Newport sits along the mid-Oregon coastline, and is a busy area for nesting shore and sea birds. The birds come into breed, nest, and raise their young in the 10's of thousands. These birds can be seen along the coastline, and are concentrated at Yaquina Outstanding Natural Resource Area, just north of Newport. The bird species seen here are common murre, bald eagle, black oyster catcher, peregrine falcon, white-crowned sparrow, and more. The area is home to harbor seals, and tide pool marine life. The visitor's center offers the rich history of the area, updates on the birding opportunities, and a gift shop. On the end of the headland, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
At the south end of town, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is open to locals and tourists. The aquarium is home to many different species of marine life, including sea otters, harbor seals, and tufted puffin. The programs offered through the aquarium are educational and fun for all ages. Children enjoy the variety of sea life shown in the tanks, and are able to see animals from different areas of the ocean. The underwater tunnel is a wonderful way of experiencing the ocean without a submarine or scuba gear.
Newport is rich in its artist scene. The area is home to many art galleries, music venues, and the Newport Arts Center. The Newport Performing Arts Center hosts music events, plays, and comedy. It is located in the historic Nye District of Newport near the ocean. The Newport Visual Arts Center is located about 3 blocks north of the Performing Arts Center, and shows the artwork of local/regional artists. The arts center sits right above the beach, and the Yaquina Art Association Gallery.
The local music scene centers around the Nye historic district. Cafe' Mundo often hosts local musicians, and is a family-friendly venue. The June Rushing Band is one of the most popular groups to play at the cafe, and other venues through-out the central coast.
The sandy beaches on the south end of Newport are great for beach combing, kite flying, and surfing activities. The Kite Company in downtown Newport is a great place to look at and purchase kites. The staff is knowledgeable about single (basic) and duel line (stunt) kites, and purchase includes a basic lesson on kite care and flying instructions. The prices are less than many of the larger stores in the area.