What can we say about this unique roadside attraction, featuring a 25-foot-tall Formica-green Tyrannosaurus rex standing beside the parking lot? Is it kitsch, or is it educational? You decide. In any case, if you’ve got children in the car, unless they’re sleeping or blindfolded, you’re probably going to have to pull over.
Prehistoric Gardens (36848 U.S. 101, 541/332-4463, 9 a.m.–dusk daily spring–fall, call for winter hours, $8 adults, $7 ages 11–17 and 65 and over, $6 children 3–10), about 10 miles south of Port Orford, is the creation of E. V. Nelson, a sculptor and self-taught paleontologist who began fabricating life-size dinosaurs here back in 1953 and placing them amid the lush rainforest on the backside of Humbug Mountain.
Paths lead through the ferns, trees, and undergrowth to a towering brontosaurus, triceratops, and 20 other ferroconcrete replicas, painted in a dazzling palette of Fiestaware colors.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel