Boondocking / Dry Camping, Travel Destinations & Stories

The Top Places to See in Newport, Oregon

2, 4 or 7 Day Itinerary 

When we decided to go west instead of north for the summer, we were excited to explore the Oregon Coast. Newport was one of our favorite places, because there is so much to do. Whether you have a weekend or a full week, you’ll find some amazing things to do in Newport!

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

This was not only a beautiful area, but the history and free tour (just stop into the visitors center for your ticket) was really fun. The Yaquina Head lighthouse is the tallest, and one of the most recognizable lighthouses on the Oregon coast. 

While you’re at the Yaquina Lighthouse – it’s just a few steps down to the beach area, where you can see the lighthouse from a different angle. The very rocky beach is worth the walk down!

Newport Historic Bayfront

We actually had not planned to stop here, but when we heard the loud barking of the sea lions, we followed the sound. Watching and learning their behavors was both fun and educational. Did you know Sea Lions actually get cold and shiver? And they also get very angry at one another once they are warm and another cold sea lion decides to cuddle for some warmth. This was really fun to watch. We also saw some California sea lions (which surprisingly do look different) which based on the time of the year, were not supposed to be there. 

Yaquina Bay Bridge

An Oregon architectural icon for sure! The bridge crosses Yaquina Bay, and can be seen from so many different locations around Newport. You can actually see how close we camped to the bridge, below in our “where we stayed” section.

Also – Check out our Off the Beaten Path in Oregon. Our Top 10 Secret Finds in Oregon

Newport Aquarium

Open for over 25 years this is a great aquarium to take the kids. 

Ripleys Believe It or Not

I wonder if you have to be my age to even know what this sort of place is. As a young teenager I would be glued to the TV watching episodes of weird collections of oddities like shrunken heads and mysterious historical mysteries that were never solved. This is a really fun and unique place to take the kids while you’re in Newport.

Highway 101

Just do it!!! Pull off on every area you can! When you see a pull off area, it means there is something to see. We found some beautiful views and historical signs to read.

Chowder Soup Anyone?

Of course when you’re in Newport, you need to visit Newport Chowder Bowl. Searching thick, creamy clam chowder, fish and chips and other local seafood from the Oregon Coast. Guess what … I don’t eat or like seafood! I know! I’m always given a hard time about it! But I hear it’s the best chowder soup in the region.

Searching for Agates

This was a surprise to me! The friends we were with knew some locals who loved to walk Agate Beach and find Agates. We had never done that, but why not. What a fun afternoon of learning and walking the coast. And yes, we found lots of Agates!

South Beach State Park

One thing I noticed in Oregon is that the shore lines seem to be wide and long. Where I lived on the coast in CA the beaches were very different. Very rocky, and had a drop off pretty close to the shore line. We enjoyed flying some kites here with friends and an amazing sunset.

Devils Punchbowl

Another complete surprise. Easy access, no hiking involved, and it’s mesmerizing how the water crashes through this large rock formation. I had only wished I knew there was a trail to get down inside the punchbowl. I might have tried to come back during low tide and get down there. Next time!! Still an amazing view, but high tide provides a more dramatic landscape with water swirling and the waves crashing against the punch bowl walls – you’ll understand the name at high tide!

Seal Rock

Just 10 miles south of Newport, you’ll find Seal Rock. We arrived at low tide, and enjoyed the many many tide pools up and down the beach. We highly recommend going during low tide! What a treat that was. 

Whale Watching

We must have seen 10 pods of whales up and down the coast. Look closely! You’ll see them diving and spouting as they are feeding. Also, if you head to the visitors center in Newport, they will have a list of the current sightings that day. There are also several whale watching tours you can sign up for. We didn’t do that this time.

There are so many other places to visit near Newport, Oregon! I know we must have missed a million things. What was your favorite place to visit near Newport?

Where We Stayed

We stayed in the dry camping part of the Newport RV Park and Marina. There are no hookups here, and they do have you parked pretty close together. But we managed to score an end spot, which wasn’t too bad. During the weekends it was busy but during the week we were almost the only ones there. Cost – a little over $20 a night. Not the perfect situation, and we’d always prefer to find free areas, but this was the best we could do in order to explore Newport.

We hope we gave you some of our excellent ideas on where to go, what to see and where to stay in Newport, Oregon!

Here are a few of our other blogs you might enjoy!

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