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Newport, Ore.: Seaside Weekender

With a bustling port, miles of beaches, and maritime flavor, this coastal town remains a favorite getaway.

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  • Fishmonger Amber Morris and a fresh Dungeness crab, image
    Photo caption
    Fishmonger Amber Morris holds a fresh Dungeness crab.
  • man and girl at tide pool in Newport Oregon, image
    Photo caption
    The Yaquina Head tide pools are
    located near Oregon's tallest lighthouse.
  • Halibut with edamame and udon at Local Ocean, image
    Photo caption
    Halibut with edamame and udon at Local Ocean tastes as good as it looks.
  • colorful glass sculpture on display at For ArtSake Gallery, image
    Photo caption
    Katy LaReau’s colorful glass sculpture on display at For ArtSake Gallery.
  • a sea otter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, image
    Photo caption
    Get up close with sea otters at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
  • a colorful sky at Agate Beach in Newport Oregon, image
    Photo caption
    Agate Beach is a prime spot for kite landboarding and other seaside fun.

Area code is 541 except as noted.

To Do and See
Brewer’s Memorial Ale Festival May 15–16. This annual fest features more than 30 craft beers plus canine-centric activities such as a dog wash and dog dancing. Brewer’s on the Bay, 2320 SE Marine Science Dr., (503) 241-3800. Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games June 12–14. See kilts on parade, witness a haggis-eating contest, and cheer traditional feats of strength. Lincoln County Fairgrounds, 961-7696. Oregon Coast Aquarium Visit a giant octopus, sea lions, and sharks. A biennial exhibit, Secrets of Shipwrecks, will premiere in time for Memorial Day weekend. 2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd., 867-3474, aquarium.org. Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center An exhibit on the art of gyotaku (traditional Japanese fish printing) and a collection of cool maps showcase the new galleries, open after the painstaking remodel of a historic building. At hands-on stations, kids can “play history” with vintage work clothes and other costumes. 333 SE Bay Blvd., 265-7509, oregoncoasthistory.org/maritime.

Shopping
Aquarium Village Tiny shops in fanciful row houses proffer crafts and Oregon-themed gifts to aquarium-bound visitors. 3101 SE Ferry Slip Rd., 867-6531, aquariumvillage.org. Canyon Way Bookstore Celebrating 40-plus years in business, this sprawling shop also houses a restaurant that serves excellent chowder. 1216 SW Canyon Way, 265-8319, canyonway.com. For ArtSake Gallery The enameled jewelry, mixed-media art, and watercolors created on-site go well beyond the usual beachy kitsch. The cooperative gallery is owned and managed by local artists, many of whom also exhibit at the Newport Visual Arts Center down the street. 258 NW Coast St., 574-9070, forartsakegallery.com. Toujours Boutique Shop for flowing garments in natural fibers at this upscale store. 704 NW Beach Dr., 574-6404.

Eats
April’s at Nye Beach Enjoy the warm ambience and a menu featuring produce selected from the owners’ farm, seafood brought in daily by the Newport fleet, and an extensive list of wines. 749 NW Third St., 265-6855. Georgie’s Beachside Grill Locals voted it a top romantic dinner spot, but you’ll also find breakfast specialties such as Hangtown fry or eggs with panfried razor clams in this family restaurant with an unbeatable ocean view. 744 SW Elizabeth St., 265-9800, georgiesbeachsidegrill.com. Local Ocean This popular eatery plus fish market boasts a bright open kitchen offering Yaquina oysters, Brazilian seafood stew, and rock cod tacos with fennel slaw accompanied by a local microbrew. 213 SE Bay Blvd., 574-7959, localocean.net. Zach’s Bistro An ambitious young chef serves exotic meats, smoked fish, and artisanal cocktails in a building that was once a private home. Thursdays feature international specials—French in May and Italian in June—followed by Fish Fry Fridays. 614 W. Olive St., 265-2929, oregonbistro.com.

Outdoors
Agate Beach State Recreation Site This shore boasts rolling dunes, surfers riding the waves, and agates unearthed by the tide from time to time. NW Oceanview Drive, 265-4560, oregonstateparks.org. Fishing charters Head into Yaquina Bay or out to the open sea to hunt for salmon, lingcod, and crab. Landlubbers can buy the boats’ catch right off the piers. For options, visit discovernewport.com and click “Fishing & Crabbing.” Newport Bayfront Children and adults alike will enjoy watching fishing boats come into the bustling working port, the crews who process the catch, and the seals and sea lions that wait for scraps by the docks. SE Bay Boulevard, newportchamber.org/history.htm. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area Tour Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, open again after this winter’s renovation. Nature strolls on groomed trails—including a wheelchair-accessible path—allow for sweeping views as well as whale and seal sightings. 750 NW Lighthouse Dr., 574-3100.

Photography by Andréa Johnson (5); courtesy of Oregon Coast Aquarium (otter)

This article was first published in May 2015. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.