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17 Top Things To Do In Newport, OR

Newport, OR is a beautiful seaside town along the central Oregon Coast. As Jake and I were making our way up the coast, we stopped here for the day to enjoy the beautiful wonders this little Coastal Town has to offer. There are many great restaurants, breweries, scenic viewpoints, and even a National Recreation Area to keep you busy. So let’s dive into the top things to do in Newport, OR. 

a view of the large boats in Newport Harbor which is on the list of top things to do in Newport, OR

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Map Of The Top Things To Do In Newport, OR

Yaquina Bay Bridge:

a moody view of the Yaquina Bay Bridge
Yaquina Bay Bridge

This is a super fast and easy task when visiting Newport, OR. You will probably be driving over it at some point, but from a photography perspective, there are a few different scenic viewpoints to visit.

Personally, our favorite place to view the Yaquina Bay Bridge is right before pulling into the parking lot of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. There are a few parking spots in the area. But if you are just snapping a pic, it will be a fast pull-off. 

You will be able to see this bridge from some of the other top things to do in Newport, OR. 

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse:

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

We stopped at the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse which also offers a stunning view of the Yaquina Bay Bridge (it’s literally a few hundred feet walk from the last viewpoint we mentioned).

This lighthouse sits upon a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River is is part of the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site. It was built in 1871 but decommissioned in 1874.

This lighthouse does offer some unique history to Oregon. It is the only wooden lighthouse still standing in Oregon and the only housing attached lighthouse in Oregon.

In 1996 the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was restored to aid in navigation. 

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area: 

A view from afar of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse which is one of the tops things to do in Newport, OR
Yaquina Head Lighthouse

After checking out the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, head over to Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Area. The lighthouse started operating on August 20, 1873, and has been active ever since. 

Cobble Beach right below the Lighthouse is a great spot for tide pooling and spotting marine life. During low tide, the tide pool ecosystem comes alive with intertidal species. And you can often spot seals and sea lions jumping up onto the rock islands.

There is usually a ranger down here to help aid in questions and safety tips at the beach.

During high tide, the tide pools become submerged and it can be dangerous to walk down on the beach because of the rounded cobblestones.

This area is also one of the West Coast’s largest nesting colonies for seabirds. So be on the lookout for birds flying over the area. You can often spot Murres, Brandt’s and Pelagic Cormorants, Peregrine Falcons, Pigeon Guillemots, Western Gulls, Black Oystercatchers and Bald Eagles.

Also, be on the lookout for gray whales as they can often be spotted off-shore, especially during December, January, March, and April. 

Visit Nye Beach or Agate Beach:

Photo by Jon Thomson on Unsplash

If you want to enjoy the coastline to the fullest, head over to Nye Beach or Agate Beach. But do note, the temperatures generally only reach 50-60’s all year round and the Pacific Ocean never really gets warm in the summer. So I wouldn’t quite put on your swimming suit to get a nice tan unless a summer heat wave rolls through. 

But the views along the coast with the waves crashing are always worth a visit. Or if you need some nice exercise, walking along as the waves crash ashore is a majestic way to view the Newport area. 

Oregon Coast Aquarium:

If you really want to experience some unique marine life up close, then you should visit The Oregon Coast Aquarium.

The aquarium showcases a wide variety of marine species native to Oregon’s Coast, plus marine life from around the world. Visitors can explore exhibits featuring sharks, sea otters, seabirds, jellyfish, and more. This is one of the best aquariums to enjoy for the whole family.

Walk Around Downtown Newport: 

Of course one of the top things to do in Newport, OR is to walk around the downtown area. It isn’t very large, but there are a few different restaurants, breweries, and shops to hop around to. 

Do be prepared for some fishy smells as a Pacific Seafood Hub is right along the coast. And because their business operates during the day, you will get some whiffs of fish and it can be pretty loud with their machines running.

But don’t let that scare you away, the downtown of Newport is charming in its own way. Plus this guaranteed you will be getting fresh seafood from nearly any restaurant in town.

Also, be sure to walk around the dock to check out the harbor. I was able to watch some harbor seals swimming around.

Stop At Mo’s For A Famous Clam Chowder Bowl in Newport, OR:

There are two locations of Mo’s Seafood & Chowder literally right across the street from each other in downtown Newport. You might notice a few other Mo’s locations as you make your way up the coast, but the Original Location sits in Newport, OR. Therefore, you have to at least stop here to get the authentic experience.

The original location is on the opposite side of the street from the harbor. It doesn’t quite have the epic views as the other location (Mo’s Annex) which sits above the water. So personally you can’t go wrong with either location, as you will either be sitting in the original Mo’s location with its rich history that started Mo’s in 1946. Or the Annex which overlooks Yaquina Bay where you can watch fishing boats stroll in.

Note that the Annex menu doesn’t have any fried food if that helps make your decision. But do be prepared for long wait times during the peak summer season for both locations. It’s one of the best seafood restaurants in town.

If you do happen to visit when there is a long waitlist, consider putting your name ahead of time and hitting a brewery in the meantime.

Rogue Ales & Spirits will be your best option as it is right across the street. Newport Brewing Company is about a ¼ mile from Mo’s, so that could work as well. Our estimated wait time was about 1 1/2 hours, so we got to kill two birds with one stone as we wanted to visit Rogue anyway. (More details on the different breweries are below). 

Anyway, when visiting Mo’s, one person in your party MUST get the famous clam chowder bowl. And better yet, get a bread bowl to really get the full experience. They also have other seafood fare on their menu, but we can’t speak from experience. 

Brewery Tour Of Newport, OR:

Rogue Ales & Spirits, Newport Brewing Company, Bier One Brewing

Newport Brewing Company which is one of the tops things to do in Newport, OR

Definitely, one of Jake’s and my favorite things to do in a new town is hit up local microbreweries. And Newport has three different breweries that are totally worth checking out if you are in town. 

Rogue Ales & Spirits: 

Jake enjoying a beer at Rogue Brewery (Bayfront Public House)

Rogue Ales & Spirits is located in downtown Newport. There are 3 different locations in town. Rogue Bayfront Public House, which was the first place Rogue was brewed in Newport. You will find 35 different beers on tap here plus a delicious food menu.

Rogue Brewer’s On The Bay offers a slightly different feel and looks out on Yaquina Bay and the marina. During non-covid times you can also tour the brewery. At this location, they have 40 different beers on tap plus also a delicious food menu.

Lastly, their other location is Rogue Spirits Sunset Bar which has a smaller selection of beers and a smaller food menu. 

Whichever location you choose, I’m sure you will find a beer that suits your fancy. When Jake and I visited we went to the Rogue Bayfront Public House which is located in downtown Newport. When we first arrived, the host brought us to our table and we were welcomed with each a taster of their Batsquatch IPA. So right from the start, we were pleased with the service!

Our Favorite Beers At Rogue Brewery

We actually really liked this beer as it was right up our alley. It was light tasting but also packed with flavor, tropical taste and aroma, and hints of blood orange.  

But since we got to try this beer, it inspired us to be a bit more adventurous, so we went with the Stwabewy Supwise Summer Ale and Combat Wombat. The Stwabewy Supwise was lighter, definitely on the sour side, and had flavors of lactose & strawberries.

Combat Wombat was a sour IPA that has flavors of grapefruit and blood orange and was honestly super unique and tasty. They have soooo many beers on tap, you are bound to find something that will satisfy your taste buds!

Newport Brewing:

The cute crab flight at Newport Brewing Company which is one of the tops things to do in Newport, OR
Newport Brewing Company

Next stop on our Newport Brewery tour we headed over to Newport Brewing Company. I really liked the vibe of this place. It was just up the hill from town and had a few tables outside, and a garage-style door opening the indoor area to the outdoor area.

We personally enjoyed their artwork inside, especially the Big Lebowski poster above the bathroom (aka: the dude). But there was also other cool coastal artwork that lined the brewery walls. 

Our Favorite Beers At Newport Brewing Company:

Newport Brewing Company offers a flight of 8 different beers, so Jake and I decided to split a flight. We decided to go with the Dungeness IPA which was a solid IPA, nothing too wild and crazy going on.

The Hazy Crazy IPA was on the stronger side which you could taste with it being a double IPA, but still had some good tropical flavors and a good haziness to it.

We also got the Yaquina Sunrise which we would suggest if you are looking for a lighter, yet good-tasting lager.

Another super delicious one that we tried was the Boober Peanut Butter Stout which was super smooth and had great notes of peanut butter.

Lastly, we tried the Captain Ouch Naughty Blonde, which was just a super smooth, easy-drinking light beer, and the Otis Strong which was piney, and had a bit stronger flavor and hops forward. 

They also have a delicious-looking food menu, but we just ate downtown, so we were too full to try the food! 

They seriously had so many delicious beers here, and even with trying 8 of the beers, there were still many more we could have tried. We liked every single beer we tried, so if you are in Newport and love beer, be sure to stop here. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in Newport, OR. 

Bier One Brewing:

Jake enjoying a beer from Bier One Brewing which is one of the tops things to do in Newport, OR
Bier One Brewing

If you are looking for a more laid-back, bar-style brewery, Bier One Brewing is your stop. They don’t really have the views of Newport Bay but do have some fun pub games such as darts, shuffleboard, foosball, etc.

There is a bit smaller of a selection of beer than the other breweries but I’m sure you can find something you like on the menu. They even make craft cocktails if you are interested. 

Local Oceans Seafood:

Local Ocean Seafood

Jake and I often don’t splurge and go out for a “fancy dinner” but Jake’s Birthday was around this time and my parents gifted him a nice dinner along the coast. So we decided to head to Local Oceans Seafood for a delicious dinner on the Oregon Coast. And boy are we glad we decided to splurge at this place. 

We were lucky and just walked in to get dinner, but you can also make a reservation online (which is suggested). This place was busy all night long, so if you want to walk in for dinner, we suggest heading there early! 

We got the Moqueca De Peixe (Brazilian Stew) which had large chunks of Rockfish, delicious scallops, Dungeness Crab, mushroom, red bell pepper, tomato, onion, coconut milk, and cilantro. Seriously, there was so much seafood in this dish it was hard to finish.

When have you ever said that about soup?

The other plate we got was the Tuna Mignon which was bacon-wrapped Albacore grilled medium-rare, frizzled onions, pan seared vegetables with a tomato saffron sauce.

Emily enjoying her Fresh seafood dinner at Local Ocean Seafood which is definitely on the list of top things to do in Newport, OR

Both were mouthwatering good!

They also had some fun cocktails to choose from. We suggest the Mom’s Little Helper which had Crater Lake Vodka, Aperol, lime juice, watermelon juice, demerara syrup, Thai chili tincture, and mint. A spicy and super tasty cocktail!

If you are looking for one of the best seafood restaurants in town, don’t hesitate to stop in at Local Ocean’s Seafood!

Go Crabbing

Public Crabbing Dock in Newport, OR
Public Crabbing Dock in Newport, OR

Newport Oregon is known as the “Dungeness Crab Capital of the World”. So, that makes Newport a great place to test out your crabbing skills.

Typically September-December are the best months to go crabbing in Newport, Oregon. But crabbing is a year-round activity in Newport. 

If you’ve never been crabbing, consider booking a tour, which will bring you out on a boat to some popular crabbing locations.

Crabbing Tour Companies in Newport, Oregon

Or you can rent some crabbing gear from a local company and try your luck on the Public Pier. You will need a license, which can be found at local bait and tackle shops, or you can purchase 1 online at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

While I’m certainly no expert in crabbing, here are a few helpful tips to improve your luck.

Crab caught off the public pier in Newport, OR
Crab caught off the public pier in Newport, OR

And apparently, 2 hours before and after both high tide and low tide tend to be a bit more fruitful. And for some reason, raw chicken seems to be a popular bait for catching crabs.

Do note, there are rules and restrictions for what you can legally keep. The minimum size a crab needs to be is 5 3/4 inches wide.  Usually, when you rent gear, they will provide a measuring tool for sizing the crabs you catch.

Hatfield Marine Science Center

For those intrigued by marine life and coastal ecosystems, the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport is an exceptional destination. This center plays a crucial role in marine research and conservation, enhancing our knowledge and preservation of coastal environments. 

Its interactive exhibits provide a fun and educational experience, enabling visitors to engage with marine life. Plus, you can get hands-on with sea stars and sea cucumbers, making it an enriching visit for all ages.

Sea Lion Docks

Sea Lion Dock Newport, OR

If you want to see sea lions up close, definitely head to the Sea Lion Docks. It’s free and just a unique experience for the whole family. But do prepare to plug your nose, as the sea lions can be quite stinky!

South Beach State Park

The park provides convenient access to a picturesque and wide sandy shoreline along the Oregon coastline.

You might also enjoy a stroll along South Jetty Trail

South Beach State Park also offers camping year-round. But be sure to plan in advance if you visit in the summer. 

Burrows House

The Burrows House is a beautifully preserved historic building that dates back to 1895. Its architectural charm and historical significance make it a notable landmark in Newport. 

The museum is dedicated to showcasing the rich history and heritage of Newport and the surrounding area. It offers visitors a glimpse into the past through its exhibits and displays.

The staff on duty are very knowledgeable and are happy to share more information if you are interested. 

Camping & Accommodation Near Newport, OR:

Embarcadero Resort views from the patio in Newport, OR
Embarcadero Resort

There aren’t a ton of free camping options near Newport, OR. If you are planning in advance you could make a reservation at South Beach State Park which is nearby.

Or use the app iOverlander or Sekr to find peer-reviewed, free campsites nearby. Check out our post: 3 Great Websites For Finding Free Camping

Hotels & Accommodation Near Newport, OR:

There are a few different cute hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts in the area. Here are a few hotel recommendations in Newport:

Use to find a great deal on hotels near Newport, Oregon. Or look for a vacation rental with VRBO for a perfect coastal experience. 

Or consider renting an RV or camper van from Outdoorsy or RVezy and drive up the coast to other beautiful ocean towns along the Oregon Coast. We loved traveling up the coast in our campervan!

For more information about Outdoorsy & RVezy, check out our post: Outdoorsy Vs. RVezy Review | Which Rental Service Is Better

Why Is Newport Oregon Worth Visiting?

Newport was one of my favorite coastal towns in the whole state of Oregon. There is a rich history that is fascinating to learn about. Plus due to its location, there is a plethora of fresh seafood to indulge in. 

From walking the beautiful downtown area, photographing the many historic sights, amazing tide pools, and munching on fresh seafood, Newport is the perfect place to stop on an Oregon Coast Road Trip. 

Why Is Newport Oregon Famous?

Newport Oregon is known as the Dungeness Crab Capital of The World. But it is easily also famous for its delectable seafood cuisine, rich marine life, thriving fisheries, and its coastal charm. 

What To Do In Newport Oregon When It’s Raining?

The weather does not have to “rain on your parade” when visiting Newport, OR. My best suggestion is to put on a rain jacket or poncho and grab an umbrella. As you probably already knew before embarking on an adventure in the Pacific Northwest is that it’s not known for sunshine, but rather it’s rain and fog. Therefore, it’s likely you can expect some rain on your trip. 

But if you are looking exclusively for some fun activities to do indoors, then head to the Oregon Coast Aquarium or the Hatfield Marine Science Center to check out the epic marine life. Of course, you can also fill your belly with fresh seafood or check out the local craft beer scene. 

Takeaway | Top Things To Do In Newport, OR:

One of the many viewpoints of Yaquina Bay Bridge which is a which is one of the tops things to do in Newport, OR
Yaquina Bay Bridge

Newport, Oregon was definitely my favorite coastal town along the coast. The fishing culture and salty air really give you a great Oregon Coast experience. But I will say we stopped to enjoy this area a little more than some of the other coastal towns we visited.

We got to stop and enjoy the views, a couple of different restaurants, breweries, and more, so we felt like we got the full experience. If you are traveling up the coast, or planning a stop in Newport, definitely consider adding these top things to do in Newport, OR to your list.

If you are heading South, be sure to stop at Yachats, OR. Here is our guide to the best things to do in Yachats, Oregon!

Related Posts:

If you’re looking for more epic things to do in Oregon, be sure to check out our 10-day Oregon Road Trip

Or if you are specifically looking for more coastal activities, check out our best stops along an Oregon Coast Road Trip. And no Oregon Coast trip is complete without a famous stop along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

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