If you are driving down Highway 101 by Yaquina Bay Bridge, stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and stretch your legs out a bit.
This aquarium is small enough for a child to walk around with you and it is not too busy. We enjoy walking through a water tunnel in the "Passages of the Deep" exhibit and see the sharks swim around us (The water tunnel is known as "The Tube" and is 8 feet below surface and 8 feet above the sea floor).
Next, it's great to hear the docents talk about the coastal birds: tufted puffins, guillemots in the aviary exhibit during the feedings.
Then, there is the "Enchanted Seas" exhibit to see the seahorses, but we're usually pretty hungry by then (something about seeing fish for hours).
Finally, I always get emotional when I read the kids letters to Keiko.
If you are in the area for vacation, this is a fun, relaxing day activity with the family. Visit their website and see the live cams throughout their exhibits ( http://www.aquarium.org ).