The tenth largest state in the United States,
Oregon exemplifies the beauty and wildness
of America’s Pacific Northwest.
While there are many cultural venues in Oregon
worth exploring, it’s the state’s diverse
landscapes that draw many travelers to this
corner of the country.
From rugged shorelines and thick verdant forests
to towering volcanic mountains and steep river
gorges, Oregon’s natural attractions are
Here’s a look at the best places to visit
Columbia River Gorge
Just a few miles east from Portland lies the
vast U-shaped corridor known as the Columbia
Formed by cataclysmic Ice-Age floods, the
miles-wide valley stretches for more than
70 miles along the Columbia River on Oregon’s
Built in the early 1900s, the Historic Columbia
River Highway takes visitors past dozen of
waterfalls tumbling down the valley’s steep
Whether visiting in the autumn when the surrounding
forests are draped in fall color or during
the spring when wildflowers burst into bloom,
the Columbia River Gorge offers spectacular
vistas in every season.
Paradise for nature lovers, Bend really does
have it all when it comes to the great outdoors.
With the Cascade Mountains nearby, you can
be skiing one moment and rock-climbing or
mountain biking the next, before heading off
to explore its lakes and waterways.
Here, you can kayak, go fly-fishing or even
paddleboard if the mood takes you.
With around three hundred days of sunshine
every year, you’re almost guaranteed to
have an amazing time!
The small town of Yachats is situated at the
foot of the 800 foot high Cape Perpetua on
the Northern Oregon Coast.
The tiny village is a popular destination
for travelers who want to enjoy all of the
unspoiled beauty that Oregon’s coastline
offers, minus the crowds.
Rocky tidal pools and small pocket beaches
lie just outside the city’s boundaries,
and visitors can often spot gray whales swimming
close to shore in the spring.
Hells Canyon Recreational Area
Located near the small town of Joseph in northeast
Oregon, the Hells Canyon Recreational Area
outranks the Grand Canyon when it comes to
Parts of the canyon surrounding the Snake
River are as deep as 8,000 feet.
With few paved roads leading into the area,
most visitors opt to enter the canyon by jet
boat, although some trails are accessible
with four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Touring the canyon on a whitewater raft is
a popular activity.
Overnight horseback trips into the canyon
are available as well.
The tallest peak in Oregon, Mount Hood is
much more than just a stunning backdrop for
the city of Portland 60 miles away.
It’s a travel destination that attracts
visitors all year long.
Five downhill ski areas and miles of cross-country
trails keep the slopes of Mount Hood packed
during the winter, and summer snowfall attracts
visitors to Mount Hood for off-season skiing
For experienced mountaineers, climbing to
the summit of Mount Hood is another popular
The historic Timberline Lodge, which was used
for exterior shots in the movie “The Shining,”
offers great views of the Southern Cascades.
Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
One of the best ways to experience the beauty
and splendor of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains
is by touring the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.
The 66-mile route winds along river valleys,
up mountains and past scenic lakes, offering
visitors picturesque vistas and an abundance
of recreational opportunities along the way.
The route begins in the city of Bend, climbing
into forests of ponderosa pine towards Mount
Views of lakes formed by ancient lava flows
quickly come into view, each offering activities
like swimming, fishing or boating.
The route ends at the winter resort community
The historic city of Astoria lies just a few
miles southwest of the spot where explorers
Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1806 before
returning to the East.
Five years later, John Jacob Astor founded
Astoria, making it the first United States
settlement on the West Coast.
Situated at the mouth of the Columbia River,
the city’s backdrop is the scenic Astoria-Megler
Bridge, the country’s longest continuous
The region’s unique Victorian architecture
is best represented by the multicolored Flavel
House built during the 1880s.
Oregon’s largest city straddles the Willamette
River near the point where it meets the mighty
With Mount Hood in the distance and the Pacific
Ocean just a short drive away, Portland is
surrounded by natural beauty, and it’s clear
by the sheer number of parks and gardens how
much the city’s inhabitants value the outdoor
The city’s ever-changing dining, music and
art scenes are worth experiencing, and visits
to the city’s quirky museums are fun too,
but for many visitors, it’s venues like
Forest Park and the International Rose Garden
that make “The City of Roses” one of the
best places to visit in Oregon.
Crater Lake National Park
The most popular natural attraction in Southern
Oregon, Crater Lake is what remains of a volcanic
eruption that occurred on Mount Mazama 7,700
With a depth of nearly 2,000 feet, it’s
the deepest lake in the United States, and
its tranquil sapphire-blue waters are a sight
With 90 miles of trails winding through the
national park, the area is a hiker’s paradise.
The 33 mile long Rim Drive offers less adventurous
visitors many scenic overlooks.
A guided boat tour of the lake and its central
Named after a cannon that washed ashore after
a shipwreck, Cannon Beach is one of the most
popular of the seaside resorts that stretch
along Oregon’s 300 mile long coast.
Located around 80 miles to the west of Portland,
the once-rustic artist community has grown
into an upscale resort filled with restaurants,
boutique shops and art galleries.
In-town attractions include the Cannon Beach
History Center, which features an authentic
reproduction of a Native American longhouse.
The most striking feature about the beach
itself is the 235 foot high Haystack Rock,
the largest of the monolithic rocks that dot
the sandy shoreline and provide a nesting
ground for sea birds.
To the north of Cannon Beach is Ecola State
Park which offers a multitude of hiking trails
of all levels and some of the most stunning
Oregon Coast views anywhere.
The tenth largest state in the United States, Oregon exemplifies the beauty and wildness of America’s Pacific Northwest. While there are many cultural venues in Oregon worth exploring, it’s the state’s diverse landscapes that draw many travelers to this corner of the country. From rugged shorelines and thick verdant forests to towering volcanic mountains and steep river gorges, Oregon’s natural attractions are simply breathtaking. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Oregon: