Tucked away amidst the magnificent scenery of the Pacific Northwest, the state of Oregon boasts numerous wonderful cities and towns ideal for a spring break getaway. The state’s diverse landscapes include snowy mountains, surging rivers, emerald forests, and lovely pristine beaches. Near many cozy Oregon vacation rentals are an abundance of opportunities to enjoy thrilling activities, sightseeing adventures, eclectic shopping, and fine dining. Here are the most noteworthy spring break vacation destinations in Oregon.

1. Portland

wooden shoe tulip festival woodburn
Source: Flickr/Kirt Edblom

The city of Portland offers a wealth of activities for spring break. Take relaxing walks while you marvel at the flamboyant newly blossoming flowers at Portland Japanese Garden and Lan Su Chinese Garden. At the southern edge of town in Woodburn, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm also bursts into riotous color. Kids love engaging with the interactive exhibits at the Portland Children’s Museum, and all ages thrill to the planetarium, retired Navy submarine, and other fascinating exhibits at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Portland’s Biketown program allows you to rent bicycles from numerous locations around the city and explore the city’s hundreds of miles of designated bike paths. Sample craft beers at some of Portland’s renowned breweries on foot with Beerquest Walking Tours or by bus with Brewvana. Enjoy an informal eclectic shopping experience at the Portland Saturday Market and the Portland Farmer’s Market. If you love skiing and snowboarding, head east of town to Mount Hood, where the slopes stay open until late spring.

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2. Seaside

oregon coast

The town of Seaside lies in the northwest corner of Oregon on the incomparably beautiful Pacific Coast. Take in the view as you stroll along the miles-long beachfront Promenade, or rent a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals, and pedal the distance. Visit the Seaside Carousel Mall, where you can ride a classic carousel and shop for souvenirs and gifts. Don’t miss the Seaside Aquarium with its family of energetic harbor seals, displays of Pacific Ocean marine life, and Discovery Center touch tanks. Kids also love the Funland Arcade on Broadway Street, which features a wide array of video games. Try Finn’s Fish House for some succulent seafood, and for dessert have some taffy or fudge at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen.

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3. Salem

willamette valley wine country
Source: Flickr/Sheila Sund

The city of Salem is about an hour’s drive south of Portland in the midst of Willamette Valley wine country. A wine tasting expedition with Prestige Wine Tours is a great spring break activity. Alternatively, pick up a tasting Passport at your first location, and take the self-guided Salem Ale and Cider Trail. Sample the city’s culinary delights with Cherry City Food Tours. Discover the fascinating history and cultural heritage of Oregon’s state capital at the Bush House Museum, and enjoy the beautiful spring blossoms along the walking paths of the adjoining 100-acre Bush’s Pasture Park. Take the kids to the Enchanted Forest, a large theme park that features play areas such as Western Town, Old European Village, and Storybook Lane.

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4. Newport

newport cliff
Source: Flickr/DAVID S. FERRY III,DDS

The city of Newport lies in the midst of Oregon’s spectacular Central Coast, and spring in Newport is whale watching time. Join the expert guides at Marine Discovery Tours on a comfortable 65-foot passenger vessel, and view gray whales, sea lions, seals, and porpoises. Learn about local sea life at the Visitor Center of the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center. Newport is known as the Dungeness crab capital of the world, so rent some crab pots and a boat at Newport Marina Store and Charters, and catch your seafood supper. If you prefer to sample seafood the easy way, head for Local Ocean Dockside Grill.

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5. Eugene

hendricks park rhododendron garden
Source: Flickr/Rick Obst

The lovely city of Eugene is at the southern end of the Willamette Valley alongside the beautiful McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. Spring is the perfect time to view the blooming rhododendrons and other plants at famous Hendricks Park. Cork and Barrel Tours out of nearby Springfield takes you by luxury van for a visit to the numerous local wineries. If you prefer craft beers, head for the tasting room at the Hop Valley Brewing Company in downtown Eugene. The city is renowned as an art center, so check out the superb displays at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Browse the Saturday Market to purchase works by local artists. Don’t miss a visit to the fascinating Cascade Raptor Center, which houses birds of prey in large outdoor aviaries. Kids love exploring the interactive exhibits and play areas at the Adventure Children’s Museum.

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6. La Grande

baker county skiing
Source: Flickr/Baker County Tourism

The city of La Grande lies in northeast Oregon amidst the spectacular scenery of the Blue Mountains and the Grande Ronde Valley. Rent a bike at Mountain Works Bicycles, and take the Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway through the valley. Head for nearby Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort for some excellent spring skiing and snowboarding. Try Bud Jackson’s Sports Bar and Grill for some great steak, draft beer, and evening dancing. If you prefer food from south of the border, check out Cinco Di Mayo Mexican Restaurant.

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7. Bend

trillium lake
Source: Flickr/Bill Reynolds

Located on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains alongside the Deschutes River, the city of Bend is surrounded by incomparably spectacular scenery. Take a guided walk through historic downtown Bend with the Deschutes Historical Museum, or arrange a photo tour of the surrounding countryside with the Cascade Center of Photography. Nearby Mount Bachelor Ski Resort offers quality skiing, snowboarding, and other fun in the snow well into springtime. Peruse art galleries, jewelers, and many unique shops at the intriguing Old Mill District. When you’re hungry, have some fresh seafood at Anthony’s at the Old Mill District.

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8. Ashland

grizzly peak
Source: Flickr/SerenityRose

The lovely town of Ashland lies in southwestern Oregon near the California border. It’s world-famous as the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Company, whose schedule of plays begins in spring. Don’t miss some entertaining productions of the Bard’s plays. When you want to experience the flowery flamboyance of springtime, head for the beautifully landscaped Lithia Park. Take the kids to enjoy the interactive attractions at the Science Works Hands-On Museum. For some excellent and healthy cuisine, have a meal at the Greenleaf Restaurant. Later, sip some local ale at the Standing Stone Brewing Company.

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