Here’s an important tip if you don’t want to stand out: we call it “the Coast”. Not the shore, the beach or the ocean – the Coast. We call it that because along the 363 miles of coastline has all those aspects at some point, but not at every point. Sometimes there is a beach, but it may be sandy or it may be pebbly. There always is an ocean, but sometimes the trek from the road to the ocean is best left for the rock climbers. It’s ruggedness is unlike other coastline in the US and it’s just a one and a half hour drive from our B&B.
Getting to the coast from the Willamette Valley, is a windy drive on Highway 18 to Lincoln City, home to the World’s Shortest River (I’ve only ever seen the sign) and Kite Flying Festivals. Turning south on Highway 101 takes you along numerous viewpoints, like Devil’s Punchbowl (my dad’s favorite rock-hounding beach at low tide) and Boiler Bay State Park that beg a stop to soak in the awesomeness of the coast.
Winding into Newport, you find a town, historically a fishing town, to wander for the day. Just south of Newport’s bay bridge is the Oregon Coast Aquarium which houses Passages of the Deep, an acrylic tunnel through sea water home to sharks, rays and tons of other sea life. The otters, seals and sea lions live outside with large pools to swim in and rocky beaches to rest on. The aviary houses elusive puffins which fly above and below the water. Each tank has above-water and under-water viewing areas to enhance your experience.
Newport has a coastal side, at Nye Beach, lined with cute shops and good grub, like at the Chowder Bowl. Be sure to save your Texas Toast from lunch to feed seagulls at the beach a block away. The bay side of Newport houses the fishing industry, a large herd of sea lions and a street full of taffy-filled shops and the quirky Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. A great choice for dinner – and you know the seafood is fresh – is Whales Tale.