Newport’s Nye Beach: A Cultural Hub on Oregon’s Coast

Panini Bakery

 

OK, all you Oregon Coast fans: I promised I would follow up my August 9th post, Newport Harbor: Whales, Crabs and Good Seafood with a post about the Newport’s Nye Beach district.

A trendy and culture-forward enclave on the Oregon Coast, Nye Beach retains a human scale while offering the best in food, art, music, and nature. I’ve just published a post about it on HubPages. Please click on this link to read Nye Beach, Oregon: Newport’s Culture Coast. I look forward to hearing your responses on HubPages as well as here on this post.

You can also read my travel post on Oregon’s Coos Bay on HubPages.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving up on WordPress. I love it here and will continue to blog on WriteWireless. You can now also follow me on http://annecreed.hubpages.com

Enjoy, and thanks for your loyal readership and support!

Newport Harbor: Whales, Crabs, and Good Seafood

Close up Crab
I took a spontaneous solo trip up the California & Oregon coasts, all the way to the Olympic National Forest in Washington state, making inland ventures to visit friends, family, and natural phenomena. But that was more than 20 years ago. My recollections of Newport were hazy at best. They didn’t include the Oregon Coast Aquarium (which opened one year later), nor the touristy fisherman’s wharf area. I remember natural seascapes with real working towns and real fishermen in little buildings behind mounds of oyster shells. Things have obviously grown up a bit since then. For all of its 10,000 inhabitants, this seaside community really holds its own, maintaining charm, natural beauty, and culture. There is something for everyone here, from family style tourist to hard-core naturalist to artsy bohemian to yuppie culture vulture.

While I used to grab a pair of shoes and a backpack and just go when I wanted to travel, I now have a family where things must be planned in advance. So for this trip to the Oregon coast, we checked the tour books, researched the websites, and booked our hotels and activities. One thing I was glad to have reserved was seats on the Marine Discovery Tours boat in Newport. It’s an educational vessel that goes on tours to see marine life: specifically, hopefully, whales.

A slight nip in the 9 a.m. air sent us off under a gray sky. Our seasoned captain gave facts about the history the Yaquina River and Harbor, as well as the impressive Yaquina Bridge and Bay. Our young naturalist guide (a University of Oregon student) pointed out the NOAA research facility and ships, as well as the Hatfield Marine Science Center, operated by the University of Oregon. We went “over the bar” into the ocean, where the dip and roll of the waves necessitated rail-grasping for those brave enough to ride the bow. The sky was overcast, but the slight chill would soften to a muggy warmth within an hour. Our captain, a retired seafaring policeman named Bob, was kind, about 5 feet tall, with an easy smile and an outgoing manner. He invited all the children on deck to take turns “driving the boat.”  Our naturalist student showed the young people how to bait and set out crab pots off the stern of the boat.


Continue reading “Newport Harbor: Whales, Crabs, and Good Seafood”

Huffin’ and Puffin (8 Things You Should Know About Auks)

I’ve been doing some important research this past week. Here are some things that everyone should know about puffins:

1. There are two types that live in the North Pacific Ocean: horned puffins and tufted puffins.
2. Puffins are auks. They are not penguins. Auks live north of the equator, and penguins live south of the equator. They are not related.
3. Puffins, like all auks, can both fly in the air and swim underwater (cool!)
4. Puffins are damned cute.
5. The ones at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon like to splash-land, showering the spectators in the aviary. They think it is great fun. They are right.
6. The puffins mentioned in #5 also enjoy swimming very close to people and doing crazy, frenetic dances in the water.
7. They like to be watched and photographed.
8. They love life.

9. (Bonus fact) I think I’d like to come back as an auk in my next life.