South Beach Marina, 2320 OSU Drive
Soon after its beginnings in 1977, the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival grew rapidly and within a few years ranked among the state’s most heavily attended events of the kind. Held on the south side of Yaquina Bay in Newport, this popular event draws shoulder-to-shoulder crowds of enthusiastic patrons eager to try dozens upon dozens of state and regional wines and numerous culinary delights.
Newport Seafood & Wine Festival – Top USA Festivals Photo Gallery
The festival occupies a massive tent at the Port of Newport in South Beach, adjacent to the Rogue Brewery facility, and the tent keeps the oft-tumultuous coastal winter weather at bay. The event offers a downloadable mobile-device app that provides all the latest details. Each year, the lineup of vendors—wineries, edibles, crafts—changes somewhat, but even four days amid the buoyant crowd would hardly be enough for any attendee to try more than a healthy sampling of the offerings. Many attendees happily stock up on wine at the festival, and both individual bottles and cases can be checked in and held at the coat/wine check for a nominal fee—a good idea because you can then continue to enjoy the festival unburdened by your liquid loot.
The festival begins Thursday at 5 pm and runs until 9 that evening (limited tickets available, online purchase only). Friday hours are noon to 9 pm, and Saturday hours are 10 am to 6 pm (online ticket sales only for Saturday); Sunday hours are 10 am to 4 pm. Note that the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival is a 21-and-over event—children and people under 21 years of age are not allowed. Wine and food samples cost a small fee (staring at $1), and full glass pours and full-meal servings are also available. Most vendors at the festival accept debit and credit cards, although the WiFi connection to process cards can get slow during peak hours, and the venue has two onsite ATM machines (the event WiFi is a free network with no password).
The festival venue, as well as the nearby Oregon Coast Aquarium, both have spacious parking lots (with a small fee required to park for the festival), and several public lots are located nearby, but all tend to fill completely during the event. However, the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival provides a free bus shuttle to and from the event, with stops at many of the local hotels, motels, and popular Newport neighborhoods. Shuttles stop running one hour after the closing of the festival. On Saturday the hours are extended for service to area restaurants.
Newport Seafood & Wine Festival has been going strong for more than 40 years.
Also, a number of licensed temporary cab services, along with regular Newport cab services, can provide transportation. Expect a line to get in (it moves along quickly), so plan accordingly. Notably, the hotels on the south side of the bay, within walking distance of the festival, my blog up completely, so securing a room at one of them requires reservation well in advance.
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