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Aquariums Reopening: One Washington Coast, One Oregon Coast

Published 01/31/21 at 5:26 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Aquariums Reopening: One Washington Coast, One Oregon Coast

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(Newport, Oregon) – Two aquariums on Pacific Northwest beaches are opening up. The Westport Aquarium on the Washington coast restarts in February while Newport’s Oregon Coast Aquarium has already reopened.

Both were shut down because of COVID restrictions.

Meanwhile, Tillamook County has been dropped to lowest risk category, allowing the north Oregon coast towns of Pacific City, Oceanside, Tillamook, Garibaldi, Rockaway Beach and Manzanita to have restaurants again open to indoor dining.

As of Saturday, Oregon Coast Aquarium is open once more after Oregon Health Authority assessments put Lincoln County into a lower-risk category. It had been shut since December 18. There are still numerous restrictions for capacity and everyone must wear a mask. The aquarium said everyone must remain at least six feet away from those not in their party. Inside is a one-way path only.

Hours at the aquarium are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Visitors can purchase tickets online or at the gate. No cash transactions. No reservations necessary.

2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd. Newport, Oregon. 541.867.3474.

In Oregon, all counties are reassessed every two weeks: the next directive will be issued in February. Seaside Aquarium in Clatsop County has been closed since earlier this month because that county was raised to extreme risk.

The other two aquariums in the state – Charleston Marine Life Center and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport - never reopened once restrictions went into place back in the spring. They plan to open again once they deem it safe.

On the Washington coast, the Westport Aquarium is still closed for a little while but will resume operations by appointments only starting February 13. The aquarium told Oregon Coast Beach Connection if Washington State allows 25 percent occupancy then it can open up a little further.

The Westport Aquarium will only be allowed six guests at a time and they must be from the same household.

“Please make your appointments at least a day in advance,” the aquarium said.

To make an appointment call 360-268-7070 and leave a message or email them at

An aquarium spokesman said it is renovating one of its large tanks and that may not be complete until early March. (360) 268-7070. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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