9/27/13

Oregon Coast Aquarium + Rogue Brewery Tour + Tillamook Cheese Factory - Overnight


If you're really bored and itching to escape the rain, nothing beats the Oregon coast. The stretch of coast nearest to Portland has a lot to see and do, with an overnight stay in Newport recommended for everyone's sanity.

Here's your map. Start your day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium where you'll gawk your way through an underwater tunnel, as well as marvel at jellyfish and outdoor puffins. Plan to spend 1-2 hours at this amazing museum.

Get ready to lose your heart to puffins!
Next, go straight to the close-by Rogue Brewery to drink and eat. If you do not have children with you, head up the restaurant stairs and to the left into the bar area where you will receive faster service and can relish in a cozy wooden pub with windows facing the bay.


The happiness you will feel! For real! Photo credit: Yelp.
Rogue offers their famous beers here as well as those that are not sold publically, so it's a wonderland for the palate with crazy flavors such as Voodoo Maple Bacon. The reuben sandwich is amazing and the variety of beers offered is astounding. I've never left this place not feeling 100% happy.

I should mention that it's a good idea to take care of your lodging situation as soon as possible. Ditching your luggage and laptops is a relief no matter where you travel. I do not have any recommendations for lodging because it really depends on how much you want to spend, if you have pets, etc. Just be sure to book in advance no matter what the season because coastal hotels fill up quickly.

There are many places to eat dinner in Newport. If you are feeling casual and want to warm up, check out the Noodle Cafe. Want to gorge on fresh seafood? You should go to Local Oceans Seafood where you can see fishing boats in the bay and your food prepared in an open kitchen at the same time.

Local Ocean Seafood's famous Fishwives Stew. Come on!
The next day after a good night's sleep, it's always nice to at least see the ocean, even if it's too blustery in the winter to really enjoy it. Nye Beach is easy to access and requires a walk down through a historic downtown.

And, if you want to spend more time in Newport, there are plenty of museums and attractions. This TripAdvisor list covers some of the best places to go.

On your way home, you must stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It's a (real) giant factory and kid's learning center where you can watch them make the cheese you know and love so well. You can also buy fresh cheese curds (young cheese). They are delicious and addictive!

Entrancing to the max.
True story: I went to the factory once with my sister-in-law and parents. As we gazed through the factory windows for 20 minutes solid, I turned to her and said "I can't believe how stoned I am right now." I was not stoned, that's the funny thing. But watching the repetitive, perfectly timed manufacturing process and women in white bonnets was enough to send us both into a deep trance.

One more tip: roll up your windows and put your car's air intake on the circulate setting as you drive out of town. The cow poo stench is pretty strong!

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