Oregon truly does have it all: a rugged coastline boasting gorgeous beaches, a high-desert region full of hiking opportunities, majestic mountain peaks for skiing, a fertile valley renowned for its wineries, and a laidback city bursting with world-class restaurants. Overwhelmed? Use this Web guide to find the destinations and attractions on offer, and get help planning your trip. You’ll find tips on how to get there, how to get around and where to put your feet up after a long day of exploring.
Lewis and Clark didn’t know the splendor that waited at the end of their journey, but you can get a glimpse of it here. Use this section to learn about Oregon’s crown jewels, such as geographic wonders like Crater Lake, Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge. You’ll also find information on the best beaches and wineries, and learn why “Keep Portland Weird” is not only a popular bumper sticker in this quirky city, but a way of life.
- Blogs are an excellent source for insider tips on a destination. Stop by Café Mama to learn her 10 favorite things about Portland, or use a blog search engine like Technorati to find other blogs full of hidden gems in Oregon.
- When searching for information on Oregon, sometimes using broader search terms (for example, “Pacific Northwest”) in your favorite search engine can turn up even more relevant results. One such search found NWsource, a blog devoted to Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, with plenty of articles specific to Oregon.
For an overview of Oregon tourism …
is the official site of the Oregon Tourism Commission. Stop by the “Explore Oregon
” section to navigate the state by region, or browse “Experiences”
to get inspired by upcoming events, attractions and culture activities. Don’t miss the “365 Extraordinary Days in Oregon
” feature for a fresh way to explore the state: a colorful photo for each day of the year links to an event or location sure to pique your curiosity.
The New York Times Travel Guide to Oregon
entices with gorgeous photos and a variety of articles that will have you itching to go, covering road trips, windsurfing, fine dining options and more. Don’t miss the Frommer’s links on the upper left for itineraries that cater to wine lovers, families and those who just want a scenic drive.
EcoTours of Oregon
may have a primitive Web site but a variety of sightseeing and nature tours makes up for the lackluster Web design. Choose from a Columbia River Gorge/Mount Hood tour, a tour of Portland’s microbreweries, a Native American cultural tour and more.
will have you feeling like a local in no time. Find out what’s going on, where the deals are to be had (on hotels, events and more), and link to blogs on all things Portland for the inside scoop (find them on the right).
Keep Portland Weird
is not only a bumper sticker you’ll frequently see in Portland, it’s also a mantra that was created to support local businesses. Though the site is spare, it does offer “A Day in Portland,” a walking tour of the city complete with photos. The attractions and businesses mentioned along the way link to their Web sites or to pop-up windows with full address information.
For the Lewis and Clark Trail …
helps you “re-live the adventure” by presenting an interactive map showing the route taken by the two explorers. Travel the trail on your own with their suggested itinerary
, or book an escorted tour
to follow the entire trail from Missouri to Astoria, Oregon.
Oregon Coast Visitors Association
(OCVA) provides a comprehensive introduction to the Oregon Coast. Browse “Oregon Coast Cities
” to find detailed profiles with a list of attractions and events for each location. Or try “Things To See & Do” to get inspired by whale watching opportunities, lighthouses, art galleries, music festivals and more.
For Oregon’s wine country …
Oregon Wine Explorer
lays out Oregon’s fine wineries on an interactive map. Click on a winery to get directions and more info, or narrow your search using the “Winery Features” menu on the left.
For Mount Hood and the Columbia Gorge …
turns you on to the outdoor lover’s dream that is the Columbia Gorge. Hike to the top of Multnomah Falls, do some world-class windsurfing, or dip your bottom in Bagby Hot Springs. Find maps, directions and more.
The Mount Hood Railroad
has been serving the Hood River Valley for more than 100 years. Still an active freight line, the railroad also offers rail tours from the town of Hood River to the base of Mount Hood. Learn about the narrated historic excursion trains, view photos of the trains, and book your reservation online.
Eastern Oregon Visitor’s Association
let’s you in on an area of Oregon that’s often overlooked by visitors: the vast eastern part of the state. Explore the mountains and canyons of the northeast corner, and the arid desert landscape of the southeast. Also find “Scenic Byways
” with maps and itineraries of points in between.
Have you always secretly wished there was a museum devoted to velvet paintings? There is. It’s called the Velveteria
. And it’s in Portland, of course.
In a state with such diverse landscapes, it’s only natural to find a wide variety of places to stay, but the breadth of variety may surprise you. Read on to find accommodations ranging from the primitive to the luxurious, from the classic to the ultra hip.
- Craigslist in Portland, Oregon is a very active community, and full of vacation rentals around the state. Look for cabins, condos, beach resorts and more. Just be sure to do your homework and thoroughly research the rentals before you book.
- Look for accommodation search engines on the Oregon tourism sites listed in the first section of this guide, and visit the findingDulcinea Travel Web guide for the best hotel search engines.
For accommodations in Portland …
The Heathman Hotel
calls itself “Portland’s Historic Landmark Hotel” and rightly so: the hotel was built in 1927 and has been an icon of luxury in Portland ever since. Read about the hotel, make reservations online, or explore the “Our Neighborhood
” section for more information on Portland and the surrounding area.
is the young, ultramodern alternative to the Heathman. The rooms are spare yet stylish, the throw pillows are eclectic, and the food and entertainment are nearly nonstop at its adjacent sister establishment, Doug Fir. Make reservations online but be sure to check out the “Deals
” page for package deals and specials.
The Chateau at the Oregon Caves
is a rustic lodge at the entrance of limestone caves in the Siskiyou Mountains. Built in 1934, the Chateau is an architectural wonder that was built to appear as though part of the natural wooded landscape; a stream runs through the dining room. Browse the site to learn more about the Chateau, the caves and the hiking trails in the surrounding old-growth forest.
, nestled on the slopes of Mount Hood, is a National Historic Landmark and a must-visit for the skier and non-skier alike—the Lodge’s outdoor amphitheater plays host to a folk and bluegrass festival in August. Watch the short narrated video on the Lodge or book your room online.
Crater Lake Lodge
is another of Oregon’s grand historic lodges. Built in 1915 and renovated in 1995, the Lodge overlooks Crater Lake and features a Great Hall and northwest cuisine. Unfortunately, the Web site doesn’t offer much in the way of photos or information, but you can make reservations online.
has a list of RV parks around the state. Use the hand search tool to find a park by city, by amenity or browse the alphabetical list of parks by name. Each park comes with a map, driving directions and a list of nearby attractions and events.
For unique accommodations …
Newport Belle Bed & Breakfast
offers a bit of old-time Mississippi River nostalgia on the Oregon Coast. A stern wheel riverboat constructed in 1993, the boat is permanently moored at the Newport Marina and offers five staterooms, a main salon and an open aft deck. Look for deck plans and plenty of photos, and make a reservation request online; you’ll have to call with your credit card number to confirm.
Sylvia Beach Hotel
was made for the literary enthusiast. Located in Newport, all of the rooms feature a literary theme and are organized on the Web site by “Classics,” “Best Sellers,” and “Novels.” Book your stay in the Agatha Christie, for example, and you’ll find many Christie books on the shelves, and a clue from each mystery hidden in the room. Call to make reservations.
The U.S. Forest Service
provides an introduction to the Forest Service Rental Program, a system of cabins and towers once staffed as remote ranger stations or fire lookouts, many of them in Oregon. Browse the rental list by national forest name near the top of the page, or look at the alphabetical list by rental name
Out ‘n’ About Treesort and Treehouse Institute
offers the chance to stay in one of several treehouses more fit for a queen than Tarzan. Take the virtual tours
to get a sense of the craftsmanship and splendor of these cabins in the sky. Though the site design is truly awful and you’ll have to suffer a lot of “lit-treely” silly lingo, these may be the most luxurious treehouses you’ll ever find. The “Our Facilitree
” page has a price list and reservation information.
Heceta Head Lighthouse
is a working lighthouse perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Light Keeper’s house serves as an interpretive center during the day and a Bed and Breakfast
at night. Stay at the B&B and enjoy a nighttime stroll to the lighthouse and a seven-course breakfast in the morning. Reservations can be made only by phone.
Once you arrive in Oregon, you’ll want to see as much of the diverse scenery as possible. Use this section to find sites with information on flights and driving in Oregon, or to get advice on buses and trains.
- If you’re visiting Oregon during the winter and planning a road trip, be aware that weather conditions can change drastically from one region to the next. For safe driving in mountainous areas, check out “The Oregon Winter Driving Guide.”
- Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, and has a thriving bike culture. For a blog devoted to all things biking in and around Portland, visit BikePortland.org.
offers general advice on traveling in the state. Look for information on all of the airports in Oregon, a mileage calculator and road cams, as well as guides to some of the state’s “Scenic Byways
details how to get around Oregon starting from Portland, the state’s major metropolitan area. Get specific advice for getting around the city by train, bus or trolley, and find information on flying, renting a car, and taking the train or bus to get around the state.
has flights within Oregon, and between Oregon and the U.S. and Canada. Sign up for the airline’s newsletter
to receive 500 bonus miles, and be alerted of savings, typically up to 20 percent. Also peruse “Air Deals and Fare Sales
” for a list of the latest discounted fares.
The City of Portland Office of Transportation
has information on bike touring in Oregon. Look for bike maps for the Oregon Coast, the Columbia River Gorge and the Willamette Valley. Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to information on guided bike tours.
provides an interactive map of Oregon that details road and weather conditions across the state. Select a region from the map to view road cams, learn about weather hazards, see construction areas and more.
Amtrak’s Empire Builder
line travels daily between Chicago and Portland along portions of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Visit the site to see the stations served, find schedules and build your own custom route through the Wild West. Or take the Amtrak Cascades
line up and down the west coast, from Eugene, Oregon to Vancouver, B.C.
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