Are you planning a trip to the Pacific Northeast region of the Western United States? If yes, Oregon is the way to go.
Oregon is one of the most visited destinations, with many tourist attractions. It has many sites, heritages, museums, and more amazing places to explore. This article will cover all these fun things to do in Oregon.
1. An Introduction to Oregon
The ninth largest state in the U.S., Oregon is a beautiful place to spend time with your loved ones. ‘Salem’ is the state’s capital. The entire city block of Portland is a center of attraction there. Planning a trip to Oregon would be one of the best things you could do as you can find this place gratifying.
The people are friendly with a welcoming culture. The place has lovely weather with mountains, waterfalls, and lush greeneries for you to behold, but you should always keep a raincoat with you no matter the season.
2. What is it Famous For?
The city is known for its eye-catching, breathtaking views and lush greenery. Oregon is a developed state in the U.S., with its infrastructure and educational and economic fields at their best. Oregon has so many beautiful cities famous for their historical sites. Every city has a certain charm that sets it apart from the rest.
Oregon is considered a special state because it is the only state that has two designs on its flag. With that said, let’s learn about the 10 extremely fun things to do in Oregon.
3. 10 Things to do in Oregon
3.1. Crater Lake National Park
This park was established in 1902 and is managed by the National Park Service. It is one of the top Oregon attractions in the southern part and is well-known for its Crater Lake. A collapsed volcano and Mount Mazama form the Crater Lake. You can see the charming view of the volcanic formations from the park.
Sun Notch Point is one of the other things you can see from the park. The park has many trails for a lovely sunrise and sunset view.
The Crater Lake in the national park is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The water in this lake is so clear that it can act as a mirror for tourists to see their faces, and the deep blue color of the water makes it even more gorgeous.
Crater Lake National Park has a peaceful setting of forests in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. You can come here whenever you want because it is open 24 hours a day.
3.1.1. Adventures to do in Crater Lake National Park
i) ‘Hiking the trails’ is one of the activities to do here. The best hiking point at this place is Sun Notch Trail. You might get tired during hiking, but the view you’ll get is worthwhile after reaching the trail of the Sun Notch Point.
ii) ‘Camping’ is another fun activity to do here. Camping with friends has another level of fun. You should make a reservation before camping because it only permits camping from November to May.
iii) ‘Mountain Biking’ is one of the most thrilling activities at this place. Riding a bike around the oceanic blue Lake with your partner. Isn’t it romantic? You can also make biking trails to raise the thrill level.
iv) ‘Boat Tours’ are also a fun activity to do at Crater Lake. It will give you an intimate experience of waters that look bluish from a distance, and you can also see the breathtaking view of cliffs. Crater National Park offers eight boating tours per day during the summer.
v) ‘Swimming’ is another activity to live the water experience, but you can’t go swimming in every lake in Crater Lake National Park for safety purposes. So, the only place for swimming is ‘Cleetwood Cove.’ According to its official site, Cleetwood Cove is the safest place, opening only in late June.
3.2. Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Newport-based aquarium, which opened in 1992, is one of the top tourist attractions in Oregon. It is popular for having 23 acres of facilities with different variations of Northwest species, including birds, fishes, seals, sea lions, jellyfish, and a deepwater tank. If you think the Oregon Coast Aquarium is like other aquariums, think again, as it is very different from the usual ones. Here, you can explore the marine life of species and plants.
You’ll have a great experience at this place and feel like you’re inside the water. The aquarium has inside as well as outside entries. You should try both of them for a better experience. There’s a gift shop nearby where you can also buy cute gifts for your friends. Visiting this place is one of the best things to do in Oregon. It’s the only natural nirvana whose only aim is to engage tourists by providing a unique experience. Apart from being a tourist attraction, it is also an educational place. Students visit it to learn about the species.
3.3. Columbia River Gorge
Are you a fan of scenic attractions? If yes, visit the ‘Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area‘ once. The place, located in the United States Pacific Northwest, is surrounded by lush greenery to have stunning views of nature. It is a perfect place to spend a peaceful time enjoying the views.
The highest point in the Columbia River Gorge is ‘Mount Defiance.’ You can see the panoramic view of the Cascade Range from this point. This place is a true definition of beauty and is no less than heaven. It is the largest national scenic attraction in the United States, with a soothing and peaceful atmosphere. The waterfalls and their sounds will make you love this place.
Enjoying a scenic view with your partner is a great idea. You are holding each other’s hands and sitting around nature, and watching the sunset quietly seems like a perfect dream to live. If you’re single, wine and delectable food are for your company.
3.3.1. Is Entry Free at this Place?
It has free access. So, nothing is charged for having a beautiful experience. Your eyes and ears are the only things that require presence for beholding amazing sights and hearing waterfall sounds.
3.4. Oregon Caves National Monument
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is a place in the Siskiyou mountains of Oregon. A hidden gem for tourists to see the formation of rocks and drapery in a dome-like structure. The interesting thing about this place is that it’s a marble cave and is different from other caves due to the presence of marble.
One of the best things to do in Oregon is not to miss this national monument of plenty of wildlife. The place is super fun, but you can’t explore the cave without guided tours. Visitors are not always welcome here. It is open seasonally for visitors. So, before visiting Oregon, you should check its availability.
If you are a quiet person, you’ll love this place because it is free from all city noise. Overall, the place will give you a remarkable experience while enjoying adventurous activities.
3.4.1. Adventure Activities to do at Oregon Caves National Monument Preserve
One of the many exciting things to do here is ‘hunting,’ but it should be done lawfully within the boundaries of the Oregon Caves National Monument Preserve. You’ll get punished for breaking laws while hunting. So, please be careful while doing it.
After hunting, you can go on ‘hiking trails’ as the place offers so many trails for hiking to have unlimited fun. Some of the trails you should consider are the Cliff Nature Trail, Cave Creek Trail, Elijah Mountain Trail, and Big Tree Loop. If you are a beginner or have less experience on hiking trails, you can choose the Cliff Nature Trail because it is the easiest compared to the other trails.
‘Cave Tours’ are one of the thrilling activities you can do here. It won’t give you a horror experience; you can tour with your family and kids too. Caves are thrilling, but have you ever been on a candlelight cave tour? Sounds interesting, right?
3.5. Oregon Museums
OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is a place whose main focus is to teach others about natural science, technology, and industry. It was founded in 1944, and you can see and learn so many exciting things there. The name can give you the impression that it’s an educational place. But once you visit this museum, your thoughts about it will change.
You’ll like this place if you love technology or science and otherwise too. It’s a nationally renowned center of science where you can see innovative programs that help people participate in civic life. Students from the University of Oregon campus and different colleges come to learn about it.
3.6. Washington Park
One of the best things to do in Oregon is to visit Washington Park. The park itself is a complete package of fun things. There are so many places you can explore inside the park and good restaurants nearby. Washington Park is a public park in Portland, the second-largest city in Oregon. Many people visit this place yearly as one of the most popular destinations.
The park is surrounded by lush greenery, which makes it look extremely beautiful. The park offers a zoo, a forest museum, a rose garden, a Portland Japanese garden, a tennis court, a children’s museum, and everything your heart desires. It is well-known for arranging cultural activities and is also considered a meeting point.
3.6.1. The Top 3 Tourist Points at Washington Park
i) Among many places to explore here, one of the top-notch places in this park is the ‘Oregon Zoo.’ It is one of the oldest zoos in the country, founded in 1888 in Oregon. You should check this place out while visiting Washington Park to see many species of animals, including elephants, polar bears, and other animal exhibits. This place is considered the home of many of the oldest animals and is run by volunteers for taking care of animals.
ii) The second place you must visit in Washington Park is the ‘International Rose Test Garden.’ Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers, and we just love them. We have seen only a few roses, but this rose garden has almost 650 varieties of roses that are 10,000 in number. But the blooming of roses also depends on the weather. The setting is fascinating, with rose scents permeating the entire area.
iii) ‘The World Forestry Center,’ also known as the Forestry Museum, is one of the other places to see in Washington Park. It is an educational institute aiming to spread awareness among people to support forests’ economic, ecological, and social benefits. It’s a non-profit organization, so you can also donate to a good cause if you want. The museum’s attractions are Discovery Museum, Washington Park Campus, and Magness Memorial Tree Farm.
3.7. Hood National Forest
Mount Hood National Forest is a national forest in Oregon popular for having the highest cascade mountain range in the state. The place is covered with snow and a beautiful place to visit with your family and friends. There are numerous noteworthy sights so that you can take in the gorgeous scenery.
‘Timberline Lodge’ is one of the top sights there. It’s not only a lodge but is considered a historic landmark in Oregon. The lodge offers an amazing view, and the place has so many windflowers, making its views even more beautiful. You can go skiing, especially during August, by enjoy delicious food.
‘Mt. Hood Meadows’ is another top sight there. It is Mount Hood’s largest ski resort, with 87 trails. Along with skiing, you can do snowboard jumping activities. There is a lodge and a cafe that offer mouthwatering food. A place that delivers a great experience of fun to the tourists.
‘The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area’ is a great place in the Hood National Forest. The place is famous for scenic views, and Rowena Crest is the top scenic point between the Hood River and the Delle, which offers an epic view. The entry is free, and it does not cost a penny to see the dazzling waterfalls and scenic views.
So, Hood National Forest is a place that you must visit to see many places inside the park. It also gives you adventures, like skiing, skating, snowboard jumping, hiking, biking trails, camping, snow sports, car rides, and whatnot.
3.8. Silver Falls State Park
One of the largest state parks in Oregon is ‘Silver Falls State Park.’ It’s a beautiful site that offers around 10 waterfalls, a dog-friendly trail, a campsite, and cabins. The magnificent waterfalls and the view after hiking a trail are worthwhile. The 7.2-mile Trail of Ten Falls, a nationally renowned trail, is a good place to go trekking.
According to its official site, Silver Falls state park is the ‘crown jewel.’ Once you visit this park, you’ll want to come again. This place is a true beauty, if you don’t believe it, treat yourself by visiting here. You’ll surely become a nature lover as the place is mesmerizing.
During hot springs, the place looks prettier. But due to the hot weather, you can opt for swimming as it is the best option. There is a specific area for swimming. It’s a safe place for swimming as the water is not much deep.
Do you like fishing? Silver Falls state park is waiting for you with many waterfalls and lakes. The largemouth bass is one of the most popular species found here. The best location to fish is a ‘silver creek.’ But you should follow all the local rules and regulations while fishing.
3.9. Columbia River Maritime Museum
The Columbia River Maritime Museum is a historical maritime museum that will give you an exceptional experience. It represents the culture of the Columbia River since 1962. It has around 30,000 objects in its collection.
One of the best things to do in Oregon is to visit this place, as it’s fun to explore and learn some interesting things about Oregon. Educational programs, workshops, lectures, and demonstrations are offered regularly here. It would be a loss not to visit this place.
The place is more than you imagined it to be. ‘Shipwrecks’ is a new exhibit that will give you an experience of terror and fascination. The place will give you the same vibe as a horror movie. Here, you can also see the responses of the people who have faced tragedies in their lives and their stories of overcoming them. The place is not haunted, but its atmosphere is. It will be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life.
There is also a ‘3D theater’, which will make you feel like things are happening in real life. You may have experienced many 3D theaters, but this one is a different experience. The 36-seater theatre will make you believe that you are also a part of the film. The ‘Aircraft Carrier, City at Sea’ is a 3D show, and the only purpose of playing this show is to give a message to the audience to protect the oceans.
‘Lightship Columbia University’ was closed during the pandemic, but now it’s open again to visitors. It’s a national and historic landmark that used to function as a floating lighthouse in the past. This is a great place where you can see or touch on the history of Columbia and is considered a worthwhile place to keep potential visitors engaged.
‘Fort Stevens State Park’ is also a must-visit place as it has a historic fortress that you must explore. Additionally, it offers some breathtaking beaches where you can unwind or go horseback riding for a thrilling experience. You can also go hiking on the Oregon Trail in Fort Stevens State Park.
3.10. Foods and Restaurants
Oregon is a popular tourist destination, but when it comes to food, you should try Oregon’s traditional food items, like blueberries, huckleberries, marionberries, Dungeness crab, and hazelnuts. In addition, Voodoo donuts, Salt & Straw ice cream, Tillamook cheese, fish, and chips are some of its popular food items. All these foods have their origin in Oregon.
i) When it comes to grilling foods, seafood should be your first choice. ‘Portland City Grill’ is the best place for having seafood in Oregon. The specialty of this place is its American food with an Asian touch with a beautiful skyline view for you to enjoy. Some of the popular dishes on its menu are steaks, farm-fresh salads, California rolls, crab cakes, and Oregon rockfish jambalaya, with so many variations.
ii) If you are looking for Italian cuisine in Oregon, you must visit ‘Nostrana’ as it is one of the best Italian restaurants in Oregon. They serve popular, mouthwatering thin-crust pizzas with seasonally influenced Italian dishes. You get amazing cocktails and wines with top-notch service at this excellent location.
iii) ‘The Observatory’ is one of the top restaurants popular for serving American cuisine. The specialty of this restaurant lies in its creative serving of American cuisine and cocktails. You must try their chicken & waffles, cheese platter, oregano fry bread, charcuterie plate, and cumin centipede, which are a list of popular menu items of this place. The top-quality food and excellent service of the place give you a fantastic atmosphere to have a first-rate eating experience.
Oregon is a perfect place to plan your vacation. You can enjoy the journey and the thrill of visiting the location, which seems like a roller coaster ride. Apart from the top ten things to do in Oregon, there are other places to visit, such as the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Smith Rock State Park, Willamette National Forest, Cannon Beach, and Oregon Film Museum.
If you are a nature lover and planning a vacation, book your tickets to Oregon because it gives you a worthwhile experience in nature. You can also do thrilling activities, and in the end, you’ll love this place. So, pack your bags and be ready for an extremely fun trip to Oregon.
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