The scenic cliff above the Pacific Ocean, Shore Acres State Park is located 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay and 4 miles of Charleston. Shore Acres were established as a 1,600-acre private estate in the early 1900s by Louis J. Simpson. He was a timber magnate, a founder, and five times mayor of the city of North Bend. In 1908, he built a three-story mansion with an indoor swimming pool and a ballroom and presented it to his wife Cassandra. This location became well-known for its stunning ocean views, beautiful gardens, a large house serving as a place to entertain Simpson Family's guests. Later, Simpson purchased all of the lands along the coast, from Sunset Bay to Cape Arago.
A chain of tragic events occurred in the 1920s. Cassandra died after a long illness in April of 1921. Three months later, a fire destroyed the mansion. L.J. Simpson remarried and adopted two little girls in 1922. Then he hired a Swedish builder to erect a new two-story mansion. In 1932, after the stock market crashed, Simpson donated the Cape Arago and, 10 years later, sold the Shore Acres portion of his estate to the State of Oregon. Because of the high cost of maintenance, the second mansion was demolished.
Shore Acres became a state park in 1975, after redesigning and replanting. Now, this area is a unique 743-acre park with seven acres of beautiful gardens which include a formal garden, two rose gardens, and a Japanese garden with a lily pond. The botanical gardens were landscaped with plants from all over the world.
There is a glass-walled wave watching shelter that offers excellent views of the ocean, seaside cliffs, and migrating whales from December through February and from March through May. Simpson Beach Trail runs to Simpson Cove offering a great stroll through the beautiful coastal forest, vistas of turbulent waves crashing on the rocky shore, and sea lions resting on reefs.
From Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve, Shore Acres celebrates Holiday Lights with 325 thousand colored lights and decorations.
Shore Acres | General Description
Managed: Oregon State Park
Location: Shore Acres State Park
Services: Information and gift shop, garden, and hiking trails
Activities: Hiking, scenic viewpoints
Accommodations: Sunset Bay Campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes
12- or 24- month day-use parking permit for State Parks
Sunset Bay campground receipt
Dogs: Not allowed
Popularity: Moderate to high
Shore Acres is located:
- 12 miles southwest of Coos Bay
- 92 miles west of Roseburg
- 127 miles southwest of Eugene.
Directions to Shore Acres
From Highway-101 in North Bend,
- Turn west onto Virginia Avenue and follow 0.6 miles to Broadway Avenue
- Turn left onto Broadway Avenue and go 0.9 miles to Newmark Avenue
- Bear right onto Newmark Avenue and drive 1.8 miles to Cape Arago Highway
- Turn left onto Cape Arago Highway and continue for 8.9 miles to Shore Acres State Park.