California is pretty dang amazing. Florida has so many beautiful beaches and Disney World of course! Charleston is full of historic charm. Utah is absolutely breathtaking. New York City is chic, hip and exciting. But Oregon… I am obsessed. My husband told me I should be their official head of tourism. I mean, they only use paper bags and they pump your gas for you?!? What else do you need in life???
Almost six years ago, a friend who I’d met from a mutual love for the Twilight series, invited me cross country to do a “book tour” of the hot spots from the series. I had never been to the West Coast at the time so I was super excited for this new experience. After this first trip to Washington State, I started to fall in love with the Pacific Northwest. From this trip, we realized that although the books were based around Forks, Washington, the movies were actually filmed in and around Portland, Oregon. So naturally, we just HAD to book a second trip back to the West Coast to visit Oregon. We did and I became hooked. So you’re not a Twilight fanatic? Don’t worry, this is simply what brought me to Oregon so keep reading…
Once we arrived in Oregon that second trip, we were mesmerized. From the national forests to the mountains, rocky beaches, waterfalls and rivers, Oregon is hands down the most beautiful state I have ever visited. Where else can you go from snowy mountain top to the second highest waterfall in the United States to the beach all in one day? So five trips later, I have found my faves in and around the Portland area and have dragged most of my friends and family to my favorite state. Over the weekend, I was finally able to get away with my hubby and have a quick little visit to the area. So, here’s my round up of the TOP 10 REASONS YOU MUST ADD OREGON TO YOUR BUCKET LIST! Oh and below you’ll find a compilation of pictures from all of my visits over the last five years. And yes, every spot on this list is within a 1.5-2 hour radius around Portland, Oregon. Crazy, huh?
10. Twilight Tour-
Okay, I know what you are thinking but this IS what brought me to Oregon so it had to at least make it to #10 on my list! Here’s a sneak peek of what you can find in this beautiful state from the movie series…
“Forks” High School
(Image Via: tonicgossip.com)
Kalama High School- 548 China Garden Rd, Kalama, WA 98625 (right over the Oregon border)
The Cullen House
(Image Via: beenseen.com)
The Cullen House- 3333 NW Quimby Street, Portland, Oregon
(Image Via: pinterest.com)
Bella’s House- 184 S 6th St, Saint Helens, OR
Parking Lot, Alley and Thunderbird & Whale Bookstore
(Image Via: reelz.com)
Parking Lot, Alley and Thunderbird & Whale Bookstore- 260 S 2nd St, Saint Helens, OR
Lion/Lamb Woods Scene
(Image Via: twilight guide.com)
The Stone Cliff Inn- 17900 S. Clackamas River Drive, Oregon City, OR
9. Ecola State Park-
Located about two hours west of Portland on the coast of Oregon is the absolutely breathtaking Ecola State Park. From elk sightings to starfish and the most amazingly lush forest you’ve ever seen, Ecola is an absolute must see! Oh and if you’ve never seen a West Coast sunset, this is the place to be.
(Above Images Via: flickr.com)
8. Lake Trillium
At the base of Mt. Hood, Lake Trillium offers the most incredible reflections of Mt. Hood as well as fishing, camping and canoeing.
7. The Passion
Taking a break from the amazing scenery for a second, one thing I love most about Oregon is the PASSION. From nature to biking to the environment and the arts, Oregonians are super duper passionate about making Oregon one of a kind. As a designer, this drive to keep things beautiful is one thing that continuously draws me back to this state. From things as simple as organized recycling everywhere you stop to bike and walking paths on every street as well as impeccably maintained parks, streets and neighborhoods, the love for Oregon is contagious. I love the comparative lack of chain stores, the abundance of boutique stores and art galleries as well as trees and nature incorporated into roads and bridges even in Downtown Portland.
6. Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses over 250,000 acres spanning across the northern Oregon and southern Washington border. The best viewing point of the River Gorge in my opinion is the Vista House/Crown Point observatory located in Multnomah County, Oregon.
(Image Via: traveloregon.com)
(Image Via: just1stepaway.wordpress.com)
5. Multnomah Falls
Just over the river and through the woods from the Vista House is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States, Multnomah Falls. Climbing over 620 feet, the Falls are absolutely stunning with year round beauty. It’s a short .2 mile walk to the bridge and worth every second. There’s also a gift shop and restaurant at the base of the falls that are a nice little spot to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the views!
(Image Via: amazingplacesonearth.com)
(Image Via: culturaloregon.com)
4. Mt. Hood
Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano located in northern Oregon over 11,000 feet high. With an almost year-round snow capped peak, it is beautiful and visible from most everywhere in the Portland and surrounding areas. A drive to the top is worth every second and riding the scenic Magic Mile ski lift is an Oregon must!
(Image Via: flickriver.com)
3. The Food!
If there’s one consistent theme among Portland visitors I’ve spoken with, it’s that Portland is the meca for amazing food! I have never seen so many unique and funky as well as farm to table style restaurants that have a true passion for good food. Here are some of my faves…
Voodoo Doughnuts is a true Portland landmark. And yes, we waited in line in the middle of the day for doughnuts!
Stumpground Coffee and the Ace Hotel
Food Trucks- Mark was in absolute food truck heaven!
Portland City Grill- located on the 30th floor, the views speak for themselves!
2. Oregon Wine Country
With two trips to Napa and Sonoma over the last couple of years, Mark and I decided to expand our winery travels into Oregon Wine Country over the weekend. With the grapes ripe, the views stunning and the wine amazing, I have to say that Oregon definitely gives Napa a run for their money!
(Image Via: fineartamerica.com)
1. Pacific City
This is by far my favorite spot in the entire United States and I am pretty sure that pictures speak louder than words…
(Warning: some of these images were taken outside of “DANGER: Do Not Cross” fencing that I absolutely do not condone crossing if you visit my Oregon Hot List. It is very steep and dangerous.)
(Image Via: alexmoody.com)
(Image Via: pinterest.com)
(Image Via: pinterest.com)
XOXO, Brittany Hayes