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One Oregon Coast Town: Two Rugged Attractions Make for Layered U.S. Travel Destination

Published 05/20/23 at 6:22 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

One Oregon Coast Town: Two Rugged Attractions Make for Layered U.S. Travel Destination

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(Newport, Oregon) – Take a dash of party town at night, rugged fishing village, three parts tourist destination, and throw in bits of Americana and elements of the upscale, and you have part of the recipe for the extremely diverse hotspot known as Newport, Oregon. One of the more diverse and multi-layered Oregon coast spots to be sure, part of that comes down to its size. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Newport is enormous by Oregon coast standards, and as such as there's all those natural, beachy delights along with a few distinctly different areas, each packing their own travel destination punch. In fact, it's the only town in this part of the U.S. with two lighthouses.

Curiously, two major attractions sit piled up, one top of the other. One of those lighthouses sits on another coveted attraction.

One Oregon Coast Town: Two Rugged Attractions Make for Layered U.S. Travel Destination

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. If you can’t find anything to do here, you’re probably dead and no one told you. A gigantic manmade tidepool, some funky climbable areas, a looming hill above the headland, a strange, noisy beach made of polished stones and one major lighthouse provide more than you could do in a day.

For about three decades now, one of Yaquina Head's favorites has been that intertidal area, the remnant of an old rock quarry where they simply let the tide take over and do its thing. These wheelchair-accessible paved paths weave in and out of rocky tidepool areas and open up this engaging area to everyone.

There’s also an interpretive center here, as well as access to the noisy beach via a long staircase. This one’s a bear coming back up, but it’s worth it. Called Cobble Beach, the large cobblestones make quite a rattling noise when attacked by the tide – which tends to hit here with sizable force because the tideline is at a fairly steep incline.

Above the lighthouse parking lot sits Salal Hill, which is accessible by a meandering, quarter-mile walk to the top. From there, amazing views of the central Oregon coast burst out (so amazing, there’s a web cam planted here). Yaquina Head Natural Outstanding Area

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. At the outer edges of this magical place sits the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, one of two in Newport. Standing at 93 feet, the lighthouse has been around since 1873, with its light still showing the way today and visible for miles in any direction. It is open to tours, but these schedules change over the years. Call 541-574-3100 to doublecheck.

There are some 114 steps up to the tippy-top, and inside that lamp room is one amazing spot. You can definitely see forever from here.

Below the lighthouse itself is a boatload of awe-inspiring viewpoint, showing off Newport's more jagged and craggy sides, with giant basalt cliffs beckoning in the tide at high speed. It's nearly always causing a visual ruckus of wave action.


Tallest and Most Storied on Oregon Coast: Newport's Yaquina Head and Almost Haunted Oregon Coast: Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Lore

Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours


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Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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