Date of Visit: July 16, 2018
After spending the morning and afternoon visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse we took a short nap before going out for our dinner in the Newport Historic Bayfront District. Back when I was a kid I read the Ripley’s Believe It or Not feature every Sunday in the comics. So when I learned there was a Ripley’s museum in Newport it was a no-brainer that we’d visit.
It was “quirky” and the best thing it does is provide a lens into American culture from the mid-20th century. For one thing; they have an exhibit on how to fight vampires, but nothing about fighting zombies! That is a sign of the times. If you are of a certain age and remember the feature in the comic strips you might enjoy this; but there are probably better ways to spend your time in Newport.
We thought it would take close to an hour to get through Ripley’s but we were out in about 20 minutes. That gave us some time to walk along the waterfront to look at the fishing vessels at the docks. It seems like we were lucky – at time sea lions make their homes up on the docks, blocking the way, making noise and leaving a mess. We saw one sea lion swimming away and none on the docks. So we had a nice clear view of the fishing vessels at the dock.
We saw signs pointing visitors to a pier where crab and fish were sold right off the boats. But that must have been for earlier in the day as we saw no selling boat-side.
I see on the internet that the Chelsea Rose is a place to buy fresh tuna.
In the picture above you can see a bigger ship docked across Yaquina Bay. It is a NOAA research ship.
Looking south we saw Miss Sue framed by the US 101 bridge.
The bayfront area is part tourist/part working. Along the bay front on the docks is a large fish processing plant. Huge vats of fish are processed. We saw two semi-trucks with refrigerated trailers loaded up and heading out.
It was getting time for dinner so we headed toward Local Ocean which we had heard good things about. As we got there, a man was on the side of the restaurant holding a large open rectangular container of fish fillets and talking with the head chef who took the the tray and went inside. You can’t get fresher fish than that!
We settled in with appetizers and a vodka tonics – with real potato vodka.
There was a beautiful glass of flowers on our table.
I got to about the second item of the entrees on the menu when I stopped and said “I’ll have that!” Fishwives stew.
Oh, it was rich and delicious: prawns, shrimp, white fish, clams, and crab all nestled in a beautiful garlicky tomato base. It normally comes with scallops but they don’t agree with me so they left that out. I highly recommend Local Ocean Seafood Dockside Grill and Fish Market the next time you need dinner in Newport.
After our wonderful meal we walked through the touristy section of the historic district where we rubbed elbows with fish processors headed to work for their shift. They wore big gray rubber boots and the kind of hoods SCUBA divers wear in order to keep warm. I imagine a fish processing plant is a cold place to work.
Across the street from the fish processing plant there was a long line outside the original Mo’s Seafood – an Oregon coast institution. Across the street is the Mo’s Annex.
There were lots of little restaurants and shops. Newport is a bustling coast town supporting tourists and the fishing industry. Many of the businesses promote that tie between fishing and touristing.
On the back wall of the Ocean Blue @ Gino’s I caught a quick pictures of this wall of floaty stuff from the ocean
A great ending to a great day of touring Newport.