Here’s the much-awaited guide—the guide to the ten most exciting things to do in Oregon, US.
Nestled south of Washington and on the north shores of the Pacific Ocean, Oregon is a picturesque state filled with rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, stunning lakes, and other unique attractions. Whether you live nearby the state or miles away, Oregon is always the ideal place for a refreshing vacation.
And no vacation is complete without experiencing the best things to do out there. This stands true for Oregon; a trip to Oregon can never be whole without letting yourself share the most exciting things to do in Oregon and check out the Oregon attractions.
What is Oregon Famous For?
Oregon is famous for its rugged natural beauty and unique landscapes. In addition to that, Oregon is equally renowned for its lush-wild atmosphere and urban charm.
With so much of Oregon’s incredible and stunning attractions, there are definitely tons of things to do in Oregon too. This is exactly why we have compiled a list of 10 exciting things to do in Oregon to get your vacation started.
So, that aside from relishing the moments in nature, you can also engage yourself in some of the most fun things to do in Oregon, like relaxing in hot springs, visiting a national park, checking out hiking trails, or visiting fun places.
But before checking out the things to do in Oregon, let us know a bit about the state. It’s time to check some interesting facts about Oregon.
Interesting and Fun Facts About Oregon
You may already know some of these facts, but we are confident that you don’t know all. So, either way, you are going to enjoy learning these facts about Oregon. And you know why? Because some of these facts are just outrageously funny.
Well, let’s get going.
Fact:1-One-fourth of the country’s total population of the llama is here!
Don’t worry if you haven’t seen a llama in a long time, or ever before, because, upon your visit to Oregon, you will for sure come across a lot of them. Because the residents of Oregon alone own one-fourth of the country’s total llama population.
Fact:2-Home to the largest cheese factory in the world!
Are you a cheese lover? Because if you are, you will fall in love with Oregon just after reading this fact. Oregon is home to the largest cheese factory in the world, which is the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It is a popular tourist attraction that has guided tours and everything.
Fact:3-Home to over 750 vineyards!
This is for all wine lovers. Oregon is home to more than 750 vineyards that produce over 70 varieties of wine grapes.
Fact:4-The highest number of ghost towns is here!
Oregon is known as the nation’s ghost town capital, with over 80 ghost towns.
Fact:5-The name “Oregon” has a deep meaning!
As it is believed, the name Oregon is derived from the French word ouragan, which means a windstorm or hurricane, and it is referred to the powerful winds of the Columbia River, the chinook winds.
Fact:6-Home to the deepest lake in America!
The Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest in America, with a depth of about 2,000 feet. It also ranks among the top 10 deepest lakes in the world.
Fact:7-Oregon has the highest number of bicyclists!
Portland, Oregon, has the highest number of bicyclists compared to any other city in America.
Fact:8-Oregon has a one-of-a-kind flag!
Oregon is the only state with a unique flag. It has different designs on each side of the flag.
Fact:9-Oregon has got the biggest mushroom in the world!
Imagine a big mushroom. Now imagine the biggest mushroom in the world. Well, you don’t need to imagine anymore because Oregon has it covered for you, as it is home to the biggest mushroom in the world. The mushroom is estimated to be 2,400 years old.
Enough with the facts now, let us move over to the main content: things to do in Oregon.
10 Most Exciting Things To Do In Oregon
These are just a few suggestions with the help of which you can plan your trip to Oregon. So, check the top tourist attractions and the ten exciting things to do in Oregon, and pick the best.
1. Smith Rock State Park
Terrebonne, OR 97760, United States
Located in central Oregon’s high desert Smith Rock State Park is the place that will give you the feeling of being in Utah while you are still in Oregon. This park is a must-see for those wandering around central Oregon as it is certainly one of the best things to do in Oregon. You will soon know why.
It is an international climbing destination, with red rock spires towering out of the desert plains. This park is for those interested in rock climbing and deeply enjoy scenic views of a river environment.
What to do?
This state park is also home to some of the best hiking trails near Bend. Plus, it offers trails for mountain biking too. So, all in all, one can say that this is an ideal destination for some adventure.
In addition to that, Smith Rock also has an exclusive RV campground, so you can stay overnight and arrange a camp.
There are also different viewing spots for the non-hikers, and one of the most famous trails is the Misery Ridge, which offers absolutely stunning views of the canyon walls and Crooked River.
Other fascinating state parks to visit are Fort Stevens State Park, where you can experience some of the most exciting things to do in Oregon and the Silver Falls State Park.
2. Crater Lake National Park
Oregon, United States
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon. It is actually a caldera formed by an extinct volcano, Mount Mazama.
The biggest highlight of the park is Crater Lake which draws visitors from all over the world.
What to do there?
The lake has become a summer hotspot over the years for various activities like swimming, boating, fishing, and camping.
And Crater Lake National Park is home to some of the most amazing hiking trails in Oregon. Plus, there are two developed campgrounds. So visitors can suit themselves with any activity of their choice.
The park is also popular for sightseeing and backpacking, as the area inspires awe. The sight of the mesmerizing hues of blue of Crater Lake alone is worth visiting the park.
How to explore?
One of the best ways to explore Crate Lake National Park is by getting in a car and driving along Crater Lake Rim Drive, which is known to be one of the most scenic byways in America.
There are various stops along this path for you to enjoy.
Most people do the Rim Drive and a bunch of hikes to get the best of Crater Lake National Park. There are other interesting activities too like stargazing and boat tours.
And for the colder months, there’s winter camping and snowshoeing.
Speaking of volcanoes, another interesting site to check out is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, located within the Deschutes National Forest.
And if you do go by the Deschutes National Forest, make sure to take a trip down the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, the route that offers the most beautiful views along the way.
3. Oregon Coast Aquarium
2820 SE Ferry Slip Road, Newport
Being a coastal state, Oregon is expected to be home to some amazing marine life, ports, bays, and aquatic centers. And Oregon never disappoints its visitors’ expectations.
Well, one such fulfilled expectation takes form as the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It is one of the top attractions in Oregon currently.
What to explore?
The museum is also an educational site with the aim to educate people about the nature and wildlife of the Oregon coast. The learning experiences are quite fun, with separate sessions for kids and adults.
There are several lectures, classes, workshops, and other events that you can take part in.
What to enjoy?
This Oregon museum features everything, every beautiful marine life from seabirds, sea lions to sharks. Visitors mostly enjoy the sea lion, sea otters, and harbor seals.
Visitors can even scuba dive in the aquarium because it is that big. In addition to that, there are underwater passageways to stroll across the ocean floor.
And the fun stuff is yet to come. There are tide pools where you literally get a chance to touch a starfish.
If you are into museums, you can also pay a visit to the Oregon Film Museum, the Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon, or the Willamette Heritage Center within the Willamette Valley. All these museums are truly interesting.
And if you would like to see more marine stuff, visit the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
4. Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
9000 Caves Highway, Cave Junction
In the northern Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon is a protected park spread over 4,000 acres. One of the major highlights of that park is a fascinating cave called the Marble Halls of Oregon. This subterranean attraction is one of the best things to do in Oregon.
How to explore?
This attraction is only accessible by guided tours. Depending on what you want to do, you can choose from a wide range of ranger-led tours to explore the whole area.
There are different tours for kids and adults and guided treks as well. One of the most popular tours is the Candlelight Cave Tour, which involves exploring the dark caves with just the light of candles.
Another interesting tour is the Discovery Cave Tour, which includes exploring the caves 220 feet underneath the surface.
What else is there?
A few hiking trails pass through an old-growth coniferous forest if you want to explore above the surface. So, you can go hiking if you would like.
5. Fun Things To Do in Oregon: Washington Park
4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland
One of the best things to do in Oregon would definitely include a place that one would never want to miss at any cost, and one such place is Washington Park in Portland. This park is a gateway to other Oregon attractions.
Washington Park is one of the best places to visit in Portland, and it is nothing like the other parks. From archery ranges to playgrounds, this park is home to some of the most amazing things to do in Oregon.
What to do?
There’s a beautiful Portland Japanese Garden for those who would love to spend time around beautiful plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees. Visitors will be amazed at the exceptional horticultural display.
The Oregon Zoo and the Portland Children’s Museum are there for those who want some fun exploration. And there are a lot of other things to enjoy, such as the hiking trails or attending live music and events at the Washington Park Amphitheater.
Speaking of parks, you can also check out amusement parks in Oregon. Some must-visit ones like the Enchanted Forest Theme Park, Oaks Amusement Park, and Evergreen Wings and Waves Park.
Amusements parks have always been one of the top things to do in Oregon.
6. Top Things To Do in Oregon: Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
US 101, Brookings, Oregon
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a beautiful state park in southwestern Oregon, exactly nestled between the Brookings and Gold Beach on the southern Oregon coast. It is a 12-mile linear park with some of the most scenic oceanside views in Oregon.
The 12 miles are covered in secluded beaches, offshore rock formations, and stunning viewpoints. It is the beauty of nature witnessed here that defines this site and calls out the visitors.
How to explore?
There are different ways to explore this park. You can pick a trail, hike an entire section, and make necessary stops to explore all its features.
There’s also a beautiful oceanfront picnic area that offers gorgeous views and a straight path to the beach. So, you can have quite a nice family time.
Other trails lead to different things, such as photo-worthy views or trails featuring offshore sea stacks and islands.
So, you can go as you like.
7. Best Things To Do in Oregon: Sea Lion Caves
91560 US-101, Florence, Oregon
Sea Lion Caves is a connected series of caverns and sea caves open to the Pacific Ocean, located 11 miles north of Florence. This is the largest sea cave in America, with home to hundreds of sea lions. Exploring this wonder is one of the fun things to do in Oregon.
What to do?
This cave is what many wild creatures call their “home,” and visitors call it a cave of wonder. Since 1932, the Sea Lion Caves has been a wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary. It is home to the Stellar sea lion, and you can find them come and go all year round.
This is the perfect spot to be close to nature’s wildlife. Mostly you will get to see the sea lions during the winter months when they gather on the rocks to socialize. During the Spring, you can also catch sight of the sea lions birthing. That is a one-of-a-kind experience.
You can also find other animals here, such as herrings, California gulls, and tufted penguins. And there’s a whale-watching deck too, where you can spot orcas.
What else is there?
There are different learning stations where you can learn a thing or two about marine life. And there is a gift shop for souvenirs.
8. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
855 US-101, Reedsport
Located on the Oregon Coast, within the Siuslaw National Forest, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a national scenic area with massive wind-shaped sand dunes. It is one of the largest temperate coastal expanses in the world.
A trip down to these Oregon sand dunes is always one of the fun things to do in Oregon.
What to do?
The area offers scenic views of the dunes, oceans, and forests in beautifully close proximity, which is why it has been one of the favorite things to do in Oregon by visitors.
You can explore the whole area on off-highway vehicles or on foot. This is the place for a perfectly fun-filled day on the golden sand.
There are various area tours, and depending on which tour you choose, you will find yourselves engaging in multiple activities.
You can go sandboarding, motorbiking, driving 4X4 jeeps, or off-road vehicle riding. And if these activities are not your type of thrill, you can always go for the regular ones like camping, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
9. Top Things To Do in Oregon: Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach, OR 97110
Cannon beach is one of the most visited tourist spots on the northern Oregon coast, offering stunning views of the coastal rocks. It is your ideal beach destination with a lot of things to do.
What to do?
The most popular attraction of Cannon Beach is the gigantic Haystack Rock, sitting tall on the shores of the coastline. It offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic moment.
And of course, there are all the usual beach activities like swimming and snorkeling. But other interesting events include the annual sandcastles competition. So, if you are here at the right time, there’s a lot for you to see.
10. Exciting Things To Do in Oregon: Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure
9540 Old Stage Road, Central Point
And the last of things to do in Oregon we have is a zipline adventure, because who doesn’t love an adrenaline rush, right?
In the hills of beautiful southeastern Oregon, Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure offers amazing zipline tours to remember for the rest of your life in the gorgeous Rogue River Valley.
And it is not just limited to ziplining, but they also offer hiking and rafting trips. It’s a full-packaged adventure.
There is also a special tour package, called the Zip, Dip, and Sip, which starts with Ziplining, then rafting down the river, to finally sipping fine wine at the nearby winery.
So, now you are through 10 of the best things to do in Oregon. Many of these things can be done within a short trip. However, if you are here for a long vacation and in the mood to explore more, there are a few other things you can check out.
If you visit during the winters, one of the best things to do in Oregon would be cross country skiing or other such winter sports near Baker City. For the rest of the months, you can take a trip to downtown Portland and enjoy delicious lunch cruises and walking tours.
If you are more of soaking up in nature and the byways person, one of the best things to do in Oregon is to drive down the historic Columbia River Highway, which covers 75 miles of beautiful forests, streams, and waterfalls. And also explore the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Speaking of waterfalls, you might also check out the Multnomah Falls, one of the natural landmarks and Oregon’s tallest waterfall.
And if you have more time for fun activities, definitely visit the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It offers great recreational activities like kiteboarding in Hood River, windsurfing, and waterfall hikes.
Well, these are the most exciting things to do in Oregon. The place is filled with different attractions. You will need to find yours. In addition to that, during the Springtime there is this great festival called the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, you can attend that too if you are here during the Spring.
I hope you have enough information on the best things to do in Oregon to plan your trip accordingly.