South Beach State Park,Newport, Oregon

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Driving south on the coast from Nehalem to Newport we saw again more beautiful coast. We didn’t do a lot of stopping just because it is hard to pull over with the 5th wheel.Our next stop was South Beach State Park in Newport.Newport is a larger seaside community.When you drive into a town and the first thing you see is a Wal-Mart you know it is a larger community.Newport has two lighthouses, one when you enter the town and one when you leave the town.Yaquina Head Lighthouse sits on a cliff as you enter town.We spent an entire afternoon at this lighthouse.

After climbing 105 steps to the top of the lighthouse we went down another 70 steps to the rocky beach shore to see the tidepools.I was so excited to finally be able to see these wonders.At low tide you can see so many small sea creatures living on the rocks.Orange, yellow and brown starfish, green anemones lay open like flowers at the bottom of the pools, and if you looked hard enough you could see coral sponge and other small creatures.It was so exciting to check out the tidepools.We also had fun watching the harbor seals on the rocks and in the water.It was a great afternoon!

South Beach State Park was another of Oregon’s beautiful state parks with 227 sites. We were close to the beach and because the park was so large we used our bikes a lot.There was a nice bike path that went from the park into the bay in town.It took us past the jetty where we watched a scuba diver suit up and climb down the jetty rocks to go spear fishing.He sure had a lot of gear and every part of him was covered because the water is so cold.

 We were blessed with a beautiful 75 degree sunshiny day and of course we spent as much of it as we could on the beach with our shoes off walking in the cold water. We weren’t alone.Several families, a classroom of kids, joggers, and surfers were also enjoying the day.We were so surprised to see the number of surfers in this cold water.They looked like seals bobbing over the waves and some of them go so far out waiting for a big wave.Two days later a great white shark bit off half of a surfboard from a surfer at the South Beach State Park Beach.  It was a big thing on the news for several nights.

 We celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary by starting the day visiting the second lighthouse in Newport, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.This lighthouse was very different with the respect that it was built in a house.Also it was in service for only three years.It was built by accident on the wrong site so that was why Newport has two lighthouses.From there we went to old town Newport, a narrow street on the bay where the fisheries work 7 days a week, fish are sold directly to the public off the boats, many restaurants, and touristy shops.It was an interesting but smelly area to see and the sea lions were a blast to watch and drew quite a crowd.  From there we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a beach front restaurant.It ended another great week on the Oregon coast.

Off we go to our next stop a little farther south on the coast!