If you'd like to delve into local history, stop by the Oregon Coast History Center, 545 SW Ninth St. (tel. 541/265-7509; www.oregoncoast.history.museum), which consists of two historic buildings -- the Burrows House and the Log Cabin. The Burrows House was built in 1895 as a boardinghouse and now contains exhibits of Victorian household furnishings and fashions. The Log Cabin houses Siletz Indian artifacts from the area, as well as exhibits on logging, farming, and maritime history. The Burrows House is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm, while the Log Cabin is open Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Admission is by suggested $2 donation.
Take a drive east from the bayfront along scenic Yaquina Bay Road and you'll come to Toledo, a small town that is slowly becoming something of an art community. In downtown Toledo, you'll find several artists' studios and galleries. For more information, contact the Toledo Chamber of Commerce (tel. 541/336-3183; www.visittoledooregon.com).
Thar She Blows!
If you haven't had any luck finding a glass float along the Oregon coast, how about blowing one of your own? You've got a couple of options on the central coast. At the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio, 4821 SW U.S. 101 (tel. 541/996-2569; www.jennifersearsglassart.com), which is at the south end of Lincoln City in the Taft District, you can try your hand (actually, your lungs) at blowing a glass float yourself. These glass-blowing classes cost $75, and you'll need to make an appointment. You can also take a glass-blowing class at The Edge Art Gallery, 3916 S. Coast Hwy., South Beach (tel. 541/867-4198; www.theedgeartgallery.com), which is located a half mile south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.
Don’t Miss Yaquina Head outstanding Natural Area
One place you really don’t want to miss is the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area , a laborious name but an apt one for this fascinating piece of coastline, 3 miles north of Newport at 750 NW Lighthouse Dr. (www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/yaquina/index.php; tel. 541/574-3100). At 93 feet, the still-functioning Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the area’s gleaming white focal point, is the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast and one of the most easily accessible to visitors. The light began operation in 1874, replacing the earlier Yaquina Bay Lighthouse overlooking Yaquina Bay in Newport. Displays in the adjacent Yaquina Head Interpretive Center (open daily 10am–4:30pm) cover everything from the life of lighthouse keepers and their families to the sea life of tide pools. But this is also a wonderful spot to view seabirds and other sealife. Cormorants and pigeon guillemots roost on the steep slopes, and harbor seals lounge on the offshore rocks, and in early winter and spring you may be able to spot a migrating gray whale. A stairway leads down to a cobblestone beach below the lighthouse, where you can explore tide pools at low tide (there’s even a wheelchair-accessible tide-pool trail). Centuries ago, Native Americans lived along this rocky cove, harvesting shellfish and other foods from the sea. Admission is $7 per car. The grounds are open daily from 8am to 8pm; tours of the lighthouse are given at noon, 1, 2, and 3pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.