Adjacent to Newport which is on the North side of Yaquina Bay, South Beach predates 1900 with the establishment of the South Beach Post Office. Prior to the construction of the Yaquina Bay Bridge this was the location of a ferry slip which connected the two towns by ferry service. Ferry Slip Road is today the street address of the Oregon Coast Aquarium — one of the areas biggest employers and most popular attractions.
Today South Beach offers some of the finest homes and condominiums on the entire coast. East of highway 101 are several treed residential areas not seen from the highway. These home range in price from modest at $170,000 to upper end homes reaching into the $400,000 category. Oceanfront in South Beach ranges from the low $400,000 range to $2.5 million.
Although in the early days potato farms and dairies abounded in South Beach, it is now home to several prestigous educational and research facilities. Oregon State University built the Hatfield Marine Science Center in 1965. The Pacific Home Port of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration relocated here in 2010. And the main campus for the Oregon Coast Community College is located in South Beach in a newly constructed facility. The college began offering aquarium sciences programs in 2006, the first of it’s kind in the nation at the community college level.
Galleries, restaurants and gift shops are to be found in the Northern section of the community. And despite being named the Newport Municipal Airport, this facility is actually located in South Beach. The South Beach Marina and RV site is popular with pleasure boaters as well as charter and commercial fishers. South Beach State Park is very popular in part due to the availability of Yurts for year round camping and kayak rentals for guided tours of the Beaver Creek Natural Area. Beaches reaching from Yaquina Bay to Seal Rock may be accessed from the park.
Things to Do in South Beach
South Beach State Park and the surrounding areas offer a variety of recreational opportunities including fishing, crabbing, boating, windsurfing and beachcombing. An exciting addition to the South Beach program: kayak tours. Launch from nearby Ona Beach (5 miles south) and spend two hours paddling and exploring the area with a guide.
Since 1992, the aquarium in South Beach has stunned locals and tourists alike with its ability to engage and inspire visitors. Self-guided visit materials help you make the most of touring the Aquarium on your own, and guided tours are also available. The newest changing exhibit, Oddwater, takes a look at some of the most bizarre life forms in the ocean and shows how their unusual adaptations help them survive. The exhibit is an interesting, multi-disciplinary experience which combines marine biology and art with blown glass inside the displays — along with life-size murals.
Arts in South Beach
The Edge Art Gallery
Art gallery and glassblowing studio.
3916 South Coast Highway, South Beach 97366