Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Helen E. White
Best Things to Do in Oregon: Oregon is a place that many fall in love with from their very first visit. Oregon cities here are trendy, quirky and practical. Meanwhile, the possibilities for outdoor activities are endless as it is a mecca for all kinds of adventure sports.
There is a beach area that is blissfully beautiful, with high mountains, spectacular waterfalls and plenty of snow for you to ski. There are so many reasons to visit Oregon, so here are 12 of our favorite things to do here.
12 Best Things to Do in Oregon
1. Hike Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The state of Oregon certainly has no shortage of amazing tourist areas, and many tourists start exploring the Oregon wilderness at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. There are also opportunities for cycling and camping. It has a designated wilderness area, two wild and scenic rivers, and a national scenic trail, as well as plenty of hiking and hiking options.
2. Cycling Around Portland
The city of Portland is known for its brewery scene and it can be really overwhelming to try and hit all the best brew spots in one trip. To try some of them, stay safe and make new friends, hop aboard the Brew Cycle to twist your way from brewery to brewery.
These are two-hour trips that make three stops. The bikes go outside in the rain or shine, they can accommodate up to 15 people. Alternatively, you can board the BrewBarge, which is a 1.5-hour river cruise to enjoy Portland beer and views of the city from the water.
3. Visit Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is a truly stunning natural area at any time of the year. It is located in southwestern Oregon and in the Cascade Mountain Range, which has a very deep and round lake in its center. At 1,943 feet deep, it is the deepest lake in America and is also home to old growth forest and a collapsed volcano.
4. See Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is one of Oregon’s many coastal stops and is well worth a visit while exploring the state’s beach towns. A famous natural landmark here is called Haystack Rock, which is a large monolith that stands out in the sea. Also, around the coastal town of Cannon Beach, check out Ecola State Park and Hug Point State Park.
5. Taste Cheese at Tillamook Cheese Factory
All travelers who love cheese should visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The factory is open daily throughout the year and offers free self-guided tours. There are so many different types of delicious cheeses that you can try here. There is also an ice cream parlor and a cafe where you can have lunch.
6. Marvel at Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls is located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area but deserves a mention in its own right. This is an impressive waterfall that attracts over two million people every year to see the views. The falls are 611 feet high and only 30 minutes from Portland. During your visit, you can stop by Multnomah Falls Lodge for snacks, restaurants and visitor information.
7. Take Your Lunch in a Portland Food Truck
In addition to breweries, Portland is also known for its food scene. Often the best place to eat on food trucks is visiting an area with multiple trucks so you can choose your cuisine. For example, the Alder Street Food Cart is a large downtown outlet located between Southwest Alder and Washington Streets and runs from Southwest Ninth Avenue to Southwest Tenth Avenue.
8. Go Mountain Biking in Bend
Bend has been a longtime favorite town for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Nearby there are national forests, ski hills, the Deschutes River and even volcanic landscapes. All these features make Bend an ideal place for mountain biking, rafting, skiing and rock climbing.
There are excellent equipment and rental stores in town to pick up supplies if you haven’t come yourself. You can also take the Cascade Lakes Scenic Road through the Deschutes National Forest to rest your weary legs and feet.
9. Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley
Step back to California’s Napa Valley because Oregon has its own wine region that’s really nice to visit. The Willamette Valley is home to many Oregon vineyards, and there are hundreds of wineries you can visit for tastings.
To get started in this region, choose one of the wine trails such as the Eola Amity Hills, the Road to Carlton and McMinnville, or the North Willemette Valley. Tour companies invite visitors to wineries to taste and learn about the different wineries safely.
10. Descending Mount Hood
Mount Hood is another epic landmark in Oregon standing at 11,239 feet at the top. This is a great place to ski, so pack your gear for the winter season. Mt. Hood Meadows is the most popular ski resort on the mountain and has areas for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Other ski areas worth visiting on the mountain are Timberline Lodge, Ski Hood Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny, and Summit.
11. Embrace Coastal Life in Newport
Newport is a beautiful coastal city in Oregon with lighthouses, peaceful scenery, and local attractions worth visiting. Be sure to stop by the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coastal Aquarium, then stop and watch the sunset on the beach. Also nearby are the Yaquina Head Preeminent Natural Area and the Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area.
12. Go Underground at the Oregon Caverns National Monument
One little-known natural attraction here is the Oregon Caverns National Monument, where you can take a tour of the underground wonders. The national park offers cave tours, candlelight tours, and cave tours. The monument is located in the Siskiyou Mountains and also has surface hiking trails that can be explored after the tour. Meanwhile, Oregon’s Chateau Cave has lodging and a restaurant.