Overlooking the sea in Nye Beach , the Newport Performing Arts Center (777 W. Olive St., 541/265-2787, www.coastarts.org ), the Oregon coast’s largest performance venue, hosts local and national entertainment in the 400-seat Alice Silverman Theatre and the smaller Studio Theatre. At the same address is the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, which puts out a free monthly newsletter and has ticket information on the PAC venues.
It also has updates on the Newport Visual Arts Center (777 NW Beach Dr., 541/265-6540), located right above the beach two blocks north at the Nye Beach turnaround. The two floors and two galleries here offer art-education programs and exhibition space for paintings, sculpture, and other works, often with a maritime theme. Runyan Gallery is open 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday; Upstairs Gallery is open noon–4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. All exhibits are free.
In addition to its impressive schedule of music, dance, drama, and other arts, the Performing Arts Center screens a series of imported and art films—the ones you probably won’t find at the multiplex Newport Cinema (5836 N. Coast Hwy., 541/265-2111).
In the Bayfront District , Mariner Square (250 SW Bay Blvd., 541/265-2206, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. July–Aug., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. June and Sept., usually 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct.–May, $9.95 per attraction adults, $5.95 children) is a complex of three attractions that mostly appeal to kids: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, The Waxworks, and the Undersea Gardens. Discounts are offered to hardy souls who want to take in all three.