2009-2010 Annual Oregon Vacation Guide

55+ Maps
10 Vacation Areas
100's of Places to Stay, Eat, and Play

From oceanscapes to desert vistas to snowcapped mountains dressed in fir, Oregon offers a Northwest experience like no other. The 2009-2010 edition of the Oregon Vacation Guide focuses on incredible places and exciting activities that can be enjoyed year-round. Whether your idea of a vacation includes wine-country touring, strolling around Portland’s many colorful neighborhoods, or riding the rapids on a wild river, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the multifaceted state that we call home.

Oregon Map

Portland Metro

  Southern Oregon

Willamette Valley

  Del Norte County, California

Mount Hood Territory

  South Coast

Columbia River Gorge

  Central Coast

Eastern Oregon

  North Coast

Central Oregon

  Oregon State Map


Editor’s note: The staff at Northwest Magazines has made every effort to ensure the listings in this guide are accurate and up-to-date as of press time. We welcome any additions, comments, or corrections from our readers. Send your information and suggestions to Editor, Northwest Magazines, 4969 Hwy 101, #2, Florence, OR 97439; by e-mail to feedback@nwmags.com. Cover Photo: Mt. Hood —Courtesy Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory

Portland Metro - Urban Oasis

Portland is the state’s largest city. With more than two million people living in the metro area, Portland is known for its big-city amenities, flourishing arts scene, and easy access to Oregon’s great outdoors.

Washington County is the “Country Side of Portland,” with rolling hills, beautiful vineyards, and challenging golf courses.

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Willamette Valley - Edible delights, cultural cornucopia.

In the broad, fertile Willamette Valley, rich volcanic soil supports a multitude of agricultural delights, from vineyards bursting with grapes to family farms offering organic veggies grown with tender loving care. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are ripe for the picking during the summer, and it's a common sight to see families along the roadside enjoying the luscious wild blackberries of August. More than 200 wineries dot the valley's rolling hillsides, and the area's Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris have earned the admiration, and kudos, of wine-lovers the world over.

Oregon's capital city, Salem, is located along the scenic Willamette River, and the state's flagship universities, the University of Oregon in Eugene and Oregon State University in Corvallis, are hubs for cutting-edge research. Be sure to visit Eugene's Saturday Market, a colorful extravaganza of food, handmade crafts, and counterculture that is not to be missed.

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Mt. Hood Territory - Extraordinary Possibilities

Mt. Hood is the snow-capped crown jewel of Mt. Hood Territory, a land filled with meandering rivers, trickling streams, alpine lakes, and lush forests—where outdoor recreation is the norm. If hiking or mountain biking, fishing or golfing, skiing or snowboarding gets your motor running, then Mt. Hood Territory is worth a visit.

If history is your thing, Oregon City (located at the end of the Oregon Trail) could be a starting point for a historic tour. Or take an eclectic tour combining the charm of small towns with big-city shopping at outlet malls. Pick your own fruit and flowers at U-pick farms. Spend the night at a national treasure—Timberline Lodge. It all awaits in Mt. Hood Territory in the shadow of the state’s highest mountain.

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Columbia River Gorge - Immerse Yourself

As the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled the Columbia River more than 200 years ago, they marveled at the sights around them, making detailed entries in their journals. But for thousands of years, Native American tribes had made their homes in and near the gorge, taking advantage of the lush plant life and plentiful salmon. Today’s explorers, whether traveling by train, boat, foot, or car, can also marvel at the rugged and diverse beauty of the Columbia River Gorge.

The drive along I–84 east from Portland is one of the most visually stunning in the country. The rugged, basalt canyon is studded with waterfalls, wildflowers, and expansive panoramas, all of which can be glimpsed on daytrips along the historic Columbia River Highway.

These days, the Columbia Gorge has its own wine appellation. With over a dozen wineries on the Oregon side, the growing area comprises both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, stretching from Troutdale to the Deschutes River area, is a breathtaking river canyon and the only sea-level route through the Cascades. Marking the border between Washington and Oregon, the gorge is 80 miles long, its canyon walls rising 4,000 feet above the river.

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Eastern Oregon - Western Hospitality

Eastern Oregon is called the Land of Extremes for good reason. Rimrock canyons, towering peaks, fragrant high desert, wheat farms, bubbling streams, and wide open starry skies—the east side of the state is full of surprises. Every little town hosts its own festival and rolls out the welcome mat for visitors. Take the tram to the top of the majestic Wallowa Mountains. Relish a ride on the Snake River’s rapids as it courses through the continent’s deepest canyon. Scenic byways roll past historic mining towns, wildlife refuges, and ancient lake basins, and pow wows, rodeos, and remnants of the Oregon Trail allow visitors to experience the magic of the West.

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Central Oregon - Adventurer’s Getaway

With 300 days of sunshine and cobalt-colored skies, there’s never a down season in Central Oregon. Fly-fishing on the Deschutes or Crooked rivers can take an angler from relaxed to thrilled in a matter of moments. Gliding in a canoe over the clear blue waters of a Cascade lake provides food for the soul. From skiing to snowboarding, snowshoeing to dogsledding, Central Oregon hosts a smorgasbord of winter amusements.

In recent years, the region has transformed itself into a luxurious getaway destination, with posh resorts, hip hotspots, and restaurants that have earned the praise of food critics across the nation. And the golf here is as good as it gets.

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Southern Oregon - Beauty and the Bard

Visitors to Southern Oregon may think they’ve entered a Mediterranean paradise. With warm summers and pleasantly cool winters, outdoor pursuits reign supreme. Fish-filled rivers tempt anglers from across the world, while rafters gravitate toward heart-pounding rapids. Snow-clad peaks are a magnet for powder junkies and world-class golf courses invite those seeking a challenge.

And when it’s time to slow down, the internationally acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland thrills audiences with time-tested classics and cutting-edge modern productions. Wineries tucked in scenic valleys beckon the connoisseur, and epicurean tours tempt the palate with artisan cheeses, gourmet chocolates, and plump, ripe peaches and pears.

With a myriad of ways to find vacation bliss, your only dilemma is not what to do when you get here, it’s how to fit it all in.

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Del Norte County, California - The Land of Giants

America’s Wild Rivers Coast, an area known for natural beauty on a gigantic scale, runs from southern Oregon into Northern California. From the Klamath area to the town of Smith River, see the grandeur of the redwoods, unspoiled beaches, and majestic rivers. Two major river systems—the Smith and Klamath—are renowned for their fishing. And the redwood groves of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park offer unforgettable hiking, camping, and scenery.

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South Coast - Still the Wild Coast

See the coast of yesteryear between the California line and Coos Bay, where the spectacular ocean views are unobstructed and large stretches between towns are nearly unchanged. Oregon’s southern coast is home to the unique and beautiful myrtlewood trees and to the largest expanse of sand dunes in North America.

It’s a land of superlatives: fabulous jet boat trips on the Rogue River, world-class golfing near Bandon, and great bass fishing on the big lakes between the Bay Area and Florence.

And it’s a coast of opposites, from the most pristine lands to the most populated cities. The Bay Area is home to the largest cities on the Oregon coast—Coos Bay and North Bend flow seamlessly together and support medical facilities, a municipal airport, an indoor shopping mall, a community college, a culinary institute, a casino, and many cultural venues. Whether its fishing, golfing, or just getting away, you’ll find it here.

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Central Coast - Spectacular Scenery

Between Florence and Lincoln City lies the spectacular central Oregon coast, blessed with long, sandy beaches, massive headlands, and picturesque lighthouses. This part of the coast boasts numerous lodgings with dramatic ocean views. Its towns, located 10 to 20 miles apart, provide a marvelous selection of places to stay and eat, ranging from economical to elegant.

Many visitors came to Florence, Newport, Depoe Bay, and Lincoln City as children and now return with their own children. They come to Florence to play in the dunes, Newport to see the world-class Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, Depoe Bay for whale watching, and Lincoln City to fly kites at the D River Wayside. Of course, these are only a few of the many activities and sights available.

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North Coast - Of Headlands and History

Between the Three Capes Loop and the Columbia River is a land of rugged headlands and wonderful beaches. This area is home to Oregon’s newest national park as well as a scenic 38-mile alternate route to Hwy 101, some famous cheeses, and three fascinating towns.

What a land of diversity! The Three Capes Loop scenic drive passes spectacular Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda. Back on 101, it’s farm country around Tillamook with its famous Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Then the northern Oregon coast culminates in three distinctive towns: Cannon Beach, Oregon’s answer to California’s Carmel; Seaside, a classic coastal resort town; and Astoria, the oldest settlement this side of the Rockies. And this northernmost segment of the coast is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. Something for everyone, from history buffs to cheeseheads.

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Oregon State Map

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