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“Breathtaking, so glad we went”

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Ranked #1 of 47 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: From exploring tide pools teeming with life to witnessing Oregon's tallest lighthouse, there is something for every visitor at Yaquina Head. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873. The offshore islands are a year-round refuge for harbor seals and a spring-summer home for thousands of nesting seabirds. Gray whales can be spotted during their annual migrations to Mexico (late fall-early winter) and Alaska (late winter-early spring). During the summer months some gray whales take the opportunity to feed in the shallow waters around the headland. Cobble Beach is compiled of millions of round basalt rocks that produce an applause-like sound as the waves roll in. When the tide is low a vibrant ocean floor is revealed—pools of colorful animals including orange sea stars, purple sea urchins, and giant green anemones. Rangers are at hand to answer questions and point out all of the amazing plants and animals that call the tide pools home. Visit the Interpretive Center and discover 140 years of lighthouse history and thousands of years of natural and cultural history. Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses, a non-profit organization, offers site-related books, maps, and postcards in their interpretive store. Whether you want to see raging winter storms batter the Oregon coast, learn about the role lighthouses played in the westward expansion of the United States, or watch peregrine falcons at play, visit Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and experience something wild.
Beaumont, Texas
Level Contributor
155 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Breathtaking, so glad we went”
Reviewed August 9, 2014

We took a drive down the coast of Oregon, and stopped at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. It truly lives up to the outstanding part. There is a nice visitors center and the staff were very helpful. At low tide there are tidal pools with a lot of sea life, about a million birds and an awesome view. There are a couple of worthwhile trails that are not very long or difficult. There are also tours of the lighthouse, but not around the time we were there.

Visited June 2014
Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,454 reviews from our community

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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
294 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Great Whale Viewing”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

People said that we might see a whale and we didn't believe them, but we did, in fact, see one swimming very close to the rocks next to the lighthouse. It was there for quite awhile. The area is beautiful and the tidal pools are interesting. You need to wear sturdy shoes to walk over the large pebbles on the beach - not a sandy beach at all. The hiking trails are nice as well. Nice to have a 3 day pass when you pay to gain entry.

Visited July 2014
Thank smatso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
73 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Needed More Time”
Reviewed August 6, 2014

This is an excellent place to stop, but in order to enjoy all the sites and watch the birds and tide pools tour lighthouse etc. also interpretive center you need a couple of hours at least. This is worth allowing yourself more time to explore everything.

Visited July 2014
Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
64 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great View of the Pacific Ocean”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Beautiful vista and beaches for tide pooling. Good facilities and adequate parking. We went early morning around 8:30 am but seems could get congested in the afternoon summer months.

Visited July 2014
Thank swiftfireman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“great tidepools and interpretative center & shop”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Even on rainy days and high tides the interpretative center is informative. The gift shop has a great selection of books about the coast and wildlife. There are handicapped accessible tidepools. You can watch a long strip of beach to your left with surfers

Visited July 2014
Thank Dee G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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