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Good For Kids

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A view of some of gardens in the foreground and a gift shop staffed by friends of the park is in the background.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Shore Acres State Park

The park is 13 miles south of Coos Bay off US 101.
Open 8:00 to sunset.
541-888-3732 2 hours
November 2012 Winter, Spring
$0-9 Coos Oregon
Website Nature Gardens
First review
Shore Acres State Park is a coastal park in southern Oregon. The park is best known for approximately 5 acres of gardens and ocean views from a seaside cliff area. While Shore Acres is actively supported by a “friends” of the park organization, park employees don’t interface much with the public and there was no visitor center.

Shore Acres was once the home of Louis J. Simpson, who became wealthy from shipbuilding and lumber operations. Simpson purchased this area for use as a country estate. He built two homes here in the early 1900s. A second more lavish house was constructed after the first one burned down. The Great Depression and economic hardship caused the second house to become dilapidated and eventually the land was sold to Oregon for use as a park in 1942. The second house, which had become structurally unsound, was removed but the gardens were kept and have been enhanced over the years.

While there usually are flowers in the gardens year round, late spring or summer is the best time of year to see the widest assortment. There were still a few flowers in early November but not too many. Christmas garden lights are also a major attraction at Shore Acres. Overall, there was nothing especially interesting or memorable about this park. The gardens were attractive but were small and the plants and flowers were not well-marked. A short walk to the beach and views from the beach and cliffs also were enjoyable but not enough to really recommend a visit. The shelter overlooking the ocean cliffs had some moderately interesting historical information about Simpson. A visit here can work if you are in the area, enjoy gardens and don’t mind paying a questionable parking fee. Otherwise, your time is better spent at more scenic locations or at parks with more activities. If you prefer to take your time and casually stroll the grounds, two hours may make sense but otherwise 1.5 hours is enough time to see the park and gardens.
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