We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
The 10 Best Things To Do & See In Oregon
Oregon is an incredibly diverse state. It has beautiful scenery, rich culture, and lots to do. In this serene pacific northwestern state, you will find gorgeous beaches, snowy mountains, and bustling cities. So, want to visit Oregon, but don’t know where to start? Here are some of the must-see places to visit in Oregon.
Portland is truly the heart of Oregon. It is known for its religious diversity, excellent restaurants, environmentally friendly attitude, and openness to other cultures. To get a real feel for Portland, you’ll want to head downtown, to Portland’s famous Pioneer Courthouse Square, where you’ll often find shopping, restaurants, coffee shops, and often live entertainment. Portland is also known for its independent theater companies.
If you are new to Portland and feel overwhelmed by it all, you can take a small group guided tour!
This beautiful, snow covered mountain is one of Oregon’s biggest tourist attractions. Located approximately 1 hour east of Portland, it is a great place to ski, hike, snowboard, sled, or just relax by the fire for a weekend. Mount Hood is famous for the Timberline Lodge, a hotel/hostel that provides affordable lodging, outdoor activities, and never ending fun for its guests. If you love the outdoors, and are interested in exploring Oregon’s natural beauty, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Mount Hood!
If you’re looking for warm water and the opportunity to get a sun tan, then let’s face it: the Oregon coast is probably not the right vacation spot. However, the beaches in Oregon do have plenty to offer. One of the most visited coastal towns in Oregon is Cannon Beach: an adorable little community located 1.5-2 hours from Portland. Cannon Beach has lots of shopping, ice cream shops, incredible restaurants, and stunning beaches. During the summer months, you can relax in your swimsuit and frolic in the surf. Cannon Beach is also known for Haystack Rock, a huge rock that sits only yards from the shoreline.
The Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a truly magnificent place to visit. You can hike up to viewpoints and look down over the water, visit one or two of the lakes that surround the gorge, take a boat ride down the Columbia, or visit one of the many waterfalls that the Gorge has to offer. There are numerous hotels and lodges in the CRG, with beautiful views, and excellent restaurants. Of all the glorious places you can visit in Oregon, this is one of the most incredible. It showcases the scenery, nature, and wildlife that Oregon is known for, and is just MINUTES from Portland.
There are some really great guided tour options available for the Gorge too, like this Gorge WaterFall Tour.
Silver Creek Falls
If you are a fan of waterfalls, Silver Creek Falls is a great place to go. There are ten waterfalls that you can visit and it is great exercise because you are encouraged to walk a good portion of the way. But there are also exits if you don’t want to walk the entire loop.
Multnomah Falls is a definite must see for anyone who makes a journey to Oregon. It is located about an hour outside of Portland and you can come extremely close to the falls as there is a bridge that goes right over the middle of them. For those who are ambitious, you can climb all the way up to the top and look at the way down, assuming of course that the walkway to the top isn’t closed like it was when we were there. It is best to visit the falls in the spring in early summer because the falls can dry up in late summer and it tends to freeze during the winter. I will say though that the winter view of the falls is AMAZING.
Wildlife Safari in Winston
Are you looking for things to do in Winston, Oregon? While many people have never heard of Winston, Oregon, locals sure know what they’ll find there! Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, is where to find the only wild animal park in the Pacific Northwest where visitors drive through the park in true safari fashion.
Wildlife Safari is situated on six hundred acres, and animals native to Asia, the Americas, and Africa reside here. The park offers special activities such as Camp Tiki where a camping trip feels as if it’s happening in the middle of Africa. Special programs to help with feeding the animals are offered as well. All kinds of animals from the more common deer and turkeys to elephants, giraffes, and hippos from Africa are found on this safari. Look for special animal shows, too. Check out this post where we talked about one of our trips there.
Money tight? If you are looking for things to do in Winston, Oregon and you are on a budget, be sure to check out Groupon because they often have Wildlife Safari deals.
Many activities are found at Oregon’s capital city of Salem. The Mission Mill Museum is a living museum with period costumed living history performers portraying some of the first settlers to Oregon. The site preserves the mill, houses of the Methodist missionaries who founded Salem, a church, etc. and is situated on five acres.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
If your travels take you near Bend, Oregon, the more than fifty-five thousand acres of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument shouldn’t be missed. Here visitors will see evidence of lava flows, lakes, and beautiful scenery of the Cascades and High Desert. At an elevation of nearly eight thousand feet, Paulina Peak is the highest point in this National Forest.
The Enchanted Forest Amusement Park
Enchanted Forest is a great stop if you have kids. It is an amusement park geared specifically to children with a story book theme. It was wonderful, there is just enough activity for the kids to enjoy and even has some activities that adults will enjoy too.
Is Oregon a Good State to Explore?
Though these are only some of the attractions that can be found in this state, keep in mind that Oregon is a top notch state for fun and memory making, I hope that this article has helped you plan your next family vacation and given you a view of this beautiful place.
Overall, Oregon is a fantastic place to visit; with excellent food, beautiful scenery, nice people, fascinating museums, and a lively, diverse city with lots to do. So come see all that Oregon has to offer!