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Shore Acres State Park
Published: 06/28/2014
Cliffside paths offer exciting views of dramatic rock formations at Shore Acres State Park.
Cliffside paths offer exciting views of dramatic rock formations at Shore Acres State Park.
Photo by Gary Hayes

Enjoy stunning views of the Pacific, then explore the beautifully maintained formal gardens of this one-time private estate, now Shore Acres State Park.

Gorgeous natural scenery, paired up with lovingly tended gardens against a colorful backdrop of coastal history: it's a marriage made in heaven. Shore Acres State Park sits on the one-time site of a 745-acre bluff-top estate, once the pride of timber baron Louis J. Simpson who outfitted its gardens with trees, shrubs and flowering plants he'd gleaned from his explorations the world over. This stopover is an absolute must for any green thumbs among your coast-bound crowd.

The estate's showpiece mansion is no more, but the formidable grounds have been lovingly restored to their former glory. Stop at the former site of the estate's grand home, now an enclosed observation area perched atop a bluff, and drink in prime views of the Pacific Ocean. There are also craggy sandstone cliffs and a secluded cove at Simpson Beach, accessible by trail. Nearby, you can stroll through five acres of meticulously cared-for gardens. The grounds boast a formal garden as well as two rose gardens and you won't want to miss the lily pond in the estate's Japanese garden.

Beginning each Thanksgiving, endless strings of colored lights and other bright baubles transform the estate into a festive winter wonderland, perfect for visiting off-season. The park also hosts additional yearly horticultural and cultural events.

This beautiful, easily accessible spot is perfect for explorers with limited mobility. Pets are not permitted on the park grounds.

Shore Acres State Park lies between Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago State Park and hiking trails connect the three parks offering one of the most scenic 2.5 mile treks on the Oregon Coast. Shore Acres is located on Cape Arago Highway, 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay/North Bend and U.S. Highway 101.  - By Erin Bernard

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