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Beverly Beach State Park. Seven miles north of Newport, this beachfront park extends from Yaquina Head, where you can see the lighthouse, to the headlands of Otter Rock. It's a great place to fly a kite, surf the waves, or hunt for fossils. The campground is well equipped, with a wind-protected picnic area and a yurt meeting hall. N.E. Beverly Dr., off U.S. 101, 6 miles north of Newport, Newport, OR, 97365. 541/265–9278 or 800/551–6949. www.oregonstateparks.org. Free. Daily.
Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area. A rocky shoreline separates the day-use area from the surf. It's a popular whale-watching site and has excellent tidal pools. 1st St., off U.S. 101, 8 miles north of Newport, Otter Rock, OR, 97369. 541/265–4560 or 800/551–6949. www.oregonstateparks.org. Free. Daily.
South Beach State Park. Fishing, crabbing, boating, windsurfing, hiking, and beachcombing are popular activities at this park that begins just across the Yaquina Bay Bridge from Newport and contains a lovely stretch of beach. Kayaking tours are available for a fee. There's a popular campground, too. U.S. 101 S, 3 miles south of Newport, Newport, OR, 97365. 541/867–4715 or 800/551–6949. www.oregonstateparks.org. Daily.
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Thousands of birds—cormorants, gulls, common murres, pigeon guillemots—make their home just beyond shore on Pinnacle and Colony rocks, and nature trails wind through fields of sea grass and wildflowers, leading to spectacular views. There is also an interpretive center and the historic Yaquina Head Lighthouse. 750 N.W. Lighthouse Dr., Newport, OR, 97365. 541/574–3100. www.yaquinalights.org. Free; donations suggested. Interpretive center June–early Sept., daily 9–4:30; mid-Sept.–May, daily 10–4:30.