Oregon Coast Lighthouses Offer Special Tours
(Newport, Oregon) – The central Oregon coast town of Newport has not just one lighthouse but two – and both will be whooping it up in August with two special tours that allow you to get up close and personal with two of Oregon's major historical landmarks.
It all begins next week, with the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse hosting an after-hours tour on August 7, part of National Lighthouse Day. The second takes place on August 20 at the towering Yaquina Head Lighthouse as part the 141-year anniversary celebration of the stately structure.
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse tour on August 7 goes from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Lighthouse interpreter Sylvia White will be on hand to give a guided tour, or visitors may choose to view at a self-guided pace. An informational video will be shown, and the downstairs nonprofit gift store will be open. Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is located in Newport on Government Street overlooking Yaquina Bay State Park.
Then, on August 20, Yaquina Head Lighthouse celebrates its 141st anniversary with evening tours beginning at 6:30 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. A limited number of visitors can climb the stairs at once and tours will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. These tours will be led by trained volunteers to provide historic information and accounts from the daily lives of lighthouse keepers at Yaquina Head. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is located three miles north of Newport on Lighthouse Drive.
The Yaquina Bay lighthouse is dormant and was actually only used for about three years after it was built in the 1880's. You can tour the inside during most days of the week and check out the legends of hauntings by a young girl, which are the product of a piece of fiction published in the local paper at the turn-of-the-century. This one is truly like stepping back in time as you get to see all the furnishings and clothing that the lighthouse keepers actually used.
On the tip of three-mile-long Yaquina Head, sits the big one, standing at 93 feet tall. This one - Oregon's oldest and tallest - first lit up in 1873, sometime after the name of the headland was finally switched from Cape Foulweather (and the cape ten miles up the road received that name).
There are 114 steps to the top, and you get to scale every one of them during the special tours to see the magnificent light, still visible these days from miles around Newport.
The tours at both lighthouses are free, but the entrance fee to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is $7. The park also accepts Yaquina Head Annual Passes, the Oregon Coast Pass, and America the Beautiful Annual, Access and Senior Passes. For more information on the passes accepted at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area or the park hours and information please call 541-574-3100, or for information on Yaquina Bay Lighthouse hours and information please call 541-265-5679.
The events are put on by Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses (FOYL) and the Bureau of Land Management, and sponsored by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. FOYL is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the to restore and preserve the Yaquina Head and Yaquina Bay Lighthouses and their surrounding areas and interpret their natural and cultural histories. For more information about FOYL, how to donate, or how to become a member contact Lauren Craven at 541-574-3129 or visit www.yaquinalights.org.
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