The Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum celebrates the various ethnic cultures that merged in this area — Native American, Basque, European, Hispanic and Japanese.
Situated in what locals call Treasure Valley, Ontario is seriously beautiful road bike country. (Photo credit: Dennis Frates)

There’s a town they call Ontario, and it’s not the one in the Neil Young song. Oregon’s Ontario, at the state’s eastern edge, is the gateway to arid desert beauty, stunning river canyons and towering mountain ranges. Any time of year, but especially in winter, this little town of 11,000 is a great sunny destination.

Breakfast, beer and burritos buenos: Start your day at Jolts & Juice Company in historic downtown Ontario. Enjoy a cup of freshly roasted Jack Henry Coffee and take in the quirky décor. Fruit smoothies, breakfast paninis and pastries round out the breakfast menu. Lunch options include soup, sandwiches and salads. Craft beer from nano-brewery Tandem Brewing is made onsite. Tacos Mi Ranchito, another local favorite, offers a host of freshly made Mexican specialties — shrimp tacos, chimichangas and a burrito in a bowl.

Two-wheeled treasure: Situated in what locals call Treasure Valley, Ontario is seriously beautiful road bike country. Sunny days, light traffic and scenic back roads make for excellent touring. Check in with the folks at Eastern Oregon Cycles to get recommendations on local rides. Get your own wheels spinning at the Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger on June 18, 2016. The 100-mile, 50-mile and family rides all begin in the lovely old downtown and wind through the beauty of the high desert countryside. The ride benefits the Oregon Food Bank. Read more about the Great Owyhee on Ride Oregon Ride.

Cultural connection: Make time for the Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum. Named for the geographic convergence of the Snake, Malhuer, Owyhee and Payette rivers, the museum celebrates the various ethnic cultures that merged in the landscape — Native American, Basque, European, Hispanic and Japanese. The center includes a museum, gallery, Japanese Garden and theater. The annual America’s Global Village Festival takes place June 4, 2016 and celebrates 10 different cultures with food, arts and crafts, cultural demonstrations and kids activities.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

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 tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Gayle Ernst-Brown says…

    If you are in Ontario Monday-Saturday you must stop at Burger West on SW 4th Ave. They have the best drive-in food, especially the Ranch Hand! Bring cash because they don’t accept credit/debit cards!

    Written on February 5th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
  2. rich clarke says…

    never thought of visiting Ontario this tie of year. will take a road trip later this month thanks for the idea

    Written on February 5th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
  3. Ontario Community Library says…

    We are located at 388 SW 2nd Ave. 541-889-6371. We have absolutely the best library in the world! Free Wi-Fi, guest computers, printing available and it all comes with friendly service. We have great information for the August 2017 solar eclipse. Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Ontario-Community- Library-401737883229736/ or visit our website at http://www.ontariolibrarydistrict.org

    Written on March 8th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
Win a Pendleton Blanket


Subscribe to the Travel Oregon email newsletter and be entered to win a commemorative Crater Lake Pendleton Blanket.

Click here for terms and conditions.

You're almost there!
Click the link in the email we just sent you to confirm your subscription.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.