Charleston Marine Life Center

Part Aquarium. Part Museum. All Discovery!

Located on the edge of the harbor in Charleston, the University of Oregon’s Charleston Marine Life Center is an exciting place of discovery for all ages, any time of the year. Aquaria highlight different coastal habitats and animals—from the Giant Pacific Octopus to colorful sea slugs, with a mesmerizing variety of life in between. Reach into the touch tank and feel the grasp of an anemone’s tentacles, and if you’re patient, tickle a fish.  Underwater videos from Oregon’s marine reserves and from undersea volcanoes reveal the hidden and remarkable diversity of life offshore.  Check out killer whale and gray whale skeletons from below and face to face.  Use microscopes to zoom into hidden details, and binoculars and spotting scopes to spy on seabirds.  Soak up the harbor activity, enjoy a close-up view of the day’s catch being unloaded and watch seals and sea lions a few feet away.

Open Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm. School Programs scheduled Tuesday-Friday before 11am (please contact CMLC directly to schedule your group).

Please always check the CMLC website for updated days and hours of operation.

Charleston Marine Life Center
Charleston Marine Life Center
Charleston Marine Life Center Whale Skeleton
Experiencing the touch pool at the Charleston Marine Life Center Charleston Marine Life Center
Enjoy views of the Charleston Marina.
Borrow a clip-on macro lens for your cell phone to capture your own close-up views.
A Pacific Red octopus opening a jar to get his lunch.
Basket Star, Gorgonocephalus eucnemis

Contact Info

63466 Boat Basin Rd.
Charleston, Oregon 97420


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