Located on the west coast of the United States, just north of California and south of Washington, Oregon stands out in American geography as one of the most stunning holiday destinations.
It welcomes tourists with resorts, parks, and beaches, scenic routes that are great for those who love taking pictures, a breathtaking natural beauty but also equally charming urban environments. Portland, for instance, is known nationally and internationally for its varied and interesting (not to mention sometimes weird) cultural activities and attractions.
That said, planning a trip to Oregon is definitely a great idea! With so many places to visit and things to do and enjoy, you’re bound to have an awesome time.
Crater Lake National Park
Located in the Cascade Mountains, in the southwest of Oregon, Crater Lake National Park surprises visitors with stunning views. The lake, with its intense blue shade and its unusual depth (almost 2 thousand feet), and its almost perfect circular shape can be explored as there are cruises that depart for Wizard Island.
It’s the caldera of an extinct volcano and it is a place to go for adventurous spirits. Rim Drive, just a short distance from the edge of the crater, allows drivers to circle the lake in a clockwise direction.
Oregon Caves National Monument
A marble cave that can only be accessed with guided tours is the center of attraction of this national monument. Those who have always wanted to experience what it is like to be a miner can have a first-hand experience going downstairs and walking through narrow passageways in this 90-minute journey below the ground.
Claustrophobic? Is it just too much for you? Don’t worry! Above the surface, you can enjoy hiking trails through forests of coniferous trees, all surrounded by the beautiful Siskiyou Mountains.
Considered one of Oregon’s most popular seaside villages, Cannon Beach offers visitors a beautiful stretch of beach to enjoy, iconic landmarks to discover and explore, and easy access to biking and hiking trails. Those interested in combining beach time with cultural activities will really enjoy spending some time in Cannon Beach.
The city is well known for its numerous and varied art galleries and museums, such as the Garibaldi Museum of Maritime History or the Coaster Theater Playhouse, and the Lost Art of Nursing Museum.
Last but not least, a trip to Oregon won’t be complete without spending some days in Salem. It’s the capital city and it is located in the center of the lush Willamette Valley. It is surrounded by green pastures, flower fields, gardens, orchards, and vineyards.
Salem is a lively city packed with many restaurants, cafeterias, historic sites, museums, and cultural events. There are also several parks within walking distance that are great for those who love spending time outdoors.
Portland is packed with exciting outdoor activities, a rich and varied cultural life, and beautiful buildings. With so many museums, art galleries, and attractions to visit and enjoy, you’ll definitely have a busy and exciting time in this city.
If you’re a first-time visitor, you’re advised to take advantage of several walking tours that are advertised. It is a great and comfortable way to catch a first glimpse of the city and discover some unusual attractions such as breweries of coffee roasters that are usually off the grid in traditional city guides.
Make sure you plan to stay in Portland for quite a few days so that you have plenty of time to enjoy the city at your own pace and really take in its buzzing atmosphere.
If you’re exploring the city with your family, expect hours of fun at the Portland Zoo and the interactive Portland Children’s Museum. The latter will definitely attract the attention of children of all ages; with its multiple permanent exhibits, they’ll be able to be part of a construction ground, create their own piece of art, play with light and shadows, and participate in a theater play amongst other activities.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will keep you busy definitely! To its amazing educational hands-on displays, you have to add a planetarium and a US Navy Submarine that you can climb aboard for a guided tour.
Pittock Mansion is another of the must-sees.in Portland. Located just west of downtown, this magnificent home was built in 1914 and used to be where the founder of the Oregonian newspaper used to live. Pittock Mansion offers stunning views of the city but it also surprises visitors with some impressive and unusual features such as a central vacuum system, indirect lighting, or intercoms.
But Portland has much more to often than impressive buildings and art exhibitions. The city is famous for its stunning gardens as well and no visit to the city is complete without spending some time in some of the green spaces in the city. Washington Park is definitely a must-see attraction.
It is a delightful and vast green area that is home to the famous International Rose Test Garden and the impressive Portland Japanese Garden with its peaceful atmosphere and picturesque tea house. Both of them are amongst the favorites for green thumbs! Spring is the best time of the year to visit them, obviously! But they are lovely all year round!
Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. It’s probably one of the best destinations for those planning a week-end getaway. It offers visitors the typical charm of small towns and an interesting variety of cultural amenities and outdoor attractions.
Get ready to enjoy concerts, shopping sprees, and art galleries! For an idyllic experience, you can’t miss going on a paddling or kayaking excursion at Astoria’s breathtaking waterfront.