We love wandering around the waterfront in Newport, Oregon. If we ever hang up the keys and decide to settle down in the Pacific Northwest, this would be the place. U.S. Highway 101 is the main road through town and the Deco District, where neat old commercial buildings hold fun shops selling books, antiques, and jewelry.
The Yaquina Bay Bridge is beautiful and I didn’t even snivel driving over it in the Explorer. I’ve driven across it in our motorhome in the past and didn’t snivel (much) then either.
The Bayfront area along the Yaquina Bay waterfront is more touristy, with souvenir shops, seafood restaurants, pubs, a large marina, charter boat offices, and the huge Pacific Seafood commercial seafood processing plant. There are benches along the walkway past the marina where you can sit and drink in the sights, sounds, and smells of the fishing fleet. I could spend hours doing just that. You can also buy fresh fish and Dungeness crabs right off the boats.
Or you can rent a crab net and catch your own dinner. There’s not much in this world that tastes better than fresh crab steamed right out of the water.
The fish processing plants are busy 24 hours a day during the season, and we watched a truckload of tuna being unloaded into big plastic bins to be taken inside for processing.
The tourists aren’t the only regular visitors to the waterfront. A large population of California sea lions hang out here part of the year, lounging on a couple of abandoned docks and some rocks in the bay. Weighing up to 1,000 pounds and as much as eight feet long, these are males that migrate south to breed with female sea lions that stay in California waters year around. You can hear the sea lions’ loud barking blocks away and it is nonstop as they compete for space on the dock or just tell the whole world how they’re feeling.
Newport is also known for its nautical themed murals that decorate the sides of buildings in the Bayfront.
And that’s just one small part of this charming town, which is also home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, historic Yaquina Head Lighthouse, beautiful beaches, and more to see and do than we could get to in a year.
Unfortunately, bad weather and high winds have forced us inland. We left Newport about noon yesterday and drove 155 miles to the Escapees RV Club’s Timber Valley Co-op in Sutherlin, Oregon. We’ll be here a few days waiting for better travel conditions before we begin our trek south toward Arizona. But there’s no question about it, we’ll be returning to Newport again, and until we do, we have lots of fun memories of our favorite town on the Oregon coast.
Thought For The Day – If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it. – Jonathan Winters