Newport, Oregon, is proud to be the Crab Capital of the world, but it offers much more. Outdoor lovers enjoy surfing, bicycling, hiking, and nature. The Port of Newport is home to the Agate Beach with the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Nye Beach with its shops, restaurants, and lodgings. The Port of Newport's downtown, called the Deco District, contains many art deco style buildings. Historic Bayfront is the working fishing port, and it also has many shops, restaurants, and accommodations. At South Beach, visitors enjoy the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium as well as a boat launch and fishing areas.
The Port of Newport has a mild wet weather climate throughout the year with most of the precipitation coming in the winter. Temperatures range from an average high of 20°C (68°F) in August and September to an average low of 7°C (45°F) in December and January. Rainfall peaks from November through January at around 28 centimeters (11 inches). Humidity levels are fairly constant in the Port of Newport at around 90% throughout the year. Snow comes to the Port of Newport from November through March, peaking in January at just over seven centimeters (three inches).
One of the most popular attractions in the Port of Newport is the Oregon Coast Aquarium, one of the jewels of the Oregon Coast. The Aquarium is an almost two-hectare complex featuring near-shore and offshore creatures common to Pacific marine habitats like sharks, sea otters, jellyfish, puffins, and a 27-kilogram (60-pound) octopus. This Port of Newport Aquarium has a hand-on interactive area for children with tide pools. It also boasts one of the largest seabird aviaries in North America. The Passages of the Deep exhibit is a 61-meter (200-foot) underwater tunnel where visitors get 360-degree views of an array of sea life that includes wolf eels, sharks, and halibut. The Port of Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium is open daily in the summer from 9am to 6pm daily and during the winter (early September to late May) from 10am until 5pm, closing only on Christmas Day. General admissions are $18.95 for adults from 18 to 64, $16.95 for seniors, $16.95 for young adults from 13 to 17, and $11.95 for Children to age 12. Infants and toddlers are admitted free of charge.
The Port of Newport is the proud home of Marine Discovery Tours which operates from 9am to 5pm most of the year and during the summer from 9am until 9pm. Official cruise of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Port of Newport's Marine Discovery Tours offers two-hour narrated tours of the bay and the ocean from the Historic Bayfront District. Naturalist guides accompany passengers telling stories of the sea and explaining the sea life encountered (including whales, sea lions, porpoise, harbor seals, and sea birds). Cruise routes vary depending on ocean conditions: when the seas are rough, tours ply the bay and rivers. Tickets for these fascinating tours are $36 for adults, $34 for seniors (65 and over), and $18 for children from 4 to 12 (toddlers and infants are free).
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Outstanding Natural Area offers breathtaking 360-degree views of both sea and land from inside the lighthouse and along the trail to the top of Salal Hill. More than 400 thousand people visit the lighthouse each year, making it one of the most popular lighthouses on the West Coast. Built in 1873, the Port of Newport's Yaquina Bay Lighthouse tower is one of Oregon's tallest at 28.3 meters (93 feet). It is a 2004 Rand McNally "Best of the Road" destination.
Staff from the Bureau of Land Management, which keeps the tower, share stories of the past as they guide visitors through the lighthouse. The gate to the Yaquina Head Outstanding area is open from sunrise to sunset every day. The Interpretive Center is open from Memorial Day weekend until the fall from 9am until 5pm. It opens at 10am beginning in the fall and closes at 4pm from November 1st until Memorial Day weekend. Entrance fees to the natural area are $7 per car for a three-day pass or $15 for an annual pass. Members of Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses enter free of charge. Visitors to this popular Port of Newport attraction should bring a jacket.