The scenic Shore Acres State Park is located 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay, 4 miles of Charleston, and near the end of Cape Arago Highway. Shore Acres were established as a 1600-acre private estate in the early 1900s by Louis J. Simpson. He was a timber magnate, the founder and five times mayor of the City of North Bend. Christmas present to his wife Cassandra, a three-story Shoreacres mansion with an indoor swimming pool and a ballroom was built in 1908. This location became known for its stunning ocean views, beautiful gardens, large home and served as a place to entertain Simpson Family's guests. Later, Simpson bought 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 Shoreacres mansion. In 1922 L.J. Simpson remarried and adopted two little girls. 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 had to be demolished in 1948.
Shore Acres became a state park in 1975, after redesigning and replanting. Now, Shore Acres is a unique 743-acre park with seven acres of beautiful gardens which include a formal garden, two rose gardens and Japanese garden with a lily pond. The botanical gardens are landscaped with plants from all over the world, some of them from warmer climates can be found in the greenhouse.
There is a glass-walled wave watching shelter that offers excellent views of the ocean, seaside cliffs and migrating whales (December through February & March through May). Also, you can stroll down the Simpson Beach Trail to Simpson Cove where you can watch the turbulent waves crash into rocks, sea lions cavort and explore tide pools.
From Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve, Shore Acres celebrate Holiday Lights with 325 thousand colored lights and decorations. Also, Friends of Shore Acres sponsors numbers of botanical events from April to September.
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.
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.
Address: 89039 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay, OR 97420