22 Best Kept Things to Do in Oregon

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things to do in Oregon
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Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States and, as a state, has a lot to offer with natural beauty and an urban feel. Oregon has many things to explore, such as National parks, aquariums, museums, beaches, and many more. One can visit with family and friends to Oregon as there are many things to do in Oregon, such as hiking, horseback riding, camping, biking, and other amazing outdoor activities.

One must plan a visit to this state to enjoy a variety of places and do various activities with loved ones. Hence here is a list of places to do many things and have a nice time.

1. Crater Lake National Park

things to do in Oregon
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Crater lake national park comes first on the list of top things to do in Oregon. Beginning at Rim Village, which is suitable to drive during warm months.

There are many hiking and backpacking opportunities available on Pacific Crest Trail. The Crater lake national park is known for its best hiking trails, such as Watchman Peak, which gives excellent caldera views. During the summer months, visit Cleetwood Cove to explore the lake. From here, cruises depart for Wizard Island. Mazama Campground is best for camping opportunities. Hence, Crater lake national park is a must-visit; therefore, its visit falls on the list of things to do in Oregon.

Things to do here: Go Camping, stargazing at night, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, mountain biking, and going on a guided tour. During the winter, one can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and ice fishing.

Address: Crater Lake National Park, OR 97604

2. Washington park

There are many parks in Portland, but Washington park is the best among all, so a visit to this beautiful park falls on the list of things to do in Oregon. Among the park grounds, International Rose Test Garden, which is located near the famous Portland Japanese Garden, has a display of excellent horticulture expertise.

Oregon zoo and Portland children’s museum located in Washington park are must-visits for families. Washington park features a hiking trail to have a nice walk. One can find a beautiful rose garden too. Apart from this, picnic areas, and a large playground is a must for any family visiting. One can also find an archery range and sports courts too. It also features World Forestry Center and the Hoyt Arboretum. One can visit memorials such as Oregon Holocaust Memorial, the Sacajawea Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Oregon Memorial.

Things to do here: One can brush up on one’s archery skills, bike, and spend time witnessing the gardens. Family and friends can enjoy a picnic and even visit the Oregon Zoo. A game of tennis can also be one of the day’s activities.

Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221

3. Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center

things to do in Oregon
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Next on the list of top things to do in Oregon is the visit to Oregon Coast Aquarium. It is home to stunning marine life and a must-visit place with friends and family. The aquarium is committed to making people aware of the nature and wildlife of the Oregon Coast and conservation efforts. One can explore indoor and outdoor animal exhibits. The aquarium tunnel is the highlight, which gives you an amazing feeling of walking on the ocean floor.

The best thing about the aquarium is that sea creatures such as sharks, jellyfish, octopi, and harbour seals. Sea otters and sea lions can also be spotted. There are many sea and shorebirds to see here too. The brown pelican and the tufted puffin shouldn’t be missed.

Things to do here: One can scuba dive in the aquarium to experience being with other sea creatures. The aquarium hosts special tours, encounters, visitor trips, field trips, and many others. Private times are best here, with the visitors guided by aquarium employees for personal interactions with octopi, seals, and sea lions, making a memorable moment.

Address: 2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport, OR 97365

4. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

things to do in Oregon
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Next on the list of top things to do in Oregon is a visit to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. Following the course of the Columbia River, the area cuts through the Cascade Range. The Columbia river gorge acts as a boundary line between Oregon and Washington. It is popular for its natural waterfalls and gorges.

One can travel along the Historic Columbia River Highway with various roadside attractions and enjoy it via bicycle. Another popular attraction is Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state. One can also visit Punchbowl Falls on Eagle Creek, another must-visit place.

Things to do here: One can enjoy hiking through different trails and plan to stay at night, set up a tent, and avail of many camping opportunities. The area is best for hiking, biking, camping, and several outdoor sports for locals and tourists.

Address: Hood River, OR 97031

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5. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

The Samuel H. Boardman state scenic corridor is situated in the Southwestern region of Oregon, offering charming beaches, scenic hiking opportunities, and rock formations.

The place can be best enjoyed with family and friends making its visit one of the top things to do in Oregon.

The Oregon Coast Trail, which spans throughout the park, is a must-hike trail. As one travels here, one can enjoy craggy bluffs, quiet beaches, and monolithic rock formations. During the journey, one can enjoy many picnic areas, viewpoints, and trailheads.

Seven arch rocks and blowholes are seen in the Boardman state scenic corridor, the Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint whale-watching spot, and the Natural Bridge site.

Things to do here: There are beach activities which one can enjoy. Get tan, make sandcastles and explore sea arches, and many more activities can be enjoyed at the beach throughout the day. One can also enjoy hiking oceanfront trails and having a nice picnic to complete the day.

Address: U.S. 101, Brookings, OR 97415

6. Columbia River Maritime Museum

The next top attraction of Oregon and one of the best things to do in Oregon is visiting the Columbia River Maritime Museum. This museum exhibits displays of marine transportation from the time of dugout canoes to sailing ships to present-day boat travel.

Things to do here: Visit the IMAX theatre, take a tour of the floating lighthouse ship Lightship Columbia, explore the museum to know the history of the place, sail a radio-controlled boat on the Model Boat Pond in The Warnock Commons, and read about the U.S. Coast Guard and the Columbia River Bar Pilots, participate in hands-on exhibits, including the chance to steer a tugboat.

Address: 1792 Marine Dr, Astoria, OR 97103

Oregon’s Top 25 Attractions

7. Oregon caves National monument

Next on the list of top things to do in Oregon is visiting the Oregon Caves national monument. The National monument and preserve is a protected park spanning 4,554 acres. Its main highlight is the captivating cave known as the Marble Halls of Oregon. This Oregon attraction is located in the Siskiyou Mountains.

The place offers various ranger-led tours according to one’s preferences and choices. Oregon caves national monument is a must-visit for young children as there are many things they will enjoy.

Things to do here: One can go on hiking trails through old-growth coniferous forests, enjoy guided cave tours, and camp with friends and family at the monument’s Cave Creek Campground, approximately four miles from the cave entrance.

Address: 19000 Caves Hwy, Cave Junction, OR 97523

8. Cascade lakes scenic byway

Next on the list of top things to do in Oregon is a visit to the Cascade Lakes Scenic byway. Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway runs for over 65 miles through central Oregon and is best known for its scenic beauty and is a place where one can enjoy many outdoor activities. One can be amazed by the volcanic scenery and stunning alpine lakes travelling across the route.

Things to do here: Fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and many other things

Address: Bend, Oregon, 97701

9. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

One can enjoy the day with the shifting sands when one visits the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This comes next on the list of top things to do in Oregon.

Cape Perpetua and the Heceta Head Lighthouse are the other beautiful attractions near the Dunes national recreation area. Among the dunes, one can visit the Umpqua Dunes area at Winchester Bay, and the sandboarding destination is Sand Master Park in Florence.

Camping can be enjoyed along the Siltcoos River and at Tahkenitch. One will get amazed and mesmerized by the coastal dunes, the misty forests, and the bubbly ocean in this area, among all the campgrounds in the Oregon dunes national recreation, Jessie M.

Things to do here: Enjoy the area in an off-highway vehicle, go hiking, paddle in the waves, do wildlife and birdlife watching, camp next to the ocean activity, and plan a picnic to end the day.

Address: 855 US-101, Reedsport, OR 97467

10. Smith Rock State park

things to do in Oregon
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If you love rock climbing, hiking, or mountain biking, then Smith Rock state park is the best place to visit. It is placed in central Oregon with 1,000 bolted sports routes along a stunning river canyon environment. This state park is next on the list of top things in Oregon.

Things to do here: Climbing, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife watching, and camping

Address: Terrebonne, OR 97760

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11. Cannon Beach

things to do in Oregon
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Next on the list of top things to do in Oregon is spending a day at Cannon Beach. There are many water sports to indulge in, along with resorts that also provide a range of activities.

No trip to the beach is complete without seeing Haystack Rock. Seaside is the closest town which is also a popular tourist town.

The beautiful Ecola State Park and Tillamook Head, both historic and scenic, are located north of Cannon beach.

Things to do here: Spend time at Cannon beach, try doing different water sports, and visit Haystack rock and Lewis and Clark National park. Enjoy the restaurants, boutique shops, and great hotels nearby. Other activities to do here include beachcombing, going for a swim in the cerulean water, and birdwatching.

Address: Cannon Beach, OR

12. Silver Falls State Park

things to do in Oregon
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A visit to Silver falls state park is next on the list of top things to do in Oregon.

One can start with the Ten Falls trails, which go through dense forests and many waterfalls. 

Things to do here: One can walk behind a waterfall, go for a hike or go mountain biking along 35 miles of backcountry trails, or set out on horseback through scenic attractions of Oregon. There are many camping opportunities too, with modern camping facilities for convenience.

Address: 20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, OR 97385

13. Oregon Museum of Science

Next on the list of top things to do in Oregon is visit the Oregon Museum of Science, which is fun and interesting for children and adults. This museum has 5 galleries with over 200 exhibits and 8 laboratories. The Galleries are dedicated to space, agriculture, energy, robotics, and the ocean, and the laboratories give learning experiences on such topics as chemistry, life science, physics, and industrial design.

The museum also hosts special events such as demonstrations, festivals, and exhibitions.

Things to do here: Enjoy and learn about different exhibits and displays in all sections of the museum, watch documentaries and movies, and participate in special events hosted by the museum.

Address: 1945 S.E. Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214

14. Portland Japanese Garden

things to do in Oregon
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The Portland Japanese garden is located in Washington Park. It stretches into an area covering 12 acres and eight garden styles. One can enjoy authentic Japanese tea houses, quiet streams, and an amazing view of Mount Hood, makings its visit a must on the list of things to do in Oregon.

Visit the Cultural Village to see Japanese art and culture. Also, stop to enjoy the cultural demonstrations at the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center.

Things to do here: Enjoy art and culture in Cultural Village, visit the Japanese Art learning center, and take part in educational programs, cultural festivals, workshops, and both public and private tours.

Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

15. Willamette Valley

Known as Oregon’s Wine country, the Willamette Valley is 3,438,000 acres with many vineyards and tasting rooms. Among all places, Bend, Portland, and Hood river have many breweries per capita.

The forest is popular for its scenery with volcanoes, beautiful mountains, scenic rivers,s and several hot springs making its visit a must on the list of things to do in Oregon.

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Here are some more things to do in Oregon

16. Mount Hood National Forest

Hood National Forest has many outdoor activities to choose from, making its visit into the list of top things to do in Oregon. The Mount Hood National Forest also falls on the list of Oregon attractions. Featuring the highest mountain in Oregon, with a peak rising to 11,239 feet, making it the best landmark in the state.

17. John day fossil beds

The Painted Hills are a glorious geological site found at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It spans 3,132 acres and offers some of the most picturesque sceneries in all of Oregon.

18. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Experience the wooden shoe tulip festival at the Wooden shoe tulip farm, which has 40 acres of brightly coloured tulip fields, making it to the list of things to do in Oregon.

19. Newberry National Volcanic Monument

One can also visit the Newberry national volcanic monument in Bend to enjoy various fun things in the heart of nature. One can enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, swimming, mountain biking, and more around Newberry national volcanic monument. Another fun summer activity with the residents of Bend is to experience the Deschutes River.

20. Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The next must to do on the list of things to do in Oregon is making a trip to Ashland during the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival and checking out the food and craft beverage scene. Oregon Shakespeare Festival is an old-school theatre that has been there since the 1930s hosting dozens of performances per week and hundreds per year. Don’t forget to check out the Oregon film museum in the old Clatsop County Jail. The Oregon film museum has galleries and displays, making people aware of the legacy of television and movie production in Oregon.

21. Fort Stevens State Park

Among state parks, Fort stevens state park is also a must-visit. The state park has a wide range of activities to choose from, with the fun local culture surrounding the Fort making it much more memorable than other parks. Another enjoyable thing to do is walk across the bridge over the Willamette river; you won’t regret it.

22. Sea Lion Caves

Sea lion caves are also a must-visit among Oregon attractions. Visitors can explore the home to hundreds of sea lions and the series of caves to see the beautiful creatures up close. Other animals to spot in the Sea lion caves are tufted penguins, herrings, California gulls, and more.

Conclusion

There are many tourist attractions in Oregon that one can enjoy when one is in the state. One can say that Oregon attractions can vary from museums to aquariums and from beaches to national parks.

There is nothing you can miss when you visit this state as all the places are worth a visit hence making it a must-visit for tourists where one can explore many scenic attractions which bring one close to nature with sites such as Sea lion caves, Tulip farms, Volcanic monument, Oregon dunes, aquariums and many more. One can plan many trips and excursions throughout the state. Apart from natural beauty, the state offers urban charms, resulting in many things to do in Oregon that one can’t miss.

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