Oregon — Overview
It’s not all grey skies and soggy weather in Oregon. Well, actually it is for around eight months of the year. But those four glorious months of summer are well worth suffering through the drizzles and cloudy skies that help keep Oregon as green as it is. Truth be told, Oregon is a wonderful travel destination any time of year. You just need to know where to go.
The Cascade Mountains form a rain barrier down the length of the state, keeping things mild and wet on the west and dry and bright on the east. Most of the fun cities like Portland, Eugene, and Ashland are in the western valley where the state’s incredible wines, food, and culture take center stage. The Oregon coast is also a thing of wonder, throwing dramatic scenery at you with every bend in Highway 101. All the while, the Cascades tempt travelers to venture into their volcanic wonderland where natural attractions like Mount Hood and Crater Lake await.
Oregonians are known to be warm and welcoming. Many of them live off of the tourist dollar, so the state is well-equipped to cater to the needs of visitors. From big city fun in Portland to charming beachside towns like Bandon and Cannon City, there are comfortable unpretentious motels throughout the state. With no sales tax, the cost of traveling in Oregon may feel like a great deal. Outside of Portland most things like dining, drinking, and lodging are really quite affordable.
What makes Oregon so great is that you can easily jump between the coast and the mountains in an hour or two. There are endless beaches and beach towns, miles of hiking trails and rivers to play on. Outdoor recreation is a major facet of life in Oregon, with great hubs like Bend, Hood River, and Ashland providing all the comforts needed after a day of adventure. Foodies, wine fans, and lovers of craft beer will think they’ve died and gone to heaven. Oregon is a crafty place full of talented crafty people. Prepare to be impressed.
But without a car of your own you won’t get to see much outside of downtown Portland. There are amazing things to see and do all over Oregon, and a car is the only way to efficiently and economically get around. It will easily pay for itself in memories and experiences as nearly every stretch of highway in the state could be considered a scenic byway.
- Feast, imbibe and enjoy great coffee in Portland’s seemingly endless horizon of cafés, coffee houses, brewpubs, and restaurants
- Rent a car and spend a few days cruising Highway 101, arguably the most scenic stretch of coastline in America
- Do some skiing in June on Mount Hood, as Oregon’s resorts are open longer than anywhere else in the country
- Catch a play in Ashland, a little mecca of art and theater in the southwestern corner of the state
- Spend a day winery hopping through the Willamette Valley, home to incredible pinots and cabernets
- Explore the vibrant craft beer brewing scene in Bend, a slick town on the eastern Cascades that boasts America’s highest proportion of brewpubs per resident
- Hike the Cascades in summer, when its volcanic peaks are still covered in snow while its slopes are carpeted in wildflowers