A piece of Oregon history sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River. It is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996.
It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse has been restored as a working lighthouse and an aid to navigation by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, with the help of many people and agencies, including Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses.
The official relighting ceremony with the US Coast Guard took place on December 7, 1996. The light shines with a steady white light from dusk to dawn (and sometimes on dark days, because it is controlled by a photocell.) The light is 161 feet above sea level.
The structure is accessible via paved trails and a walkway that leads to the top of the hill within the Yaquina Bay State Park, at the north end of Yaquina Bay. Access-compromised visitor groups are encouraged to use the large parking lot at the back of the lighthouse (entrance at SW Government and 9th Streets).
Inside the lighthouse, two flights of stairs lead to the watch room. Interesting places to visit within walking or short driving distance include the Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Aquarium, and the US Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay.
You might also consider a trip to the north end of Newport to visit the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. There you may visit the incredibly diverse tide-pool areas, experience some extraordinary bird-watching opportunities, and visit the Interpretive Center and Store. See the Yaquina Head page for more details.