You finally did it. You put Oregon as your summer vacation destination. The PNW as a whole is quite popular, but I still believe that Oregon isn't always at the top of the list. For years, we had no desire to check out the state. We didn't really know about all the outdoor activities. We thought, "Portland." That was it. We were not in to the rain and cooler weather.
Fast forward almost a decade and we can't get enough of this amazing state. There is something here for everyone and anyone. Here are a few ideas for your Oregon Vacation.
Top Destinations for Your Summer Vacation in Oregon
The Oregon coast is absolutely amazing. While you won't be guaranteed the heat and sun like in southern California, what you do get is quiet beaches with stunning cliffs that are dog friendly! Let's go north to south for some of our favorite areas.
Cannon Beach - See the famous Haystack Rock from the Goonies, explore beautiful beaches and great seafood.
Tillamook Bay - Calmer waters for SUPing and kayaking. You can also visit Tillamook Creamery. Get a sample of cheese or ice cream and then buy some to go!
Pacific City - We love Pacific City. The small town charm. Another haystack rock to view at sunset, sand dunes right next to the ocean and Pelican Brewery is right on the beach.
Lincoln City - This is my favorite area for Crabbing. Check out our article on how to crab here: Learn How to Crab
Newport - The largest city on the coast. It is a great area for families and nomads.
Florence/Dune City - For anyone who loves sand dunes, this is. your place.
Brookings - This is the start of the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Some of the most beautiful coastline in the state.
Oregon has a lot of great small towns. It may not seem like a small town could take up a weeks worth of vacation, but they can or you can fit multiple on a road trip.
Hood River - Probably our favorite small town. Right along the Columbia River this is the kite surfing capital of the US. This small town also has 5 breweries, great food and a fun downtown. The marina and waterfront park are amazing. There is also some great mountain biking on Post Canyon and the best paved bike path in the state, which starts at Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.
Ashland - This city is known as an outdoor playground, but most know it for its Shakespeare Festival every summer. The town comes alive. We go for the food, parks and mountain biking close by. Surrounded by mountains it has great hiking and trail running as well.
Sisters - This is truly your hub for everything outdoors. The best camping, hiking, trail running and mountain biking are in the area. Most notably, start your exploring of Three Sisters Wilderness here.
McMinnville - Oregon's largest wine region. Come for beautiful vineyards and some wine tasting to explore what Oregon wines have to offer.
Oregon has 108 state parks. Here are our favorites.
Tumalo State Park - This state parks is home to Tumalo Falls. Just 20 minutes outside of Bend, Oregon, this 97' waterfall is a sight to see. You have hiking and mountain biking options as well.
Smith Rock State Park - One of my favorites as the hiking and trail running here are some of the best in the state. Misery Ridge is the most popular hike. On a clear day, it gives you amazing views of central Oregon. You would think this place is make for hiking but in all reality the most popular outdoor activity here is rock climbing. Known as the birthplace of sport climbing, you will see humans at some of the most popular places to climb.
Silver Falls State Park - The largest State Park in Oregon it is known for the Trail of Ten Falls.
Wallowa Lake State Park - The hub for exploring Wallowa Mountains, which is home to Eagle Cap Wilderness and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Some of favorite hiking in the state is here. It is also some of the most difficult hiking. Most love doing multi-day backcountry trips.
One Random Spot
Oregon is home to the last Blockbuster on earth. Specifically it is located in Bend. Yes, it still smells like the Blockbuster from your childhood. You can get all the movie candy, movies and swag you want.