Oregon is a place that has diverse landscapes. It covers a variety of terrain, including the coast, the mountains, and the Oregon high desert. Large waterfalls, many outstanding sea stacks, and a volcano-created lake are some of the best places to visit in Oregon. These scenic attractions can be found throughout the state, making way for memorable road trips and excursions.
Oregon is known for its urban charms as well as its natural beauty. Portland, the state’s largest city, has an international reputation for attracting tourists with its unique and welcoming culture. The city’s tourist attractions are Rose gardens, art museums, and a massive bookstore. And this cultural center is just one of many excellent cities in Oregon.
22 Best Places To Visit In Oregon
Apart from the exciting things mentioned above, Oregon has a lot of other attractions. Read the article to learn about some of the most exciting places to visit in Oregon.
1. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The Columbia River Gorge National is one of the best places to visit in Oregon; it follows the Columbia River as it flows through the Cascade Mountains. The breathtaking river gorge serves as the border between Oregon and Washington and is best known for its breathtaking views and numerous waterfalls. Traveling through the Historic Columbia River Highway gorge is slower than on Interstate 84. The historic corridor also features several roadside attractions and is a popular bicycle route.
Multnomah Falls, the state’s tallest waterfall, is perhaps the most iconic display of gravity in the Columbia River Gorge. Multnomah Falls is one of Portland’s most popular day trips, but it’s far from the only waterfall to see in the gorge. The area around Multnomah Falls features a variety of hiking and biking trails, as well as camping facilities. Punchbowl Falls on Eagle Creek is another excellent destination to consider.
2. Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is a name among the popular attractions in Oregon. Crater Lake was formed by an extinct volcanic caldera, as the name suggests. Rainwater feeds the nearly circular lake, which results in an outstanding clear lake bed. The intensely blue water found here is the dream of every photographer, and it is a lovely place for camping, hiking, or relaxing during the hot summer months.
Mount Mazama’s towering peaks and lava cliffs offer a panoramic backdrop, and two tiny islands positioned smack in the heart of the sapphire-blue waters surround the lake. Tourists are urged to drive around the lake on the circular Rim Drive road, which surrounds the lake and provides a birds-eye perspective of the magnificent lake.
Crater Lake National Park has the best hiking trails in Oregon; one of them is Watchman Peak, which provides spectacular views of the caldera. There are extensive hiking and backpacking opportunities away from the rim, including the country-spanning Pacific Crest Trail. At the same time, more moderate options can be reached via paved sidewalks from Rim Village. During the summer, head to Cleetwood Cove, where cruises to Wizard Island depart. There are also two built campgrounds, most located in the Mazama Campground.
3. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is a popular tourist site on the northern Oregon coast with a lengthy stretch of sand and beautiful vistas of jagged coastal rocks. Haystack Rock, the greatest of these sea stacks, is a permanent presence during any visit to this coastal village. Cannon Beach offers cultural appeal in addition to spectacular ocean views, with restaurants, boutique shops, and excellent hotels.
Cannon Beach’s reputation as one of the best small towns on the Oregon Coast stems from its unique blend of culture, community, and ocean access. To the north of Cannon Beach, the lovely Ecola State Park and Tillamook Head provide historic and scenic settings to explore. Another side of the Ecola State Park has the beautiful city of Seaside, which provides several days of family-friendly coastal tourism.
4. Portland Japanese Garden
Portland Japanese Garden, which was characterized by His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, and the former Ambassador of Japan said to the United States, as “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan,” should be high on your list of finest places to visit in Oregon. The park is in Washington Park and offers a 12-acre urban oasis with eight garden styles. On clear days, the grounds include an authentic Japanese tea house, quiet streams, hidden walkways, and an outstanding view of Mount Hood.
Visit the Cultural Village, which features traditional Japanese arts and crafts through various activities and performances.
5. Oregon Caves National Monument
Hiking trails through the old-growth coniferous forest are available above ground in the protected area. This underground attraction is centered on a marble cave that is only accessible during guided tours. The National Park Service offers several tours that explore the cave, ranging from guided treks for families and children to wild cave expeditions that stray off the beaten path.
At 4,000 feet, the monument is located in the Siskiyou Mountains. It is the best place to visit in Oregon for those who love to visit caves. The Cave Creek Campground, located approximately four miles from the cave entrance, has seventeen primitive campsites.
6. Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon, near Bend, is a popular international climbing destination. Smith Rock State Park, located on Oregon’s high desert plateau at an elevation of around 3,000 feet, encompasses a massive 650 acres of sheer cliff faces, spires, and towers that beg to be climbed and explored. Over 1,000 bolted sports routes line the state park’s stunning river canyon environment. These routes are easy to difficult, requiring good climbing experience and equipment. Climbers aren’t the only ones who visit this outdoor playground; mountain bikers, hikers, and photographers also frequent the state park. Climbing and exploring Smith Rock in the winter is often a T-shirt activity due to the high-desert weather system.
Misery Ridge is one of the best hikes in the area. Despite its ominous name, the trail offers a breathtaking view of the Crooked River and its canyon walls. Smith Rock State Park offers an RV-only campground and a walk-in area for campers and climbers. A campground is also available for the ones who want to pitch a tent and stay overnight. Horseback riding is allowed on the areas of the Canyon River, Wolf Tree, and Homestead trails, also used by mountain bikers.
7. Oregon Coast Trail
The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) runs for over 360 miles along the western edge of Oregon, taking in the sights, sounds, and top attractions of the Oregon coast. It is the best trail best places to visit in Oregon. Most people hike the Oregon Coast Trail in segments, covering 20 to 30 miles in three to five days. Several campgrounds along the trail are state parks with designated hiker/biker areas. Reservations are not required for hiker/biker sites, but everyone must arrive by muscle power.
While the trail mostly follows beaches, hikers on the OCT also travel through forested headlands, take boat rides across estuaries, and travel along the shoulder of US 101 for parts of the journey. Before any trip, it is necessary to research logistics.
8. Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Within Central Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, the Newberry Volcanic Monument offers a plethora of unique scenery to explore. It revolves around the Newberry Caldera and encompasses a 1,200-square-mile volcano. The Lava Lands Visitor Center is an excellent spot to start your visit to the monument.
Bicycling, hiking, and boating are popular activities at Newberry. Newberry has one of the best campgrounds in Oregon. Those who make a reservation at the popular Little Crater Lake Campground have direct access to the inviting waters of Paulina Lake. Several picturesque hot springs have been dug into the Paulina Lake shoreline. This thermal area is accessible by boat or a moderate hike next to the water from the campground.
9. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is only available to the public for one month out of the year, making it as unique and transitory as the flowers that erupt from the earth. Pinks and purples blend, while reds and whites contrast with yellows and oranges. On the other hand, visitors who happen to be passing through the state at the right time will be rewarded with an unforgettable memory of a beautiful destination.
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is one of America’s most stunning attractions and the best place to visit in Oregon. The farm owners offer a walking tour or a tractor ride to view the tulips. Hot air balloon trips over the beautiful, plentiful crops are also available. If you want great images for your scrapbook, it is the place to go. It’s like a small bit of the Netherlands has arrived in Oregon.
10. Washington Park
Washington Park is a lovely setting, to be sure, but look beyond the grassy lawns and tall trees to discover several world-class attractions that make it one of Portland’s finest attractions. On its 5,100 acres, you will be able to find the most authentic Japanese gardens, the 4.5-acre, multi-tiered International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Zoo, the Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Children’s Museum, the World Forestry Center, and other attractions.
The Sacajawea Memorial, the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Oregon Holocaust Memorial are among the solemn memorials of Oregon’s best places to visit. Walking, biking, picnicking, tennis, and even archery are among the activities available. Because parking within the park is extremely limited, it is recommended to use Portland’s first-rate bus, shuttle, and light rail systems to get there.
11. Oregon Shakespeare Festival
For much of the year, Ashland hosts the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This non-profit theatre company produces over 700 shows per year on three stages, including the beautiful Allen Elizabethan Theatre. Seeing any of these performances is a must-do for anyone visiting Southern Oregon.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which runs from February to October and attracts a lot of attention, aids in defining Ashland’s community and culture. It is particularly accurate in the downtown area, filled with Victorian-themed restaurants and shops. Following a performance, many people spill out of the theatres and onto these streets.
12. The City of The Dalles
The Dalles is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and art lovers, thanks to its sunny weather and excellent location at the Columbia Gorge’s gateway. On a self-guided walking tour of Oregon’s most historic town, you can visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Wasco County Historical Museum, the quaint Fort Dallas Museum and Anderson Homestead, and several other historic sites.
13. Vast Willamette National Forest
Best places to visit in Oregon, I cannot discuss Oregon attractions without mentioning the Willamette National Forest. This 1.6-million-acre region is one of the most impressive in a state where the natural environment reigns supreme. The forest contains eight wilderness areas, including the Three Sisters Wilderness and Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.
There are numerous opportunities for backpacking and hiking, mountain biking and boating, swimming, rafting, and other activities. Visit Iron Mountain, home to more than 300 blooming species, take a trip to a secret alpine lake in the Cascade Mountains, and explore Opal Creek Wilderness and the emerald-green Opal Pool.
14. Mount Hood
Mount Hood is Oregon’s tallest peak, and while it provides a stunning backdrop to Portland, which is 60 miles away, it is also a spectacular destination in its own right, with plenty to do all year. During the winter, the five downhill ski areas and miles of cross-country trails keep the mountain slopes packed, and summer snowfall attracts visitors for off-season skiing. In the summer, go hiking or even climb Mount Hood’s summit.
Staying at the historic Timberline Lodge, which became famous after being used for exterior shots in Stephen King’s “The Shining,” you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Southern Cascades as well as all of the fabulous lodge amenities, like a heated outdoor pool that is heated all year, a sauna, a hot tub, and other amenities.
15. Oregon Caves National Monument And Preserve
The beautiful Marble Halls of Oregon lie deep in the heart of the Siskiyou Mountains, sculpted out of solid marble by millennia of precipitation. These are some of the amazing places to visit in Oregon for cave lovers. On a 90-minute guided Discovery Cave Tour, you can explore the labyrinth of passages, chambers, and pathways while learning about the geology of the cave system.
It is the best place to visit in Oregon for those who love camping. You can make a tent in the ground and spend some time exploring the several scenic hiking trails to get close to nature. In the summer, there is a three-hour Off-Trail Adventure Tour where you can belly-crawl, climb, and slither through some very small spaces for the more daring.
16. Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens State Park was built on an abandoned military base that survived everything from sea storms to submarine attacks. It’s now little more than a series of empty corridors and rusted artillery guns, but it’s become the centerpiece of one of the region’s most popular attractions. Fort State Park has over 3,500 acres of beaches, forests, rivers, and mountains for visitors to enjoy.
This the best places to visit in Oregon for those who love hiking and biking, as well as bird and whale watching. 100-year-old wreckage that protrudes from the beach on a local beach is one of the coolest things to see! You can go swimming or throw some frisbees on the grass. Tours are another popular activity. If you’re looking for activities in Oregon, State Park will not disappoint. It has a variety of activities that will keep you busy, and the fun local culture surrounding the fort makes it much more memorable than other parks.
17. Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which runs for over 65 miles through central Oregon, has become well-known for its outstanding beauty, diverse scenery, and various recreational opportunities.
The scenery along this route will take your breath away, with volcanic scenery and stunning alpine lakes. This area has become extremely popular for fishing, camping, hiking, and boating. There are several leisure activities to select from.
18. Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is a wonderful destination for hikers, walkers, and nature lovers, with towering coastal trees, pounding Pacific seas, and some of the country’s greatest coastline vistas. The Cummins Creek, Discovery Loop, and Giant Spruce Trails are among the trails that lead to the Sitka Spruce Forest.
The Cape Perpetua Visitors Center, which provides short films and guided walks in the summer, has beautiful views and lots of information about the area. Aside from the beautiful hiking trails, you can visit tidal pools at low tide and admire the ferocity of the Spouting Horn and Devil’s Churn from observation decks at high tide.
19. Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls State Park, located thirty minutes east of the state capital of Salem, has one of the most spectacular waterfall displays in the country. It is home to the nationally recognized Trail of Ten Falls, a moderate hiking path in the area’s many water attractions.
This Oregon State Park system jewel takes visitors behind a few waterfalls for an interesting perspective. One of these waterfall tunnels includes the stunning South Falls, the area’s largest and one of the best waterfalls in Oregon and the best places to visit in Oregon.
20. John Day Fossil Beds
The John Day Fossil Beds, which cover nearly 14,000 acres, are a stunning example of desert beauty. Red cliffs, dry, cracked canyons, colorful badlands, and prickly desert shrubs can withstand almost anything. The fossil beds preserve the last traces of plants and animals that existed in Oregon millions of years ago. They are a major tourist attraction in the area, attracting thousands of visitors yearly. It is one of the best places to visit in Oregon.
Other activities are available in the Fossil Beds, so don’t spend the entire day squinting at the dirt. Hiking trails are available for those who enjoy working up a sweat; for those who prefer their fun to be a little more air-conditioned, the museum, theatre, bookstore, and gift shop are available. The Fossil Beds are designated as a National Monument in the United States. They’re a must-see for history buffs, nature lovers, fossil hunters, and anyone who appreciates amazing natural wonders, so pick up the phone and start making plans.
Family-friendly attractions line Newport’s streets on the Oregon coast, a city that combines Beach landscape with a strong Victorian influence. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse to the north is a beacon of coastal beauty. The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center are located on the Oregon Coast and are frequently visited.
The village is an outstanding point for exploring the surrounding area’s central coast and whale watching. The busy bayfront of the city faces Yaquina Bay, home to a large fishing fleet. The city’s wild Pacific beaches extend from the sheltered bay and offer storm-surge rollers and unfiltered sunsets.
22. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Oregon Parks is one of the best places to visit in Oregon. The 12-mile-long Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor runs between Brookings and Gold Beach on the southern Oregon coast. And this breathtaking coastal corridor features some of the best oceanfront scenery in the state.
The park is named after Oregon Parks’ first superintendent and is easily accessible from US 101. Throughout the park, various pull-offs connect beaches, rock formations, and the distinct natural beauty that defines this part of the coast. The Oregon Coast Trail also runs the park’s length, making for a challenging day hike.
Undoubtedly, Oregon offers the ultimate vacation experience that will wow you whenever you come. There is surely more than plenty to discover in Oregon, from stunning coasts to waterfalls, mountains, rivers, hiking routes, beautiful cities, and amazing restaurants. If you’re looking for a location to unwind and refresh, try this list of the 22 best places to visit in Oregon should help you find your ideal place!
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