Oregonians, it’s time to puff up with pride! Our beloved Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport has recently been lauded as one of the “15 Top Aquariums in the U.S. for 2023” by the renowned travel platform, U.S. News & World Report. This isn’t just a win for Newport – it’s a testament to our state’s dedication to marine life and the environment. Let’s dive deep into what makes this aquatic haven truly special.
A Journey Through Time: The Aquarium’s Humble Beginnings
The Oregon Coast Aquarium opened its doors in 1992 and, since then, has grown into a cherished destination for both residents and visitors. Beginning with a vision to showcase Oregon’s marine life in a captivating setting, the Aquarium now spans 23 acres and houses more than 15,000 animals across over 250 species.
Historically, it’s also been an advocate for marine conservation. Numerous programs have been initiated to rescue and rehabilitate marine animals, ensuring that creatures like the endangered Western snowy plover have a fighting chance.
Dive Into the Deep: Must-See Exhibits
One of the reasons our Newport gem stands out is because of its enthralling exhibits:
- Passages of the Deep – Walk through the clear acrylic tunnel, immersing yourself in the open ocean, filled with sharks, rays, and vibrant schools of fish.
- Rocky Shores – Feel the splash of waves and discover sea anemones, tide pool critters, and even meet the playful sea otters.
- Sea Bird Aviary – From tufted puffins to common murres, bird lovers will rejoice in this open-air spectacle.
More Than Just an Aquarium: The Coastal Connection
The Aquarium isn’t just a standalone attraction. Its location in Newport, set against the backdrop of the mesmerizing Oregon coast, makes for a surreal experience. Newport, with its rich maritime history, pristine beaches, and iconic Yaquina Bay Bridge, offers travelers an authentic coastal Oregon experience.
The Oregon Coast, with its misty mornings and golden sunsets, is an ecosystem teeming with life, from the tiniest sand crabs to the majestic gray whales that migrate along its waters. The Aquarium’s recognition is also a nod to the wonders of our state’s coastline.
Continuing the Legacy
As we celebrate this significant recognition, it’s essential to remember the larger mission: conservation. The Oregon Coast Aquarium not only educates us about the marvels of marine life but also underscores the importance of protecting our oceans.
Plan Your Visit!
If you haven’t visited lately, now’s the time! Whether it’s the twinkle in a sea otter’s eye, the mysterious allure of the jellyfish, or simply the salt-laden breeze on your face, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is a testament to our state’s wonders.
So, next time you’re cruising down Highway 101, make that stop in Newport. The sea is calling, and its stories await.
From the heart of the Beaver State, we’re not just saying it; we truly believe – our Oregon Coast Aquarium is a treasure. And now, the rest of the country believes it too. Cheers to the beauty and magic of the deep blue!