Picture of beach This isn't actually Newport... this is 75 miles south along the coast at Oregon Dunes National Monument. This is a huge long expanse of soft sand and water that you probably can't swim in without a wetsuit.
Picture of dunes This is the view from the parking area. Most beach access areas in the Dunes require a hike across the sand. In this case it's not very far but the soft sand is slow going so it takes 15 or 20 minutes.
Picture of newport This is a view of the bridge across Yaquina Bay from downtown Newport. Newport has several nice districts with shops and restaurants. Parking is a bit challenging along the waterfront, particularly on the 4th of July weekend. Incidentally those long buildings across the harbor in this picture (behind the marina) make up the Rogue Brewery.
Picture of lighthouse Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is a long and unusual name but it's a must-see destination in the Newport area. From the plateau you can visit the lighthouse and watch the waves crash into the cliffs below. This is also a good spot for whale watching,
Picture of tide_pools On the south side of Yaquina Head you can descend to the sea floor at low tide and wander amongst the tide pools. Obviously, it's fairly important to check the tide charts before you visit if this is something you're planning to do. At high tide the waves come up to the cliffs.
Picture of starfish We spent a couple hours down at the tide pools. It's easy to lose track of time while wandering amongst them. A lot of sea creatures could be seen here, we saw mostly starfish - like the one here - urchins, mollusks and assorted small fish.
Picture of urchins There are ridiculous numbers of sea urchins and the water is remarkably clear.
Picture of harbor_seals The islands just off shore are home to more wildlife. Harbor seals are commonly seen sunning themselves just about anywhere they can get to. We also saw several swimming just off shore.
Picture of seabirds The tops of the rocky islands are seabird territory. It's a constant background noise you can hear over the ocean waves. It's probably not as interesting as the sea life and the seals but it may be worth scanning with binoculars from the overlooks.
Picture of baby_gull We managed to spot this incredibly well camouflaged baby gull. It's the fuzzy thing on the left of the mother gull here if you aren't certain.
Picture of punchbowl There are dozens of very tiny state parks along the Oregon coast near Newport. Some of them are basically a parking lot and a railing. This is Devil's Punch Bowl. It can be found at the aptly named Devil's Punch Bowl State Park. This is a more expansive state park consisting of a parking lot and two railings (plus several picnic tables). At higher tides this would be a swirling cauldron of wavy chaos. Or something like that, it was empty when we visited.
Picture of whale It's the Loch Ness Monster! Or maybe it's just a whale of indeterminate species we saw from Devil's Punch Bowl. The blurry thing in the distance is Yaquina light house again.

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