Spring Break in Newport is Whale-Sized Oregon Coast Fun
(Newport, Oregon) – The fun and frivolity to be had in the central Oregon coast town of Newport is, well, whale-sized. Even more so this spring break, when you consider the miles and miles of pristine beaches, hiking trails, campgrounds, a bay full of crabbing opportunities – and then a host of special events that not only feature Whale Watch Week but augment it. (Above: Newport's Beverly Beach).
Whale Watch Week in Newport – falling right in with spring break – means some extra watery fun at places like the Hatfield Marine Science Center. But the town also boasts more whale watching spots – where volunteers sit to help you spot them – than anywhere else on the Oregon coast.
The beaches are just the beginning, but that's enough on its own to last you a full week. Starting on the southern end, all the way to Seal Rock (about ten miles away), you'll find bundles of fascinating structures to bounce around on, along with copious tide pools. A few miles up the road are some interesting hidden spots (see the Newport Virtual Tour for these), and then you run into sprawling South Beach State Park.
From the northern tip of the Yaquina Bay's jetty, you'll find one of the lighthouses above, the historic pleasantries of Nye Beach, and then the fluffy sands of Agate Beach that dead-end at the magnificent Yaquina Head and its soaring lighthouse. From here northward sit Moolack Beach and Beverly Beach, eventually running into Otter Rock and the wild splendors of the Devil's Punchbowl.
Kids will seriously enjoy crabbing in the bay – one of the hottest spots for this on the entire Oregon coast. Buy a permit, rent a crabpot (you can usually do both at the same place), and drop it over the side.
There's the historic Bayfront district here - a waterfront where sea lions and mammoth ships reside. Camping is also in this area, with two major campgrounds: Beverly Beach and South Beach State Park.
More about Spring Break in Newport:
March 21 – 28. Spring Whale Watch Week in Newport. Volunteers will be at dozens of high vantage points along the Oregon coast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m – but seven of them are right in the Newport area.
Just north of Newport, in the Depoe Bay area, there are Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint, Whale Watching Center at the Depoe Bay Sea Wall and Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint. (Also see the Whale, Sea Life, & Shark Museum in Depoe Bay while there: 234 SE HWY 101, Depoe Bay, Oregon, 541-765-2219).
Just outside of Newport are Cape Foulweather and the Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area. Within Newport are Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and Don Davis City Park in Nye Beach.
More on Whale Watch Week: 541-765-3407. www.whalespoken.org.
March 21 - 28. Whale Watch Week Programs at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Adding even more to the whale watching frenzy, the Hatfield features special whale programs everyday during Whale Watch Week. There will be daily marine mammal presentations at 1:30 p.m. Gray whale sighting statistics from State Parks will be posted. Look for marine mammal-themed films, children's activities and research exhibits. Open from 10 am to 5 pm everyday for Whale Watch Week. Admission by donation. 2030 SE Marine Science Dr. www.hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor. 541-867-0234.
Oregon Coast Aquarium Special Features. Get a kiss from a seal or sea lion, or interact with a giant Pacific octopus. Sleepover programs are offered for kids during the month, allowing them to spend the night inside the Passages of the Deep. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during Oregon’s spring break from March 21 to 29. Visit aquarium.org or call 541-867-FISH for more information or to purchase advance tickets. 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, Oregon. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474.
More about Newport below and at the Newport, Oregon Virtual Tour.
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