Every holiday season we make our annual visit to Shore Acres State Park for the ever expanding light display there. This post is from a year ago, but you will see all of these displays and more. This is a not-to-be-missed Oregon Coast Adventure for everyone!
Shore Acres Botanical Gardens just outside of Charleston, Oregon, on the coast is lit up for 30 days over the holidays. Starting at Thanksgiving time, this beautiful coastal place is filled with lights, light displays and decorated Christmas trees. The Friends of Shore Acres do most of the lighting work and man the cottage and grounds during December every year. Various groups, such as the local Corvette Club, decorate the trees.
Starting at the entrance to the gardens, you are greeted by the lighted tall ship.
Just past the tall ship is this display from under the sea.
Moving along, the garden lights open up for a full view that is spectacular to take in.
This post is about the lights. Following are some of our favorite light displays.
Walking in past the Under The Sea display, these sea lions dive into the water and will make a splash of light.
In the opposite direction are 2 whales. One whale leaps and the other one, a grey whale, spouts.
Continuing around the walk is a somewhat new lighthouse display.
The plants here are filled with colorful lights creating their own display.
Continuing on you will come to the Puffins.
And next is the pond. I am just giving you an idea of the displays. It is best to visit here in person during December to take in the full beauty of all the various displays and decorated trees. The frog actually leaps from one side of the pond to the other creating a splash when it enters the water.
As your walk around the pond, the sounds of ‘Ribbit, Ribbit’ can be heard. It’s a bit of a surprise!
The pond supplies endless, lighted views. The cranes and salmon are no exception.
Shore Acres sits up on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean a short distance past Charleston, Oregon. The core of this property originally was the home of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson who built a large mansion with formal gardens overlooking the ocean. The State of Oregon purchased the property in 1942 and added land as it became available. The gardens were let go until 1970 when they were restored even grander than before with flowers and plants from all over the world. One of our favorite parts of the gardens is hidden a bit. There is an area with many rows of all kinds of roses!
The mansion no longer exists, but there is an observation area where it once was where you can read all the history. However, the caretaker’s cottage survives and is now the Garden House. It, too, is filled with all things Christmasy and is on the tour.
Inside you can sign the guest book and then head on upstairs to visit the front bedroom, Santa’s bath and the back bedroom. You can sign up for the raffle to spend New Year’s Eve in the front bedroom with a catered breakfast.
There is a Christmas tree in the bedroom also.
And the view out the window is spectacular!
And don’t forget Santa’s bath.
As you pass from the front of the house to the back, you are greeted by many volunteers giving out cookies, hot apple cider, punch and coffee which you can enjoy there or take out to the pavilion.
You can sit and sip and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. There are a variety of groups that play/perform/sing on any given night and there’s often a sing-a-long. One year this bell choir performed beautifully.
If you are on the Oregon Coast during the month of December, do not miss the opportunity to visit Shore Acres Holiday Light Display! There is a $5.00 charge for parking that is worth every penny. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on the way out. Shore Acres State Park, 80939 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay, OR. It is just a short drive from Umpqua River Haven!