Oregon Travel Tips
Outdoor enthusiasts, this is the place you’ve always dreamed of. Oregon is abound with hiking trails, bike paths, kayak adventures and more than 5,900 registered campsites. The Beaver State is sure to offer anything with fresh air and exquisite views. But once you’ve settled in, you’ll have to grab a beer at one of the dozens of microbreweries in this trendsetting culture. Find a taste of every terrain on earth - vast forests, volcanic peaks, deserts and lakes. Come check out what the Pacific Northwest has to share.
Here’s a glimpse at what to do across the state:
Gardens, breweries, hip coffee shops - Portland has it all. Take a stroll around America’s largest open air arts and crafts market at Portland Saturday Market. You’ll be able to enjoy live music and a variety of astonishing and homemade products from March through December. Planning a family day trip? Head five minutes west from downtown to see the Oregon Zoo, which features more than 2,000 animals and has a highly-regarded Asian elephant breeding program.
If you need a slice of urban serenity, which might sound like an oxymoron, walk through the Lan Su Chinese Garden to be proven otherwise. The bridges, open colonnades, teahouse and garden designed in the Ming Dynasty style will leave you at ease. Moreover, Portland’s live music scene boasts everything from indie rock to soulful jazz. Buy tickets to Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall that sells the house out with the Oregon Symphony and nationally-touring acts. For nature excursions, one of the best places is Forest Park, which is the nation’s largest wooded urban park that packs more than 70 miles of hiking and walking trails. You would never guess it’s only 10 minutes away from downtown. To unwind, swing by one of the 31 microbreweries in the city. You’ll be sure to get your IPA or stout fix, with everything in between. Forget about PBR for one day. There is a reason why vacationers call Portland "Beervana."
With almost 365 miles of coastline speckled with lighthouses, the western ridge of Oregon carries outstanding beach hikes to give your calves a little workout. Soak in the tide pools at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, or simply take in panoramic views while the waves crash against the jagged rocks. It is said this is where forest meets the sea. Come see where the legendary explorers traversed the land at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. It features trails along the Columbia River and Pacific Coast. Afterwards, discover the waterways a little more unconventionally in a kayak on guided tours from park rangers. Golfers, you won’t want to miss hitting a round at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, whose motto is “golf as it was meant to be.” Spot wildlife as you gaze across the roaring waves.
Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge
Only an hour east of Portland, Mt. Hood stands at a towering 11,245 feet, the highest elevation in the state, and is still an active volcano. Its amazing slopes and graceful foothills mark the spot for nature lovers. Set off on hiking trails, go windsurfing, ski or snowboard, and afterward, cool off sailing or windsurfing on the mighty Columbia River.
300 days of sun grace the land of Central Oregon. That means it’s almost always time to venture outside. Whether it’s for a half, full or multi-day trip, bring the crew whitewater rafting along the White Salmon, Grande Ronde, Rogue, Clackamas and Deschutes rivers. Smith Rock State Park lends sublime cliffs for rock climbers, beginner to expert. If you’re coming here in the summer, catch music stars like of Buddy Guy at the Oregon Zoo, or in the winter get ready to hit some of the best powder around at Hoodoo Ski Area, which is located atop Santiam Pass. For shoppers, there are great open-air shopping options like Cascade Village on Highway 97. Don’t get skimpy on souvenirs and self-gifts, because there’s no sales tax!
Eastern Oregon is best described by its slowed-down and relaxed attitude on life. From Alpine-esque mountains to ghosts town to deserts, it is perfect place to get back in touch with nature. Make your way to Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America, to discover abundant wildlife. Go hiking or horseback riding at the foot of its immense mountains, or drive across the 59-mile loop of Steens Mountains for a look at a peak created from internal pressure along the fault line, and while there you may even catch a glimpse of wild horses. Don’t miss a visit to the Alvord Desert where you can take a dip in the hot springs.
Home to the deepest lake in the nation, Crater Lake, Southern Oregon is truly a sight to behold. The lake is 1,932 feet deep and has a stunning royal blue hue. Go camping with friends or family along its shores. In the winter, Crater Lake boasts a whopping 533 inches of snowfall a year, which is powder perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.The southern part of Oregon is also known for its temperate climate. It is ideal for world-renowned fishing and river rafting. Swirl your glasses with varietals that led the Abacela Winery to win “Oregon Winery of the Year,” only a short path from Pacific Highway 5. It has everything from high deserts to valleys to lakes. You can even trek through the marble cave at Oregon Caves National Monument.
One of the most bike-friendly places on the planet, the Beaver State has a nature nook for everyone. For snowboarding, beer-tasting, hiking and 360 degrees of outdoor livin’, come explore Oregon for yourself.