There is a place where I feel completely at peace and energized all at the same time. A place where the crisp, cool wind is a constant reminder of the force that is the Pacific Ocean. The seagulls and colorful houses yards away from the delightful sandy beach are quiet and quaint. The seafood is beyond description.
The place is Newport, Oregon and one of my favorite destinations to dwell and discover.
I visited Newport, which is situated on the west coast a little North and West of Salem during the summer of 2015. We stayed in two different campgrounds. The first was the Whaler’s Rest Campground & Resort where we were right across the street from the ocean. This enabled us to walk over with the dogs every evening to watch the sunset and let them run on the beach. Finishing off a long day of work and homeschooling
The second was the Port of Newport Marina & RV Park where we had an awesome view of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
First, I must confess. I enjoy a very deep love of seafood. My delight at the knowledge that I would be visiting the Dungeness Crab Capital of the World left me pretty much salivating all the time.
During our stay at the Marina, which is a city managed location, we were neighbors with a couple who was visiting for their annual Crab fishing (find term). They caught so much crab that they couldn’t take any more home. So when our lovely neighbor, Sandy, asked us if we would like some crab, I looked at her like she had one growing right out of her eye before I remembered my manners and the fact that she clearly didn’t know me.
I said, yes and thanked her profusely before I was even aware of just how much crab she was talking about. Her husband appeared with a cooler containing over 100 crab, all boiled and pealed for me. Dear Reader, I know I’m a little much sometimes, but I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I ate crab for breakfast, lunch and dinner for weeks. I also supplied crab for our camping friends for days. But fear not, I refused to let any go to waste and made sure every single succulent morsel was consumed by myself or someone near me.
Hatfield Marine Science Center
If you want activity based learning for yourself and/or your kids, you must check out the Hatfield Marine Science Center which is run by Oregon State University. We went with our dear friends, Jeff & Jessica (yes in my head they are Jeffica) and their kiddos, enter names. Admission to the Visitor Center is free and there is a suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 per family. We all learned about tides, tsunamis and how they happen through the many interactive exhibits at the center. They have these “wet labs” where you can observe the different organisms and interact with fish and all kinds of slimy, slippery creatures.
I was really geeking out over all the tsunami stuff. Luckily, my son really liked it as well, otherwise the fam and friends would have had to stick around watching me read every single display, cause that’s how I roll at museums.
Rogue Ales Brewery Tour
While there was a ton of stuff to do for the kiddos, there was also some adult fun to be had. And, here is a BIG plus, it was still family friendly. I’m talking about the Rogue Brewery, that bastion of yummy ales with the great names. I mean, we were in the land of the breweries for Pete’s sake! For $5 per person, you can take the brewery tour with free samples galore. The kids are welcome, they just can’t have samples silly.
Seriously though, we took a trolley around the brewery, who doesn’t love that? The grownups were clearly enjoying this immensely. The kids were laughing at how giddy we all were. And that’s OK. The tour lasts a good 90 minutes which you don’t even notice with all of the tastings and traveling and silliness.
Like all well planned and monetized tours, this one ended in their gift shop/restaurant entrance. After pledging to be a good Rogue Nation Citizen, we ate at the restaurant, Brewer’s on the Bay, and I was delightfully surprised at the quality of the food. I was prepared for bad bar food with an emphasis on their ales, but this was not the case. The beer cheese soup was ridiculously yummy and went perfectly with the flight of 4 beers we each ordered. The Halibut fish & chips was rockin’ and the house salad with Salmon was delish. All was enjoyed while delighting in a refreshing view of the Yaquina Bay.
The coolest part of this tour was that it was right across from our campsite at the marina, so we walked ourselves home like the good, responsible grownups that we are.
If you’re planning a trip to the coast these are great places to visit. Hit me up and I’ll give you a bigger list.
There is so much more to the Oregon Coast that I will have to tell you about another day. Work beckons, so I have to run for now.