11 best places to visit in Oregon-hand luggage only


Oregon is an incredible state! Full of the most dramatic West Coast scenery, driveways and parks; this is a state where you can explore for years without getting bored. In addition, even if you don’t like outdoor activities, Oregon has many of the best attractions to visit. It has some very cool cities, you really shouldn’t miss it.

To be honest, the natural landscape of Oregon makes it an incredible place of discovery (and it always attracts me to the west coast of the United States). You see, there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails and vistas in Oregon, and most of them are easy to reach for medium hikers.

However, as I said, the best places to hike in Oregon are not just hiking or nature! To help you along the way, I would like to share some of my favorite excursions, regions and cities that you absolutely should not miss.

Best places to visit in Oregon

Check out the best spots in Oregon below. Have an epic exploration time!

1.) Yaquina Head

Best places to visit in Oregon

Yaquina Head is located north of Newport and is an incredible coastal area, if you want to get away from the city itself, you can explore it. To be honest, the coastline surrounding the Yaquina Head Lighthouse (from the 1800s) is very beautiful and is a great place to stroll along the trails through the area.

Although relatively small (compared to some other parks in Oregon), Yaquina Head is indeed an amazing attraction. This is especially true in the late afternoon, as you can also stroll along with the sunset view.

Be sure to follow the lighthouse trail or head to Salal Hill to enjoy some totally beautiful scenery. Be sure to bring some water and sunscreen with you in the summer. Even on a cloudy day, that gust of wind will make you sunburn!

Finally, if you want to find a quieter (completely quiet) sunset spot, you can head north along the coast to Murak Beach. The scenery across the ocean is so beautiful!

Read more: The best hiking trails in Oregon

2.) Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Best places to visit in Oregon

Located on the southern border of the Siuslaw National Forest, the Oregon Dunes are one of the best places to explore in Oregon. After thousands of years of formation, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is one of the largest sand dunes in the world!

Most importantly, the sandbanks and hills are as smooth and powdery as you might expect. You can easily spend a whole day exploring the wider area, especially all the sights and activities. Upon arrival, proceed to one of the four-wheel/ATV tours that will take you directly into the dunes.

Having said that, if you want something calmer, please bring hiking boots and go to some trails that stretch for miles.

One thing to note…Although it is never completely crowded, if you want a quieter experience, it is best to arrive early in the morning. Yes, it can be colder, but there will be a lot less people around you.

Read more: The best places to visit on the West Coast of the United States

3.) Eugene

Best places to visit in Oregon

Eugene is about a 100-minute drive from Portland and is one of the best places in Oregon if you want to take a break in the city. What I like most about Eugene is that it is big enough for you to experience the wonderful West Coast city experience, but small enough to travel easily.

After coming here, be sure to explore the incredible natural and cultural history museum. Yes, it may be a private museum, but it will definitely be impressive! Afterwards, head to the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum. If you like indoor activities, this is an epic perfect place.

In addition, if you want to enjoy the beauty of Eugene, please go to Skinner Butt Park. There are some lovely (and very simple) trails to choose from, perfect for morning excursions.

If this is the park you want, go to Hendricks Park. This is the oldest park in the entire Eugene, and it is also a very beautiful place on a sunny day. Be sure to visit the local botanical garden and follow the trail through the forest route.

hungry? Grab a table at the fisherman’s market. Their seafood pie and crab legs are so delicious!

Read more: interesting cities to visit in the U.S.

4.) Ecola State Park

Best places to visit in Oregon

Ikora State Park is probably one of the most famous coastal areas in Oregon and is a very beautiful attraction. This is a completely pristine area, including many attractions and activities when traveling along the coastal road.

Of course, you can’t miss the nearby coastal bays at Bird Point and Tillamook’s Lighthouse viewpoint.

Best places to visit in Oregon

For a magnificent hike, you can take a stroll along the Indian Beach Trail or stop at the completely happy Crescent Beach.

Best places to visit in Oregon

Finally, don’t forget to visit the iconic Haystack Rock near Cannon Beach. After wandering around the town itself, it is easy to find and well worth a visit.

Oh, and for the perfect brew, go to Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters. Their coffee blend is very good.

5.) Silver Falls State Park

Best places to visit in Oregon

As one of the largest parks in the state, Silver Falls State Park is very beautiful and is one of the best places to explore large natural scenery in Oregon! It’s about 40 minutes’ drive from Salem, perfect for day trips or longer outdoor vacations.

Upon arrival, proceed directly to explore the iconic waterfalls in the park throughout the area. There are many places worth seeing, especially the South Falls and North Falls, which are very beautiful! If you want to discover more, follow the Ten Falls Trail, which is more than 7 miles in length. This is a relatively easy trail (for experienced hikers), well worth walking to explore more state parks.

However, like other iconic attractions in Oregon, it can be very busy. This means that if you want to avoid the crowds, you should arrive early.

Read more: America’s best national parks to visit

6.) Bachelor Hill

Best places to visit in Oregon

About two hours’ drive from Eugene, Bachelor Mountain is one of the best ski areas in Oregon, and it’s well worth the downhill slope for a while. This is a very beautiful area and one of the best places to run for the whole family in Oregon.

Now, Bachelor Mountain does not have the biggest “resort” feeling, but in my opinion, this is part of its charm. Most people tend to live in Bend (approximately 30 minutes away), and if you are planning a longer ski trip, then booking a few nights in the city is totally worth it.

7.) Hood River

Best hikes in Oregon (20)

The Hood River is located on the banks of the Columbia River and is a city in Oregon. It is easy to visit when you travel along the border between Washington and Oregon.

Here, be sure to take the historic Mount Hood Railway. During the stay on the Hood River, it was completely kitsch and well worth experiencing.

If your weather is fine, you can head to The Hook and rent a kayak from Hood River SUP and Kayak. This is a great way to explore some of the wider waterways, and it is well worth it in a calm afternoon.

Oh, and for some of the best desserts, head to Mike’s Ice Cream for delicious homemade cones. We love them!

Finally, don’t forget to explore the Crown Point State Scenic Corridor on the route from Portland. This is a very gorgeous area across the river.

8.) Portland

Best places to visit in Oregon

Speaking of Portland, it is one of the best places in Oregon and you must not miss it when you visit the state. Now, we recommend that you stay in this city for at least a few days, because once you come here, there will be many places worth seeing and experiencing.

Upon arrival, be sure to explore the picturesque and completely iconic Japanese garden. You can easily spend a few hours here, which is very happy. After that, proceed to the Portland Museum of Art, built in the 1800s. Inside, you will find a bunch of Native American art and contemporary art, and you can easily spend a whole day admiring these works of art.

If the historical building is more in line with your style, please go to Pittock Mansion. This Renaissance-style house has been in Portland for more than 100 years! Today, you can watch inside and visit the gorgeous and beautiful venues. In addition, in the vicinity, you will find many trails and routes allowing you to enjoy a stroll in the park.

For delicious food, please book a table at Le Pigeon. It focuses on French fusion dishes, with rich features and a completely delicious seasonal menu.

Finally, if you are visiting on the weekend, head out to explore the Portland Saturday Market. It is one of the largest arts and crafts in the country. The market has attracted hundreds of small businesses and thousands of tourists from the wider Northwest Territories. You won’t want to miss it.

9.) Crater Lake National Park

Best places to visit in Oregon

Crater Lake National Park is located in the mountains of waterfalls and is one of the best viewing spots in Oregon! Well, at least in my opinion!

Technically speaking, it is more like a volcanic crater than a crater. It is a vast area, and it is incredible to walk down this road via a scenic trail (summer only).

After arriving at the national park, be sure to see the scenery from the Watchman Observatory. It is very beautiful and easily becomes one of the best views in the entire park. Yes, there may be some endless scenery, but it is all worth it.

Also, don’t forget to watch the iconic Devil’s Backbone, Merriam Cape and Wizard Island from the edge of the crater. We like it!

Read more: The best places to visit on the West Coast of the United States

10.) Smith Rock State Park

Best places to visit in Oregon

Smith Rock State Park is about a 40-minute drive from Bend and has otherworldly landscapes that truly showcase the natural diversity of Oregon.

After arriving here and checking in at the visitor center, be sure to walk along the river or canyon trails, where there are the best attractions in the park.

Best places to visit in Oregon

If you want to try more challenges, you can go to the Trail of Misery Ridge, which cuts between the crooked river.

In addition, you can easily book a hot air balloon trip in the area-it is totally magical, but you must be prepared to cancel in bad weather.

11.) Multnomah Falls

Best places to visit in Oregon

Another place located between Portland and the Hood River, Multnomah Falls is one of the best locations for wider road trips on the northern edge of Oregon. To be honest, this is a must stop in the Columbia River Gorge and an iconic attraction that you should not miss.

You can easily hike here for a few hours. In addition, you can also enjoy some very beautiful scenery.

One thing to note is that the parking lot may fill up quickly (especially on weekends). If you want to secure a space, please arrive early and avoid filling up quickly on weekends.

Read more: The best places to visit on the West Coast of the United States

12 best attractions around the west coast of the U.S.

Best places to visit in Oregon Best places to visit in Oregon Best places to visit in Oregon

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