The Oregon Coast Aquarium has enchanted visitors since its doors opened in 1992. The facility is situated on 23 acres along Yaquina Bay, right up against the Pacific Ocean. It’s been given high praise – ranking as one of the top ten aquariums in North America, and named a “world class” location. There’s much to do and see at this site, but here are three don’t-miss spots to check out:
• Passages in the Deep: Wander through acrylic tubes surrounded by deep marine water and watch sharks, rays and rockfish dart by. There are three different segments to the exhibit: Orford Reef, which contains mainly Pacific Northwest species, Halibut Flats, with ling cod, halibut and a sunken ship, and Open Sea, which features everything from salmon to sharks.
• Seabird Aviary: Make some feathered friend at this exhibit, which includes two large pools and rocky cliffs. Watch seabirds strut and squawk, including tufted puffins, common murre, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, and more.
• Permanent Exhibitions: Learn about the sea critters that inhabit the nearby Pacific Island shores, then check out the tide pool exhibits, or learn about shipwrecks. There are also rotating exhibits which put the spotlight on unusual or interesting marine life.
The Museum is open most days between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call ahead at 541-867-3474 to check their schedule, and to see when to drop by in time to catch an animal feeding or encounter event.