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Best Gardens: Shore Acres State Park near Coos Bay, Oregon

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A visit to Shore Acres State Park near Coos Bay on the Oregon coastline provides a visual delight to visitors, offering an artist's palette of colorful blooming flowers set against majestic sandstone cliffs that showcase the rugged and raw beauty of the shore and sea. Shore Acres consists of a formal garden, a Japanese-style garden with a lily pond, and two rose gardens, easily placing it as best on the coast.

The artfully manicured gardens feature plants and flowers from all over the world, with blooms changing constantly depending upon the season. Seasonal peak blooms include spring bulbs and daffodils in late February through March, over 5,000 tulips from late March through April, rhododendrons and azaleas from April through mid-May, thousands of flowering annuals and perennials from May through September, more than 800 rose bushes June through September, and 300 dahlias from August through mid-October. During the holiday season festive lights sparkle from Thanksgiving Day through New Years Eve.

Located on the Cape Arago Highway, 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay/North Bend and U.S. Highway 101, Shore Acres State Park is open every day from 8 a.m. to dusk. A daily vehicle parking fee is charged. (At the time of my visit, it was $5.00 per auto).

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