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Romance of Night and Day at Nye Beach, Central Oregon Coast

Published 06/27/20 at 4:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Romance of Night and Day at Nye Beach, Central Oregon Coast

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(Newport, Oregon) – Way back in the 1910s and ‘20s, now over 100 years ago, Newport’s Nye Beach was known as the ``honeymoon capitol'' of the world. Who came up with that tourist slogan and how far word of this reached beyond the Oregon coast is unclear, but the legend firmly remains. The vibe is still there, but now it’s selfies and cellphones rather than massive cameras on tripods; hybrid cars instead of various breeds of horses getting you there.

Back in those days, Nye Beach was actually a separate resort town from Newport, and the latter was more of a logging / shipping center. Nye Beach was the one with the natatorium (an indoor pool of heated sea water), and the road between the two was a muddy, clunky one covered in wooden planks.

The central Oregon coast town retains those wooing qualities, partly due to the charming turnaround. Moreover, the area between Jump-Off Joe and Agate Beach is usually fairly deserted, making for some great walking hand-in-hand opportunities.

It's another marvelous step back in time, except here the atmosphere is as much from Old Europe as it is America 100 years ago. Tiny, even minuscule streets snake their way gracefully between the larger roads and over steep hills, giving way to architecture that is reminiscent of old England as well as the young, burgeoning tourist destination it was.

After dark, the place is inescapably breathtaking. Hit the beach or just stand at an oceanfront spot, let your eyes adjust, and the beach simply glows in a unique way.

Especially fascinating in this area is the story of a rock structure called Jump-Off Joe, once situated at Nye Beach, just north of 11th St. The original Joe crumbled under the weight of the changing tides by the `40s, and another subsequent rock structure took on the name. The new Jump-Off Joe - at the bottom of 11th - is quickly crumbling too, and it won't be long before it no longer exists.

Above: the slab of rock at the tideline is all that remains of the original Jump-Off Joe

You can still access the uppermost ledge of Jump-Off Joe – what’s left of it - and walk about 40 feet above the beach. However, even 10 years ago this provided a sandy bluff that stretched out some 30 feet. Not so much now.

At night, this entire clifftop provides a wonderfully romantic spot to cuddle (photo at top). To access it, take 11th street until it dead-ends in the parking lot above Joe. From there, you can walk through the rather odd but fascinating remnants of a condominium's foundation to get to the top of Joe.

Romantic Stays at Nye Beach

Nearby, for a bit of history and modernity, there’s Nye Beach Condos & Cottages. All of it right in the middle of Nye Beach’s historical vibes, they have older homes that smack of another age as well as the sleek, futuristic condos. Their offerings range in size, from studio condos to cottages with more than one bedroom. The historic homes sometimes have their beach access, while the condos come with absolutely unobstructed views. The cottages come with quite the atmosphere and cozy feel. 729 NW Coast St. Newport, Oregon. 541.265.2477. Website here.

A stone’s throw from that, Inn at Nye Beach stands tall and stately, exuding romance and the upscale. It’s a boutique hotel with breakfast service to your door, an elevator that’s wheelchair friendly, and there are full balconies and spa features. The major attraction here is that sundeck overlooking the slinking sands of the area, and the views are nothing short of wowing. There’s even a Jacuzzi loft room. 729 NW Coast St. Newport, Oregon. 541.265.2477. 800.480.2477.

A few minutes drive north there’s Moolack Shores Inn, overlooking the intricate and wildly diverse Moolack Beach. Here, you’re perched on a high cliff, and like the other two you can fully watch the lighthouse spin its lantern around. Each unit is individually decorated with whimsical to rustic styles, providing a wide array of visual feasts to the surroundings.  8835 North Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon. (541) 265-2326. Moolack Shores Website here.

All these high vantage point hotels are excellent for other surprises the central Oregon coast can conjure: Newport is a prime spot for whale watching year-round. You can’t get much more cuddle-inducing than that. Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours

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