Are you ready to embark on a journey through time, where ancient giants roam and prehistoric wonders come to life? Look no further than Prehistoric Gardens, a captivating tourist attraction nestled on the Oregon Coast, halfway between the charming towns of Gold Beach and Port Orford.
Into the Heart of the Rainforest: A Jurassic Wonderland
Picture this: a lush rainforest boasting a rich tapestry of old-growth trees, vibrant ferns towering overhead, hanging moss, and a symphony of woodland creatures. Welcome to the Rainforest at Prehistoric Gardens, a testament to nature's splendor and a treasure trove of biodiversity. This temperate zone rainforest, protected from the Pacific's winter storms, showcases the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world.
With an average annual rainfall ranging from 6 to 10 feet, this primeval garden provides the perfect conditions for vegetation to flourish. Giant ferns, century-old trees, and even the common skunk cabbage with its tropical-sized leaves add to the magical allure of this ecological gem. Embark on a guided tour through the 300-year-old forest, where you'll journey through an arboretum unraveling the history of plant life, from prehistoric algae to the majestic Redwoods. Prehistoric Gardens is not just an attraction; it's an eco-friendly haven dedicated to supporting the local community and ensuring a sustainable future.
E.V. "Ernie" Nelson's Dinosaur Dream: A Jurassic Visionary
The story of Prehistoric Gardens began in 1953 when E.V. "Ernie" Nelson, an artist, sculptor, and dinosaur enthusiast, packed up his family and set out on a quest to bring dinosaurs to life. After exploring the Southern Oregon Coast, he discovered a prehistoric rainforest, the perfect canvas for his vision. Three years of meticulous construction, a trip to the Smithsonian for research, and January 1st, 1955, marked the grand opening of Prehistoric Gardens.
Nelson's construction process was a marvel in itself. Each life-sized dinosaur started with a sturdy steel frame and mesh-like metal lath, evolving into a concrete masterpiece. The Brachiosaurus, a colossal 86 feet long and 46 feet tall, took four years to complete and stood as Ernie's pride and joy.
Today: A Time-Traveler's Delight Along Highway 101
Fast forward to today, and Prehistoric Gardens remains a family-owned legacy, dedicated to fulfilling Ernie Nelson's dream of creating a portal to the past. This famous roadside attraction along Oregon's Highway 101 Coastal Route has been transporting visitors back in time since 1955.
Prepare for a self-guided tour through this ancient Oregon Rainforest, where 23 life-sized dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures await your discovery. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or a family on vacation, Prehistoric Gardens promises an unforgettable experience.
So, if you're ready to step into the Land of Long Ago, make Prehistoric Gardens your next destination stop on the Oregon Coast. Call us at 1-541-332-4463 or find us at 36848 Highway 101 South. Your adventure through time awaits!