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“Not at all cheesy......we really liked this and we didn't even have kids with us!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Prehistoric Gardens

Prehistoric Gardens
Gold Beach, OR 97465
+1 541-332-4463
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Ranked #6 of 16 Attractions in Gold Beach
Type: Amusement/ Theme Parks, Amusement Parks
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the most unique tourist attractions on the Oregon Coast, the Prehistoric Gardens is great for young and old alike. Just 17 miles north of Gold Beach lies an untouched prehistoric garden complete with 23 life size dinosaurs set among a lush 300 year old Oregon rainforest. The self-guided tour allows you to casually stroll along the path and discover what the Earth was like millions of years ago. Family owned and operated since 1955, this eco-friendly attraction is a must see! Pet-Friendly! Dogs are allowed to take the tour for FREE as long as they are on a leash.
Simi Valley, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Not at all cheesy......we really liked this and we didn't even have kids with us!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

Beautiful rain forest type of setting with realistic and life size models of dinosaurs. We thought this would be a cheesy tourist trap, but it wasn't. We really enjoyed it. It is very educational and tastefully done. If yo have kids with you they will love it!

Visited August 2011
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69 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Seattle
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Jurassic Gardens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2011

Many, many moons ago, as a child in the seventies, like any young boy, I was crazy fixated on Dinosaurs. And so, a place like Prehistoric Gardens was absolute nirvana for me. Of course when I go drive Highway 101 with my Mom last summer, we just had to stop again. Would this be a case of memories of childhood not standing up to the cold, hard light of being an adult? Or is Prehistoric Gardens actually fun?

Lets get this out of the way right up front. Prehistoric Gardens is a very tourist trap-y sort of place. Not quite on the scale of Wall Drug or South of the Border, but it's still a huge slice of mid-20th century roadside Americana. If you're going in expecting animatronic dinosaurs and interactive exhibits and a sound/light extravaganza, you are in for a disappointment.

On the other hand, they have a life size Tyrannosaurus Rex in the parking lot. Seriously, how cool is that?

Sheltered in a small valley just south of Port Orford on Highway 101, Prehistoric Gardens is essentially about twenty or thirty life-sized dinosaur statues along a winding path through an actual, genuine rain forest. Yup, the primordial beasts are surrounded by giant ferns and hanging mosses. What the park lacks in audio/visual pizzaz, it certainly makes up for in authentic setting.

Ah yes - the authenticity and scientific accuracy. The park was first developed back in the 1950's, and while sculptor/proprietor E.V. Nelson did his best to be as accurate as he could, studying fossil records and all, well - science marches on. At the very least, I'm pretty sure that the colors the statues have been painted are wildly inaccurate. Then again, it could be the seventies, where the statues were painted bright neon colors!

Each statue is accompanied by a sign or placard that tells you about the beast. Again, Science Marches On and what was true then aint necessarily so now. 50 years or progress and hindsight makes some of the facts quaint and charming. Also, I should mention the map/brochure that you get with your eight buck admission - it hasn’t been updated since the seventies. In my old travel guides, I had one from 1977 - looks identical to what I got last year.

Okay, yeah it's kind of goofy, but like the Sea Lion Caves and other attractions all up and down the Oregon Coast, Prehistoric Gardens is charming Americana, something you wont see on the interstates at 70 miles an hour. Is it a destination, a must-see on Highway 101? Naw - but if you're taking a leisurely drive down the south Oregon Coast, with nowhere in particular to go and you have an hour to kill, go ahead and stretch your legs a bit.

Visited September 2010
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Anchorage, Alaska
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“brightly colored dinosaurs”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2011

A quick stop off, the side of the road on Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast. Prehistoric Gardens has a giant T-Rex greeting you in the parking lot, with more dinosaurs inside the property. They are made out of steel, and are painted bright colors, so as not to scare young ones. Most are painted with smiles, or happy faces, so not to look scary. It's not a real big place but a neat little spot to check out. The price to pay to get in seems a bit high, for as small of a trail that you walk through. They say they have a gift shop, but it was mostly puzzles or things you'd find in a discovery store. But they were also selling kittens when we were there. They do have signs explaining the dinosaurs, but think it's more of a stop for little ones to get out and stretch if youe on a road trip. I think most kids would enjoy it, even if they aren't into dinos, just cause each dinosaur looks like it's having a great time.

Visited May 2010
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Seattle
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“A "silly" but worthwhile attraction even if you just stop in the parking lot”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2010

This attraction would definitely be a fun stop for the younger (dino-obsessed) kids referenced in an earlier review. But what about us NON-dino-obsessed- oldersters?! Well, I must confess that we had some giggles out of this sidetrip. (Perhaps because it was a bit cheesy . . . .but who cares . ..if it is entertaining and educational?!) The attraction cost $8.00 which seems a bit steep when you consider it took us about only about 15 to 20 minutes to walk through it. But we had fun and we took some cute photos with the T-Rex out front (which doesn't cost you anything). A definite stop if you're in Port Orford/Gold Beach area.

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North Vancouver, BC
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“AMAZING!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2010

Wow, this is such a unique and educational stop! A sculptor in the 1950's researched dinosaurs at national museums so that he could accurately create them to life size scale. The dinosaurs are nestled among a forest so that it seems they are in their habitat.

Definitely stop, pay the $8 and take the time to wander amongst the dinosaurs!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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