An artist’s itinerary in Newport

The beautiful central Oregon coast has attracted artists of all mediums to come and call it “home” — and it’s not hard to see why.

From the natural beauty hiding around every corner to the thriving artistic community, Newport is hard to resist for painters, photographers, actors, glassblowers, musicians and the multitalented, alike. Try it for yourself!

Start the morning off at Ultralife Cafe in Nye Beach to get a great cup of coffee and your choice of amazing breakfast options — which include traditional, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. While you’re there, soak in the atmosphere and take note of the Oh Wonder record framed on the wall — it shares its name with the cafe. Then it’s time to get moving.

Take a few steps out of the cafe toward the ocean and you’ll arrive at the Newport Visual Arts Center, which has rotating exhibits and classrooms upstairs to learn new skills or refine the tried-and-true. Just a little bit farther up the sidewalk is the Yaquina Art Association, which houses a gallery and the membership of a great group of local artists from all disciplines. On Coast Street, just a short walk away, you can also find For ArtSake Gallery, an artist-owned co-op gallery brimming with talent and inspiration.

Take a quick drive around town and you’ll see the city’s commitment to art through its many public murals — there are 23 murals of various sizes nested along the Historic Bayfront, which you can find by wandering or following the city’s official map. The Rogue Ale’s Distillery wall mural in South Beach is also worth the trip across the bridge — plus, you can grab lunch at Rogue Brewer’s on the Bay.

While in South Beach, take a stroll through the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s new exhibit, SeaPunk, which is filled with marine-inspired art as well as artistic touches all through the interactive experience.

From small businesses to city landmarks, art is everywhere in this coastal town. Whether you join the community for a weekend getaway or decades after retirement, we can’t wait to see what you create on the coast.

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Respecting nature and all its inhabitants

Newport is known for the natural beauty surrounding it. From the forests on the west side to the beaches on the east, Mother Nature is a cross-town resident of our beautiful city.

To keep things beautiful and lively, residents and visitors, alike, are asked to respect the natural environment — and all the creatures living in it. Here’s a quick guide to some basic ways we can all do our part.

If it’s alive, leave it be. There are lots of curiosities to be found in the sand, from sea glass and agates to driftwood and sand dollars. But if you spot a living creature on the beach, give it some space. Crabs and birds are common sights here, and they should be left alone. Even stranded animals, such as jellyfish and whales, or seals tangled in netting should not be approached. If you see an animal in need of help, call the Oregon State Police reporting line for help: 1-800-452-7888.

Pack it in, pack it out. We’ve all heard the saying, but you can still find trash on almost any beach in the world. If you’re in a helping mood when collecting your own trash after a meal or activity, take a quick walk on the sand and keep an eye out for additional trash you can pick up. Together, we can all help keep our beaches clean and beautiful.

Check on conditions before you go. Respecting nature helps protect wildlife, but it can also help protect you. We all like to make plans, but when the surf is too high, sometimes those plans need to wait. Having a healthy respect for the ocean and its ability to take lives is important for sailors, surfers, and other ocean lovers. Another tip the locals know all too well: never turn your back on the waves. Sneaker waves and logs washing it can cause injury and death, so keep an eye on the tide when you’re on — or even near — the wet sand.

Travel Newport Magazine

2019 Edition