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Visitor and Interpretive Centers
More than a century ago, Simpson Lumber Company ships, owned by timber baron Louis Simpson, transported Oregon logs worldwide from Coos Bay. The vessels returned with seeds that were planted in the gardens of the great Simpson estate, a dozen miles west of Coos Bay.
Although the Simpson house burned down in 1923, the several acres of gardens are still a floral fantasy. Something blooms nearly every day of the year. They are lighted during the holiday season and are open to the public as part of Shore Acres State Park, accessible via the Cape Arago Highway. The grounds are three miles south of Charleston.
Besides the formal gardens, an enclosed observation deck perches above sandstone cliffs overlooking the ocean, where migrating grey whales might be seen. There also is a leafy path down to a sheltered beach cove.
The Friends of Shore Acres, in cooperation with Oregon State Parks, maintain a gift/information center at the entrance.