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.

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.

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.

This brick-fronted restaurant and nightclub in Southeast Portland has a stage for performers, a shimmering disco ball, and rows of artistic panels that dangle down the side of blue walls.

A black awning and sidewalk tables greet visitors to Sarah Hart’s Spanish-inspired chocolate shop, promising “(mostly) sin free chocolate.” Alma is both "soul" in Spanish and refers to Hart’s grandmother, who taught her to bake.

Thanks to a growing colony of trendy bars and terrific restaurants around the intersection with 28th Street, this formerly industrial area has become increasingly vibrant and popular.

The guides at First Ascent will teach you the ABCs of climbing on the dramatic spires of Smith Rock, located just north of town.

Musher Jerry Scdoris leads daily dog-sledding excursions.

The store looks like an innocuous gift shop but hides within it an outlandish library of exotic salts curated by salt “selmelier” Mark Bitterman.

Years as agent: 21. Specialties: England, India, South Africa. Consulting fee: From $500.

Oregon’s rocky and pristine northern coast makes for an easy day trip from Portland; the drive takes about 90 minutes and passes over the jagged peaks of the Coast Range.