What does a day of vacation look like at the beach? No matter what’s going on at the coast, there are plenty of great ways for you to spend your vacation day here in Newport! We’ve put together a list of fun things to do from the time you wake up until it’s time to go to bed. Pick and choose the suggestions that best fit into the rest of your trip or try to experience them all!
Let’s get some breakfast! Café Stephanie is a quaint place in the Nye Beach neighborhood with a cheery vibe and offers breakfast, lunch, and espresso drinks and is known for amazing biscuits and gravy and delicious Marionberry crepes. La Maison is a neighborhood nook in the Deco District that features marvelous artisanal desserts, sweet and savory crêpes, gourmet coffee, and other French nibbles. The Coffee House serves breakfast and lunch, features fantastic baked goods like muffins, scones, and doughnuts, and is located in a turn-of-the-century cottage overlooking the Historic Bayfront.
Get Outside Before Noon!
Newport is your front door to outdoor adventure and exploration! We have miles of sandy beaches that are perfect for beachcombing, fat-tire bicycling, and kite flying and are easy to access from many places in town. How about a hike? The Mike Miller Educational Trail is a 1.2-mile hike that winds through a Douglas fir, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce forest full of local wildlife and sprinkled with numerous benches perfect for observation of the sights and sounds of the all-encompassing flora and fauna. The South Jetty Trail meanders through shore pines and sand dunes for about a mile before ending at South Jetty, affording great views of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, and offering extended hiking trails that lead down to the beach. The Yaquina Bay Estuary Trail is flat, paved, and only a mile loop, but allows for fantastic views of wetlands and amazing bird-watching opportunities as well as interpretive signs that describe local plants and animals common to the area. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is home to Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, The Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and features trails that will take you to view seals, whales, sea birds and tide pools teeming with life. Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is also worth a visit; it’s Oregon’s oldest lighthouse and the only remaining wooden lighthouse with built-in living quarters.
If it’s storming:
If you’re a person who likes to play in the rain, we get that! But if you would like indoor activities when the weather is rough, we’ve got you covered too! The Oregon Coast Aquarium has dozens of displays and many themed exhibits. It has been the premier regional destination for exploring the mysteries of the ocean and the unique wildlife that call it home for more than 30 years. The Hatfield Marine Science Center will teach you even more about oceanography and coastal science, as it was designed and serves as a marine laboratory for Oregon State University, but also offers visitors a variety of educational programs and marine exhibits. Aquarium Village is a family-friendly nautically themed shopping center with dining and entertainment located just north of the Aquarium. Pirate’s Plunder is in Aquarium Village and features antiques and collectibles and has a little bit of everything! Newport Escape Rooms is a fully immersive live adventure game where players solve a series of puzzles using clues and are also situated in Aquarium Village.
Let’s Get Some Lunch!
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, we have some suggestions for a great midday meal! The South Beach Fish Market sells fresh fish and seafood to take home but also serves up amazing fish, chips, and other delicacies from the deep. The Newport Café has a comprehensive menu that’s sure to have your favorite comfort food, served in hearty portions that can even be delivered to where you’re staying. Clearwater Restaurant provides top-notch coastal cuisine from award-winning chefs with an amazing view of the Historic Bayfront to match.
Let’s Get Back Outside!
How about venturing out in a kayak to explore the area by water? Newport has a wide range of salt and fresh waterways that are excellent for all skill levels of kayaking. If you’ve never kayaked before, lessons, rentals, and tours are readily available through Ossie’s Surf Shop and the Oregon Boating Foundation. Olalla Lake and Beaver Creek (located in Brian Booth State Park) are perfect for beginners, while the Yaquina Bay and Yaquina River are challenging for intermediate and experienced kayakers. In addition to these inland waterways, skilled kayakers can also take advantage of the miles of the Pacific coastline that run north and south from Newport, but if you’ve never been sea kayaking, we recommend that you take some lessons before going out on your own.
an afternoon partially indoors:
Spend the afternoon exploring Newport’s Historic Bayfront! Our working Bayfront is a mix of canneries, fish markets, art galleries, gift shops, and various eateries that coexist amid the cries of seagulls and the savory scent of freshly cooked Dungeness crab. Watch the resident sea lions bask in the open air on the docks below the Bayfront; you’ll be able to find them from the dog-like barking sounds that they make! Bring the family to see real-life oddities and strange things at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and check out lifelike wax figures of your favorite characters and celebrities at Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks right next door.
It's Time for Dinner!
After spending the day exploring and adventuring, relax with an outstanding dinner! Local Ocean is a restaurant and market on the Historic Bayfront that serves some of the freshest seafood available anywhere, sourced from fishing boats right across the street and prepared to perfection. Georgie’s Beachfront Grill is located inside the Hallmark Resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean and specializes in delicious northwest coast cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Nana’s Irish Pub in Nye Beach is a cozy little place that features scrumptious Irish meals like bangers and mash, Rueben sandwiches, and corned beef and cabbage, and complements them with a variety of imported beers on tap.
If you’re not ready for bed after dinner, we have some ideas for evening entertainment too! Step into The Bay Haven Inn on the Historic Bayfront for some adult beverages, and they may be featuring live music or Karaoke. Would you like to see a concert or play? The Newport Performing Arts Center has a full calendar of local and traveling events and is conveniently located in the Nye Beach Neighborhood. An evening stroll on the beach, along the Historic Bayfront, or through the Nye Beach Neighborhood is also a perfect way to end the day.
The Newport Chamber of Commerce is always ready to welcome you to the beach! Visit newportchamber.org for a detailed calendar of events and a list of local businesses that will take care of every aspect of your stay.