Taking a trip to the Oregon Coast is like visiting an entirely new world... one where sea lions outnumber people, seagulls sing more popular hits than Justin Bieber and the cutest thing around is not your adorable toddler, it's the otters. And you can find all of these popular Oregon Coast residents, and more, at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Located in Newport, Oregon, which is about three hours from Portland, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is the premiere aquarium in the state, with over a dozen exhibits, most of them being permanent, a well-planned layout that's easy to navigate and tons of interactive fun for kids of all ages. We love that the museum is the perfect size to explore in a couple of hours — we all know that any longer than that and you're likely to have cranky kids on your hands! Plus, this is far more than a "oh, look at the animals" type of place — at the Oregon Coast Aquarium you get the chance to experience the animals first hand, watch feedings at different hours all day long, explore hands-on exhibits and even book animal encounters with your favorite sea life!
Now let's talk specifics, shall we? The newest exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium is titled "Sea & Me" and is an interactive exhibit for children ages 4-10. Your kids will love climbing aboard the mini-submarine and pretending they are going "down bubble" to the bottom of the ocean to see some sea life of their own. The giant pacific octopus is another very popular exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium — they can weigh up to 600 pounds and believe it or not, are quite shy! Sometimes, you'll need to wait patiently for them to make their grand entrance, but trust us when we say that it will be worth the wait! And of course, you can't miss the ever-popular sea otters. These guys are pretty adorable and will capture your hearts immediately, the way they float on their backs and tuck in their cute little paws. At the Oregon Coast Aquarium, you can catch the otters eating a few times throughout the day — get to the exhibit early to snag a spot up close!
Be sure to check out the Aquari-Cam before your visit to get a sneak-peek of the aquarium and its residents! A few more tips from families who love the Oregon Coast Aquarium? There is free parking, so don't get suckered in by a pay lot. Be sure to pack a jacket, because many of the exhibits are outdoors. And leave your gum at home — it's dangerous to the animals.
Address: 2820 SE Ferry Slip Road, Newport, OR
Photos courtesy of Cindy Hanson, Oregon Coast Aquarium
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