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|A Southern Oregon Coast Tradition: Shore Acres Holiday Lights|
|Coos Bay - North Bend - Charleston|
Thanksgiving - New Year
If you visit from Thanksgiving through New Years, the gardens are ablaze with thousands of colored lights and holiday decorations for the Shore Acres Holiday of Lights put up by community volunteers and The Friends of Shore Acres in cooperation with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
This community tradition was born in 1987 when the Friends of Shore Acres decided to "string a few lights" to help celebrate the holidays. That first season, 6,000 miniature lights, one Christmas tree, and the decorated Garden House drew 9,000 visitors.
Now, 300,000 lights - both holiday L.E.D. and landscaping - many Christmas trees, lighted sculptures, entertainment in the pavilion, and a beautifully decorated Garden House draw 40,000 to 50,000 visitors or more each season. Numbers vary with the weather. Inside the Garden House, scrolls of names are a tribute to business supporters and the more than 1,500 volunteers who make it happen.
Thanksgiving thru New Year's Eve - 4pm to 9:30pm every night (including Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Walk-thru Display - All abilities accessible. Open Garden House with hot cider, punch, coffee cookies and Ultimate Bed & Breakfast Raffle! Information & Gift Center Open every night!
Any time you visit you can stroll down a trail to a small secluded ocean cove at Simpson Beach where elephant seals haul out to molt amongst picnickers or skirt the cliff's edge to see spectacular ocean vistas which often include towering waves crashing against the shoreline after a storm and migrating grey whales. On the site of Simpson's vanished mansion, a fully enclosed observation building will allow you to view the ocean and protect you from the weather. The observation building has interpretive panels describing the history of the Simpson estate.
The Friends of Shore Acres operate a gift and information center at the entrance to the formal gardens where visitors can purchase items that relate to the historical and natural features of Shore Acres. The Friends also sponsor a variety of horticultural and cultural events at the garden throughout the year.
A large Monterey pine (pinus radiata) dates back to the historic Louis J. Simpson estate. A member of the national Big Tree Register, the pine is 95 feet tall with a 208-inch truck circumference and a 74-foot crown spread. It shares co-champion honors with a Monterey pine in Carmel, California, which has a smaller trunk, but a wider crown. It was probably planted around 1910.