Friday, September 20, 2019
Whenever an aquarium viewing opportunity occurs, I’m all in. While camping at South Beach State Park, a search result for a local aquarium provided the Oregon Coast Museum. The website looked good so we decided to go.
The first parking lot, the one where the employees park, is the one furthest from the aquarium entrance.
Upon entering, the first order of business is to pay for admission. Adult tickets are roughly $25. Seniors over 65 are $20. To date, this is the most expensive aquarium visit ever. After gladly forking over $50, (there are two of us), we got our picture taken. We would be able to pick up our pictures later.
The first decision was where to go first.
I was thinking snacks, Linda was thinking outside where the mammal exhibits were.
The sea otters were a lively bunch. They swam rapidly around their huge tank. They played with each other and seemed to show interest in the people staring back at them through underwater windows onto their world.
One especially playful otter consistently swam upside down. While the sea otter feeding was within 15 minutes, we decided to push on. We couldn’t tell who was hungrier for action, the sea otters or the crowd of people waiting to see the action.
The harbor seals and sea lions just sat around doing nothing.
The octopus cave sounded promising. Linda was excited about the possibility of seeing a live octopus. Unfortunately, no octopus.
The seabird aviary, while full of seabirds, paled in comparison to common seabirds found in wetlands and on shorelines. The captive birds didn’t have the clean look of seabirds in the wild. We headed on to the Passages of the Deep displays, a collection of walk through aquariums.
On the way into Passages of the Deep, we were offered an opportunity to purchase a number of prints and downloadable images of the same picture of us on five different backgrounds. $40 lighter, we joyfully continued on to walk among the fishes.
Walking through the middle of giant fish tanks was most enjoyable. The fish seem to be in their natural environment. Schooling fish swim together in large schools and respond as a group to predators like sharks. Synchronized swimming.
A platoon of divers were cleaning the aquarium side of the tubes. They were a friendly cleaning crew and waved at visitors.
Next stop, Sandy Shores, Rocky Shores and Coastal Waters exhibits. Sandy shores had a petting zoo of sorts. Visitors could touch Intertidal zone creatures. Rocky shores, also an intertidal zone set of displays is where the above picture came from.
Coastal waters covered estuaries like nearby Yaquina Bay.
Artists created SEAPUNK: POWERED BY IMAGINATION displays. Some displays invited the audience to participate.
Other displays melded lifeforms like fish with submarine themes. This created a fun sort of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea type creations. Great fun!
For lunch, we stopped in at the Ferry Slip Cafe. All entrees less than $9.
For this type of venue, the food was unusually good and service was exceptionally quick. The prices were also reasonable. The entire cafe was clean. No greasy residue on surfaces. Employees were courteous and responsive. Food was delivered hot.
The gift shop was well stocked and well run. They carried jewelry, books, clothing, keepsakes, children’s toys and other items.
The marine animal plush toy displays were fun to look at. All very cute.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a pleasant way to spend the day.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!