Today started with a sweet little stroll down the bay front in Newport with my little boy. You can’t stay inside on days like this on the Oregon Coast. We locals plan around these sunny days during the rainy season! There are so many interesting little shops and restaurants to see when walking around the historic bay front. The shops we saw were anything from glass floats to art galleries full of paintings of lighthouses with water splashing around them! There is definitely something for everyone in these shops. While you’re here, you’ve got to check out the kite shop, Go Fly a Kite! They have something for every budget. There are some pretty impressive kites to admire.
The food you will find in the bay front varies from excellent sea food cafes to fine dining. There’s a great little restaurant called Asiatico Waterfront Fusion Sushi, it’s one of our favorites, and I must say, their food is fantastic. We enjoy the miso and sushi. Their prices are very reasonable. Best of all, you can sit outside on the pier over the water while you’re eating. The atmosphere couldn’t be better. While watching the ships roll in, you can hear the sea lions barking a few piers down, and you may get lucky enough to see one pass by while you’re eating. Another amazing site to see is the Yaquina Bay Bridge, which you can look at in wonder from the outside seating as well. The original Mo’s restaurant is just a few shops away and actually started out in Newport, here in the historic bay front. Ocean Bleu Seafoods At Gino’s also has some very good food. For Valentine’s Day last year, we bought fresh sea food at their market to cook a nice dinner at home and it was fantastic! You can’t beat fresh sea food straight from the market right off the boat! From the Clearwater Restaurant, you can see the sea lions feet away from you while you dine. They can get pretty obnoxious, knocking each other off the dock and getting upset with each other over the smallest movement of the dock. It’s like watching a comedy show! No one can help but laugh at their hysterics! Local Ocean Seafoods is a very popular place to eat, it’s always packed during tourist season. They open up the bay doors on the front where you can feel the ocean breeze. Right across the road you can see a very densely packed and bustling marina on the right day. If the crabbing, tuna, and halibut fishing is good, you may only see a few boats at dock. There are countless choices of great restaurants in Newport, too many to list. Additionally, there are several places on the docks where you can usually buy fresh sea food right off the boats! There is a rich nautical history in Newport. Still, to this day, it is very much a fishing town and depends on the bounties they bring in. Sometimes you will see the massive piles of shrimp that come in and many crab pots loaded on ships going out and coming in. I’m pretty excited to see the decorated ships this year for the the 20th annual Light Boat Parade, that’ll be fun to watch!
As we walked on, we saw big nautical murals painted on some of the buildings on the bay front. There is a wax museum and a Ripley’s Believe it or Not with a small arcade inside. Also, there is the Oregon Undersea Gardens where you can see local marine life. They have an underwater dive theater that’s educational and shows the sea life in their natural habitat. While you’re in town, don’t forget to check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The aquarium is one of the top 10 in the U.S. and features a clear tunnel that you can walk through to watch the sharks swim all around you. It’s an exhilarating experience! The little ones especially love it. There is also an aviary and the otter show is the best. The Hatfield Marine Science Center is based on a donation for entrance and is definitely something you don’t want to miss if you have children (or adults) that love hands on science related to marine life. My son enjoyed the tsunami simulator. The kids can build a LEGO house and see if it withstands the “tsunami” they can create themselves! There is also a tidal touch pool to feel the starfish, sea anemones, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.
Some of the fun beach activities that people enjoy on the Oregon Coast are beachcombing, clamming, long walks on the beach, flying a kites, building sandcastles, having bonfires on the beach, children digging in the sand, building forts out of beach wood, looking for agates, and watching the sunsets. Which are the ones you most enjoy?