We hope to see you soon!

What to expect when visiting

Currently, we require visitors to make a reservation which is good for an hour-long visit. The QR code (left) also goes directly to reservations.

  • Reservations are required: Reservations must be made online before your visit. 
  • Days/Hours: Thursday - Monday, 10 AM - 4 PM; closed Tuesday - Wednesday
  • Fee: $3 for visitors ages 5 and up; payment is online-only, Visa or MasterCard accepted.
  • Time: Visits are 1 hour long.
  • Face coverings: Per OSU guidelines masks are welcomed but no longer required.

Snap Shots from the VISITOR CENTER

Science a la Carte Rolls into VC

Rose, a VC volunteer, is piloting a new interpretive science project for our visitors - Science a la Carte. Informal, hands-on presentations are made from a cart rolled out for visitors and then put away when it is not in use. The first topic for Science a la Carte is sea otters. Our volunteer docents discuss otters and kelp forest health, the current state of otters in Oregon, and compare sea and river otter characteristics.

octopus NEWS

We are delighted to announce that our resident Giant Pacific Octopus is back in the main tank of the Visitor Center. She’s a curious and inquisitive gal, and we hope you can visit us and see what she’s up to.

If you are curious about these eight-armed wonders, check out this frequently asked questions page. Below is a video of a resident octopus playing with its toys.

Why did the octopus cross the reef? To get to the other tide!

Regional Class Research Vessel

This interactive simulator let's you experience what it feels like to be at the helm of a large research vessel and steer it through Yaquina Bay. 

Oregon Coast Crustaceans

This exhibit showcases crustaceans found along the Oregon coast. By displaying these animals in smaller interconnected tanks, it is possible to keep more than one species in harmony.


More Exhibits

Augmented Reality Sandbox

Visitors of all ages are welcome to play in this sandbox. At this exhibit, you move the sand in the sandbox and watch how the contour lines, projected on the sand, change.

What is this creature?

Leather Stars are a nearshore sea star species found along the West Coast, from central Alaska to northern Mexico. Unlike the Ochre Stars, which have rough surfaces, Leather Stars are relatively smooth to the touch.

Leather Stars are typically found in low intertidal zones and around pilings and sea walls. They have a relatively distinct pattern, with a gray edge and mottled reddish-orange spotting. When you look at their underside (above), you'll see they have a prominent madreporite. This helps sea stars filter water into their water vascular system which is made up of a series of seawater-filled ducts that helps them move, eat and breathe.

It's a leather star

Leather Stars have a varied diet. Whereas other sea stars prefer shelled mussels and clams, Leather stars prefer soft-bodied organisms like sea anemones. They will also consume sea cucumbers, purple sea urchins, sponges, hydroids, sea pens and snails. So, while it would be wonderful to have these creatures in the touch pool, they could potentially eat their tank mates.

For now you can find them in the tank typically used by the Copper and Black Rockfish. The rockfish are temporarily behind the scenes getting medical treatments but will be back soon.

This text is based on an article by Emily Bjornsgard for our January volunteer newsletter (pdf).

Upcoming Events

Do you have a group interested in exploring the Visitor Center? You can make a reservation for your group here.


Open: 10 AM - 4 PM Thursday - Monday
Reservations Required

Closed: Tuesday - Wednesday
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day


Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR  97365-5229

Phone: 541-867-0100; Option 2

Map and Driving Directions

Click on "More Options" to get directions from your location.