I spent many summer weeks of my childhood on the Oregon coast. My family went on nearly annual trips to the coast, usually renting a vacation house in the Yachats area and spending a week or two exploring the beaches, tidepools, and lighthouses of the central coast. Since adulthood, I hadn't been further south than Canon Beach - another city that I love and must return to soon! We had planned this trip to Newport for my 30th birthday last year, but an emergency led us to cancel at the last minute. This year, nothing was going to stop us from finally making the trip!
After the long drive to Newport, we were overjoyed to see that the rain that had followed us for nearly the entire drive was nowhere to be seen in Newport. After checking in to the hotel, we made our way to the beach for a short walk before dinner. Feeling tired from the drive, we decided to pick a restaurant within walking distance and wound up at Nana's Irish Pub, sharing an incredible steak and Guinness pie while watching the sun set from their patio. I couldn't have planned a better way to start the weekend off!
The main draw of Newport for me was the Sylvia Beach Hotel. On our regular trips along the coast in my youth, my mom had always spoken dreamily of how someday she would visit and stay in the Dr Suess room, one of the hotel's 21 author-themed rooms. As a life long lover of books, this hotel was definitely a must-visit for me as well! My room of choice was not the Suess, but the Tolkien. While we loved everything else about the hotel, the Tolkien room was a bit of a disappointment. It just didn't have the character and detail that many of the other rooms had. My favorite thing about the room was the bookshelf containing at least one copy of all Tolkien's works. There might have been more interesting rooms in the hotel, but I doubt there is any other book in the Sylvia Beach Hotel that I love as much as The Hobbit!
From peeking into most of the other rooms after other guests had checked out, we decided that on our next trip, the Jules Verne room would be our first choice, although we'd be happy to stay in the J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Mark Twain rooms as well. The only room we never got a chance to see was the Jane Austen, which seems to be the hotel's most popular room. When starting a conversation with another guest, one of the first questions was always "what room are you staying in?" Those guests who had booked at the last minute frequently followed their reply with a disclaimer that "it was the only room available!" or "I would have chosen..." It proved to be an excellent conversation starter, especially for the book-loving types staying at the hotel.
Can you guess which room each of these photos was taken in?
The one thing Andy wanted to do in Newport was stop by the Rouge Public House to sample some of the extensive selection of experimental and small batch beers only available onsite. On the afternoon that we went, we wound up at the bar sitting with a group of locals, several of which had worked for Rouge for decades. Sitting at the bar, listening to them tease and joke with one another made for an amusing time. They were all friendly, and took turns shifting their stools closer to Andy and me to tell us stories and talk about travel. The beer was excellent too, of course!
WHERE WE STAYED:
WHAT WE ATE:
Steak and Guinness pie with a pint of Magners for me and an all Irish black & tan for Andy at Nana's Irish Pub
Grilled fish tacos for Andy and a sashimi bento bowl for me at Cafe Mundo. If it hadn't been so cold, we would have taken our lunch outside to eat at one of the fire pit tables. Andy loved the mocha's at this place so much that he made three trips over the weekend!
Rockfish with a Jon Palmer for Andy and red curry BBQ shrimp with a Dark & Stormy for me at Tidal Raves
More rockfish & chips at Ocean Bleu at Gino's
A lovely family style dinner enjoyed at one table with 6 other guests at Tables of Content that included nettle soup, duck breast for Andy and poached salmon for me, and decadent flourless chocolate cake to finish.
Several chilly walks down Nye Beach
Drank (possibly) too much beer at Rogue Public House, then stumbled back to the hotel for a nap
Visited Devil's Punchbowl State Park and Otter Rock at high tide. We were sadly unable to walk into the punchbowl with the high surf. I definitely want to return and explore this rugged beach again!
Got rained out of Seal Rock State Recreation Site. Another place I'd like to return to in better conditions.
Explored the tidepools and admired the view from Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Cobble Beach