silver falls

This spring, take advantage of stable gas prices and hit the Oregon road. These three scenic drives offer displays of Oregon’s brilliant spring colors, from vibrant fields of tulips to soft pink and white cherry and pear blossoms. Hurry…

Silver Falls Tour Route

Spend the day exploring the scenery to the east of Salem. This 55-mile route offers plenty of affordable stops, from a free visit to Mt. Angel Abbey and its Alvar Aalto-designed library to nearby outlet mall shopping at the Woodburn Company Stores to 40 acres of colorful tulips and daffodils at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (you’ll have to venture slightly off the tour route but it’s worth it!). If the spirit leads you northward from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, backroads through Canby and Wilsonville offer the chance to catch spring in full flower.

The route is named for Oregon’s largest state park. Stop at Silver Falls State Park for a picnic lunch and a moderate hike that takes you past ten waterfalls. Keep your eyes peeled for spring wildflowers, though you’ll have much more luck on the flower-front at nearby Oregon Garden. Hop aboard the tram to see this 80-acre oasis of color, or spend time walking through the nearly two-dozen specialty gardens on display. Why not stay over at the new Oregon Garden Resort? Enjoy dinner and a dip in the pool or hot tub before calling it a night.

Oregon Wine & Farm Tour

Explore the bounty of southern Oregon’s Rogue and Applegate valleys on the self-driving Oregon Wine & Farm Tour. Along the way, you’ll have your pick of more than two dozen delightful stops, including winery tasting rooms like the family owned Valley View Winery in Historic Jacksonville, EdenVale Winery at EdenVale Orchards in Medford and the family-owned Weisinger’s of Ashland Winery, located on a former organic fruit orchard.

Speaking of fruit orchards—there are plenty of those along the tour as well. Opened since 1908, Hillcrest Orchard is one of the oldest continually owned family orchards in the Rogue River Valley. They grow a huge variety of premium pears, which harvest in the fall. If you time it right this month, you’re likely to see acres of fluffy cloud-like pear blossoms.

Another worthwhile stop near Grants Pass is the renovated rustic barn at Pennington Farms, also family-owned, for fresh berry jams and baked goods. Later in the summer, they’ll have a variety of freshly picked berries to choose from as well.

The famous Harry & David is another fun stop. Take a tour, which provides free samples of all sorts of locally made deliciousness. How’s that for a tasty deal?

Download a driving map here:

Hood River Valley Fruit Loop Tour

Each April, more than 15,000 acres of fruit trees in Hood River Valley burst into bloom. And a great way to see this vast fluffiness is on the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop Tour. This 35-mile self-driving route takes you through the area’s many fruit orchards, wineries, farm stands and quaint communities. There are more than 30 stops in total, and it’s all just 45 minutes east of Portland. Don’t forget your camera.

Download a driving map here:

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Maureen Usher says…

    I live in Vancouver, WA. I moved here from vermont in September. My parents are visiting my husband and me from may 16-23. they are seniors, but active enough to be able to do short hikes and enjoy beautiful scenery, waterfalls, roadtrips to see things they don’t see at home. they live in the Adirondack Mountains which people travel from far reaches to experience. i am looking for a great experience for them to show off my new area!!! any suggestions would be greatly apprecated. Maureen
    [email protected]

    Written on April 8th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  2. Jae says…

    Hi, Maureen, There is no shortage of great things to do with your folks. I suggest you check out the Infinity Loop ( … start out with a bite from Tollgate Inn in Sandy, don’t miss the Wildwood Recreation site (beautiful wooden path leading through old growth forest, great interpretive signage), stop at The Villages of Mt. Hood for unique shopping, grab a microbrew in Government Camp, take a self-guided tour of historic Timberline Lodge, then head to Hood River and its art galleries, while taking advantage of farmstands along the way. Returning to Vancouver, you can take your folks to Multnomah Falls and historic Crown Point. Have so much fun!

    Written on April 8th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  3. Karen says…

    Hi – My family wants to do some serious hiking for a long weekend in Mid May – We have not done Mt. Hood. Is the Timberline Lodge open this time of year? We also like bed and breakfasts, can you recommend any in the Mt. Hood/Hood River Region. How far is Hood River from Mt. Hood? Also, what are the conditions like at Crater Lake? Still snow on the ground? Thanks. Karen

    Written on April 10th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  4. Rhiannon West says…

    Hi Karen,

    Timberline Lodge is open year round – check it out here:

    Also, you can find Mt. Hood/Hood River B&Bs here:

    Mt. Hood is about 35 miles from Hood River – about an hours drive.

    Lastly, you can check out current Crater Lake conditions here:

    Thanks! Let us know if there’s anything else we can help with!

    – Rhiannon
    Travel Oregon

    Written on April 10th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  5. Our Top Ten “Most Read” Stories for 2009 | Travel Oregon Blog says…

    [...] Road Trip! – This spring, take advantage of stable gas prices and hit the Oregon road. These three scenic drives offer displays of Oregon’s brilliant spring colors, from vibrant fields of tulips to soft pink and white cherry and pear blossoms. Hurry… (full story) [...]

    Written on December 30th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
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