Oregon is one of my most favorite places. Everywhere is so scenic. I could 100% live there and find new places to explore everyday. Here are some spots we visited:
-Cannon Beach. I love everything about it – giant rock formations, people walking their dogs, campfires on the beach! So cool. For me, the most fascinating part were all the starfish you can see in the tide pools around Haystack Rock. You have to get there at low tide, usually early morning. This website updates the tide times daily, which is extremely helpful. The water is pretty frigid, but you won’t regret getting knee-deep and up close and personal with the starfish. Grab some lunch at Mo’s. The hot crab melt is delightful, but the great view is what makes this place special.
–Bigfoot’s in Seaside, OR. Because who doesn’t want to eat at a Bigfoot themed restaurant? This place just happened to be right next to the hotel we were staying, so of course we had to try it! The decor is covered in Bigfoot, inside and out. And their menu is printed on a newspaper. So creative. Oh, and the food is delicious!
-Astoria. What a cool little town! This is where the house from the Goonie’s is located. The owners have a sign posted that says, “Private drive. Goonies on foot welcomed. No cars, please.” So while they don’t want people driving onto their property, it’s nice that they still allow people to come take pictures with the house. From all over Astoria, you can hear the barking sea lions. As a visitor, I enjoyed finding and watching them lay all over the docks. Residents, however, have been trying to get rid of them for years, using chicken wire, beach balls, electrified mats, and even creating a life-size orca whale replica to scare them away – none of which have worked.
–Hood River County Fruit Loop. Take a drive through Hood River County’s finest vineyards, fruit stands, and enjoy the lavender and alpaca farms along the way. The website has a map, and more details about which days/times you can get certain hot meals along the way. Had such a fun time touring all the farms, feeding the alpacas, and trying out different fresh fruits.
-Painted Hills. One of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and one of Oregon’s seven wonders. Made up of heavily eroded layers of volcanic ash, the painted hills are vibrant in colorful shades of orange, yellow, red, and black. We took the painted cove trail, which is a short .2 mile loop. The trail has it’s own boardwalk, and is described as the one place in the Painted Hills where you can get right next to a “painted hill”.
–The Timberline Lodge aka the Overlook Hotel. They used shots of this hotel for the opening scenes of The Shining. No room #237 here, but it is a really cool ski lodge and has actually been named a historic landmark. We stopped by for the lunch buffet, and took a look around the grounds. The coolest part is the drive up to the lodge. Not something I’d want to do in the snow, but since it was late summer, we didn’t have any problems. Mount Hood is just as majestic up close.
–Ratskellar. Voted “Best Apres-Ski Bar” in Oregon! They say it’s the best pizza on Mount Hood, and while I haven’t tried any others, I don’t see how it could get much better! So yummy.
–Trillium Lake. There is a nice little loop trail here that circles the lake. If you get there when the water is still, you can see a perfect reflection of Mount Hood in the lake.
–Enchanted Forest. Located in Bend, this place is fantastic! It has a western town, old european village, a fantasy fountain show, and best of all – Storybook Lane, where you can stroll through the forest and reminisce of all your old favorite nursery rhyme characters.
–Crater Lake National Park. Another of the seven wonders of Oregon, this place is incredible! We took the Cleetwood Cove Trail, which is 1.1 miles long and drops around 700 feet all the way down to the lake shore. Very strenuous hiking, but it’s worth doing at least once! The lake is known for it’s deep blue color, and depth. It is the deepest in the U.S. and seventh deepest in the world.
–Voodoo Doughnut. Because who can resist a 24 hour donut shop?! Located in Portland, this place has some of the trendiest donuts you can eat, including the Rapper’s Delight trio- which gets you Old Dirty Bastard, Marshall Mathers & a Maple Blazer Blunt for only $4.20! MmMmMm!
–International Rose Test Garden. Also located in Portland, this is the premier place to stop and smell the roses. The garden served as a safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I. Today there are over 7,000 rose plants, and about 550 varieties grown there. Pretty awesome walking through the rows and rows of roses.
–Cousins’ Country Inn. “Hello, cousins!” is how they greet you here. I was sick during most of our stay in the Dalles, but our stay at Cousins’ made being sick not seem so bad. It has a really welcoming, comfortable feel to it, and an on-site restaurant featuring good, homestyle cookin’. I’d recommend this place to anyone.
–Multnomah Falls. Located in the Columbia River Gorge, this is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. It attracts around 2.5 million visitors per year, making it the #1 most visited natural attraction in the state.
This trip was done in just 10 days.
Imagine how many more hidden gems the state of Oregon has to offer.