Downtime Quest to the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Hard work deserves some downtime rest and relaxation and here in Oregon, there is a plethora of possibilities for those of us here at NWT and our wonderful neighbors to enjoy.  One of the best choices to spend the day to relax and unwind is the locally and nationally acclaimed Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon.  Whether you plan to spend the entire day, or make it a family sleepover with the sharks, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is enlightening, educational and thoroughly enjoyable way to refresh and rejuvenate for the hustle and bustle of the coming work week.  Image

Weekends at the Oregon Coast Aquarium offer special events such as the Giant Pacific Octopus Encounter.  Have you ever wondered what it feels like to touch the tentacles of a giant Pacific octopus?  According to Oregon Coast Aquarium (n.d.) these large, crustacean munching cephalopods equipped with a “…venomous parrot-like beak and the ability to eject ink into the water to blind other animal…”  For an additional fee of $35 for members or $40 for nonmembers, visitors are offered the opportunity to get to know these giant creatures up close and personal. Image

For those curious folk that desire to take a peek into how the Oregon Coast Aquarium cares for over 20,000 animals daily, there is the thirty minute Behind the Scene Tour.  This tour requires participants to be at least six years of age and all those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  There is also a special requirement that participants be able to climb, unaided, two flights of stairs.  The rate of admission for this tour is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

How about an opportunity for an extraordinary selfie while getting kissed by a sea lion?  For a $30 member fee or $35 for nonmembers, visitors can get up close and personal with an on the mouth kiss with one of these gregarious sea mammals.Image

When it is time for a lunch break, visitors need not look for the golden arches but rather enjoy a bite to eat from the Ferry Slip Café.  As one might expect, the menu is heavy with seafood, but everyone, including the pickiest eaters, should be able to find something to enjoy.  There is an updated version of shrimp Louis offered as well as peanut butter and grape jelly.  The menu for the Ferry Slip Café is available here.  The grilled mahi mahi fish taco sounds amazing!

Scuba divers have the opportunity to sign up for what is billed as “The best shore dive on the Oregon coast” (Oregon Coast Aquarium, n.d.)!  The Aquarium provides tank and weights, a photograph, a fish ID training session, a Behind the Scenes Tour of Passages of the Deep, an Aquarium admission entry pass and two dives.  One dive is the 26 foot deep Halibut Flats Exhibit where divers will be surrounded by rockfish, halibut, skates and sturgeon.  The second dive, of unknown depth, is on the observation ledge of the Open Sea exhibit that includes hundreds of sharks.  Diving with sharks is an experience like none other and no, we really are not on the menu.  Pick your program and reserve your space here.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium touts themselves as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and encourages memberships and donations both both the private sector and corporations.  According to the Oregon Coast Aquarium (n.d.) donors help the Aquarium with their stated mission to “inspire the public to better understand, cherish and conserve marine and coastal ecosystems.”  Tax deductible personal and family memberships come with great benefits including free and unlimited admission for a year, exclusive member’s entrance, and exhibit preview invitations.  A membership is definitely worthy of consideration.

All in all, singles and families cannot go wrong with a trip to this awesome Oregon resource.  Due to its educational value, it certainly should be considered a must for families, but singles should not dismiss it.  It is a  great way to relax, unwind and enjoy our rich and diverse coast.  We all need to stop and appreciate nature and learn more about the wildlife we share this planet with.  The Oregon Coast Aquarium, as one of Oregon’s top tourist attractions, will no doubt fill your day with awe and wonder and promises to be worth your time and money.

References:

Eugene Skin Divers Supply. (n.d.). Dive the Oregon Coast Aquarium Newport. Retrieved Februrary 7, 2014, from Dive the Aquarium Web site: http://www.divetheaquarium.org/index.html

Ferry Slip Café. (n.d.). Ferry Slip Café. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from Amazon Web Services Web site: http://s3.amazonaws.com/aquarium_production/pdfs/24/original.pdf?1375458606

Oregon Coast Aquarium. (2011, May 24). Oregon Coast Aquarium Encounters with Sea Lions.mov. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from YouTube Web site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NyUmGLk7ro

Oregon Coast Aquarium. (n.d.). Become a member. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from Oregon Coast Aquarium Web site: http://aquarium.org/support/membership

Oregon Coast Aquarium. (n.d.). Dive the Aquarium. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from Oregon Coast Aquarium Web site: http://aquarium.org/education/dive-the-aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium. (n.d.). Giant Pacific octopus. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from Oregon Coast Aquarium Web site: http://aquarium.org/exhibits/giant-pacific-octopus

Oregon Coast Aquarium. (n.d.). Oregon Coast Aquarium. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from Oregon Coast Aquarium Web site: http://aquarium.org/