Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Laura Cooper
Oregon is rich in history, natural wealth and houses some of the most unique culture in the Pacific Northwest. The state is large and abundant in natural wonders. Home to the legendary Mt. Hood, Oregon is a mecca for explorers. With over 12-million hectares of forested areas, 16 known hot springs and 584 kilometers of Oregon Coast there is nothing you can’t do when you travel in Oregon.
Perfect for adventurers and people looking for something less ordinary than a typical escape, Oregon is home to micro-climates and a myriad of possibilities. From the dozens of ghost towns across the state, over 900 vineyards providing world class Pinot Noir, to the 112,000 miles of rivers and streams to explore, there are so many reasons to get lost in the natural beauty and explore Oregon.
The food scene in Oregon is as innovative and passionate as the community that fosters it. If you travel to Eugene, home to the University of Oregon, you will instantly feel the gratification of being connected to the outdoors. This is where you will find award winning wineries, a vibrant culinary scene and some of the friendliest people in Oregon. There are over 900 vineyards in Oregon, and the Willamette Valley is home to the largest American Viticulture Areas in the state, birthing some of the best Pinot Noir in the world. You can also find Pinot Gris, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztaminer and sweet Semillion. Eugene is also home to the Eugene Ale Trail, featuring award winning microbreweries such as Oakshire, McMenamins, Agrarian Ales and Ninkasi.
There are plenty of beer festivities if wine is not your thing, such as the Oregon Brew Fest, the Holiday Ale Fest and the Portland International Beer Fest. If beer is your forte, you can head east through the woods to Bend and check out the Bend Ale Trail, home to even more delicious craft beer and famous slices from Pizza Mondo. If you want to get cheesy, head into Northern Oregon to Tillamook cheese, the oldest cheese operator in Oregon.
Start your cheese-loving journey along the People’s Coast, enjoying world class cheeses produced fresh from local Oregon farmland. Don’t forget to make a stop in the ever-famous Portland, home to its own unique style of food carts and street food. There are over 500 food carts waiting to be discovered. Anything from Chinese food to famous Philly cheesesteak, gourmet stuffed burgers and rotisserie chicken, or grab fourteen friends to ride around on a bar on wheels, Portland stands out as one of the premier destinations for culture, and one of the best places to get stuffed in Oregon.
If you are looking for more than just a fishing trip, Bend is the place to go. Located in the heart of Oregon’s natural greatness, this city is home to great kayaking rapids, rock climbing sites, mountain biking trails and snow sports. Check out the year-round ski and snowboarding on Mt. Hood, or climb over to Smith Rock State Park, housing 800-foot cliffs as well as breathtaking views of wildlife for photographers looking to catch their perfect shot of Oregon’s majestic scenery. If you want to continue heading west, you will find yourself in Florence, a coastal town located alongside the People’s Coast. From here you will be able to access the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a 50-acre playground that features a one of a kind experience. Strap on a GoPro camera and enjoy the southern half of the dunes with dirt bikes, dune buggies and off-highway vehicles, or escape to the northern section of the dunes and seek out nature via trails or explore by canoe.
Oregon is a rich state, full of unique micro-climates, beaches and creeks that are perfect for fishing, hiking and horseback exploration. Florence is home to C & M stables, offering a variety of horseback riding experiences for beginners to expert riders. Why not take a break from your feet and explore Oregon by horseback? Travel along the beach, take a ride through the dunes or stick to the trails that represent everything that Oregon has to offer. When you’re finished, you can head to Mill Ends in downtown Portland. Oregon is alive with natural beauty and culture and there is always something new to discover.
The principles of Oregon are rooted in community, from the bike culture that stems across the state to the tax free shopping, a vibrant market scene that runs on a progressive light rail transit system, pet friendly atmosphere and booming golf culture, there is someone waiting to show you their world in Oregon. The scenic routes across Oregon are perfect for cycling, and Portland boasts its bike-friendliness, being the first city in the US to implement bike boxes to protect riders and encourage safe cycling. Bike tourism is so huge in Oregon that the state maintains its commitment to bike initiatives, and started the first State Scenic Bikeway program in the US. The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway and Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway cover over 80 miles collectively, ranging from Mt. Hood to downtown cores, through lush agricultural farmland and stunning views of the ocean. There is always something active to do in Oregon; it’s not a state for couch potatoes.
No sales-tax is another attractive feature for tourism in Oregon. Host to Adidas and Nike HQ, the tax-free shopping culture in Oregon is great for anyone looking for a shopping excursion. The price you see is the price you pay, and in places like Portland where niche vendors rule supreme, there is no reason not to try the handcrafted wares. The culture in Oregon is rooted in community, and the market scene is booming with opportunities. Most markets runs every day of the week, and there is always a face waiting to share an experience. Oregon is also a pet-friendly destination, offering dog friendly travels along the coast and pet friendly hotels across the state. Portland to Salem, Eugene and Bend are all home to pet friendly services so your pet won’t miss a single adventure. The transportation in Oregon is largely rail based, bicycle friendly and virtually accessible from anywhere.
With so much to do and see, why are you still reading this? Get out and travel Oregon yourself with a guided Oregon tour.
Tell us about your adventure in the comments below.