Oregon Coast Aquarium - The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a "must do" and is a wonderful way to experience the local marine life. Kids can reach into touch pools with huge orange sea stars, bright green sea anemones, abalone, sea urchins and spotted eagle rays.
Watch sea otters, seals and sea lions in outdoor grottos, playing on the surface and under the water. In Passages of the Deep, walk through an underwater tunnel as sharks and rays glide overhead. Seabird Aviary has puffins (hard to see in the wild).
Little kids will want to climb all over dolphin and turtles sculptures, just their size, in the children’s play area. The aquarium has a cafe, outside the aquarium are covered picnic tables .
Nye Beach - A five mile flat sand beach to explore. Buy kites at the shops in Newport and come out to beach to fly kites. The first Saturday in July, come down to the beach for a clambake and seafood barbeque.
Yaquina Head -
Yaquina Head, a narrow rocky headland that extends a mile into the ocean, has super tide pools, a dramatic lighthouse and hiking trails.
It's also a excellent vantage point to look for gray whales in late December, January, March and April). Admission to Yaquina Head is good for three days, so you can go back more than once.
Interpretive Center - Stop into the visitor center for exhibits about the tide pools, sea birds, and harbor seals. Check out a scale model replica of the lighthouse lantern, and learn about the building and history of the Yaquina Head lighthouse. If the weather is gray or rainy, the visitor center has activities for kids, such as wooden toys to play with (similar to wooden toys used by kids who lived in the lighthouse) and coloring pages. Consult the tide tables to find out low tide for the tide pools.
Tide pools - Explore the tide pools with amazing large green sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea stars, barnacles, sea lemons (nudibranch), sea urchins, mussels, and surf grass. Be nice, don't poke your fingers into the sea anemones.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse - Built in 1873, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. This section of Oregon coast is particularly treacherous for ships, at least 20 ships have gone down by Yaquina Head and Newport. The lighthouse is still in operation, the Fresnel lens flashing a bright light to guide ships going by.
Take a tour of the lighthouse, it's 111 steps to the top, and kids must be 42 inches high (there's a yardstick to measure if the kids are tall enough in the visitor center).

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