Prehistoric Gardens is a living relic of a past era of entertaining roadside attractions along highways frequented by tourists. Set on Highway 101 several miles south of the town of Port Orford, Prehistoric Gardens is a family-friendly walk-through attraction with nearly two dozen lifesize dinosaur sculptures peeking out of the ferns and moss of an old-growth forest containing trees up to around 300 years in age.
Opened six months before Disneyland and remaining in the family of original sculptor Ernie Nelson, grandfather of the current owners, Prehistoric Gardens combines a little bit of education from interpretive signs along the trail with brightly-colored dinosaur sculptures meant to entertain the kids. The attraction has an easy ADA-friendly path that meanders among the dinosaurs, crossing a couple of wooden bridges and weaving past the old-growth trees along the way.
A visitor's logbook at the end invites guests to leave a note about their visit. The park gift shop has a few more exhibits and offers a selection of gifts and local products for sale as well as a few drink offerings.
In all, Prehistoric Gardens can be seen in about an hour. Dogs on leash are welcome. A couple of benches outside of the exhibit allow visitors to sit down an unpack a lunch. Current hours and admission rates can be found at prehistoricgardens.com.