With more ghost towns than any other US state, Oregon is also one of only two US states where you can’t self-serve at a gas station! Whether you’re into outdoor pursuits, shopping, sightseeing or just relaxing, vacations in Oregon have something to offer everyone. Our travel guide will ensure you make the most of your family vacation to the Pacific Northwest.
If you’re into the great outdoors, Oregon vacations are right for you. With state parks, beautiful beaches, and coastal cities packed with culture and history, there’s plenty to keep the whole family amused on a vacation to Oregon. If you like a drop of red or white then you’re in the right place - this is wine country. The state capital of Portland with its historic Old Town and trendy bars and restaurants is a must-see, as are the sea lions and whales of Florence.
Crater Lake National Park – Set in the Cascade Mountains, this vividly blue, perfectly circular lake is located in the caldera of a now-extinct volcano. Surrounded by imposing 2,000 feet lava cliffs, you can take a cruise on the lake from Cleetwood Cove to Wizard Island.
Cannon Beach – This beautiful sandy beach in northwest Oregon is home to Hay Stack Rock. With the quaint town of Seaside nearby (ideal for surfing vacations) and Astoria just 20 miles to the north, there’s plenty to see and do here.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland – For a great family day out, take the kids to this hands-on museum packed with family-friendly exhibits. It’s also well worth picking up tickets to tour the impressive USS Bluebeard, an old navy submarine that’s moored on the river outside.
1. Portland – No Oregon vacation is complete without a trip to the state capital, and you’ll find plenty of Oregon hotels for an affordable price here if you want to extend your stay. Spend the day at Portland Art Museum and wander around the Victorian Pittock Mansion, or enjoy some people watching at the trendy restaurants in the Pearl District.
2. Columbia River Gorge – This 4,000-foot deep canyon of the Columbia River is popular for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and camping. Check out the views from Multnomah Falls, or enjoy a hike around Eagle Creek.
3. Newport – Bring the kids for a day trip to this coastal city, where you’ll find Yaquina Bay State Park with its beautiful basalt rock beach, and also the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
4. Sea Lion Caves – Located near the coastal city of Florence, you can spot Steller sea lions here. Just across the river is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area with its towering sand dunes.
5. Willamette Valley – This is the heart of Oregon’s wine country, home to 75% of the state’s vineyards and wineries and where you can sample some of the best local Pinot Noir.
6. Rogue River, Jackson County – If you’re into whitewater rafting, fishing for Chinook and King Salmon, or just enjoying a hike in the great outdoors, head for this popular vacation getaway.
Oregon temperatures average around 53°F, with the hottest months of the year being July and August. Although temperatures can rise to 100°F in summer, 80-90°F is more common. Winters can be cold, particularly in the high desert region. The best time to visit is from May to September, when the weather is generally dry and pleasant.
The best way to see Oregon is by car although the Oregon Coast is a popular spot for cyclists in the summer months. There are three major interstate roads: I-5 crosses the state from north to south, I-84 crosses the state from West to East (from Portland to Utah) and I-82 connects the state to Ellensburg, Washington.