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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast
travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway,
Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe
Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Tourism Alert: Spring Rarities in Newport
Oregon) – The Oregon coast resort town of Newport is springing
forth with new aspects for the spring season.
ancient tree stumps at Moolack
They call it
the “value season” still in this rather impressive,
atmospheric little city, with spring about to pounce and a whole
set of new and fascinating circumstances and natural occurrences
accompanying it. This season you’ll find less expensive lodging
still on the menu, a combination of education and recreation between
two of the coast’s most high-profile attractions, and a host
of freaky and fun new developments in the natural world that will
blow your mind.
more than just the obvious going on here.
of problems with the local population of razor clams, the ban on
digging for the delicious tidbits is lifted. The Oregon Department
of Fish and Wildlife now allows clamming in the Newport area, from
the north jetty northward. All you need is digging tools and a license,
which can be purchased from any sporting goods stores in Oregon
and many places on the coast.
ferocious storms have scoured much of the sand from the beaches,
revealing some rare wonders. Agates are again found at Agate Beach,
on the northern end of Newport. The best time to look for these
semi-precious stones is during an outgoing tide, with two hours
just before the lowest tide maximizing your chances of finding them,
as this is when the sand is being carried out at its highest rate.
Gravel bars are the optimum spot.
Even rarer are
the emergence of ancient tree stumps some thousands of years old,
the result of a massive prehistoric quake which dropped an entire
forest into the surf. The result is the occasional spotting of nearly
petrified stumps and their root systems, which did not decay in
the normal fashion because of their immediate emersion in salt water.
They are found at Moolack Beach, just north of Newport.
Add to that,
March, April and May have some of the lower low tides of the year,
often appearing in convenient daylight hours. This makes for better
clam digging, agate hunting and looking for those ancient stumps
– sometimes called a “ghost forest.” Click
here for a virtual tour of Newport
The days are
growing longer and the temperatures are rising, but you can still
enjoy the best of “value season” rates through April
at most Newport area hotels (often down 20 to 30 percent still).
For a list of lodging opportunities, contact the Greater Newport
Chamber of Commerce, 800-262-7844, or log on to their Web site,
|Tidal explorations at Yaquina Head
generous minus tides mean some fantastic opportunities for inter-tidal
exploration, discovering the marine species that inhabit coastal
tidal flats. It’s also a great time to head to Yaquina Head
Outstanding Natural Area, at the north end of Newport, for some
rock-scrambling exploration at these low tides.
The end of March
also brings the migration of gray whales past rows of anticipatory
binoculars during the annual Spring Whale Watch Week. Set for March
25 through April 1, volunteers are stationed at waysides and parks
to help you spot your own spouting whale (www.whalespoken.org).
These migratory wonders are still visible before and after that
week, and numerous boat and tour companies are there in the area
to help you see more throughout the year.
happen at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, just south of Yaquina Bay Bridge
in Newport. These include an octopus encounter on March 18, a sea
lion encounter March 22 and a spring break overnight camp for 8-12
year-olds on March 23 and April 1. 541-867-3474. www.aquarium.org.
Just down the
street, the Hatfield Marine Science Center offers a variety of exhibits
(including “Wet Pets” and “Invasion of the Habitat
Snatchers.”) (541) 867-0100. http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/.
For more information
on visiting Newport during the “value season,” head
to www.newportchamber.org, or call 800-262-7844.