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.

Sun Country Tours sends 20,000 people a year down the Big Eddy Thriller, a three-mile, roller coaster–like white-water stretch of the Deschutes River.

Original Debut: In 1927, Universal Studios spent $100,000 (big bucks in those days) bankrolling the Bagdad Theater in Portland’s Hawthorne District.

First-rate vintage clothes with high-end prices.

A high-ceilinged, airy spot set amid the loading docks and chic galleries of the Pearl District, Bluehour is run by the same team behind chic eatery Clarklewis.

The West Coast’s largest blues festival dates to 1987 and draws internationally renowned musicians like Buddy Guy and Lucinda Williams to the shores of the Willamette River, while benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.

Take a tasty stroll to sample from the fabulous food carts—serving Thai, Lebanese, Italian, and Japanese snacks, among others.

Fly fisherman Peter Bowers, owner of the Patient Angler, swears that what he'll teach you in a 90-minute crash course would take you three years to learn on your own; when you're done, he'll set you up with a rod, reel, and map of the best local holes.

This classic Oregonian blanket is making a comeback in the company’s hundredth year in business. Pick up a brightly patterned tribal throws (the Four Winds is Navajo-inspired) or muted striped Yakima Camp blankets (from $88), made from local sheep’s wool.

Nancy Hunt and husband Randy Goodman opened Bar Avignon in Southeast Portland in 2008, naming their restaurant and wine bar for a French city where they took memorable vacations.

Come for tree-trunk tables, antler chandeliers, and hand-carved rocking chairs; everything is crafted from local materials.

At 8 p.m., Bob Grossfeld, Sunriver's astronomer in residence, flicks a switch and retracts the roof of the Sunriver Observatory. Sidle up to one of 20 telescopes for a whole new take on the Milky Way.

Kevin Ludwig’s spirited restaurant and bar in Southeast Portland’s glass-fronted 720 BLDG has earned a reputation for its cocktail program since opening in 2009.