Take a deep dive into marine science at one of the nation’s top aquariums.
An icon of Newport, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is a public aquatic and marine science exhibition facility offering educational programs. Exhibits showcase seabirds, marine mammals, fishes, invertebrates and plants primarily native to the Oregon Coast.
Sandy Shores showcases the narrow ecosystem where land meets water along the Oregon Coast. Highlights include replicas, interactive programs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, feathery sea pens and color-morphing flatfishes.
Rocky Shores features habitats for the fearsome-looking but gentle wolf eel, rockfish and a wide range of sea stars, limpets and other invertebrates. The centerpiece of this gallery, the Touch Pool, lets visitors gently interact with tide pool residents like sea stars, anemones, abalones and crabs.
Coastal Waters is home to moon jellies and Pacific sea nettles and a California kelp forest. Close-up exhibits harbor bizarre off-shore animals including the Pacific hagfish. The “At the Jetty” exhibit spotlights survival issues of coho and chinook salmon. Extending into the courtyard with a large wall-to-wall viewing window, it is one of the aquarium’s larger indoor displays.
Passages of the Deep is a 1.32-million-gallon exhibit featuring three expansive ocean habitats connected by a series of tunnels stretching under water, creating a sense of walking beneath the sea. Visitors experience nearly 360-degree views of the 3,500 sea creatures. The exhibit is designed for guests to view the changing underwater landscape, from Oregon’s rocky coastlines to the open sea environment far off shore.