Oregon

Things to do in Oregon

It’s no surprise that many of the most unforgettable things to do in Oregon take place in the great outdoors. The state boasts thousands of acres of state and national parks, filled with verdant forests, crystalline alpine lakes and more, all primed for hiking, camping and biking. Windsurfers congregate on the Columbia River each summer, an area where moments on land can be spent strolling through the scenic Hood River, a hotspot for artists, or hiking to the top of Multnomah Falls, which towers more than 600 feet.

For snow bunnies, a list of things to do in Oregon includes powdery slopes on Mount Bachelor and Mount Hood. Other state landmarks include the Painted Hills to the east, Crater Lake its central Cascade Range, and a myriad of cliff-side vantages along its rugged coastline. Plan a day’s visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for fresh cheddar or window shop at artisan boutiques up north in Astoria.

A list of what to do in Oregon wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Portland and its offbeat attractions. Reserve a table at one of its many foodie-favored restaurants, breathe fresh air in its International Test Rose Garden and stop in at Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the country. The riverside Oregon Museum of Science & Industry is another popular draw.

For oenophiles, an itinerary of what to do in Oregon revolves around the Willamette Valley and the hundreds of vineyards that call it home. Taste its world-famous pinots straight from the barrel and pair them with first-rate cuisine.

This spirit producer dates to 2007 and is part of Southeast Portland’s Distillery Row. The green-fronted space with a criss-crossed dragon logo is only open to the public on Saturdays from noon until 5 p.m., or by appointment.

Rent an ATV for the dunes.

Kristine Cheeseman started fusing stained glass for a living in 1994, and currently sells completed pieces online and at the Portland Farmers Market, which operates on Saturdays and Sundays from early March to late December.

Sip organic fair-trade espresso.

On Saturdays—and, despite the name, Sundays from March through late December—the nation’s largest ongoing outdoor arts and crafts market unfolds beneath the Burnside Bridge (in 2009, the location will change).

If tranquil water is more your speed, hire a guide at Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe and the only splashes you'll hear will be the ones your paddles make.

Clarinetist and Avery Fisher Prize co-winner David Shifrin has been CMN’s artistic director for more than three decades, overseeing a five-week, non-profit program of classical music concerts that populate southeast Portland venues like Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium, Catlin Gabel School, and Lin

Plenty of passersby walk by this tranquil sanctuary (which was built in 2000 atop a parking lot) without even noticing it’s there; one doesn’t expect to find a garden amid the concrete and bustle of Old Town.

Waterfront Bicycles in downtown Portland is across the street from a main greenway trail and has hybrid, road, tandem, and children’s bikes for rent.

Named for a Calapooia tribe word meaning “valley of flowers,” the Chehalem winery originated in 1980 as a single vineyard on Ribbon Ridge. Today, the company owns three vineyards with a total of 262 acres, which produce mostly Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling grapes.

This multi-spirit distillery started in Corvallis, Oregon, in 2004 and relocated to Southeast Portland the following year. They make Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, White Dog Whiskey, and celebrated the release of Volstead Vodka to start February 2012.

Travelers curious about maritime history and seeing a Fresnel lens up-close can check into the working 1894 Heceta Head Lighthouse in Yachats, Oregon.

A dark little wine bar where diners eat baked chèvre and chicken-liver-and-currant mousse paired with Muscadet.