South Beach State Park is located right in the heart of Newport, Oregon. An area rich with lots of tourist attractions, restaurants, and natural settings. We were kept pretty busy during our stay.
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Our first stop was the Oregon Coast Aquarium, just a stone’s throw from the campground. They have quite a few displays both inside and out along with a children’s (and adult’s – if you want) touch and feel pool, an aviary, and the best part is the “Passages of the Deep”, an underwater walkway where you can view the sea life almost as if you were submersed into the depths of the ocean.
Yaquina Bay Bridge and Marina
The South Beach State Park campground sits just south of Yaquina Bay by the Yaquina Bay Bridge, an arch bridge which opened in 1936 and is supposedly one of the most recognizable of the 11 bridges along Hwy 101 in Oregon designed by Conde McCulloch. Just under the bridge sits the Port of Newport with its lovely Newport Belle B&B and the Port of Newport RV Park where you can park, have a great view of the marina and bridge, walk to Hatfield Marine Science Center and/or the Oregon coast Aquarium, listen to the seals, and maybe even rent a boat slip or a boat. A lovely area to peruse.
Original Mo’s Seafood Restaurant
It is difficult to go to Newport and NOT eat at Mo’s. The best clam chowder in Oregon or so they say and we agree! A fun spot to have a bite to eat and a drink (or two). Located in the historical bay front area of Newport. Check out the local fisheries, shops, and go have dinner. A fun evening.
Not a very nice name to entice you to want to visit but the Cape provides a cute little gift shop right on the edge (yikes) of the cliff. 500 ft up, along with a beautiful point for viewing the vista. Supposedly this was the first point named by Capt. James Cook along the northwest coast.
Otter Creek – Devils Punchbowl
The Devil’s Punchbowl is a natural bowl carved into the rocks along the shores of the Pacific Ocean. When the waves are rough then the water can enter the punchbowl and toss, turn, churn, and foam. It was a very calm day when we were there so no show!
Yaquina Head BLM
A nice BLM located north of Newport a few miles. The head extends almost a mile out into the Pacific Ocean and offers a few hiking trails, a nice visitor’s center, an 1870’s lighthouse, Cobble Beach, and Quarry Rock.
The Cobble Beach is a fun beach to TRY and walk on as it is full of millions of round basalt rocks which during high tide make a noise like applause and then at low tide the sand is exposed with some of the coast’s best tide pools. Nope, no pictures of me falling!
The beach also provides lots of harbor seal viewing as it is a year round refuge for them. And, of course, during the winter gray whales can be seen in the distance. We saw quite a few.
We spent practically a full day here tide pooling and seal watching. A fun place.
And not only does Cobble Beach have some great tide pools but also another area on the head called Quarry Rock. From the parking area there are great vistas down Agate Beach to Nye Beach.