Oregon Day Trips

Columbia River Gorge

The picturesque Columbia River Gorge is a river canyon that separates Oregon and Washington states. It is 80 miles in length and in some areas the black basalt cliffs are up to 4,000 feet deep. It is one of the most scenic naturally preserved areas in the United States. There are 77 waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Gorge including Multnomah Falls, the second-highest year-round waterfall in the U.S. Hiking, mountain biking, and wind-surfing are popular sports that are enjoyed in the Columbia River Gorge.

Multnomah Falls

Located 30 miles east of Portland on Larch Mountain, Multnomah Falls is one of the most spectacular sights in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. A hiking trail leads across Benson Bridge, which is located between the upper and lower falls. In winter, the frozen waterfall is breathtakingly beautiful. Built in 1925, Multnomah Falls Lodge is a day lodge only, which offers a full-service restaurant serving Northwest cuisine as well as a lounge and bar, snack bar, and a gift shop.

Wine Tasting Tours

Home of Oregon’s Famous Pinot Noir

Just southwest of Portland lies Washington and Yamhill Counties in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, boasting more than 100 wineries and 9,000 acres of vineyards. The mild climate in this part of the Willamette Valley is often compared to the Burgandy region of France and the area is recognized for producing some of the best Pinot noir in the world.

Directory of Wineries

Many of the vineyards have wine-tasting rooms and tours available for their customers. Below is a list of some of the most popular wineries in the Willamette Valley:

Cooper Mountain Vineyards
9480 SW Grabhorn Road
Beaverton, OR 97007

Eola Hills Wine Cellars
501 S Pacific Highway 99W
Rickreall, OR 97371

Helvetia Vineyards
22485 NW Yungen Road
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Laurel Ridge Winery
13301 NE Kuehne Road
Carlton, OR 97111

Montinore Estate
3663 SW Dilley Road
Forest Grove, OR 97116

Oak Knoll Winery
29700 SW Burkhalter Road
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Ponzi Vineyards
14665 SW Winery Lane
Beaverton, OR 97007

Rex Hill Vineyards
30835 N Highway 99W
Newberg, OR 97132

Sokol Blosser Winery
5000 Sokol Blosser Lane
PO Box 399
Dundee, OR 97115

Yamhill Valley Vineyards
16250 SW Oldsville Road
McMinnville, OR 97128

Oregon Beach Towns Near Portland

The majority of north Oregon coast beaches are within a two-hour drive of Portland. The spectacular coastline has much to offer its visitors – breathtaking views of unspoiled beaches, sand dunes, and rocky cliffs and miles of nature and hiking trails. Although the north coast waters are too cold for most people to swim, wet-suit surfing is a popular sport on some beaches.

Seaside Beach

Seaside is the favorite beach destination for many locals. This popular family-friendly town features a promenade and boardwalk along the beach. The downtown streets are lined with clothing shops, candy stores, arcades, and the usual coastal trinket shops.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a more upscale version of Seaside with boutiques, art galleries, coffee shops, and restaurants featuring fresh seafood lining both sides of the main street. Cannon Beach is also home to Haystack Rock – one of the largest monoliths in the world.

Lincoln City

Lincoln City is known as one of the top kite-flying destinations in the world. Thousands of people come to this seaside town to watch the gray whales migrate in early spring and again in fall and early winter. Other favorite pastimes are beach-combing, deep-sea fishing, antiquing, and shopping at the Tanger Outlet Mall.

Drive to Mount St Helens

On a clear day, a drive to Mt. St. Helens makes a great day trip from Portland. The snow-covered Mt. St. Helens looks like a giant ice-cream cone in the distant sky.

The famous volcano erupted on May 18, 1980, and remnants of the devastation can still be seen twenty-five years later. Although wildlife has returned to the area and trees and flowers are growing anew, many tree stumps and broken trees remain as a reminder.

Since September 2004, after years of no activity, Mt. St. Helens is rumbling to life again, with small earthquakes and dome-building activity. On occasion, the mountain spews clouds of ash and steam into the air, and brings tourists to the viewpoints hoping to catch the mountain “letting off steam”.

The best view of the crater can be seen at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, a 2 ½ hour drive from Portland on State Route 504. This is the closest viewpoint – just 5 ½ miles from the crater!

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