National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
You cant talk about Oregon without mentioning the Oregon Trail.
More than 300,000 settlers took a journey across its dusty roads and rivers, and many of them perished along the way.
The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center honors their lives and memories.
It isnt just a museum filled with exhibits it brings the past to life with everything from workshops to living history demonstrations.
Visitors can watch films, listen to guest speakers, examine wagon replicas and look at carefully preserved artifacts from the 1800s.
If they want to stretch their legs, they can also go outside and hike on several nature trails with beautiful mountain views.
Does this sound like something that you and your family would like?
The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is one of the finest Oregon attractions for history buffs, so if youre fascinated by wagons, bonnets and axes, book your ticket today.
Address: 22267 OR-86, Baker City, OR 97814, United States
Visit Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is truly awe-inspiring and is the deepest lake in the entire United States. Crater Lake formed when an eruption triggered the collapse of what was a tall peak over 7,700 years ago. This natural wonder, its deep blue waters and location atop the Cascade Mountain Range offer spectators, artists, and photographers alike ample opportunity within its park boundaries.
Hike Out To The Blue Pool
Oregons Tamolitch Falls which is also famously known as the Blue Pool, is a popular summer destination for hikers and is a top Oregon bucket list item for tourists traveling through Oregon.
The Blue Pools turquoise waters are so vibrant and clear it almost doesnt seem real. The water is so clear that most people assume the pool to be only around five feet deep, however the pool is actually around 30 feet deep in most spots.
The glass-like pond sits around 38 degrees on average and is so cold that you could go into hypthermic shock immediately if you were to submerge yourself. This is why it is discouraged that you swim here.
To reach Tamolitch Blue Pool you need to hike two miles along the McKenzie River Trail.
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Visit The Oregon Coast
Astoria Oregon is the oldest town west of the Rockies, Astoria is chock-full of history, art, and craft beverages. Historically a fishing town, it lies on the edge of the Columbia River right where it meets the Pacific Ocean. The bar, known as The Graveyard of The Pacific is so notorious that a licensed bar pilot has to navigate boats across it and the T.V. show Ghost Adventures has an entire episode dedicated to it Named the 2nd drunkest city in Oregon thanks to their unusually high number of bars per capita, they have a great selection of craft breweries you wont want to miss.
Newport Oregon is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and is one of the most popular aquariums in the state. Hosting unique, interactive exhibits this place is usually packed with families and visitors alike. Also home to two of Oregons most prominent historical lighthouses, there is no shortage of Instagram worthy photo-ops here. Newer additions to the area include OMSIs Coastal Discovery Center or Ripleys Believe It Or Not museum and wax figure display. Complete with over 80 restaurants in its 11 sq miles of land, they have enough culinary and beverage diversity to accommodate most, if not all, palettes.
Unique Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest In 2022
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The Pacific Northwest is one of the best scenic places in the country, so its no surprise that numerous people plan a road trip to the Pacific Northwest year after year. Whether youre exploring Idaho, Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia, there are so many things to do in the Pacific Northwest.
Ive lived in Seattle for decades and have checked off a good number of items off my bucket list for Washington, but have also started creating a list of the best places to visit in the Pacific Northwest. I tried to include a variety from each region so you can get a sense of what those areas have to offer.
Take notes on this post and write down where all the fun things to do in the Pacific Northwest you might want to do all of these activities after reading through the list!
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Discover The Best Things To Do In Bend Oregon In The Summer With Nice Weather Comes Scenic Landscapes Craft Beer And An Abundance Of Adrenaline
If you read my last post about Bend, youll know that its a bustling mountainous craft beer city in Oregon. But fantastic craft beer aside, its also a wonderful place to explore that is known for its adventure activities and beautiful scenery, no matter the season.
The visitor center in Bend uses the tagline: Bend, Oregon. Its where you go to play!, and I couldnt agree more. The list of things to do in Bend, Oregon is endless.
Whereas Ashland is centered on theatre and has a slightly older crowd, Eugene is made up of students and hippies, and Portland with the fashionable hipsters, Bend felt like the place people go to have adventures.
From the moment I drove through the little downtown area, I could tell it was a laid-back, gregarious, and fun place to explore.
I visited Bend for just two nights and three days at the height of their busy summer season which is, in my opinion, the best time to visit Bend, Oregon. This post is going to cover summer things to do in Bend specifically, but the place is also known for versatile winter activities as well and a penchant for snow-based things.
In fact, Bends wintertime and skiing activities started in the early 20th century with the influx of Norwegian and Swedish immigrants who worked in the local timber mills. These Scandinavian immigrants made both alpine and cross-country skiing staple activities in Bends winter culture. Bend actually has the highest skiable elevation in the Northwest!
Places To Visit In Oregon In Summer
There are so many places to visit in Oregon in summer months.
Summer in Oregon does not really start until the month of July and runs through September.
Average summer temperatures in Oregon are a high of 80 (it may reach 100 degrees once or twice. Night temperatures are the best as they drop down to the low 60s after the sun has set.
If you are looking to explore the coastline of Oregon, hike some trails, check out lakes, , and enjoy the beach towns.
Start your Oregon bucket list now. There are so many cool attractions and places to visit in Oregon, especially in the summer.
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Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
In the extreme northeast of the state, Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the United States and marks the Idaho border. This protected area within Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is largely inaccessible, but for the adventurous, it offers lengthy outdoor excursions like rafting and backpacking trips. Other popular activities include nature photography, wildlife spotting, and fishing.
The Wild and Scenic Snake River runs at the bottom of the canyon and is popular for whitewater boating. For those traveling by car, the Hells Canyon National Scenic Byway departs from Baker City and La Grande, with side trips to Hells Canyon Dam and viewpoints.
The Western Rim National Recreation Trail traverses a long ridgetop on the Oregon side of the canyon and provides great views for hikers and backpackers.
Zip Through The Trees Or Have A Tree To Tree Adventure
Crater Lake Zip Lines
Crater Lake Zip Linesisnt actually at Crater Lake, but its close. This forested park offers a 2-4 hour zipline tour for those who love adventure, and a kids zipline course for children who are just getting started on ziplines or who arent yet old enough to go on a full zip line tour.
Salishan Aerial Park
Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure
One of the things that makes Rogue Valley Ziplines different from others in Oregon is the replica gold mining town where you start your adventure. From there youll head out on a three hour zipline tour in this gorgeous setting.
Tree To Tree Adventure Park
Tree To Tree Adventure Park is focused on giving people an awesome aerial park experience.
While they do have a zip line tour, one of our favorite things about Tree To Tree is the aerial course.
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Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls State Park By Extreme Oregon
If youve never been to Silver Falls State Park then youre missing out. Maybe you just dont want to walk behind a 177 foot waterfall, enjoy the lush forested scenery, swim in blissfully cool waters, or take a hike around the moderate 7.2 mile Trail of Ten Falls. While it can be crowded in the warm months, this is an ideal place to get out and just enjoy nature. There are also camp sites, picnic areas, and horseshoe pits. If youre in the area and looking for a good place to stay outside the park, Camp Dakota is like summer camp for adults with paintballing, zip lines, tomahawk throwing, a warrior challenge course, yurts, and more. Camp Dakota is about 35 minutes away from Silver Falls State Park.
Run Up And Down The Oregon Sand Dunes
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world.
The stark mist-shrouded views of the dunes, forests, and ocean in such close proximity to one another are rare and hauntingly beautiful.
The Oregon Dunes stretch approximately 40 miles north of the Coos River in North Bend to the Siuslaw River in Florence.
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Explore The Yakima Valley
Yakima is a city located in central Washington, on the Eastern side of Mountain Rainier National Park. If youre traveling from Seattle, its only a 2.5-hour drive to reach this beautiful part of the state.
Most people visit Yakima due to its beautiful valley surroundings. Here you will find plenty of fun things to do in the Pacific Northwest as well as many wine farms, breweries, and apple orchards. Its a great place to recharge and experience a part of the Northwest United States that many people forget about.
Willamette Heritage Center At The Mill Salem
Willamette Heritage Center | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Within the Willamette Valley, the city of Salem is the state capitol of Oregon. You’ll find historic theaters, family-favorite carousels, and an Enchanted Forest in this city with a resident population of approximately 170,000. Other top attractions of Salem include Riverfront City Park, the State Capitol building, and the Willamette Heritage Center.
Spread over five acres, the Willamette Heritage Center centers on the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill dating to 1895. Alongside the large red structure, other historic wooden buildings are brought to life by exhibits and interpretive guides. The Heritage Center gives a look at the life and industrialization of the Willamette Valley in the late 1800s.
Address: 1313 Mill Street Southeast, Salem, Oregon
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Soak In The Paulina Lake Hot Springs
Visiting hot springs in the summer may sound like an uncomfortable time, but these ones are the perfect summer time hot springs! The Paulina Lake Hot Spring are right on the shoreline of Paulina Lake and are self regulated to meet the users preferred temps!
If the waters too hot, then dig out the rocks and allow more lake water in. If its too cold, then build a rock barrier to keep the lake water out! Being literally right on the shore of the lake also makes an easy dip in the cooler water to cool down and refresh yourself!
Park in the day use area of Paulina Lake near Little Crater Campground, then walk the nearly two miles to the hot springs on a trail bordering the lake with very little elevation.
**The trail to the hot springs used to start from the far side of Little Crater Campground, however, they have recently closed that parking lot and are now making visitors park at the boat launch area and walk through the entire campground. This changes the hike from the 1.2 mile distance youll find all over the internet to 1.9 miles one-way.
River Rafting & Riding The Rapids
Riding the rapids was by far the highlight for my gang. Out of all of the wonderful things we did during the week, this was everyones favorite. It was also the most expensive thing we did.
We have now enjoyed river rafting with both the Sun Country Tours, and Seventh Mountain , as it was the most affordable. Its 1.25 hours on the river, and the drive there and back .
If you are in Sunriver, the Sun Country Tour is the most convenient , but Sun Mountain was by far the most affordable . That was the most affordable option for river rafting I was able to find in the area. If you are able to do a splurge event, we all thought this one was worth it! We did an early evening ride in both late June and August, and the kids floated much of the river after we got through the rapids as it was plenty warm that time of the year.
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Hike Mountain Bike Or Rock Climb At Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park is the best place near Redmond, Oregon to adventure in the great outdoors. The stunning river canyon is lined with cathedral-like rock walls. Home to thousands of rock climbing routes, experienced climbers can scale the cliffs independently, or you can hire a climbing guide who will provide all the necessary gear and coaching.
Miles of trails can be conquered by foot, mountain bike, or even by horse. Follow the flat riverside trail around the rock formations, or summit Misery Ridge for a spectacular view from the cliffs.
Biking Trails In Summer Lake
Summer Lake, Oregon, and the surrounding area are littered with biking trails, with the rocky and mountainous terrain offering some exciting riding opportunities.
Chewaucan River Loop The Chewaucan River Loop is rated as an intermediate bike trail, and covers 56.9km. This ride offers some stunning 360-degree views, and on clear days you may be able to see as far as 100 miles in all directions when you reach the top of Morgan Butte.
The area is mainly open, with sparse forest and very few crowds. It is a fun, backcountry single track that is great if you are looking for a route that is a little off the beaten path.
Your first 1-.5 miles are on pavement therefore, it is mostly flat before you start to gain elevation on a gravel track. Overall there is about a 2500ft elevation gain to the top of Morgan Butte, but then the fun begins as you roll through the meadows of pine needles back to the bottom.
Mazama Trail The intermediate Mazama Blowout Trail begins with a long climb to the summit of Yamsay Mountain. It then descends through the interesting fallout zone of the Crater Lake eruption, ensuring an exciting ride. Some of the trip is through sparse and open forests, ending in the small town of Chemult.
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Three Capes Scenic Loop
The Oregon Coast is famous for its scenic driving trails.
Not only does the topography change from beaches to forests to mountains, but there are also all kinds of attractions in the form of parks, lighthouses, landmarks, monuments and observation decks.
The Three Capes Scenic Loop is just one of the driving routes that you can find along the coast, but its among the best.
It has breathtaking views of both land and sea, and since it stretches for a good 50 miles along the ocean, youll have your pick of detours as well.
If you get hungry, stop at a local seafood bar and order a shrimp platter.
If you want to stretch your legs, pull over at one of the beaches for a long amble through the sand.
Scenic drives are a great way to enjoy the wonders of nature without having to sacrifice snacks and air conditioning.
If youre interested, fill up the tank and get started on the Three Capes Scenic Loop.
Experience A Spooky Idaho Ghost Town
Central Idaho has quite a few ghost towns lining its barren landscape, so youll want to add this to your list of things to do in the Pacific Northwest if you like visiting places like this. One of the most noteworthy stops is the Bayhorse Ghost Town found in the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park.
This once-thriving mining town was abandoned in 1915 after the silver vein became unproductive. Nowadays, tourists visit the area to travel back in time to an era long forgotten.
There are some unique attractions still standing, like the kilns used to make charcoal and the old mill standing at the top of the hill. There are plenty of information boards scattered around to help guide you along.
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