Best Oregon Road Trip Stops This Summer
A Fun Oregon Road Trip Itinerary
Finding the best Oregon road trip stops isn’t a hard thing to do really. Oregon is home to so many beautiful and exciting places that it is harder to find places where you wouldn’t want to stop.
Oregon is an amazingly diverse place to visit. Most people focus their Oregon road trip ideas on the spectacular Oregon coastline, and with good reason.
The entire length of the Oregon coast is spectacular. But, there is much more to Oregon that the coast line. And, the differences could not be more striking.Best Oregon Road Trip Stops for This Summer's Travels Click To Tweet
So, lets take a look at some ideas that we think you’ll find will make for a fun Oregon road trip. The following are, of course, just a few of the many possibilities based on a recent road trip that we took.
Our route formed a loop that headed east to west from our home in eastern Washington State along the Columbia River west to the Pacific Ocean. We then headed south as far as Newport, and then east to Bend, before heading home.
Best Oregon Road Trip Stops
Located along the Columbia River, not far from the exciting city of Portland is Hood River. Hood River is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts of any stripe. Once this was a quiet farming community, that morphed into a windsurfing, now kite-boarding, mecca.
But, world-class hiking, fishing, and mountain biking are also part of the outdoors mix, as well. And, with Mount Hood looming nearby, with its year round snow cap, you can even spend time skiing during your summer visit.
Not everyone is outdoorsy, and there are plenty of things for them too. In town, there are fun shops to meander through and scrumptious dining opportunities as well.
Just down the road to the east of Hood River, is the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum. A fabulous little museum just off the highway, that we are so glad we took the time to explore.
To the west is the fabulous Multnomah Falls. Easily accessible short walk right from the highway. And, a little farther west you can take a stern wheeler cruise along the Columbia Gorge.
You’ll find Astoria right at the mouth of the Columbia River as it spills into the Pacific Ocean. Astoria claims to be the oldest city west of the Rockies. I don’t how accurate that is, but there is plenty of evidence that it’s been around a long time.
You’ll find plenty of Victorian architecture to go along with the funky vibe that is part of the renewal of this wonderful little town. Home to a great music festival, one super performance we were lucky enough to attend, and a growing cultural scene make this a cool place to visit.
Make sure that you don’t miss the Astoria Column. This strange piece of architecture is 125 feet tall and sits on a hill overlooking the city and the surrounding countryside. It was built in 1926 as some kind of weird homage to the Trajan Column in Rome, and was dedicated to John Jacob Astor. I didn’t spend the couple of bucks to go up the 164 steps as the stairs looked way to confining for my 6′ 8″ frame to manage, but I understand that it is well worth the climb to see Astoria laid out at your feet.
#3 Northern Oregon Coast
There are so many beautiful vistas on the Oregon Coast that you will be tempted to make many many stops. Sadly, more and more of the coast line is experiencing a population boom, and with it urban sprawl.
After leaving Astoria swing into Fort Stevens Historic Area and Fort Clatsop to soak up some early Lewis and Clark history. Farther along stop in at Cannon Beach that some claim is Oregon’s answer to California’s Carmel. Cannon Beach is where you will find the fabulous Haystack Rock.
Just north of Newport, make sure you stop off and take in Yaquina Head lighthouse. The tallest on the coast. And, the Yaquina Bay lighthouse is the only wooden one left on the coast.
Of course, there are other sights you may find interesting. These are just a few.
#4 Heading East – Sisters
Heading for eastern Oregon along highway 20, in the mountains near Bend is the lovely little town of Sisters. Sisters is a great place to enjoy a wonderland of lakes, mountains, and rivers. Along with soothing spas, world-class lodgings, and art galleries offering a variety of artistic styles.
The best, at least in our estimation, is saved for last. In the heart of Oregon is the gorgeous town of Bend, one of our favorite Oregon road trip stops.
This is a no brainer of place to visit. Gorgeous scenery. People friendly environment. Art. Foodie scene. More breweries than a town of 80,000 should be allowed to have.
Green space in the city. Art installations in the roundabouts. Outdoor and indoor activities to keep you busy for days on end. This place has seen such a renaissance in the last 20 or so years and has become hugely popular.
I could go on and on, but it would be better just to visit yourself.
These Oregon road trip stops will just make you want to return to Oregon over and over again. You are bound to discover your own favorites to add to another Oregon road trip itinerary.
Just Sign Up Below, Or in that Big Box to the right, and Stay Up-to-Date!
Related articles across the web