Take Cape Arago Hwy south and in a few minutes you will find yourself in the paradox that is Shore Acres State Park. Here a rugged and pristine seashore contrasts with the cultivated beauty of carefully tended gardens. The dramatic and wild seascape is complimented by the orderly Victorian gardens. Stroll down the trail to Simpson Cove, a secluded inlet where turbulent waves crash into weathered rocks, or skirt the cliffs on the trail above and stop at the overlook to watch sea lions cavort. In season, the overlook also provides an observation point for migrating whales. Friends of Shore Acres sponsors a half dozen botanical events annually, from mid-April through late September. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve the gardens are ablaze in holiday lights. A fully enclosed observation building with excellent views of the sea offers a comfortable vantage point. Shore Acres State Park is near the end of Cape Arago Hwy, 12 miles southwest of Coos Bay, (541) 888-2472.