Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fun at The Oregon Coast Aquarium

         The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is our destination on this cool and rainy December morning.  

            We arrive as the sea otter feeding is about to begin; two aquarium employees bring buckets of food to toss to the waiting otters.  Tim and I are standing outside a plexiglass window with an expansive view of the otter’s enclosure.   As we watch the otters gulp their food a volunteer informs us that only the finest quality seafood is fed to these marine mammals; the aquarium spends $13,000 a year to feed each otter.  They eat better than we do.  In addition, otters at the Oregon Coast Aquarium have their own doctors on staff and they may live for 20 years.  How about that - they have better health care than we do too.

         Sea otters have about 1 million hairs per square inch of body surface and spend most of their time keeping that fur impeccably groomed.  Even though wild otters spend their entire lives in the rugged sea their skin never gets wet.  Unfortunately for the otters they were hunted to the brink of extinction for their warm and waterproof pelts.  

Sea Otter - Internet Photo

 An entertaining outdoor event is the sea lion feeding.  We watched as sea lions performed tricks for their treats.  One of the large sea lions was an artist of sorts; yes, he held a brush in his mouth and painted on a canvas held by his trainer.  And I’ll bet you won’t be surprised to hear that his paintings are for sale in the aquarium's gift shop. 
          The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a mixture of indoor and outdoor exhibits arranged  attractively on the grounds.  Among the indoor exhibits, we toured Deep Sea Passages; a walkway over and under the water leads you through this ocean experience.  We also viewed the tide pool, jellyfish and swampland exhibits. 
  The outdoor avian exhibit hosted pigeon guillemots, tufted puffins, oystercatchers and common murres.  It was great to walk right up - no tanks or cages - and watch the birds swimming and diving.

A budding Van Gogh displays his talents.
 After touring the aquarium we drove to the Newport Historic Bayfront on Yaquina Bay.  The Bayfront hosts the requisite tourist shops but this is also a real fishing port.  Fishing boats fill the harbor; seafood unloading docks line the street.  There are literally dozens of seafood restaurants and fresh seafood markets along Bay Street.   Newport’s bayfront is a seafood lovers dream.  

A Newport Harbor Scene.
If you’re planning to visit the Oregon Coast this summer, a trip to Newport’s Bayfront and the Oregon Coast Aquarium should be at the top of your list.
For more information on the aquarium visit:

To learn more about the city of Newport, visit this website:

Playground at the Oregon Coast Aquarium - fun for kids of all ages.

1 comment:

  1. Rita,

    Thank you for another great vacation idea. Love your beautiful photos. Summer's about to start, so I'm giving your blog a shout-out on Twitter; I'm sure folks'll find lots of great adventures here.

    That harbor view is so inviting!