Exploring The Oregon Coast: Part 1

Newport & Coos Bay, OR

September 10th, 2018

The Pacific Coast was a bucket list item for us on this trip. Being from the Atlantic Ocean side of the country, we were super excited to see the striking cliffs and large beaches that sounded so different from what we were used to. We actually made it out to the Oregon coast much quicker than expected due to some less than ideal circumstances. It was late August, and we were parked in Redmond, Oregon planning to head north to Washington to visit friends. But about this time there were numerous wildfires being battled in British Columbia (which were blowing smoke into Washington state), California, and Oregon. We thought we were fairly distant from the fires, but for a couple days the wind brought full-on smoke from a fire in Medford, Oregon our way. As the air quality continued to decline, our coughing, sneezing, and red eyes got worse!

Halfway through our second day of this, we decided our best bet was to cancel our route up to Washington and head directly to the coastline where the winds coming off the ocean would keep the smoke at bay. That day, we packed up and headed directly west to the coastal city of Newport.

Newport, Oregon

Before we knew it, we saw clear skies and that beautiful Oregon coastline we had heard so much about! Our lungs and eyes were certainly thanking us too! The first couple of days we spent working from the Airstream and walking along the beautiful beaches and sidewalks near the marina. Apparently the thing to do here is ride horses on the beach, because we saw a lot of that which was really cool! Some horses galloped through the waves like it was nothing while others looked at the crashing water like it was a monster. I loved seeing dogs running free and horses running on the beach - it’s a rare sight!

Caitlyn with the dogs walking through the dunes to a beach in Newport, OR.

We stayed at a dry camping spot near the marina that may have seemed less than ideal to some, but we actually really liked. It was close to everything and you could hear the sounds of the marina which we enjoyed.

Our campsite at Newport Bay Marina.

We still try to maintain date nights while we’re on the road, so we went to Local Ocean Seafoods one night. We do phone-free date nights, so there’s no pictures but it was really good, creative seafood! We love seafood so much we almost prefer simpler prepared where you can taste the fresh fish and shellfish you’re eating, but the flavors here were still really impressive. And they had a creative drink menu too with a late happy hour!

We also tried out a local breakfast spot called The Coffee House. It was packed and had quite a wait, but it was worth it! We especially loved that it overlooked the water where you could watch fishing boats come in and unload at the seafood company across the street.

What may have topped all of our experiences here in Newport was when we saw a fishing boat selling tuna for super cheap. They would filet the tuna for you right on the boat and send you home with a bag full of the delicious meat! Tuna is one of my favorite foods, so I was the happiest camper ever walking back to the Airstream with my bag full of freshly caught and filleted fish. We made seared tuna steaks, ceviche, and more seared tuna for dayyyyys.

The fisherman we bought fresh caught ahi tuna from. The White Swan was the boat that went out and caught this tuna! They said they had a great catch this time, bringing in over 80 fish. Our first seared tuna meal made with our Newport fish.

Actually, I can’t decide whether the tuna was my top experience here or the tidal pools. We thought we were going to see a really cool lighthouse and whale watch, but no one told us we would have our first experience with tidal pools! These are not a thing on the southeast coast as far as I know, and they may not be as big of a deal to those that know about them, but I was enthralled!! There were so many cool animals in these pools just chilling there for us to see. It was like looking in an aquarium but it was real life. Mind. Blown.

I was in awe of these cool tidal pools! This starfish was huge!! I probably should have resisted picking it up in retrospect...

Coos Bay, Oregon

At first, we thought our little campground at Sunset Bay Park in Coos Bay was a bit of a bust. It had poor cell reception, awkward spots to get into, and a small, cramped beach nearby. That was, until we took a little hike within the park and stumbled upon some secluded and gorgeous cliffs overlooking the ocean. This is easily one of my favorite parts of our trip, because what we thought would be a short walk before dinner turned into us exploring some really cool spots!

Imagine our surprise when an unassuming little trail led us here!! One morning Nick hiked up to this bench to work in order to get cell reception. Great views, but chilly wind! This was before we knew the pretty views that awaited... casually hiking before dinner.

Because our campground had no cell service, we did get to explore the city of Coos Bay more than we normally would! We worked from an awesome coffee shop called Kaffe 101 and took work breaks by walking around the cute town and going to the Visitor’s Center which was one of the most helpful we’ve ever been to!

You never know what you'll find when you explore a little town on foot! One of our favorite coffee shops to date.

We also found a great beach that was less than a 10 minute drive from our campground that had cell service, so we would go work here and let the dogs explore. Baiden drew a lot of attention when he "adopted" a large hole some kids had dug and continued to dig himself a little cave haha.

Baiden digging his cave lol We sought out cell signal at this beach - not a bad office for a bit!

This post started getting long, so I broke it up into two parts. You can see the other two coastal towns we explored (Bandon and Port Orford) in the second part. Thanks for reading!