With an awe-inspiring coastline, large scenic valleys, rugged mountains, and forest-covered wilderness areas, the state of Oregon offers a diverse landscape perfect for outdoor adventures. Nearby most Oregon vacation rentals are abundant opportunities for swimming and sunbathing, as well as sightseeing, recreational fun, and outdoor activities. Take a look at the most prominent cities and towns for an unforgettable summer getaway in Oregon.
The beautiful town of Astoria lies at the mouth of the majestic Columbia River in the northwest corner of Oregon. Tour the historic Astoria waterfront, the Twilight Creek Eagle’s Sanctuary, and the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge with Columbia River Eco Tours. Alternatively, rent kayaks from Astoria Scuba and Adventure Sports, and explore the waterways on your own. High Life Adventures in nearby Warrenton offers a thrilling course of eight zip lines amidst spectacular scenery. Take a ride on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley and you’ll feel you have stepped back in time. Just to the west of town is Fort Stevens State Park, which provides a fascinating historic military fort, freshwater lakes for swimming, hiking and cycling trails, and wildlife observation.
The city of Portland is at the northern end of the Willamette Valley where the Willamette River converges with the Columbia River. The city has an ideal climate for roses, and the International Rose Test Garden attracts visitors from all over the world. Another renowned Portland Garden is the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which features an elegantly sculpted landscape, pavilions, walkways, bridges, and a teahouse. For some excellent summer outdoor shopping, visit the Portland Farmer’s Market for fresh produce and the Portland Saturday Market for arts and crafts. Portland has over 300 miles of bike trails, so rent a bicycle from Waterfront Bicycle Rentals in downtown Portland, and explore this fascinating city. Annual summer events in Portland include the Portland Rose Festival, Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, and the Oregon Brewers Festival.
Located on the breathtakingly beautiful central Oregon coast, the city of Newport is surrounded by scenic wonders such as the Yaquina Bay Bridge, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, and Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Numerous beaches offer activities such as beachcombing for agates, kite flying, exploring tide pools, and observing offshore whales. The city is renowned for its excellent Dungeness crabs, and expert guides at Newport Marina Store and Charters take you out on the bay to catch your own fresh crabs. Be sure to take the kids to the awe-inspiring Oregon Coast Aquarium, which features numerous outdoor exhibits that are perfect for summer viewing. During the summer, Newport hosts the annual Lincoln County Fair.
Salem, the state capital, lies along the Willamette River in the north-central portion of the Willamette Valley in northwest Oregon. Rent a bike from the Bike Peddler, and enjoy a relaxing ride through Riverfront Park. Just east of the city, hike the spectacular Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park. To the west, observe eagles, hawks, great blue herons, geese, and many other species of birds at the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Take the kids to the Enchanted Forest, a fun amusement park just south of town. Summer events in Salem include the World Beat Festival, the Marion County Fair, the Oregon State Fair, and the Salem Art Fair and Festival.
5. Coos Bay
The city of Coos Bay is at the mouth of the Coos River on the south-central Oregon Coast. Have a pleasant stroll along the rustic waterfront Coos Bay Boardwalk. Take a walk, enjoy a picnic, and view the majestic scenery at Golden and Silver Falls State Park. Oregon Coast Kayaking offers sea kayaking tours and wildlife observation along the rugged coastline. Rent an ATV at Doon Bugs in North Bend, and ride over the vast sand dunes at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. On Simpson Beach at Shore Acres State Park, explore the fascinating tide pools, and watch seals, sea lions, and other wildlife.
Eugene, known as Emerald City due to its lush evergreen foliage, lies at the confluence of the Willamette River and McKenzie River on the south edge of the Willamette Valley in west-central Oregon. Rent a bike at Blue Heron Bicycles, and check out the lovely parks with walking and cycling trails, including the Wild Iris Ridge Park, Spencer Butte Park, Hendricks Park, and the Owen Memorial Rose Garden. Skinner Butte Park has some unique basalt columns that are popular with beginning and experienced rock climbers. Yearly summer events in Eugene include the Oregon Bach Festival, the Oregon Country Fair, and the Scandinavian Festival.
The city of Bend lies along the Deschutes River on the east side of the Cascade Range in central Oregon. For an unforgettable thrill, try some whitewater rafting with Sun Country Tours. If you prefer a slower pace, Wanderlust Tours takes you canoeing on pristine mountain lakes. When you choose a Brews and Views Tour, your canoeing adventure culminates in a beer tasting event. Airborne Outback Adventures offers a panoramic view of spectacular central Oregon landscapes from a light sport aircraft. Head for the Brasada Ranch to enjoy a horseback ride over the forested hills.
Located near the spectacular Rogue River in southwestern Oregon, the city of Medford is full of lovely parks and green places. Prominent among them is Roxy Ann Peak in Prescott Park, which offers a panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside. Fishing the Rogue offers guided tours that take you angling for salmon and steelhead. Rogue Valley Zip Line Adventure provides five exciting lines with breathtaking views of the area’s iconic scenery. Stroll through the Skyrman Central Point Arboretum, and view examples of every tree indigenous to the state of Oregon. Hop aboard a comfortable van with Wine Hopper Tours for some tastings of some of the finest wines in Oregon.
9. Klamath Falls
The city of Klamath Falls lies just south of Upper Klamath Lake and Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon near the California border. Iconic Crater Lake National Park offers swimming, fishing, hiking, and boat tours to Wizard Island in the middle of the lake. Just west of Klamath Falls is the Mountain Lakes Wilderness Area, which provides spectacular views of rugged volcanoes and forests. Roe Outfitters has tours with expert guides for unforgettable kayaking and fishing experiences on the lakes and rivers around Klamath Falls.
10. Baker City
Baker City sits in a valley between the Blue Mountains and the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon. Tour this beautiful region on mountain bikes with the Range Tour and Shuttle Company. Blue Mountain Bigfoot Research takes you on unusual excursions into the Elkhorn Mountains in search of the elusive sasquatch. If you prefer to view the countryside in a more relaxed way, take a ride on the scenic Sumpter Valley Railroad. Summer events in the area include the Miners’ Jubilee and the Baker County Fair and Panhandle Rodeo.
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