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Oregon is a coastal U.S. state in the Pacific Northwest known for its diverse landscape of forests, mountains, farms and beaches. The city of Portland is famed for its quirky, avant-garde culture and is home to iconic coffee shops, boutiques, farm-to-table restaurants and microbreweries. Highlights include the Native American art in the Portland Art Museum, the Japanese Garden and the Lan Su Chinese Garden.
Minimum wage: 9.75 USD per hour (Jul 1, 2016)
Population: 3.97 million (2014)
State bird: Western meadowlark
1. Oneonta Gorge
The Oneonta Gorge is in the Columbia River Gorge in the American state of Oregon. The U.S. Forest Service has designated it as a botanical area because of the unique aquatic and woodland plants that grow there.
This popular adventure up Oneonta Gorge is extremely unique. You can visit Oneonta Gorge any time of year, but you dare only hike up it when the water is very low, because UNLIKE ANY OTHER HIKE, you must actually walk up the river, there is no trail…. the river is the trail.
Length: .6 mile round trip up Gorge, 1.5 miles round trip to bridge
Elevation Change: 400′ gain
Season: Year Round
Permit: Pass Not Required
2. Cougar Hot Springs
Terwilliger Hot Springs, also known as Cougar Hot Springs, are geothermal pools in the Willamette National Forest in the U.S. state of Oregon, 53 miles east of Eugene. The springs drain into Rider Creek, which in turn drains into Cougar Reservoir.
Located deep beneath a canopy of primeval forest, clothing optional Cougar AKA Terwilliger Hot Springs features a chain of stair stepped pools fed by a small cave in a wooded ravine. Each of the 5 rock walled pools are slightly cooler than the other starting from 112 and ending near 90 degrees.
Cougar Hot Springs is open year-round and lies in wait at the end of an quarter mile stroll through the Willamette National Forest. Northwest Forest Passes are no longer accepted here, the only way to soak is to pay a $6/day fee or purchase a season pass for $60/year.
FYI, Cougar is closed every Thursday from 8am to 12pm for cleaning.
3. Opal Creek Wilderness
The Opal Creek Wilderness is a wilderness area located in the Willamette National Forest in the U.S. state of Oregon, on the border of the Mount Hood National Forest. It has the largest uncut watershed in Oregon.
If you wish to beat the heat during a late summer hot spell, consider an easy-to-reach getaway that offers an escape into the cool Cascade Mountain wilderness. All it takes is a simple leap of faith to find a moment in the gorgeous and refreshing pools of Opal Creek.
The 30-foot drop from the high, rocky bluff into the cold Opal Creek pool below is a draw for thrill seekers, but it’s also place shrouded and shaded by towering, ancient Douglas fir trees. When you walk among the giant trees, it feels as if someone left a freezer door open – it’s that cool – for the visitors who journey the less traveled trails into Oregon’s Opal Creek Wilderness.
4. Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls is a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, located east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
A waterfall as magnificent and memorable as any in the country is located just a 30- minute drive outside of Portland. Visiting Multnomah Falls, a 611-foot-tall roaring, awe-inspiring cascade of icy water, lets you experience the power and beauty of nature up close and with ease. From the parking area off of I-84, a 5-minute walk is all that separates you from the exhilarating spray at the base of the falls.
According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Although you can see the top portion of the falls from the highway, to view both tiers you have to walk to the viewing area located in a carved-out opening in the rock face. Tilting your head up in the narrow rocky confines of the steep cliffs, you get a mind-boggling perspective on the sheer magnitude of the falls.
5. Crater Lake National Park
With a landscape like nowhere else, Crater Lake National Park lies in the Cascade Mountains in southwestern Oregon. Intensely blue and unusually deep (1,935 feet), the lake is almost exactly circular. It is the water-filled caldera of an extinct volcano, Mount Mazama, and lava cliffs rise to heights of up to 2,000 feet around the lake. Just a short distance from the edge of the crater, Rim Drive circles the lake in a clockwise direction. It begins at Rim Village (for a total length of 33 miles), but the roadway is only accessible in warm weather months.
To explore the lake itself, head to Cleetwood Cove where cruises depart for Wizard Island.
6. Cannon Beach
A popular tourist resort, Cannon Beach is located in northwest Oregon. The beach offers a wide stretch of sand and spectacular views of jagged coastal rocks. The largest of these is known as Hay Stack Rock, thought to be one of the largest monoliths in the world. Nearby Seaside is another popular resort town, close to beaches and surf breaks. Astoria lies 20 miles north of Cannon Beach, at the mouth of the Columbia River. The town is historically important as the location of Lewis & Clark National Historic Park – a replica of the famed explorers’ Fort Clatsop. A slightly more modern relic is the military post of Fort Stevens, now a state park preserving a history spanning the Civil War through WWII.
7. Explore the mysterious tide pools at Haystack Rock.
Look closely and you’ll find a wide variety of sea anemones and starfish in all sizes and colors.
8. Washington Park, Portland
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9. Watch the epic sunset at Netarts Bay.
Local secret: Head down Netarts Bay Rd. to enjoy the sunset on the bay. After the sun goes down stop into The Schooner for a drink and fish and chips.
10. Eat Oregon’s crabs
Crabbing on the Oregon Coast is a unique experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life!
Find some crabbing pots, get out on a little dingy and get on the water. The Great Northwest is best explored on or near the water. Today and probably tomorrow you’ll be catching Dungeoness Crabs.
If you don’t have your own boat or crabbing pots they’re easy to rent. We rented ours through the Embarcadero. When crabbing use chicken or mink as bait, that way those pesky seals won’t bother you. Pro tip: The best crabs can be found in Yaquina Bay near the center slough. Make sure you don’t get beached in the low tide!
Don’t forget to measure your crabs, and only keep the big guy. You’ll help preserve marine wildlife AND you won’t get a ticket. It’s a win-win.
Cook ‘em, clean ‘em, eat ‘em.
You deserve this!
11. Get a tour of Rogue Brewers on the Bay.
Oregon is famous worldwide for its beer, and there’s no better place to learn about the process than Rogue Brewery, on Yaquina Bay. You can sample 40 beers on tap and a selection of unique pub-only and limited-edition “nano-brews.” Get a tour of the facilities for just $5, with a tasting, or $1 without.
12. Hatfield Marine Science Center
Hatfield Marine Science Center is a marine science research and education center next to Yaquina Bay of the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. state of Oregon.
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