The 1934 Yaquina Bay Bridge spans the bay at the south end of Newport. Photo by Christian Heeb.
Sea lions lounge on the docks at the Newport waterfront. Photos by iStock and the Marine Discovery Tours.
Family-owned Marine Discovery Tours offers guided whale and wild life watching trips. Photo by Marine Discovery Tours.
The tidepools at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area are full of sea life. Don't miss your chance to explore the lighthouse. Photos by iStock.
Oregon Coast Aquarium's "Passages of the Deep" exhibit brings visitors up close to sea creature of all kinds. Photo by Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Oregon Coast Aquarium's Giant Pacific Octopus is one of the center's most popular residents. Photos by Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Local Ocean Seafoods offers fish that's just-off-the-boat fresh. Photos by Shawn Linehan.

If the Oregon Coast is calling your family for a spring road trip, Newport is a good answer. Just two and a half hours from Portland, this friendly fishing town of 10,000 is rich in ways to enjoy the wild creatures of the Pacific Ocean. Strolling along the waterfront, you’ll hear the raucous barking of the sea lions before you see them lolling about on the sunny docks. Stand above and watch them roll their plump, sleek bodies into the water. A visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium will bring you face to face with myriad wildlife from seabirds and seals to  sharks and rays. Search for great grey whales on their northward spring migration with Marine Discovery Tours. Spend an afternoon exploring the rich tidepools of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area — home to colorful sea stars, bright sea anemones and scuttling crabs. And when all this wild discovery works up your appetite, stop in at Local Ocean Seafoods, a restaurant and fish market with the freshest catch of the day.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Bill Gard says…

    Happy memories of visiting Newport, especially the waterfront area.

    Written on March 12th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
  2. Barry West says…

    I was disappointed that you didn’t include the Hatfield Marine Science Center on the list of “must see” in Newport.

    Written on March 14th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
  3. Nancy says…

    Just went to Newport this weekend and ate at April’s. Absolutely wonderful food and wine! I highly recommend this restaurant for couples. The sunsets Friday and Saturday were memorable with lots of color.

    Written on March 17th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
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