Oregon

Oregon Travel Guide

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.

Mix it up and take in a more traditional performance, too, at the open-air Elizabethan Stage.

Sokol Blosser is pushing the green envelope with its certified organic vineyard, solar panels, and a new 5,000-square-foot tasting room that architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture is hoping will achieve “Living Building” status.

If you’re looking for a ’60s Pendleton wool dress or a groovy Pendleton overcoat (with fur collar and leather buttons), stop by Rag & Bones. The boutique, owned by Thistle restaurant owners Eric Bechard and Emily Howard, sells only American-made vintage clothing, most of it wool.

The quality of the productions here is uniformly high. Check out something modern here; this year, perhaps Sarah Ruhl’s well-regarded Dead Man’s Cell Phone.

The Mystery: Measuring 165 feet in diameter and known for producing intense feelings of vertigo, this curious site in southern Oregon has attracted visitors since the 1930s.

...now handles more than 60 gardens and offers monthly lessons on tasks like staking tomatoes for clients who want to take a more active role.

Attend an otter feeding frenzy before seeing sharks, touch pools, and a resident giant octopus.

Opens late August.

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.

This prosperous, leafy neighborhood across Interstate 405 from the Pearl District (and straddled by Northwest 23rd and Northwest 21st avenues) is home to upscale retail and dining options, and many handsomely restored craftsman bungalows.