You won’t find reindeer or snowmen among the holiday lights on Oregon’s
Cape Arago. Along this dramatic section of the Oregon coast, twinkling
life-size gray whales, harbor seals and pelicans are the star
Perched high on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, Shore Acres State
Park hosts an annual holiday lights display that attracts nearly 60,000
visitors to the park’s renowned botanical gardens. Every year, 1,200
volunteers use more than a quarter-million lights to create a shimmering
seven-acre wonderland of whales, sea lions, squid, jellyfish, starfish,
sea horses, puffins, sea urchins and other local creatures.
Arrive at Shore Acres before dusk, and watch the sunset from
one of the benches along the cliff-top trails or from the shelter of the
Observation Building. Then, stroll along the garden paths and enjoy the
lights before heading into the Garden House for a cup of hot cocoa or
Shore Acres is one of three spectacularly situated state parks
on Cape Arago. A mile to the north, Sunset Bay State Park provides
year-round camping with hookups; to the south, Cape Arago State Park
offers an excellent vantage point for observing seals and sea lions on
nearby Simpson Reef.
Shore Acres State Park is located on Cape Arago Highway, 13
miles southwest of Coos Bay. The Holiday Lights display is open daily
from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.
For more information, call (866) 888-6100, or visit shoreacres.net.