(Newport, Oregon) – If it seems like summer hasn’t ended on the Oregon coast, you’re right. In fact, right now is called the Second Summer by many in the Newport area – a phenomenon that covers the entire coast, actually. Temperatures linger in the 60’s and 70’s, there are less winds and more blue skies. On top of it, lodging prices start dropping, the beaches and roads are less crowded – and there are even more surprises waiting in the realms of man-made and natural attractions.
The Newport Chamber said it’s been happening all month. Second Summer stretches from September straight into early October, and then after the middle of the month it often begins to get windier again. However, not all the time. It’s not unusual to find almost balmy days in late October.
Second Summer is often known as a nicer time than many actual summers.
“We have some of our best weather in the fall months of September and October,” said Newport Chamber Executive Director Lorna Davis. “Crisp mornings and warm days with cool evenings. Many restaurants are still offering outside dining, and certainly there are some of the best sunsets during fall.”
The beaches are devoid of people. Less traffic and no lines at restaurants are a big plus – and Newport boasts probably the largest number of restaurants with outdoor seating along the entire coast. There are at least ten.
For lodging, Davis said there are serious surprises awaiting the visitor right about now when it comes to lodging prices.
“Certainly after September 15 there are some reductions, there are more discounts, and you’re more apt to find two-for-the-price-of-one specials to entice people to come out,” Davis said. “This is also a really good time to book conferences and meetings, and you see a lot of those happening because the lodgings aren’t as packed, or they are attracted to these places by the lodgings’ sales efforts.”
The science behind the Second Summer reveals it to be a fairly dependable phenomenon each year. The ocean has been heated up all summer, so it exerts a stronger warming influence on the surrounding air. Then, the temperature differences between inland Oregon and the coast are less, which allows more eastern and southern winds to come in – which are also warmer.
The lesser temperature differences between inland and coastal Oregon mean less fog, and the fact this produces less upwelling from the ocean brings the wind factor down even further.
Calm conditions mean better crabbing and clamming. It also means excellent whale watch weather, and there are always plenty of whales wandering up and down the central Oregon coast as they feed on a certain type of shrimp common to this shoreline.
You can count on greater access to your favorite whale watch tour boat, as less crowds translate to less fully-booked tours. These are the best ways to spot a lot of whales in a short time, and some tour boats have spotted a few rarities recently, like Blue whales and minke whales.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said crabbing and clamming is good in the area right now. Crabbing is at its best along coastal bays like Newport’s Yaquina Bay – in terms of numbers – between now and November. Ocean crabbing is hot until it closes on October 15. Newport has many sections where clamming is good for numerous species, including the bay, by the jetties and at Agate Beach.