There is nothing more delightful than strolling through a lighted garden at Christmastime and there is no place brighter on the Oregon Coast to experience this than the annual Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park near Coos Bay.
Famous for its beautiful seven-acre botanical gardens and Japanese lily pond, Shore Acres shines with more than a quarter million lights, animated displays, Santa, choirs, and more from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.
For 33 years, Shore Acres has been transformed into a glittering holiday wonderland that draws visitors from all over the United States and from around the world. What began as a modest holiday display organized by a handful of volunteers has grown into one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays on the West Coast, and it keeps getting bigger and better year after year.
The whimsical display features garden landscape lighting, 26 large holiday trees, and dozens of lighted sculptures including life-size whales, animated sea lions, an undersea garden, a leaping frog in the pond, and breaching dolphins. Volunteers with non-profit organizations serve hot cider, punch, coffee and cookies inside the Garden House as children await their turn to talk to Santa. High school and church choirs fill the gazebo with the sounds of the season as visitors stroll through the displays.
It is a holiday tradition for the whole family.
Gardens, Waves & Whales
Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres State Park features lush botanical gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Roses, rhododendrons, daffodils, azaleas and more are abloom throughout the year, all surrounded by a forest of pines, firs, and evergreen shrubs.
Perched on top of 80-100 foot rugged sandstone cliffs, Shore Acres encompasses 745 acres of verdant coastal forests, dramatic cliffs, hiking trails, and a hidden beach cove. Where once sat the magnificent Simpson mansion now sits a fully enclosed observation building where visitors can view the wild ocean and migrating whales while being protected from the sometimes wet weather found on the Oregon coast.
Storm conditions out to sea can produce magnificent crashing waves. Shore Acres State Park is lauded as the best storm watching spot on the entire Oregon Coast. The beautifully natural hiking trails and rock wall along the cliffs allows for a safe distance above the waves to enjoy fantastic views. The term storm watching has more to do with the ocean conditions than the actual weather conditions. When conditions in the ocean create large swells, they translate into amazing wave action. A 15-20 foot swell will turn into a wave over 100 feet high, and swells of 25-35 feet create waves as high as 250-300 feet high. The roar of the ocean as it approaches the cliffs can be felt deep inside those lucky enough to be there. It is an experience visitors will never forget.
For more information on visiting Shore Acres during Holiday Lights, visit https://www.oregonsadventurecoast.com/event/33rd-annual-holiday-lights-at-shore-acres/