These are the places you need to see at least once.
There are countless opportunities for travelers to enjoy the wild outdoors in the Pacific Northwest state of Oregon. After all, the state is home to acres of untamed evergreen, glacial lakes, and a rugged, windswept coastline. But visitors exploring the Beaver State will also uncover decidedly hip cities, rural cideries, and sprawling vineyards. Whether you're touring Oregon for the first time or you're a regular, repeat visitor, these are nine points of interest in Oregon that prove there's more to the state than Portland.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake, the deepest and purest in the country, sits in the caldera of a collapsed volcano. Tourists can view the spectacular blue water from the pull-offs along the rim road, or hike one of the surrounding summits for an even better view.
The tallest of three volcanic peaks known as “The Sisters," this peak is the only one of the trio that can be reached without technical gear and advanced climbing skills. It's also the third tallest summit in the state. The hike up can be grueling, but those fit enough to make the climb are rewarded with spectacular views of the other peaks and surrounding valleys.
Whiskey and Rocks Farm Loop
This self-guided driving tour showcases the award-winning wineries, cideries, distilleries, orchards, creameries, and farms of the Blue Mountain foothills. Be sure to print out a map and descriptions of the stops before embarking on this 30-mile route.
If you have ever seen The Goonies, then the views from Cannon Beach will look strikingly familiar to you. The dramatic rocky coastline and mountainous rock piercing the surface of the ocean just offshore made this landscape a great backdrop for other films, too, including Twilight and Point Break.
Oregon Caves National Monument
Located deep within the Siskiyou Mountains of Southwest Oregon, these marble caves were formed from the rainwater percolating down from the forest above and slowly dissolving the stone. Tours of the so-called Marble Halls of Oregon are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Reservations, however, are available and highly recommended.
At 620-feet, this impressive waterfall is the tallest in Oregon. It's an especially popular spot for photographers, and visitors are welcome to view the waterfall from a bridge spanning the gorge, or wander the trails of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
Umpqua Hot Springs
Located in the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon, visitors come here to soak in the turquoise pools that maintain a temperature of 108-degrees year round. For most of the year, the approach to the hot springs is a strenuous quarter-mile hike. But if you want to visit Umpqua Hot Springs in the winter, expect the snowfall to stretch the path to two miles.
Silver Falls State Park
Containing 9,200 acres and the popular 7.2-mile “Trail of Ten Falls," this park is a great destination for photographers, hikers, and serious waterfall seekers. A number of natural pathways allow hikers to gain a unique view of the falls from behind the cascading water.
Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor
This 12-mile linear park runs along the rugged Oregon coastline, past cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, and gravity-defying rock formations. Visitors can also explore a stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail that meanders through the ancient forests of the park.