Oregon

How to sum up Oregon? A state of natural wonders! You will find amazing beauty throughout from historic towns and sleepy fishing villages to ski resorts and wineries. Windswept beaches, verdant forests and snow-capped peaks give way to sweeping rangelands, towering rock formations and dramatic river valleys in this incredibly diverse land. Besides 363 miles of pristine public beaches, high-desert country, painted hills and wine-producing valleys, Oregon is home to North America’s deepest river gorge – Hells Canyon, the country’s deepest lake at Crater Lake National Park, and the world’s second-most-climbed mountain – Mt. Hood, which also happens to host North America’s only year-round ski season.

Top Tips

The best way to appreciate Oregon's spectacular coastline is to travel southbound so the ocean is on your right. Don't miss the historic Victorian architecture if the seaside town, Astoria, and quaint Depoe Bay, Oregon's whale-watching capital.

View Oregon's beautiful Multnomah Falls, which tumble 620ft into the Columbia River Gorge.

Include a three mile rafting trip on the Deschutes River, departing from near Bend and take on 'The Big Eddy' rapid.

Oregon has some beautiful beaches. From Florence, take a dune buggy ride on the 47 mile stretch of sand dunes or visit Cannon Beach, a romantic hideaway with unique shops and boutique galleries.

Vibrant Portland

Portland is a hip, urban hotspot with national accolades for its cuisine as well as a vibrant arts scene, great theatres and funky shopping districts inspired by the creative spirit of the city. It has eco-conscious residents who ride bikes everywhere, adding to the city’s booming bike culture. Get a taste for the food scene at some of the more than 500 food carts, which are located in ‘pods’ all over the city. A new crop of urban wineries is producing wine inside city limits, and you can visit their tasting rooms to try numerous vintages, while Distillery Row is home to six local distilleries making everything from whiskey and gin to rum and aquavit. Shopping is great in the Pearl District, once an industrial area that now holds upscale boutiques and the city’s highest concentration of galleries. Be sure to check out Northwest 23rd Avenue, a stretch inside a residential neighbourhood with big trees and old bungalows that holds clothing shops, shoe stores and fine restaurants. The city is dotted with small squares and parks offering coffee shops and an urban city feel. The most prestigious being Pioneer Square where recently the awards ceremony for the international games was held. Make sure you try test the Squares acoustics which have a bizarre amplification effect.

Oregon's beautiful coastline

It doesn’t get much more beautiful than coastal Oregon. Thanks to a pioneering beach bill, all 363 miles of Oregon’s coastline remain free and public. That means endless opportunities to comb for agates or glass floats, catch your own Dungeness crab or razor clam, watch for whales, seals and puffins, make footprints in the sand or simply be captivated by a winter storm from inside a cozy beachfront lodge. A trip down the Oregon Coast’s Highway 101 isn’t complete without stopping to view its historic lighthouses. Lighthouses served as the beacons and navigation aids for mariners of all types, marking dangerous coastlines, shoals and boat-crunching reefs. Before the days of GPS navigation, captains near the shores relied on lighthouses to know where they were geographically. You can see most of these iconic structures from the highway, but consider a slight detour to visit the sites and learn a little history about lighthouse keepers and their families, men and women who lived and worked in some of the most remote locations and under harsh conditions. On the Southern Oregon Coast, scenic rivers are wilder, beaches are less crowded and trails offer more rugged terrain. If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, secluded beaches, artistic communities and fresh coastal cuisine, the Southern Oregon Coast make a great selection.

Central & Eastern Oregon

Cowboy adventures, whitewater rafting, quiet mountain retreats – Central Oregon has it all and luring rock climbers from around the world, Smith Rock towers high above central Oregon, challenging all who come to conquer its craggy surface. The region’s geological history, marked by explosive volcanic activity, is showcased at several parks, and its rich cultural history is on display at the High Desert Museum in Bend. The spirit of the West is alive and well in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, where snow-capped mountains, dusty plains and jagged red rocks look down on rolling hills of sage, wild rivers and fertile wheat fields. Located in the north-eastern corner of the state, Hells Canyon at 7,913 feet is the deepest river-carved gorge in North America.

Oregon's hidden gems & natural wonders

Whatever your passion, Oregon’s natural and scenic variety – coast, mountains, rivers, high desert, plains, forests and valleys – lends equally to exhilarating outdoor adventure or tranquil exploration. Experience Oregon’s hidden travel gems for yourself – award-winning golf courses, culinary masterminds, world-class spas and tucked-away luxury properties, all in the midst of wide open beaches, jaw-dropping waterfalls, lush forests and amazing mountain peaks. Oregon has more scenic byways and tour routes than any other state. It also boasts no sales tax and plenty of shopping opportunities so what are you waiting for?

Oregon's key facts

  • At 1,943 feet, Crater Lake in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the USA.
  • Located in the north-eastern corner of the state, Hells Canyon at 7,913 feet is the deepest river-carved gorge in North America.
  • The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest fresh-water marsh in the USA.
  • Naturally carved within an outcropping of solid marble, Oregon Caves National Monument is one of southern Oregon’s oldest attractions.
  • The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the richest fossil bed sites in the world.
  • Luring rock climbers from around the world, Smith Rock towers above central Oregon, challenging all who come to conquer its craggy surface.
  • The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which runs from the mouth of the Sandy River to the mouth of the Deschutes River, includes gorgeous waterfall hikes, jaw-dropping vistas and road biking on the Historic Columbia River Highway.
  • Thirty miles south of the Columbia River, Mt. Hood at 11,245 feet, boasts five ski areas and is the most visited snow-covered peak in the USA.
  • The Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex contains the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the USA.
  • All 363 miles of the Oregon Coast are free and open to the public – that’s why they call it The People’s Coast.
  • Oregon has 13 downhill ski areas, with 400 trails over three mountain ranges.
  • There are more than 6,000 lakes and 112,000 miles of rivers and streams in Oregon.

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