Welcome to Oregon, the land of diverse landscapes and endless adventures! Whether you’re a nature lover seeking scenic hikes, a foodie looking for a truly unique culinary experience, or a culture buff searching for the best arts and entertainment, Oregon has a little something for everyone. From the rugged coastline to the lush forests, and from the high desert to the bustling cities, this state is full of surprises waiting to be discovered. In this video, we’ll be taking a tour of the Beaver state, so get ready to be inspired and start planning your next adventure in this amazing US state!
Viewcation Presents: The Best Things To Do In Oregon
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park ranks as one of the most popular destinations in Oregon. Its name suggests its origin, as the lake emerged from the crater of a long-extinct volcano. Rainwater supplies the lake, which is almost perfectly circular and boasts an exceptionally clear bed.
This intensely blue body of water is a haven for photographers and an ideal spot for camping, hiking, or simply unwinding during sweltering summers. The lake sits amid the towering peaks of Mount Mazama and breathtaking lava cliffs that serve as a spectacular panoramic backdrop, with two tiny islands adding to the allure in the center of the sapphire-blue expanse.
To fully appreciate the natural splendor of this location, visitors are encouraged to take a scenic drive along the circular Rim Drive that encircles the lake, offering breathtaking views of its enchanting beauty.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area charts the Columbia River’s path as it slices through the Cascade Range, creating a breathtaking river gorge that serves as the boundary between Oregon and Washington. Its reputation stems from its magnificent vistas and the abundance of waterfalls that dot the area.
Journeying along the Historic Columbia River Highway through the gorge allows for a more relaxed experience than the adjacent Interstate 84. The highway is home to several roadside attractions that are worth exploring, and it’s a preferred bicycle route.
The state’s tallest waterfall, Multnomah Falls, is the quintessential representation of gravity’s pull in the Columbia River Gorge. The surroundings around the two-tiered waterfall are home to various biking and hiking trails, as well as camping grounds.
Tour Oregon’s World-Class Hotsprings
Oregon is a state with many natural hot springs, ranging from undeveloped pools in the wilderness to well-maintained resorts with amenities. Some of the most popular and accessible hot springs in Oregon include:
Bagby Hot Springs: Located in Mount Hood National Forest, about two hours from Portland, these hot springs feature wooden soaking tubs in three bathhouses. Guests can enjoy a private or public tub surrounded by forest scenery. You need to hike 1.5 miles to get there and pay a $5 fee per person.
Belknap Hot Springs: Located about an hour east of Eugene, these hot springs offer two tiled pools that look like swimming pools, with decks and chairs. You can also stay at the lodge, cabins, campsites, or RV sites on the property, and explore nearby attractions such as the gardens, the McKenzie River, lava beds, and waterfalls nearby. The pools are open to guests and day visitors for a small fee.
Umpqua Hot Spring: Located in Umpqua National Forest, about three hours from Eugene, this hot spring is a single pool on a hillside overlooking the North Umpqua River. The pool is fed by a mineral spring that cascades down a rock wall. The water temperature varies from 100°F to 108°F depending on the season and the flow. To get there, you’ll need to hike 0.3 miles and pay a $5 fee per vehicle.
Mount Hood National Forest
Standing tall at 11,239 feet, Mount Hood commands attention as one of Oregon’s highest peaks. The mountain is encircled by lush forests that stretch from the Columbia River Gorge to the Olallie Scenic Area, enveloping it in an emerald embrace.
This expanse of verdant forest, spanning over a million acres, boasts unrivaled beauty that ranks it among the most stunning sites in the country.
Each year, more than four million visitors flock to the 170 recreation sites scattered throughout the forest, with top attractions including Timberline Lodge, Trillium Lake, Rock Creek Reservoir, and the Old Oregon Trail.
Moreover, the forest is home to eight designated wilderness areas brimming with unique biodiversity, natural vistas, and a plethora of flora and fauna that beg exploration.
Nestled in Clatsop County, Oregon, Astoria is a haven of natural splendor that rests at the Columbia River’s mouth.
With a myriad of activities on offer, visitors can revel in a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and excitement while soaking in the town’s enchanting allure.
Make sure to visit the enthralling Columbia River Maritime Museum and the historic Fort Clatsop National Memorial for a trip through time.
Immerse yourself in the past at the Flavel House Museum or create cherished memories with the little ones aboard the Lightship Columbia.
Additionally, the town boasts a host of beautiful open spaces where you can unwind, such as Fort Stevens State Park and the Lewis and Clark National and State Historic Parks.
Get ready for a coastal adventure because Cannon Beach is waiting for you! This northern Oregon hot spot is packed with tourist attractions, including an expansive stretch of sandy beach, stunning views of the rocky coastline, and the iconic Haystack Rock, towering high and proud.
But that’s not all – Cannon Beach has something for everyone! From delicious restaurants to trendy boutique shops and cozy hotels, this town is bursting with cultural appeal. No wonder it’s known as one of the best small towns on the Oregon Coast, where you can soak up the community vibes and bask in the beauty of the ocean.
And there’s more to explore beyond Cannon Beach too! Venture north to Ecola State Park and Tillamook Head for historic and scenic landscapes that are nothing short of enchanting. If you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, head to the charming city of Seaside at the other end of Ecola State Park for more coastal adventures.
Oh, Portland! This vibrant and proudly ‘weird’ city is a traveler’s dream come true. From the moment you set foot in this city, you’ll be struck by its unique blend of urban cool and natural beauty.
First off, let’s talk about the food! Portland is a foodie paradise, with an incredible range of cuisines and flavors to satisfy even the most discerning palate. From farm-to-table dining to quirky food carts and breweries, there’s something to please every taste bud.
But Portland isn’t just about the food – it’s also packed with cultural appeal. The city is home to an incredible arts scene, with galleries, museums, and live music venues around every corner. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary art or jazz, there’s always something exciting to discover.
And let’s not forget about the great outdoors! Portland is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, from the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge to the towering Mount Hood. Hiking, biking, and kayaking are just a few of the activities that will get you up close and personal with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
But what really sets Portland apart is its unique spirit of creativity and community. From its famous craft beer scene to its bustling farmer’s markets and street fairs, Portland is a place where people come together to celebrate life and each other.
Oregon Coast Museum
Get ready to dive into a world of underwater wonder at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport! This 23-acre facility is like no other, boasting four incredible exhibits that will leave you feeling like you’ve explored the depths of the ocean.
From the lively crowds of tourists to the sleek and slithery creatures in the aquarium tanks, there’s never a dull moment here. And with year-round access, you can come back as often as you want to experience everything this amazing aquarium has to offer.
But that’s not all – the Oregon Coast Aquarium also offers exclusive tours and encounters that will take your breath away. Imagine getting up close and personal with an octopus, or swimming alongside friendly seals and sea lions! It’s all possible with their private tours, led by knowledgeable and passionate aquarium staff.
Smith Rock State Park
If you’re a thrill-seeker, then you simply cannot miss Smith Rock State Park in Oregon! Located in the midst of the high desert, this park is a mecca for rock climbers, hikers, and mountain bikers.
With over a thousand climbing routes on gorgeous ancient rock faces and miles and milesof hiking and biking trails, you’ll never run out of things to explore, from the River Trail to the Summit Trail. Wildlife enthusiasts will also love the park for the chance to spot golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otters, and beavers.
But the real highlight of the park is the towering Smith Rock Tuff, which reaches a staggering 550 feet into the sky on the western rim of the Crooked River Caldera. Just remember to bring plenty of water, as those scorching summer temperatures can get pretty intense!
Get A Taste For Oregon’s Foodie Scene
Oregon is a state with a rich and diverse culinary scene, thanks to its abundant natural resources, talented chefs, and adventurous diners. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood, farm-to-table fare, ethnic cuisine, or fine dining, you’ll find something to suit your taste buds in Oregon.
Some of the best restaurants in Oregon are located in its major cities, such as Portland, Eugene, and Bend. Portland is known for its food carts, breweries, and creative restaurants that showcase local and seasonal ingredients. Some of the highlights include Bollywood Theater, a casual spot for Mumbai street food; Jen’s Garden, a charming cottage serving southern French-inspired cuisine; and Canard, a playful and inventive restaurant with dishes like foie gras dumplings and duck stack pancakes.
Eugene is a college town with a laid-back vibe and a focus on organic and sustainable food. Some of the gems include Belknap Hot Springs, a resort with two tiled pools fed by natural hot springs and a restaurant serving European and American dishes; C Street Bistro, a quaint restaurant in a cottage serving gourmet cuisine inspired by the bounty of the area; and McCredie Hot Springs, a natural and rocky pool on the side of Salt Creek where you can soak and enjoy the scenery.
Bend is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and beer lovers, with over 20 breweries and pubs in town. Some of the restaurants that stand out include Ariana Restaurant, a cozy bungalow serving classic European dishes with a modern twist; Celilo Restaurant, a refined restaurant featuring local ingredients from the Columbia River Gorge; and Club Pioneer, a historic restaurant serving steaks, burgers, salads, and more.
Obviously, given time constraints, we were only able to give you a brief overview of some of Oregon’s best sights and attractions. Still, we sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed taking this little tour with us. Which Oregon attraction are you most excited to experience? If you’ve already had the pleasure of visiting this Pacific Northwest state before, what are a few of your personal favorite attractions and sights? Let us know in the comments. And as always, happy travels!