Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
From wild beaches and striking coastline to tall mountains and rolling vineyards, Oregon seems like a nature-lover's dream destination. Throw in hip cities and great food, and Oregon stands out as a place anyone would enjoy. (I hope to get there later this year for the first time!)
2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport, OR 97365, USA
I didn't think too much of this little aquarium at first but when we went inside, I was really impressed. The large sea otter exhibit was fun and there were many other exhibits showcasing the animals, birds and creatures of ocean worlds. There is...
Yachats Ocean Rd, Yachats, OR 97498, USA
All I could say when I saw this stunning lighthouse perched on the rocky cliff near Yachats, Oregon was "Wow". I am certainly a sucker for lighthouses, especially ones that have the dramatic landscape surrounding it. The Heceta Head is about 15...
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
An iconic name in Portland retail—as well as among readers who have never been to the city—Powell’s has multiple locations on both sides of the Willamette. The downtown store remains the one best suited for visitors to explore,...
1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201, USA
At the first hint of daylight, I jump from bed to see the view I’ve been anticipating all night. I swing wide the double doors of my spacious, antiques-appointed room, and the cool morning air drifts in from grapevines just steps away. Beyond I...
400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
This is where everyone stops to smell the roses in the Rose City. Celebrating its centennial in 2017, the International Rose Test Garden is the nation’s oldest continually operating rose test garden (where varieties are evaluated for...
1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201, USA
I love wine. But, I also love vineyards. I love the bright green leaves; the green, red and purple juicy grapes; but, mostly, I love the symmetry of the rows of grapevines. There is something orderly to it all. And throw in a brightly-colored red...
515 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205, USA
With 30 or more Oregon pinot noirs open for tasting at any given time (plus other wines to boot) you can really sink your teeth into the local speciality. The bartenders are experts on everything they've got, and once they get a sense of what you...
239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
The Lan Su Chinese Gardens is a lovely place to regain some inner peace and admire the gorgeous gardens. The name of the garden comes from the relationship between sister cities Portland and Suzhou. Sounds from both Portland and Suzhou are...
I've seen pictures, I've heard stories, but when I actually saw Crater Lake with my own eyes, all I could think was "Is this for real?!?!" Yes - water is THAT blue, clean and clear Yes - you feel like you're on a different planet YES - it will...
611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Portland is not lacking for parks and gardens—I've heard the Chinese garden in the Pearl district is a stunner—but I highly recommend the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. Portland's a relaxed place anyway, but the Japanese gardens, said to be...
800 NW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97209, USA
Because you won't regret it. Whatever Amtrak's reputation, this has to be one of the best train rides - and the best train services - in the USA. We actually started our rail journey in Vancouver and made our way, haltingly, down the West coast...
5510 NE Breyman Orchards Rd, Dayton, OR 97114, USA
Red Ridge Farms has been growing grapes in the Dundee Hills for 40 years. In 2005, it added olives to its repertoire, becoming the only commercial producer of olive oil in Oregon. Call ahead to visit the mill and sample such varieties as Arbequina...
1410 OR-99W, Dundee, OR 97115, USA
Paulée is an ambitious restaurant you’d expect to find in Los Angeles or New York—not in sleepy Dundee, Oregon. Executive chef Sean Temple uses ultralocal ingredients (the pork comes from a farm down the road) in such dishes as heirloom carrots...
2740 S Pacific St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110, USA
For those of you familiar with the iconic 1985 film, the Haystack Rocks meant the world to kids from the Goon Docks. It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to venture to the setting of the movie and find my own "treasure." The Pacific Coast...
855 U.S. 101, Reedsport, OR 97467, USA
Lonely, rugged, and undeniably beautiful: this is the central Oregon coast in mid-July. It's easy to forget the hour, the year, and that you're three hours from Portland, but your position on the edge of a continent seems difficult to ignore.
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