Shore Acres Park
Region: South Oregon Coast, U.S.
Access allowed: Year-round, dawn to dusk
Sunset Bay State Park campground
Service: Information and gift shop
Dogs: Not allowed
Fees: $5 per vehicle per day
12- or 24- month day-use parking permit for State Parks
Sunset Bay campground receipt
GPS Coordinates: 43.323444, -124.385405
Address: 89039 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay, OR 97420
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 guests. Later, Simpsons 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, Simpsons donated the Cape Arago and, 10 years later, sold the Shore Acres portion of the estate to the State of Oregon. Because of the high cost of maintenance, the second mansion had to be razed in 1948.
Shore Acres became a state park in 1975, after redesigning and replanting. Now, Shore Acres are 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.
A glass-walled wave watching shelter offers excellent views of the ocean, seaside cliffs and migrating whales (December through February & March through May). Stroll down the Simpson Beach Trail to Simpson Cove where you can watch the turbulent waves crash into rocks, sea lions cavort and explore tidepools.
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.
Directions to Shore Acre State Park
Follow Highway US-101 to Johnson Ave in Coos Bay, take Libby Ln and drive for 7.3 miles to Cape Arago Highway. Turn left onto Cape Arago Highway in Barview and continue for 4.3 miles to the entrance to Shore Acre State Park.