Editor’s Note: We recently unveiled Ask Oregon, a program that allows travelers to ask “Oregon Experts” about traveling throughout the state. We’d like to introduce you to our experts and will be featuring them periodically here on the Travel Oregon Blog. To start, we’d like you to meet our Central Oregon Ambassador, Kim Cooper Findling!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Oregon?
I love the beauty, the eco-diversity and the people. If you’re in the mood for the desert, the mountains or the ocean, crowded or lonely, drippy or dry, rural or citified, Oregon offers it all. And people are just really nice and down-to-earth here. I’ve lived in Oregon my whole life and will never move away.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Oregon?
Road trip! I love to explore every corner of the state. From my home in Bend, I can head in any direction and find fabulous destinations. Of course, getting out of the car is even more rewarding than watching the incredible sights go by. I most enjoy hiking, camping, beach-combing and eating. (Drinking our incredible microbrews is pretty fun too!)

What’s the one tip you always give to visitors?
Ask a local for advice. There are so many tucked-away treasures and unexpected discoveries in Oregon. Get a tip from a resident for their local don’t miss spot – you won’t regret it.

Describe your perfect Oregon Vacation…
Despite the fact that I’ve lived in Central Oregon for 16 years, I am a beach junkie. I grew up on the Oregon Coast and that’s where my heart is. If you force me to choose ONE perfect Oregon vacation, I’ll have to direct you to the incredible Oregon Coast, Newport being my favorite coastal town. Runners-up? A weekend in downtown Portland, a Britt-Fest/Shakespeare-Fest cultural getaway to Ashland and Jacksonville, camping in Eastern Oregon, a hot springs tour of the high desert, a weekend on the magical Metolius River, a hike at majestic Smith Rock. Can we do them all? – now that would be the ideal vacation!

Have a question for Kim? Ask her here in the comments or find out other ways to contact her on our Facebook Page.

About the Author: Rhiannon West Chamberlain

Rhiannon is a native Oregonian who grew up exploring the nooks and crannies of the Oregon Coast and daydreaming in Powell’s City of Books. She now lives in NE Portland with her husband and her new baby boy and looks forward to teaching him to love Oregon as much as she does. Rhiannon attended both the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where she studied Journalism and Mass Media. She claims to ‘bleed green’ and happily cheers for both the Ducks and the Vikings every chance she gets. In her free time, Rhiannon enjoys sipping Oregon Pinot, finding new restaurants, bargain hunting and trying new recipes – sometimes successfully. She has a child-like enthusiasm for trying new things and rediscovering old ones – such as skee-ball, mini golf, and big slides.

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