…and I think we might have found it at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Oregon State University has a large marine science study center here and the science center is the public part that welcomes visitors. Although it is geared mainly to children, with many hands-on exhibits, we adults had a good time there too. There are several artificial tide pools where visitors are welcome to touch, but not disturb, the sea creatures.
Russ did not understand that the creatures were not harmful and tried to rescue Brian from the menacing beasts.
A docent demonstrates how sea urchins catch their food. They have stingers that disable their prey. The docent was not stung as the skin on human fingers has too many layers for the stingers to penetrate.
Brian put his archeology degree to the test at the sand table.
And although Russ could not swim with the killer whales, he could certainly compare choppers. The sign says to count the rings on the whale's teeth to estimate his age. Russ would not let me count the rings on his teeth.
There were quite a few hands on demonstrations that we played with and several exhibition tanks with small fish. It is not an aquarium but rather a part of an active research center. It is geared to education and not entertainment. We spent a pleasant hour there and saw everything. Admission is by donation with $5 for adults suggested. Would be a great place to take children.
After that we went south on Hwy. 101 to Yachats and checked into the Overleaf Lodge. This is our favorite place to stay on the Oregon coast if we are not in the motorhome. We had planned to stay three nights but from the looks of our luggage, you would have thought we were staying for a month.
I guess this is why we should travel in the motorhome!!
We even got our favorite room, #118 on the end. The room has four large windows as well as a patio door and is right on the ocean. This is the view from one of the windows.
The coastal 804 trail follows the coastline here and is a safe and easy trail. It’s great for walking in just about any season. We had a beautiful sunny day but after exploring the Hatfield Science Center we had worked up an appetite and headed over to the Adobe for an early dinner.
This is our favorite place to eat in Yachats and again is right on the ocean. The waves were putting on quite a show for us and we had a great view as the walls in the restaurant are nothing but windows.
I love the coast. It refreshes and revives me. Back at the room, we were treated to a magnificent sunset. Pictures were taken from our patio.
Although we had planned to stay three nights, we were all feeling unreasonably tired and decided to head home the next day. Still it was a wonderful trip and a wonderful birthday surprise for me. In fact, I had such a good birthday that I’m thinking of making an annual thing of it!!
By the way, if you love our beaches and public spaces as much as I do, head on over to Erin's blog for a challenge she has posted. Good read.