Welcome back to part two of my Oregon Coast trip!
Day two was far more exciting than day one and let me tell you, we did A LOT!
Let’s jump right into it because it was a long day.
In case you missed it, read part 1 (day one) of our trip:
We started our day around 10am and headed south to Newport. We wanted to go to the aquarium first thing but there was a power outage and wasn’t expected to open until noon so we made our way back the Newport Pier.
Newport Municipal Crabbing Pier
I love bridge structures so getting a closer look at the Yaquina Bay Bridge was a must.
And walking down this pier gave us the perfect opportunity to take pictures too.
This pier was right next to some brewing factory? I honestly didn’t pay much attention. Even though it smelled a bit horrible near there, we still had tons of fun walking down the pier.
We saw a lot people carrying buckets and nets heading below the pier to catch crabs. There actually wasn’t as much water near the parking lot so people went pretty far in. Some people chose to cast their nets from the top of the pier, which was cool to see.
Ciel, Tsuki and I had fun running down the pier chasing each other back and forth. Nothing like running to get them tired! 😀
We also headed to the other side of this area where there was a trail. We stepped down into the “beach” they had there too and explored some more before heading back to the aquarium to see if it was already open.
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Lucky for us, the aquarium had been re-opened when we drove back towards it. We waited in line to get tickets and headed in. I was so excited to see all the animals and took more videos than phots but we did stop at one of the tunnels to take some photos.
Overall, I’d say the actual aquarium is much smaller than I expected; smaller than the Seattle aquarium. I expected it to be more than it was I guess, but the tunnels were pretty cool. Something I’d seen in Las Vegas at the Shark Reef Aquarium. We kind of got through it fairly quick so I was disappointed to say the least. I was happy I got to see the jellyfish and otters, my fave!
Sea Lion Docks
After the aquarium, we crossed Yaquina Bay Bridge to go to the sea lion docks, I’ve always wanted to see them! It was a bit hard to find parking because it was crowded. There are so many restaurants and tourist attractions there, it’s almost overwhelming. Since we only found a 20 min parking spot, we decided to make it quick.
At first nothing was happening and then CL made noises and the sea lions followed. It was really funny seeing them trying to find a spot on the platforms and the other sea lions making them get off. At one point we almost witnessed a fight. They looked so cute just sun-bathing there but they look vicious too.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse & Yaquina Beach
After a quick lunch, we went to see the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse but there were lots of trees it was really hard to see the actual lighthouse, and for some reason, access to it was closed off.
Alex found a little trail to head down to the beach so we decided to take a walk to kill some time. Since the tide was low, we had a huge area to run around so of course, I took off running and CL and Tsuki followed. She’s so fast! She wasn’t a big fan of the wind and sand, but she had lots of fun. I highly recommend stopping here, it’s a beautiful recreational area.
LOL at Tsuki’s ears on the left photo. It was super windy and the sand actually kind of hurt, lol. We went all the way to water to try and get Tsuki to go into the water but she really does not like getting wet! Of course we didn’t have any swim wear or extra shoes so we decided not to even attempt to get wet because the water was also freezing!
I took pictures on the way back into the trail because it looks so beautiful! The shrubbery and trees surrounding the trail made it look like a tunnel and so magical going from a the beach, back to a “forested” area. The stairs were also beautiful. I wanted a picture here but Alex, CL and Tsuki took off so fast in front of me while I stayed behind to take pictures.
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
We made our way north to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area which has lots of things to see so I will show you a bit of what this area has to offer. You do have to pay an entry-fee but it is so worth it!
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
This lighthouse is a bit further up north of Newport and Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, but worth seeing. Probably my favorite lighthouse in this entire trip. This lighthouse is more accessible than the other and the viewpoint is amazing. I loved getting up close to it, it’s massive!
I wanted to include this photo here because I love taking photos with CL (even though he really didn’t want to that day) but you seriously cannot beat this view!!
Down below is Cobble Beach. You have to walk down a few sets of stairs and it’s nice that they have information for you to read on your way down. On the other side of the shore were several sea lion mommas with their babies so that area was closed off to the public. We got to see the tide pool and a few sea lions swimming close by. This was such a beautiful area I wish we could have stayed longer. The lighthouse is also visible and makes a great backdrop for photos!
On our way out to the main highway, we saw another road that heads down to the quarry. This spot is actually near the entrance of the area, and even though you won’t see many marine animals from this side, you still get a pretty sweet view and one of my favorite spots for photos:
I feel bad that I had so much in our itinerary for this day because I feel as though we didn’t get to explore thoroughly or take in the scenery as much as I would have liked to. Of course that is my fault, I’m the one who planned it all, but at the same time, I wanted to see so much of it!
I’m kind of glad things turned out the way they did, there was no way I would have been able to see this much if I took my time in every single place. I can always go back and explore my favorite areas in the future.
I still enjoyed all the sights though. I took more videos than photos so I’m having to pull a screenshot from a video of the quarry. We didn’t walk all the way down, maybe another time.
After we took a look around at this area, we started heading south again to Yachats for a few more viewpoints and tourist attractions. It was a bit of a drive all the way to Yachats so we didn’t make any other pit stops until we got to our first destination.
Nearly an hour later, we finally made it to Yachats and our first stop was….
Devil’s Churn Viewpoint
Since it wasn’t high-tide quite yet as we got there, the water wasn’t “churning” as much as it usually is for this spot. Still, you get a nice view of the area and where the water churns. It’s just a long stretch of water heading inland.
This area was my favorite to visit, hands down. There are two attractions here but we only got to see one in action. These attractions aren’t too far south from Devil’s Churn, either so it was nice. It’s crazy how many viewpoints and tourist attractions are close to one another here at the coast, which makes every inch of the coast worth exploring.
In this area, there are walls on both sides of the bridge which serve as viewpoints/lookout spots. We walked to the other side of the bridge to get a better view of the area, and I’m sure it would have looked amazing to see Spouting Horn in action from up top. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo from the top, I was too eager to head down and see the action. What’s nice is that there are lots of paved paths which are wheel accessible so anyone can enjoy these attractions.
Spouting Horn is essentially an ocean geyser. The incoming waves run through a deep hole in the rocks where pressure builds until it explodes like a fountain, and it makes a hissing sound. It’s very cool! If conditions are right, this is the first attraction you’ll get to see.
Since the tide was low, we didn’t get to see it in action, but we did see the waves crashing against the rocks. Believe it or not, the waves crashing were LOUD! Apparently, tidal conditions don’t always create the spouting horn, so it’s basically a waiting game.
Below Spouting Horn is Thor’s Well, which is a 20-foot deep hole in basalt rocks. Moving upward water shoots up to 20 feet high, which was such a cool sight, but the shot everyone wants to get is when the water “drains” back into the ocean.
The best time to see Thor’s Well is during high tides and storms, typically an hour before to an hour after high tide. I did research the night before and noted what time high-tide was. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to see this gem, so perhaps the rest of the day might have felt a bit rushed.
Anyway, we walked further down and had to be very careful as it’s kind of dangerous here. The rocks you walk on are very* slippery when wet, and the waves crashing against the rocks are so powerful, they are to be taken seriously. The water coming from the hole is also very unpredictable, it can literally take you away.
Seeing this in person, witnessing how powerful those waves are, was both terrifying and exciting. But seriously, if you ever plan to come here, be CAREFUL and do not get too close to the hole. We had to back up considerably because the water was coming in so fast and hard.
I’m so happy I got to see this spot in the coast.
Thor’s Well is the coolest phenomenon I have ever seen:
Cape Perpetua Lookout
After witnessing Thor’s Well, we drove up the hill to the lookout. It was quite a drive all the way up, took about 10 mins to reach the top. The view is amazing and if you look close enough (or zoom in) you can see the bridge (Cooks Chasm) where Spouting Horn and & Thor’s Well is at. It’s really hard to see them in action from here though.
From here, we drove back to Otter Rock (in between Newport and Lincoln City) to see another Oregon wonder.
This was the last stop in our trip as it was on the way back towards the tiny home. Sadly, access was closed off for this one too, so we only got a view from the top. During low-tide you can hike down, explore the area and walk around to see tide pools. Too bad we couldn’t do much here either.
So that is it, the end of day two! This was such a fun day and one I constantly look back on during this trip because I saw so many things I wanted to see. I definitely want to return to a few of these spots and explore them further and actually take my time with them. 🙂
Thanks for reading if you’ve made it all the way here.
Stay tuned for our final day next week!
Question of the week:
- What attraction(s) do you recommend in your state?
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