SHORE ACRES STATE PARK
Coos Bay, Oregon
Perched on a scenic bluff high above the Pacific Ocean, Shore Acres began as a private estate with luxurious gardens featuring trees, shrubs, and flowering plants brought from around the world aboard the sailing ships of pioneer lumberman and shipbuilder Louis B. Simpson.
Simpson developed his summer home into a showplace 3-story mansion complete with a heated, indoor swimming pool and a large ballroom. The grounds contained 5 acres of formal gardens, including a Japanese-style garden built around a 100-foot lily pond.
When fire destroyed the mansion in 1921, Simpson began to build an even larger replacement - two stories high and 224 feet long. However, financial losses in the 1930's caused both house and grounds to fall into disrepair. In 1942, Simpson's beloved Shore Acres was purchased by the State of Oregon for use as a public park.
While structural deterioration eventually forced the mansion to be razed, the restored formal gardens continue to attract thousands of visitors. The garden features year-round displays of floral and scenic beauty and the annual "Holiday Lights at Shore Acres" event in December.
A fully enclosed observation building now occupies the site of Simpson's mansion, offering spectacular views of rugged seascapes, towering storm waves, and glimpses of migrating whales from December through June.
One mile north of Shore Acres, Sunset Bay State Park offers extensive picnic and overnight camping facilities. One mile to the south, Cape Arago State Park has hiking trails, picnic tables, and excellent opportunities for viewing tidepool life and marine mammals (whales, seals and sea lions). A hiking trail, which is part of the Coast Trial, also connects the three parks.
SEASONAL PEAK BLOOM PERIODS
Ever since its beginnings as Louis Simpson's private estate, the plantings at Shore Acres have been designed to take advantage of the area's mild climate. They have created a "garden for all seasons" - with showy "peaks" of different kinds of flowers for almost every time of the year:
* Hundreds of spring bulbs and daffodils
- late February thru March
* 5,000 tulips
- late March thru April
* Hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas
- April thru mid-May
* 5,000 flowering annuals/perennials
- May thru September
* 900 rose bushes
- June thru September
* 250 dahlias
- August thru mid-October
* 250,000 or more holiday lights
* Interesting and unique flowers, evergreen shrubs and trees, including the largest Monterey pine in Oregon (near the greenhouse).
Bloom times are based on normal/average conditions at Shores Acres and may vary. If you have questions, please talk to a member of the garden staff or call (541) 888-3732.
The park is open every day from 8am to dusk. Please check posted times at park entrance for exact closing times. A nominal daily vehicle parking fee is charged. Annual day-use permits are available for purchase. Your camping receipt from Sunset Bay State Park or any other state park campground is accepted as a daily permit for those days registered. Display the receipt on the driver side of your dashboard when visiting Shore Acres State Park.|
Bed and Breakfast Inns