Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wild Coastal Charm: Visiting Newport, Oregon

Every year, Dan and I try to take a week-long vacation as a couple.  For our 2017 trip, we decided to take a road trip through parts of Oregon and Washington!

During our trip to the Pacific Northwest, we spent two nights in Newport, Oregon.  It was late May, so the weather wasn't your stereotypical summer beach temperature, but it didn't detract at all from the wild, natural beauty of the shore!

We stayed at the Hallmark Resort, where every room as a true ocean view.  It also has an adjoining restaurant, Georgie’s Beachside Grill, which even offers room service!  We dined in the restaurant for dinner, and it was absolutely packed with people.  Luckily, we were able to call ahead from our room.  For dinner, we had the "diablo" tenderloin bites to start, and I had a gorgeous and delicious blackberry barbeque salmon salad.  We loved the food at Georgie's so much, we ordered their breakfast for room service the next day.  I ate it so wholeheartedly, I didn't even snap a photo!

Georgie's wasn't the only tasty spot in town.  We had amazing blueberry pancakes, literally bigger than your face, at The Coffee House.  Just a little spot along the water, it was absolutely packed for breakfast.  It's always a good sign when you pick the restaurant that's full of people, right?  I had to snag a table while Dan placed our order.  We could have shared a single pancake between us!

Dan loves aquariums, and I've grown fond of them as well.  The Oregon Coast Aquarium was definitely on our list, as we like to make sure to visit AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums.  This one was definitely a good one to visit if you're in the area.  It's hard to visit smaller aquariums after visiting some like Georgia Aquarium or Aquarium of the Smokies, but I loved the indoor and outdoor components of this one!  Those seals and otters were fun to see, and we loved the tunnel where we could see a bunch of sharks and fish.  I recommend buying your ticket in advance to save time in line.

We also walked along the bay front near Rogue Ales and the aquarium, which was absolutely beautiful once the sun peeked out from behind the clouds!

The natural beauty of the area just can't be ignored!  We drove up to the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, parking near their lighthouse to see the view and tidepools.  You do have to pay admission, but I think it's well worth it to help maintain such a pretty spot.

It was so lush and green, I felt like I was in another country, maybe Ireland?  We could see birds and seals in the distance.  There were a lot of people about, but it didn't take away from the experience as we explored.  It would be great for families who have curious older kids interested in kelp, sea anemones, tides, etc.

I loved the sound on the rocks as we walked to the tide pools.  Dan was like a kid, looking for sea anemones and pointing out mussels and fish to me.  Nerd marriages are the best!

We also drove down to another cove in the park, which had lovely views too!  We could see more seals or sea lions (hard to tell, bring binoculars!) chilling out.  We could see surfers from our vantage point too.

Our last stop was a sort of natural wonder, Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area.  This one was a little pit stop, and free too.  One theory is that the hollowed rock formation was caused by a cave ceiling collapse.  People hiked down into the bowl, and you hear some fantastic water echoes!  There's a picnic area nearby too.

Newport was full of natural beauty and things to see!  I think you can experience pretty much everything you'd like in a weekend, and add things like whale watching or sailboats and surfing.  It was nice to hear the ocean roar.  I miss the view of the sea from our balcony!

Have you added Newport to your travel wishlist yet?
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