Oregon is an immense landscape of diverse geographies, cultures, and urban landscapes. As a result, tourism is a major component of the economy in Oregon and the state has a vibrant tourism industry. Due to the great many things you can see and do here, it’s important to have some idea of what places in Oregon are the most important to visit. These can be places of natural beauty, cultural significance, or even architectural ingenuity. In Oregon, the options are endless.
Best Natural Areas
Oregon contains some of the greatest diversity in landscapes in the United States. Everything from scrub to rainforest to coastline can be found in Oregon. The jagged peaks of northern and eastern Oregon have obtained a mythos all their own and have always been very popular as well.
Mt. Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon and is surrounded by one of the largest national forests in the state. At 11,249 feet, Mt. Hood is a volcanic mountain that can be seen throughout most of northeast Oregon. It is a common tourist attraction in the state. People that are willing to throw on a backpack and head into the bush are going to get the most out of a trip to Mt. Hood. However, there are also a great many amenities on hand for motorized tourists to enjoy the surrounding landscape and get a good look at the mountain. Most visitors to the area spend a few nights at Mt. Hood Village just outside of the mountain park boundary.
Multnomah falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and is part of an immense concentration of high waterfalls. In fact, there are so many high waterfalls in this area that they called their mountain home the Cascade Mountains. Multnomah falls is 620 feet tall and reaches the crest of its power in the early spring as the mountain snowpack begins to melt and run downhill. There is a lodge and restaurant right at the waterfall.
From Cannon Beach in the north to the Great Dune Sea in the south, the coast of Oregon offers some truly exceptional experiences. Due to its proximity to Portland. Cannon Beach is known as a very popular getaway spot for people from Portland. There is an enormous sandcastle competition on the beach every June that always draws a very large crowd.
The Oregon Dunes are a very unique area in Oregon. It is an area of roughly 40 square miles of enormous sand dunes that make you feel as though you’re in the Sahara. The dunes are shifting and mountainous. They are roughly four hours south of Portland along the coast, and there is a campground right at the entrance of the park.
Willamette National Forest
The Willamette is one of the largest national forests in the country and is home to some of the oldest trees left in the United States. It is not uncommon to find 500 year old or older trees in the forest right outside of Eugene. Eugene is a city that is roughly 2 hours south of Portland on the I-5 and it has a large number of dining, hotel and lodging opportunities to offer adventurous travelers.
Portland is a bustling metropolitan center that has a thriving business and arts community. The architecture, arts, and natural landscapes of Portland are a consistent representation of what you will find in most of Oregon. If you were to visit Portland without plans to leave the city, then you could easily get away with not renting a car or taking a taxi for your entire trip. Portland has one of the most advanced public transit systems in the United States and this makes public transport very popular. You could easily get anywhere in town using the tram, the train, or the bus.