More Lighthouses & Thanks For All The Fish – Newport, OR
By our normal standards we are “speeding” through the central coast spending a mere 5 days in each spot before we land at our jobs in Bandon on July 1st. It’s all part of our “stop and smell the beach” strategy which is a an integral part of the way we’ve travelled for the past 2 years. We like to sloooow down, truly enjoy a spot and drive no more than 50-150 miles to the next one. As long as you pick the right weather/season to do it in, why not?
All that to say that 5 days is really not enough to see a place. We first came to Newport two years ago and stayed north of town at Beverly Beach State Park, which is a decent spot but IMHO not nearly as nice as South Beach State Park where we’re staying now. During that last visit we managed to knock off the tallest of Oregon’s lighthouses at Yaquina Head and delve into old-town. All very enjoyable. This time around we focused on the other venerable lighthouse in the area, Yaquina Bay (yes, the names are close enough to thoroughly confuse you)….and fish…lots and lots of fish. And we were honored by simply stunning weather our first few days here to accompany that purpose. Not bad, eh?
The Shortest-Lived Lighthouse Of Them All
The shortest-lived lighthouse on the coast
Yaquina Bay is unlike any other lighthouse you’ll ever see. Built ontop of a bluff overlooking the bay, it resembles a vintage house more than anything else, with only a stout little lighthouse structure on the roof to top it off. And, by lighthouse standards, it was a total flop. Lit in 1871, it was shut down a mere 3 years later and replaced by the much better-located Yaquina Head 3 miles further north. A case of rather poor placement…duh! The house was repurposed a few times, languished for years and was almost razed, but was ultimately saved by the Lincoln County Historical Society and fully restored in 1974. These days it stands as the oldest structure in Newport and is a wonderful spot to visit and explore some history. Rooms are lovingly re-done in period furnishings and the location is rather pretty, looking over the beach, bay and towards the jetty’s. And like all old houses, it has its very own ghost…..oooooo. Plus (bonus) it’s FREE to visit. It may not have lasted long, but it’s endured to tell its story.
Fish, Fish…And More Fish Thank You
Nestled right next to the port of Newport lies a rather neat undersea adventure. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is the largest on the coast and ranked one of the top 10 aquariums in the US. It sits on 23 acres of well-groomed land and features a selection of low-tide, sea and deep-sea wonders including two long “walk-through” tanks which have you completely surrounded by fish. I’ve been utterly spoiled by aquariums from my years of living next to Monterey Bay, CA (without a doubt one of the most amazing aquariums in the world), but I was still able to be impressed by Newport’s smaller, yet still very diverse version. It costs a bit to get in ($18.95/person), but it’s a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. A thoroughly enjoyable outing!
Other than these few trips we really haven’t managed much except for walking, biking & lounging at our beach site. And when I said the weather has been good I wasn’t kidding. It got so warm and lovely a few days back that hubby threw off the shirt and went swimming with pooch in the ocean, his very first “full on” dip on the OR coast. Sadly the clouds & rain dropped in 2 nights ago, obscuring the “super moon” (which I would very much have liked to see) and giving us a standard interlude of Oregon moisture, as I like to call it. The downpour also managed to expose a small leak in our RV, this time in our front window seal (why bother with leak pressure-testing, when all you have to do is take your RV to Oregon?). We expertly debugged and temporarily plugged the hole (thanks to the technological brilliance of duct-tape) until we buy the right “stuff” to permanently seal it…and given the 2nd steady downpour we got last night I can confirm the kludge worked. A true “mobile RV Repair” success!
We’ll be back to sunshine again soon, but by then we’ll be another 40 miles down the coast in Florence. See you there!