Planning an Oregon road trip? Let us help! We are sharing 10 absolute must-see spots to make your trip one for the books! Everything from ocean to donuts, it’s all here! So pack up the van, grab your family and let’s hit the pavement for an epic Oregon road trip!
Oregon has long been a destination for adventurers and beachcombers alike. With majestic mountain views, an enviable coastline and an abundance of beautiful hiking and nature, it’s no wonder people flock to this gorgeous state. Whether you’re looking to have some beach time, climb a tall mountain, or simply eat your way through some delicious restaurants, we can point you in the right direction.
With so much to do and see, an Oregon road trip is the best way to get to it all. A fun-filled seven-day vacation in the Beaver state holds so much possibility!
Nestled in the small coastal town of Pacific City is Cape Kiwanda State Park. Known for its beauty, hiking, and sand dunes, it’s an instant favorite for young and old alike. Enjoy the wide-open beach with some surfing lessons, roll down the sand dunes with the kids or fly a kite in the ocean breeze. With relaxing vibes and salty water views, it’s likely you’ll never want to leave.
Calling all avid hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts! When planning your Oregon road trip, you won’t want to leave this one out. Smith Rock State Park is full of deep river canyons, scenic views, and thousands of miles of trails. It’s basically an adventurist’s dream come true.
In addition to the majestic scenery, you’ll also find abundant wildlife all around you. Golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otter, and beaver all reside in the park and roam freely. Though you can bring your animals along on your adventure, you must be sure to have them securely leashes, as the ecosystems of the park are very fragile.
How would you like to do some whale watching on your Oregon road trip? At Yaquina Head Lighthouse, you can often find whales along their shorelines all throughout the year. See them spout and swim in the bay while enjoying the history of the lighthouse itself. It was built in 1872 and the lights themselves are still in working condition. Tours of the lighthouse are available as well as information about the history and ecosystem in the museum just below the site.
This stop also boasts a gorgeous black rock beach that’s full of wildlife you can view. Rangers are often out during the summertime to answer questions and educate visitors about the crustaceans and animals that reside there.
Not a hardcore hiker, but still want to get in on the fun? Lower Soda Falls is a quick 15-minute hike to your own little paradise! Tucked away in nature, this waterfall is easily accessible and the perfect activity for the summer. Enjoy a quick waterfall splash on your next Oregon road trip by making this a must-see location on your itinerary!
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Get a spectacular view from an actual mountaintop! Mary’s Peak is the perfect hike for any level of hiker. Just a twenty-minute journey to the top of the mountain via the parking lot, and you’ll be seeing the vastness of the wild for miles. Amazingly, on days where the sky is clear, you can actually see all the way to the coastline! Rolling mountains and wildflowers galore adorn this must-visit hit on your Oregon road trip list!
Looking for an indoor activity when the rain makes a surprise visit? Visit the Portland Art Museum! With multiple wings featuring classical, national, and even indigenous artists, you’ll be able to peruse for hours. Kids are welcome and often have a wonderful time learning all about new cultures, experiencing new art installations, and seeing interesting textures throughout the pieces.
What would an Oregon road trip be without donuts? Blue Star Donuts is so well known for its gourmet donuts, even the locals hit up the shop frequently. With specialty flavors like Cointreau Creme Brulee and Mexican Hot Chocolate, you’re destined to find a unique flavor that wins you over. Don’t pass up this sweet stop! It’s well worth the delicious detour!
Enjoying nature and palatial aesthetics may seem an impossible request, but not on this Oregon road trip! Make a pit stop at Cathedral Park, just under the St. John’s Bridge, for an unforgettable sight. Enjoy a springtime picnic and marvel at the beauty of the river, the forests, and the city all at once. This spectacular view is so fervently enjoyed by its residents that there is a lottery system to request getting married there! Luckily, you can still enjoy the park even if you’re not looking to get hitched.
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Even if you don’t physically put your vehicle in park, you’ll still be able to enjoy the Columbia River Gorge. A simple drive-through, this area is likely to make you a forever lover of Oregon. With its sweeping views of the mountainside and gorgeous sights of the river, if you manage to see it at sunrise or sunset, it’s truly a sight to behold. Even if you’re just driving through, you won’t want to miss this spot on your Oregon road trip.
Whether you’re heading to Oregon for its abundance of outdoor activities or to enjoy a different coastal experience, an Oregon road trip is always a good idea. Easily fill your time with sights, hikes, climbing, biking or just plain enjoying the food and people. There’s never a dull moment in Oregon, so what are you waiting for? Start planning your Oregon road trip today!
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Photo credits: Mylyn Wood Photography