Just up the road from Newport and tucked in the elbow of the Yaquina River is the quaint town of Toledo (pop. 3,700). Nestled in the wooded hills above the coast, Toledo has a blossoming arts scene that makes it a great fall destination.

Visit the galleries of world-renowned painters Michael Gibbons — housed in a charming historic vicarage — and Irish born Ivan Kelly — who paints animals, marine life and landscapes. One of Kelly’s seascapes was recently selected for the 15th National Art Museum Exhibit Tour. Gibbons’ landscape oil paintings reflect the natural beauty of Oregon and other rural places. (If you get the urge to stay and make your own art, you can rent a 1920s Justice of the Peace office that Gibbons converted into an artist’s studio.)

On the hill above downtown, check out the recently opened Firehall Clayworks, a community art studio located in a former firehouse. Owners call it an open playground for imaginative adults where people can do art that makes a mess — like sculpting, glass blowing, wood arts and pottery. Book a day pass or just stop by for a tour of the studio. Firehall Clayworks is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

When it is time to refuel your artistic sensibilities, stop in at Stu and Becky Miller’s Pig Feathers BBQ for a hearty plate of ribs and tasty homemade sauces and rubs. Just next door, check out the Twisted Snout Brewery, which Millers and their partners — Doug and Dayle Rider, opened in July.  Twisted Snout pours Red-headed Step Hog, Honey Oatmeal Porker and Twisted Snout IPA, among other signature beers. And here’s a nod to the creative process: Try the Oops! Beer, which started out as a recipe snafu turned into a hoppy favorite.

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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  1. Dr. Dan says…

    So is there a pretty good fishing spot right around that way? My grandson and I have taken up fishing as of late, and could always use a few pointers for good areas as well as the rules for the area. –Dr.Dan

    Written on November 2nd, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  2. Jennifer says…

    We were just up there passing through, and I have to say that I find myself craving more of the ribs (absolutely delectable, and I am not generally a ribs fan), the cajun oysters and THAT RED BEER!!! Make sure you try some.
    J Skop

    Written on November 3rd, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  3. doug says…

    We will be having a band ( saturday nov. 19th starting at 9:00 that evening. We will be serving cajun steamed oyster’s ( thursday, friday,saturday) the beers are great the food is excllent. Come join us in the fun in toledo,or at twisted snout brewery

    Written on November 13th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  4. Sharon Kelly says…

    Dr. Dan, Yes there are fishing holes around Yaquina Bay, Olalla Lake and also REAL close to Newport !

    Written on March 8th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
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