TRAVEL > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES > OREGON

RELAXED OUTDOORS

Oregon caters to outdoor enthusiasts. This state has a diverse landscape of mountain peaks, dense forests, rolling hills, valleys, deserts, water ways and ocean vistas.


Portland


Portland
Photo by peter bucks on Unsplash

Rose City

The northwestern state is renowned for its artsy, laidback atmosphere, coffee culture, award-winning microbrews and Pinot Noir wines.

Portland, the largest city (and my childhood hometown) in the northwest, is home to a vast and diverse selection of quality restaurants, representing both local and global cuisine, as well as great cafes and breakfast hotspots.

Nestled into the far north of the Willamette Valley (pronounce: “will-AM-et”), the “Rose City” overlooks the Willamette River that cuts through it. This river connects to the Columbia River, then in turn feeds into the ocean. The city is the perfect hub from which to connect to the outdoors.


THE NORTHWEST


Multnomah Falls

Green and Lush

Just east of the Portland are majestic Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, where the Columbia River slices through the Cascade Mountains along Oregon’s northern border, shared with Washington.



PACIFIC COAST


depoe bay

Surf and Tide Pools

Along the far western edge, follow Highway 101 from Astoria in the far north down the entire 400-mile coastline of the Pacific Ocean. The Oregon Coast is home to fascinating sea life found in tide pools and open waters, home to seals and barking sea lions.

Get mesmerized watching migrating whales or by fierce ocean storms. Visit quaint beach towns and lighthouses. Fly kites or dig for clams on the beaches. Ride dune buggies in the sand dunes. Explore the beauty of thick, coastal rainforests. The Oregon Coast has an array of dramatic views and outdoor experiences for all ages.



CASCADE MOUNTAINS


Mount hood

Forested Peaks

Divided by the Cascade Mountain Range, which runs north and south, the more populous western third receives plenty of precipitation throughout year to maintain lush, dense greenery.

Seen for miles on either side of the range are its white-capped mountain peaks: the northern most Mount Hood looks at Mount Jefferson to its south; the Three Sisters stand together in Central Oregon; and then in Southern Oregon sits the 8,000-year-old caldera of Crater Lake, now the deepest lake in North America. To their east, the more sparsely populated eastern two-thirds is sunnier, and thus drier, with several points of interest, wide-open vistas, and high deserts.



EASTERN OREGON


painted hills
Photo by Pam Riches on Unsplash

Prehistory Exposed

Images come to mind of pioneers who moved west along the dusty Oregon Trail, past the Snake River, which now creates the border with Idaho. Millions of years of geology are exposed in the Painted Hills found in its soil layered in hues of red, gold, yellow and black. Prehistoric plants and dinosaur remain can be found in the nearby the John Day Fossil Beds and appeal to our inner paleontologist.