|Newport Bay Bridge and Marina at sunset.|
I've been visiting Newport for as long as I can remember. There really isn't a time that I can recall not going to Newport. The nice thing about this absolutely fantastic coastal town is that it's only a mere 40 minute drive from my house; perfect for a day trip! Honestly, there isn't much to recommend the town (locals want to get out, outsiders want to get in), but there is such charm in certain areas that it makes me love it even more. Some of my favorites about Newport:
Favorite Coffee Shop and Bakery: Panini Bakery
Located on NE Coast in the historic Nye Beach area of Newport, Panini Bakery is pure heaven. Not only do they serve the best coffee and tea in town, they make everything fresh and in house every morning: caramel sauce, lemonade, granola, bread, muffins, cakes, pastries, soups, and their famous pizza. The atmosphere in this place is something else. Pulsing with loud music of every variety (reggae and folk are particular favorites), you can stand back and watch them throw the dough and build delicious pizzas all day. If you ever make it to Newport, Panini is a must visit. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Favorite Rummage Store: Pirate's Plunder
Filled with anything and everything you could imagine, Pirate's Plunder is a shopping must. Whether you enjoy unique finds or you just want to goggle at the pirate decor, this 8,000+ square foot building is full of treasures just waiting to be discovered. Located on Ferry Slip Rd in the Aquarium Village area near the Oregon Coast Aquarium (where Keiko the famous killer whale lived), it's an adventure every single time. When you walk into this place, you are greeted by the two friendly women who run it, as well as a multitude of plaster (or something similar) life-sized pirates hanging from rafters, ropes, and cannons or placed strategically around the building. Definitely look up toward the ceiling if you ever visit!
Favorite Beach: South Beach
Though probably not everyone's favorite of the many public beaches located in and around Newport, South Beach off of HWY 101 two miles south of town is my definite favorite. It's never as busy as Nye Beach or Beverly Beach and it has a nice stretch of open sand with beautiful views all the way to the, supposedly haunted, Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This is the beach that we always went to growing up. We'd stay at South Beach Campground next to the beach and hike the 1/2 mile trail through the woods and over the dunes to get to that lovely, fine, soft sand and to wade in the, often freezing cold, waters of the glorious Pacific.
Favorite Restaurant: Nana's Irish Pub
Nana's Irish Pub makes the best pot pies outside of Ireland (at least as far as I'm concerned). In fact, I've never had a bad meal at Nana's. Personally, I would recommend the Reuben or the Corned Beef and Cabbage (only available after 4:30). In addition to above-par food, this place has character galore. Often showcasing live music, Nana's is generally a pretty packed place. On nice days, which can be very unpredictable in Oregon, you'll find that there is absolutely no seating available outside on the patio and that seating inside is severely limited. Even on days when the weather isn't so nice, you'll find hardcore locals occupying those metal tables with a pint in their hands. Yum. Conveniently, Nana's is located just a few storefronts down from Panini on NW Coast.
Favorite Beer: Rogue Nation Brewery
The Rogue Brewery is, hands down, one of the best in Oregon (more to come for letter O) with an incredibly wide variety of beers to choose from. Located down on the marina, Rogue's warehouse and restaurant are a very busy attraction in Newport. The food is typical bar food (burgers and whatnot), but it's the beer and spirits you go for! With 30+ beers to choose from and a wide range of artisan rums, whiskeys, and gins, you can't go wrong. Even better, twice a year the warehouse holds a garage sale where you can get cases of 22 oz beers, which you can mix and match, for a mere 25 bucks. I'd personally recommend mixing the Chocolate Stout with the Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Pure liquid ambrosia!
Favorite Inn: Sylvia Beach Hotel
This is, by far, one of the most awesome hotels around. If you like to read or are into literature at all, the Sylvia Beach Hotel is a place you have to visit. Housed in an old warehouse, the hotel is placed on a 45 foot bluff right above the beach. Within the hotel, there are no tvs, radios, telephones, or wi-fi, but there are books! Every room is dedicated to one specific author, decorated accordingly, and contains every book written by them. They range from William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Herman Melville, Dr. Seuss, JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, and more. There used to be an Edgar Allan Poe room, but guests were terrified of the raven in the corner and the scythe over the bed. In addition, breakfast is included in your room rates and is served family style in the dining room (the Tables of Content). There is also an additional game room/library located up on the top floor of the building. You don't have to be a guest to check out the hotel. Unoccupied rooms are left open for the public to peruse and there are multiple scrapbooks in the lobby that showcase the buildings history. I am seriously advocating for everyone to check this place out. You won't be disappointed!
I guess Newport has quite a bit going for it! With the addition of NOAA's fleet headquarters this year, there has been an influx of foot traffic and visitors to the town. This is great for the local economy, but terrible for lifelong visitors like myself who want to partake in the quiet little town without the crowds to slow us down. Regardless, I will never lose my love for Newport and will continue to peruse its streets despite the crowds.
Sorry this post was so long...Happy Monday Everyone!!