Straddling Yaquina Bay along Oregon’s central coast, Newport bills itself as the Dungeness crab capital of the world. This charming little town of 10,000 boasts more than a century of history. Its oldest building is the 1871 Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, the last remaining wooden lighthouse along the Oregon coast, and one of Newport’s most fascinating historic sites. This structure is the centerpiece of Yaquina Bay State Park, a popular destination for Newport visitors. The park is a great setting for picnics, and its vistas of the bay and bridge make for great photographs.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse, just a few miles north, is another of the historic sites in the Newport area. More than 400,000 tourists visit this 93-foot lighthouse, Oregon’s tallest. Part of the attraction is the environment. The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area offers wonderful opportunities to observe harbor seals, especially during pupping season in April and May. Tourists may also see sea lions, killer whales and gray whales from time to time.
Among the top attractions in Newport’s Bayfront district is the Hatfield Marine Science Center. At the visitors' center guests interact with the tide pool touch tanks, learn about invasive species, and learn more about earthquakes and tsunamis. Another popular Oregon coast tourist destination is the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The large variety of exhibits includes a sea otter, seal, and sea lion attraction that allows visitors to view these marine mammals at play.
Mo's, a seafood restaurant located on Southwest Bay Boulevard, is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. This restaurant, which started in the 1940s, prepares an amazing New England-style clam chowder with bacon, fish tacos and grilled Yaquina Bay oysters. This chowder will make anyone's mouth water. Diners often wash it all down with Rogue's "Mo" Ale Hefeweizen, a special blend made for this Newport landmark.
Rogue, a Portland-based brewery, has an impressive presence in tiny Newport. Even visitors who haven't been to this city before may have heard of the brewery and distillery, but when they spend time in Newport, they will definitely know about Rogue. The brewing company operates Rogue Ales Public House near Mo’s as well as the Rogue House of Spirits next to the marine science center. Guests can even stay in a company bed-and-breakfast, called Bed & Beer.
Another of the town’s top attractions, especially for fans of live theater, is the Newport Performing Arts Center. In addition to live dramatic performances, this venue hosts the Newport Symphony Orchestra, which performs works by classic composers and contemporary composers alike.
Outdoor enthusiasts discover a variety of activities along Newport's beaches. Whale-watching tours and fishing trips are available through local tour providers. One company, Marine Discovery Tours, allows watchers to choose from day cruises, night cruises and all-day cruises.
Another area diversion is Bayscapes Gallery and Coffeehouse. A breathtaking view of the bay from a glass-enclosed deck is an unforgettable experience. Guests can also peruse a selection of arts and crafts for sale while enjoying their coffee or tea.