- The Online Guide to Travel Oregon's Hidden Gems - Natural Wonders and Unique Attractions

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Smith Rock, Oregon
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Oregon Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Embark on a journey to uncover Oregon's best-kept secrets and unique attractions, from charming small towns and scenic byways, to hidden coastal coves.

About Oregon

Oregon is known for its geographical diversity, featuring seven diverse regions that include the ocean, mountains, valleys, high desert, cities, and small towns.

Oregon's diverse landscapes, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions make it an appealing destination for travellers.

Whether you're interested in exploring the coastline, hiking in the mountains, or experiencing the local cuisine, Oregon has something to offer for everyone.

States neighbouring Oregon: Washington, Idaho, Nevada and California.

Travel Map Mapping Oregon

Map of Oregon

Map of Oregon

Also known as the Beaver State, Oregon State University's athletic teams are called the Beavers; after nature's engineer, so unfortunately over trapped by early settlers.

The state capital of Oregon is Salem.

Oregon Overview

Oregon is a state located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States known for its diverse geography, ranging from lush forests and rugged coastlines to high deserts and volcanic mountain ranges.

Oregon is bordered by Washington to the north, Idaho to the east, Nevada to the south-east, California to the south, and a western coastline along the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon's combination of stunning landscapes, progressive culture, and economic diversity makes it a unique and appealing state in the United States.

Capital and Major Cities

The capital of Oregon is Salem, while its largest city is Portland.

Other significant cities in the state include Eugene, Bend, Medford, and Beaverton.


Oregon's climate varies by region.

The western part of the state experiences a marine climate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers.

The eastern part of the state has a more arid climate with colder winters and hot, dry summers.


Oregon has a unique and diverse cultural scene.

It's known for its craft breweries, coffee culture, and a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmentalism.

The state has a vibrant arts community, with theatres, museums, and music venues.

Outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and cycling are popular among residents and visitors.


Oregon has a diverse economy with a focus on technology, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Companies like Nike and Intel have a significant presence in the state.

Oregon is also known for its wine production, particularly in the Willamette Valley.

The state's logging industry has historically been important, but it has declined in recent years.


Oregon is home to several universities and colleges, including the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Portland State University.

These institutions contribute to the state's education and research sectors.


Oregon is characterised by its natural beauty and diverse landscapes.

The western part of the state is dominated by the Cascade Range, which includes several prominent volcanoes such as Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and Mount Bachelor.

The coastline along the Pacific Ocean is rugged and picturesque, with many cliffs, coves, and sandy beaches.

Eastern Oregon consists of high desert areas and plateaus.


The area now known as Oregon was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Chinook, Nez Perce, and Umatilla tribes.

European exploration and settlement began in the 19th century, with the Oregon Trail playing a significant role in westward expansion.

Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state on 14th February, 1859.

Natural Wonders

Oregon is renowned for its natural attractions.

Crater Lake National Park, located in the southern part of the state, is known for its stunningly deep and clear lake within a volcanic crater.

The Columbia River Gorge, a dramatic canyon carved by the Columbia River, offers breathtaking waterfalls and outdoor recreational opportunities.


Oregon's political landscape is often characterised as progressive, particularly in urban areas like Portland and Eugene.

The state has a history of environmental activism and progressive policies, including early implementation of bottle deposit laws and the legalisation of recreational marijuana.


Oregon attracts visitors from around the world due to its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Tourists come to enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, and exploring the state's national parks and forests.

Visiting Oregon

Visiting Oregon can be a fantastic experience, as the state offers a diverse range of natural beauty, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and delicious cuisine.

Oregon Highlights

Oregon's weather can vary significantly depending on the season and region, so be sure to check the weather and plan accordingly.


If you enjoy theatre, visit Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which runs from February to November.

The town is also surrounded by beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities.

Columbia River Gorge

Just east of Portland, you'll find the stunning Columbia River Gorge.

Hike the many trails, visit Multnomah Falls, and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Crater Lake National Park

Visit Crater Lake, one of the deepest and clearest lakes in the world, formed in the caldera of an ancient volcano.

Hike the trails, take a boat tour, and enjoy the stunning blue waters.


Home to the University of Oregon, Eugene offers a lively arts scene, beautiful parks, and the opportunity to explore the nearby Willamette National Forest.

Mount Hood

If you're into outdoor adventures, consider heading to Mount Hood.

In the winter, it's a popular spot for skiing and snowboarding, while summer offers hiking, mountain biking, and scenic drives.

Oregon Coast

Explore the rugged and picturesque Oregon Coast, known for its stunning coastline, charming seaside towns like Cannon Beach and Newport, and opportunities for whale watching.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Experience the unique landscape of massive sand dunes along the coast.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area offers opportunities for dune buggy rides and sandboarding.


Start your trip in Portland, Oregon's largest city.

Explore its vibrant neighbourhoods, visit Powell's City of Books, and enjoy the city's food scene; known for food trucks and farm-to-table restaurants.

Willamette Valley

Oregon is known for its wine, and the Willamette Valley is home to numerous wineries and vineyards.

Wine tasting in this region is a must for wine enthusiasts.

Portland Japanese Garden

Explore the serene beauty of this meticulously designed garden in Portland.

Portland Japanese Garden is considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Around Oregon

Oregon comes from a native American word or tribe.

The official website of the State of Oregon is the front door to Government offices in Oregon state.


Located in the centre of Oregon, the City of Bend neighbours Mt. Bachelor, the Deschutes River, and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

The city serves as a hub for outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and river rafting. It's also known for its craft beer scene.

High Desert Museum

Six miles south of Bend, visitors to the High Desert Museum can learn about the Old West and what makes the land of Oregon the way it is.

Columbia River

The Columbia River is Oregon's principal river and forms most of the northern boundary with Washington State.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular river canyon, eighty miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, that meanders past cliffs, spires, and ridges set against nearby peaks of the Pacific Northwest's Cascade Mountain Range.

Oregon State Parks

The mission of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department:
Salem Headquarters, 725 Summer St. N.E. Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.

It is said that Oregon's State Parks are among the most popular in the United States.

Hike The Oregon Coast Trail

The Oregon Coast Trail is an iconic hiking route that stretches along the entire 362-mile Oregon coastline.

The trail traverses sandy beaches, forested trails, stunning headlands, and 28 coastal towns.

Some sections are disconnected, inconvenient, unsafe, or seasonally inaccessible and require careful route planning.

Scenic and Regional Trails in Oregon

Oregon has an extensive network of federal, state and local trails and some are state-designated scenic and regional trails.

Scenic trails showcase Oregon's outstanding natural features including rivers, mountains, waterfalls and the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon's regional trails connect recreation sites, schools and services and are alternative transportation routes.

Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon is home to world-class fishing and rafting rivers, mountains for skiing, biking and hiking, and green valleys that produce award-winning wines.

It's also home to North America's deepest lake and Oregon's only National Park, Crater Lake, which graces the back of Oregon's state quarter.

Southern Oregon Wineries and Vineyards

Vineyards and wineries in Southern Oregon and Umpqua Valley are fast becoming some of the finest wine producing regions in the country.

Oregon's wineries are generally small, decentralised and often winemaker-owned.

Many of its wine-growing regions lie in valleys between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range of Oregon.

Travel Oregon

When planning a trip to Oregon, be prepared to take in the beauty of it all - wild rivers, scenic bikeways, mountain vistas, abundant farmlands - and show your love for the people who make this place so special.

Made up of seven diverse regions, Oregon has the ocean, mountains, valleys, high desert, cities, small towns, and almost everything in between.

Official Guide to Oregon Travel and Tourism

Whether you're planning an epic road trip or seeking a hideaway to escape it all, the Travel Oregon Official Visitor Guide includes everything you need to plan a visit to Oregon.

Where to Stay in Oregon

Once you've planned the perfect trip to Oregon, you may want to find the perfect pillow; a special place to lay your head.


Eugene is situated in the picturesque Willamette Valley, in mid-western Oregon, where tall fir trees abound and several mountains are visible from the valley.

Eugene, Cascades and Coast

Stretching from the central Oregon Coast to the towering Cascade Mountains, anchored by Eugene and Springfield in the South Willamette Valley, the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region is a place of happy contrasts.

The Convention and Visitors Association provide listings of events, attractions and entertainment in the region.

Lane County

Lane County is filled with all of Oregon"s wonders.

Visit spectacular mountains with raging whitewater tucked into their valleys, dramatic and pristine ocean beaches, and fabulous vineyards nestled among winding country roads.

Ski down majestic mountain peaks, hike old-growth forest trails, navigate rushing rivers and kick up some sand along miles of ocean shores.

Experience world-class arts and culture. Cheer on record-breaking athletes or set off on a course of your own.

Then wind down and taste Oregon-grown culinary delights and award-winning wines.

Visit Eugene

From breathtaking scenery to museums and art galleries, Eugene is a unique blend of country and culture.

Take in a live performance at a community theatre, catch international stars at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, or step into art galleries displaying the works of local, regional and international artists.

Enjoy an old-fashioned paddle-wheel river boat cruise or dinner on a train while watching a comedy show or a murder mystery acted by the train's restaurant employees.

Tune into the musicians at a variety of clubs, pubs and restaurants around town or tour the beautiful vineyards and wineries within 30 miles of town.

Eugene Activities

Camping, hiking, swimming, jogging and biking are popular activities at Eugene's neighborhood parks, and there is even a hot springs for a therapeutic break.

Golfers can play almost anywhere near Eugene - from small par 3 courses to PGA level country clubs.

Rated one of the top ten cycling cities in the U.S., Eugene has miles of scenic biking, walking and jogging trails.

The paths are built along the Willamette River, through parks and gardens, and even next to shopping centers.

Nothing matches the world-class track meets at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, site of several Olympic Trial events.

From snow skiing to deep sea fishing, Eugene offers a myriad of recreational opportunities.

Nothing beats white-water rafting or kayaking down the magnificent McKenzie River, fly fishing for rainbow trout in one of the many nearby lakes or deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean.

Drive east for snow skiing and snow-boarding at several winter mountain resorts, or explore the ancient ghost towns and abandoned stagecoach stops prevalent in the high desert area of eastern Oregon.

For a day of shopping, browse the local boutiques at Eugene's legendary Saturday Market, where farmers and artisans bring their wares to town.

Poke your head into a downtown shop or visit Eugene's expansive malls.

Eugene For Kids

Kids love the WAVE swimming and-wading pool, romps on the banks of the Willamette River, the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium, and Eugene's multi-terrain skateboard parks.

Where to Stay in Eugene

Americas Best Value Inn Eugene

Americas Best Value Inn Eugene

Americas Best Value Inn Eugene: 1140 West 6th Aveneue, Eugene, Oregon.

Convenient Eugene hotel with free breakfast near downtown.

The Americas Best Value Inn offers comfortable guestrooms and suites with stylish decor and modern furnishings.

Graduate Eugene

Graduate Eugene

Graduate Eugene: 66 East 6th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon.

In guestrooms, it's greens and Greeks, with elements that celebrate Oregon’s lush landscapes, Pacific Northwest heritage and the school's famed track and field program.

Located on 6th Avenue, Graduate Eugene is next door to the Hult Center and just a hop from the University of Oregon campus.

Valley River Inn

Valley River Inn

Valley River Inn: 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene, Oregon.

Unique resort-style hotel and conference centre located on the banks of the scenic Willamette River with spacious guest rooms and suites, with patios or balconies.

Situated just a few miles from Downtown Eugene on a scenic pedestrian river walk, the Valley River Inn rooms offer garden, pool, or river views.

Hotels in Eugene.

Oregon Outdoors

Crater Lake

Native Americans witnessed the lake's formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak.

Fed by rain and snow, Crater Lake is Oregon's only National Park, south-east of Eugene and contains the country's deepest lake.

Crater Lake Lodges

Begin your journey to the Crater Lake National Park by lodging in either the historic Crater Lake Lodge or in one of the peaceful cabins or campgrounds at Mazama Village.

Mount Hood

This extinct volcano in the Cascade Range of northern Oregon, is the state's highest mountain (3,426m), although the highest point in the Cascades itself is Washington's Mount Rainier (4,392m).


Set high on the shoulder of one of the most iconic peaks in the Pacific Northwest, Timberline continues to offer one of the most exciting and unique high-alpine mountain experiences in North America.

As a recreational centre, Mount Hood attracts skiers and climbers to the area all year round. The Shining was also filmed here.


Portland is Oregon's largest city, although the liberal Waterfront Park gives it a feeling of family and freedom.

Known as the City of Roses for the 500 plus varieties cultivated at the International Rose Test Garden.

Visit Portland

At the end of Waterfront Park, the Old Town has been renovated to look like new, or rather, like it used to.

Although Portland is the transportation hub of Oregon, nature is always close at hand.

Mount Hood and other snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Range are visible from the city and Columbia Gorge is not far away.

Oregon Zoo

The 64-acre Oregon Zoo is only five minutes from downtown Portland on Highway 26 West - also called Sunset Highway.

With annual attendance of more than 1.5 million, the zoo is the top paid attraction in the Pacific Northwest.

Portland Neighbourhoods

Portland neighbourhoods are known for their vibrancy and uniqueness, each with a distinct sense of place.

Locals will tell you that you haven’t truly been to Portland until you’ve connected with its diverse communities.

Portland Transportation

TriMet is the Portland area's public transit system operating more than one hundred bus routes.

The MAX light rail trains connect Gresham, Beaverton and Hillsboro with downtown and Portland International Airport (PDX).

Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon

Hotels in Portland.

Rogue River

The Rogue River is located in south-western Oregon and flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean.

The 84 mile, Congressionally designated 'National Wild and Scenic' portion of the Rogue begins 7 miles west of Grants Pass and ends 11 miles east of Gold Beach.

Activities on The Rogue

The Rogue River is a favourite destination in the Northwest for Steelhead and Salmon fishing.

Rafting The Rogue

The Rogue is magnificent with lively rapids, deep forests and dramatic canyon views.

The sublime beauty of the canyon is unforgettable, almost mystical.

Raft the wildest section of the Rogue, floating from near the village of Galice to the take-out near Agness.

The wild and scenic Rogue River in Southern Oregon is the classic multi-day rafting trip of the West.

Northwest Rafting Company was founded in 2009 by Zachary Collier, Joe Daly and Dick Linford; three men with a passion for the Northwest and the amazing rivers that run through it.

Where to Stay

Galice Resort

Sitting on the deck above the river watching the wildlife, while sipping a cold drink and eating a great meal after a day of rafting makes the family-owned, Galice Resort a little special.

The Riverside Inn

A full service resort and conference centre, the Riverside Inn boasts 159 spacious guestrooms, honeymoon and hospitality suites; nearly all of them with private balconies overlooking the Rogue River.

The docks directly in front of the resort serve as the launching site for all Hellgate Jetboat Excursions on the Rogue River.


Established by Methodist missionaries who had migrated west over the Oregon Trail in 1840, Salem became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851.

Map of Salem, Oregon

Map of Salem, Oregon

The City of Salem, capital of Oregon and the state's second largest city, lies in the center of the lush Willamette River valley, 47 miles from Portland.

Salem offers a wide array of restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions, ranging from historic sites and museums to events that appeal to a wide variety of interests - from sports tournaments to Arts Fairs, theatre and music.

Visit Salem

Salem offers visitors colourful gardens, unique children’s activities, historical museums and wineries reminiscent of France.

If you're looking for the authentic Oregon experience, look no further than Travel Salem, for the most Oregon part of Oregon.

Hotels in Salem.

Oregon's Hidden Gems

From natural wonders to unique attractions, Oregon is home to a variety of hidden gems waiting to be explored.

While some attractions may be more well-known than others, the state still offers something different for every type of traveller to choose from.


Astoria itself is not exactly hidden, but some of its gems might be overlooked.

Explore the Astoria Column for panoramic views, visit the Flavel House Museum, or check out the atmospheric Cannery Pier Hotel for ultimate rejuvenation.

Cannon Beach (Northern End)

While Cannon Beach itself is a well-known destination, the northern end near Ecola State Park offers a quieter and more secluded experience with stunning views of the coastline and the iconic Haystack Rock.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Situated on the Oregon Coast near Yachats, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is a beautiful headland with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean.

The area features old-growth forests, tide pools, the mesmerising Spouting Horn and Devil's Churn, and the Thor's Well; a natural saltwater fountain.

 Mosier Twin Tunnels

Most people visit the Columbia River Gorge for Multnomah Falls, but the Mosier Twin Tunnels offer a less crowded and equally scenic experience.

It's a bike-friendly trail that takes you through historic tunnels with views of the gorge.

Oregon Vortex

Located in Gold Hill, the Oregon Vortex is a roadside attraction known for its optical illusions and perceived gravitational anomalies.

It's a quirky and fun stop for those interested in unusual phenomena.

Smith Rock State Park

While somewhat known among outdoor enthusiasts, Smith Rock State Park is often overlooked by general tourists.

Located in Central Oregon, Smith Rock is a rock climber's paradise with towering cliffs; a beautiful place for photography, the sheer cliffs provide stunning vistas.

The park also offers hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Crooked River meandering through it.

Tamolitch Blue Pool

Tucked away in the Willamette National Forest, Tamolitch Pool, also known as Blue Pool, is a crystal-clear turquoise pool fed by the McKenzie River.

The short hike to reach this natural wonder takes you through beautiful forested scenery.

The Alvord Desert

In South-eastern Oregon, the Alvord Desert offers a surreal landscape with a vast expanse of dry lake bed surrounded by mountains.

It's an excellent spot for stargazing, camping, and enjoying the solitude and vastness of the high desert.

The Painted Hills

Part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the Painted Hills showcase vibrant layers of red, gold, and black soil; the colourful layers of ancient volcanic ash.

This unique and striking landscape is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset, when the vibrant hues offer up a surreal and captivating image.

Toketee Falls

While Oregon has many famous waterfalls, Toketee Falls remains a hidden gem.

Tucked away in the Umpqua National Forest, this two-tiered waterfall is surrounded by moss-covered basalt columns.

Wallowa Lake

Nestled in the Wallowa Mountains in North-eastern Oregon, Wallowa Lake is surrounded by stunning alpine scenery.

Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, and the historic Wallowa Lake Tramway for panoramic views.

Oregon Travel Guides

Moon Pacific Northwest Road Trip (Second Edition): Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, the Olympic Peninsula, Portland, the Oregon Coast & Mount Rainier (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest (Travel Guide)

Oregon Travel Guides - Oregon Maps.

About Oregon - Oregon Weather:
Find out more about Oregon before you travel there.

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