Best Oregon Vacations is your vacation planner and travel guide to the most popular and lesser known places to visit in the Beaver State.
I am asked this question all the time and I find it difficult to answer because there are so many unique and beautiful places to visit in this state. I have all sorts of wonderful vacation ideas for you. Oregon is a popular destination for vacations with kids but it is also a great place for adventure vacations.
I think the most unusual place to visit and one that you will never see anywhere else is Crater Lake. The pictures do not lie. It really is a deep blue and even when you are there looking at it, it seems unreal.
But then the Oregon Coast has over 300 miles of spectacular scenery with rocky formations, sandy beaches, lighthouses, cliff-top vistas, and small quaint fishing villages. There are even 40 miles of sand dunes that can make you feel like you are in Egypt and they are really fun to explore in dune buggies or ATV's.
The Columbia River Gorge which forms the northern border with Washington is a geological wonder which at times is reminescent of the Rhine in Germany. The Columbia River has actually carved a passage through the Cascade Mountains. Traveling the Historic Columbia River Highway which was built in 1922 is a good way to see the gorge and there is a section that is closed to motorized vehicles that is fun to walk or bike. It is when you slow down and get off the feeway that you get to see the most and have time to appreciate it.
I can't leave out the Painted Hills on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. These hills are part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and draw photographers, artists, and geologists from all over the world. If your kids love fossils, they can dig them for themselves nearby.
The high dessert of Central Oregon has a beauty all its own. With 300 days of sunshine a year, the area defies Oregon's reputation of being "one big mud puddle" as described by John Steinbeck in Travels With Charley.
Outdoor adventures and outings are abundant in this part of the state - rock climbing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, playing golf, and cave exploring.
So now you know a few of the most scenic spots in this beautiful state, what is there to do? There are simply too many things to do to mention them all but here are some possibilities:
There is plenty of it here. Climb Mt. Hood or walk clear round the mountain on the Timberline Trail if hiking is what you want. August is when the wildflowers are in bloom at this altitude.
There are dozens of hiking trails overlooking the Columbia River Gorge and other scenic places all over the state but if you really want to get away from the civilized world you must visit Oregon's Outback and see the Steen's Mountains in Southeast Oregon. You better take your sleeping bag and a tent because you won't find many places to stay.
Whitewater rafting is a big thing in Oregon. If you think you are too old or your kids are too young for this adventure, think again. There are guided trips on the Snake River and the Rogue River that you will enjoy and you will see some of Oregon's most scenic wilderness areas.
Surfing, no matter what kind, is very much alive in Oregon. Windsurf on the Columbia River or the Pacific Ocean. Surfboard at some of Oregon's best beaches. Have you ever sandboarded? Neither have I but it looks like fun. Well, you can sandboard on the Oregon Dunes in some areas.
I haven't even mentioned wintertime fun. Oregon has it all. Excellent ski areas, snowmobiling trails, snowshoeing trails, outback ski cat trips, and even heated snow shacks in the woods for overnight stays.
The welcome mat is out.
Visit Oregon for the time of your life.
You will love it!