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Exploring Newport's Historic Nye Beach
Published: 03/03/2015  Updated: 03/05/2015
 
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You'll know you're in the heart of Nye Beach when you spot the Nye Beach Arch over NW Nye Beach Drive at NW Coast Street.
Photo by Gary Hayes

Nye Beach occupies less than a mile of coastline and runs only a few blocks inland. It's compact and walkable, with stunning views, beach access, boutique shops, a vibrant arts scene and a variety of restaurants.

On Oregon's central coast, a tucked-away district in Newport – Nye Beach – has been a unique destination for more than a century. It's known for its casual, artsy and slightly funky (in a charming way) character. And, since the City of Newport has focused urban renewal dollars on Nye Beach, this historic neighborhood has continually attracted new merchants and more travelers while managing to remain in character. Today, there's more to do and enjoy in Nye Beach than ever before, making it one of the coast's best getaway destinations.

Getting Your Bearings

Nye Beach occupies less than a mile of coastline and runs only a few blocks inland. It's compact and walkable, with stunning views, beach access, boutique shops, a vibrant arts scene and a variety of restaurants.

You'll know you're in the heart of Nye Beach when you spot the Nye Beach Arch over NW Beach Drive at NW Coast Street. From there, head one block toward the ocean to the historic Turnaround where you can relax on one of the benches and soak up the Nye Beach vibe.

Shopping

Nye Beach is a haven for browsers and buyers. The boutique storefronts, mostly along NW Coast St. and NW 3rd St., offer everything from the latest greatest reads to one-of-a-kind gifts.

Visit Jovi at 232 NW Coast St. At this well-appointed gallery, gift boutique and home accessory mercantile, you'll have fun sorting through everything from thoughtful gifts to Asian antiques.

If you or someone you love is a cook, you could easily spend your entire stay browsing TuTuTu, a kitchenware boutique housed in a shingled cottage at 222 NW Coast St. The owners are serious cooks, so strike up a conversation, exchange recipes and buy that utensil you've been searching for in vain, until now.

No visit to the beach is worth its salt without a good book that hopelessly hooks you. At 727 NW 3rd St., Nye Beach Book House beckons devotees of independent bookstores. Shop for new titles, including an excellent collection by Northwest authors, as well as used and collectible books.

Other gift shops worth a browse include Charisma, Illingworth's by the Sea, Things Rich and Strange, Coastal Breeze and Tea Party Gifts—all centrally located in the heart of Nye Beach.

Nye Beach Wine Cellar at 255 NW Coast St. offers a tempting selection of domestic and international wines and gourmet foods, a perfect place to provision a private picnic on the beach.

The Art Scene

The Oregon Coast has a long history of inspiring artists, many of whom have made their home here. You'll find works exhibited by many of these artists at the Newport Visual Arts Center, located at the Nye Beach Turnaround. It's operated by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts and every exhibition in its two galleries are free and open to the public.

Also at the Turnaround, Yaquina Art Gallery and Gift Shop occupies a historic building constructed in 1914 as a changing house for beach bathers. The gallery exhibits the works of local artists and hosts annual juried art shows and bi-monthly artist spotlight exhibits.

Dining

For a small neighborhood, Nye Beach serves up a big helping of dining options. You can choose from pizza and burgers to fine bistro dining.

At Nana's Irish Pub, located at 613 NW 3rd St., you can enjoy authentic Irish pub fare and wash it down with Irish beer on tap. For baked goods done right, head to Panini Bakery at 232 NW Coast St., a hot spot for coffee and a morning pastry, or a tasty sandwich or hand-tossed pizza for lunch.

On the fine-dining end of the scale is April's at Nye Beach, located at 749 NW 3rd St. Chef April Wolcott sources produce from her own local farm, makes pasta in house and serves naturally raised meats and fresh seafood. This is fresh local cuisine at its best.

Lodging

The historic Sylvia Beach Hotel, situated on a bluff over the beach at 267 NW Cliff, is Oregon Coast's literary hotel, with rooms named after famous authors. It's geared for guests seeking a quiet yet stimulating retreat. You can contemplate the Pacific view—and a good book—in the cozy library (no cell phones allowed). The hotel's acclaimed Tables of Content Restaurant serves delicious family-style dining.

The Inn at Nye Beach, located at 720 NW Coast St., offers an upscale yet casual beach experience, perfect for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, with accommodations from studios to two-bedroom suites, each sporting a balcony with full ocean view.

Within walking distance of Nye Beach, just to the south, you'll find three beachfront hotels: Elizabeth Street Inn, Hallmark Inn and Shilo Inn, the latter two offering full resort amenities.

Before You Go

For more information, visit the Nye Beach Merchants Association website at nyebeach.org. For information about visiting Newport, go to discovernewport.com.

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