Named for the vibrant John Day River flowing past its doorstep, this sleepy burg in Eastern Oregon is a heartland of natural beauty.

Hop on the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway or, for a two-wheeled exploration, the Old West Scenic Bikeway. Fossil fans dig the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Check out modern-day wildlife at the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area and Native American pictographs at Picture Gorge.