Admission to the Visitor Center is free of charge, but a suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 per family to help support our work is gratefully accepted.
Winter hours: Open 10 am to 4 pm Thursdays through Mondays from Labor Day until Memorial Day weekend. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
During spring and winter Whale Watch Week we're open daily from 10 am to 4 pm (unless one of the winter dates falls on Christmas or New Year's).
Summer hours: Open 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week, from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Get maps and driving directions from GoogleMaps.
Newport is an hour west of Interstate 5 via Oregon Highway 20, the most direct route between the Willamette Valley and the coast. A number of other routes cross the Coast Range, and many visitors enjoy the leisurely, scenic trip along the Pacific Coast Highway, US 101.
Bus service from Albany, Corvallis and Philomath to Newport and back is provided by the Coast to Valley Express.
The free-to-overnight-visitors City Loop Shuttle makes several stops daily at the HMSC. Route and schedule information is available here.
To ensure the safety of our visitors, the health of our animals and the comfort of all, we appreciate your cooperation in observing the following guidelines while visiting the Center:
- Handle animals in the touch tank gently and with the respect due any living creature.
- Please refrain from running, shouting or other horseplay that could be dangerous or might interfere with other visitors' experience.
- Children must be accompanied by an adult.
- Please help keep our Visitor Center clean. Food, drinks and gum are not permitted in the Center.
- Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center.
Our staff and volunteers strive to provide every visitor with a friendly, informative visit. If you're bringing a group during normal operating hours, we can provide an introductory talk - but we request seven days' advance notice for groups of 12 or more. The suggested donation is $5/person, $20/family, or $1.75/student. During days and times when the Center is closed to the public, you can arrange in advance for the Visitor Center to be opened to explore our exhibits with a staff educator on hand to answer your questions. The fee is $1.75/person/hour, with a minimum fee of $40 per hour (NOTE: fee will change to $50/hour minimum starting July 1, 2017). Please register your group visit at least seven days in advance.
Youth and School Groups
(For groups of 12 or more)
- Please bring one chaperone per five students
- Ensure that chaperones stay with students at all times
- If you don't bring enough chaperones, your group may be divided into sub-groups for programs.
We also offer marine education classes and field trips for young people and groups; all require advance planning and registration.