Oregon Coast Aquarium

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.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5/5 TripAdvisor Traveler Rating based on 3028 reviews

TripAdvisor

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    January 18, 2023
    courtneymolaug

    I mean there is aquatic life that you get to see.

    Overall I can see the idea behind the aquarium is pretty cool, but there were many things that were just not so great. The coral and anemones were dying, fish life didn’t look too healthy, acrylic on the floor where you can see under you was cracked (no idea how that is safe). The one thing that upsets me the most is that it is very obvious that their sharks do not have teeth and I can’t find any information on this anywhere.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    January 14, 2023
    303madss

    Far from its potential

    The aquarium is just another attraction which far from lives up to expectations and which could easily be so much better. The 4 indoor areas presents various natural surroundings. But where you would expect a broad variety of sea life represented, this is limited and quickly done. The ‘main attraction’ the passage of the deep, do contain both sharks and rays but when we went obviously 7-10 scuba divers who seemed to be similarly popular with the majority of the crowd whereas we considered it more of a peculiarity. Less focus on entertainment and buying stuff and more focus on aesthetics and knowledge transfer to the guest. The aquarium clearly needs a revamp and many of the tanks should have more information and interactivity A typical overpriced and underperforming attraction.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    January 11, 2023
    tayler1993

    Fun for the whole family

    We visited the aquarium for the first time, kids aged 4 and 9, plus mom and dad, we ALL learned new things and enjoyed all of the exhibits.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    January 4, 2023
    shelbinx14

    So Beautiful

    Favorite part of going to the coast. My personal favorite is the tunnels with the fish and the sharks! Super cool!

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    December 20, 2022
    TMarie09

    Wonderful Solo Activity

    I chose to visit the aquarium as a solo visitor on a weekday in the off season - it was a perfect relaxing activity for any aquarium lover. While the aquarium is not overly large, it is easily navigated and offers many areas for stopping and enjoying the moment as one is immersed by a multitude of aquatic species with most of them being native. The aquarium also does a great job at providing the opportunity to learn about the local ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest and the human impact on our oceans. I also highly recommend the Behind the Scenes Tour! It was well worth the price just to see Banner, the resident green eel, but also fascinating to see all of the inner workings from the enthusiastic educational staff members.

Hide Ratings & Reviews Read all reviews on TripAdvisor