: Bandon Beach Ride by Dylan VanWeelden

52 Oregon Adventures in 2018

Get your travel inspiration in time for National Plan for Vacation Day.
December 21, 2017

Resolve to make 2018 your best year yet.

We’re here to help, with 52 trip ideas for the 52 weeks of the year. And there’s something for every type of mood. You might be interested in a cozy mountain getaway or maybe you’d rather camp under the stars. Commemorate the 175th anniversary of the historic Oregon Trail or celebrate the latest culinary craze at a food festival. Unleash your inner cowboy at a rodeo or find peace on a river paddle. Go deep underground in a complex cave system or swing through the trees at a zip line park. Better yet, do them all.

January 30, 2018 is National Plan for Vacation Day — your opportunity to start the year right. Studies show that simply anticipating vacation contributes to a boost in happiness and those who plan are more likely to use their days off. So you have every reason to make our trip ideas your own.

Oregon has an adventure waiting for you every week of the year. Look at our list and start making plans:

Crater Lake by Tyler Roemer

1. Check off as many of the Oregon Coast’s 11 historic lighthouses as you can.

2. Hike the Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park as it weaves behind roaring cascades.

3. Slide down snowy hills covered in LED lights and lasers at Skibowl’s Cosmic Tubing experience.

4. Train your dog to hunt for truffles with help from the Oregon Truffle Festival (or just train your palate).

5. Snowshoe or cross-country ski Crater Lake, then go birding in Klamath Falls, home to the largest wintering concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

6. Visit the otherworldly Painted Hills during cooler weather, when moisture causes the colors to pop, and nearby attractions are near-empty.

7. Fat bike along massive sea stacks and epic coastal views on the Bandon Beach Ride.

8. Learn lesser-known state history at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, where new exhibits include Oregon’s Civil Rights Years and 50 Years of KBOO.

Sokol Blosser Hyland Vineyard by Carolyn Wells-Kramer
Advertisements

9. Explore the mystique of Oregon’s ghost towns, once thriving communities now relics of the Old West.

10. Join a Tai Chi session at Lan Su Garden in Portland, then learn about classical Chinese poetry and calligraphy in the teahouse or play a game of Wei Chi, an ancient board game.

11. Keep your eyes peeled at the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay for the migration of thousands of gray whales.

12. Hit the slopes in sunny weather with Oregon spring skiing, thanks to some of the longest ski seasons in North America.

13. Attend the world-famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. This year’s lineup includes Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and more.

14. Find your new favorite farm along the Hood River County Fruit Loop when the blossoms are in bloom. 

15. Challenge yourself and train to summit Mt. Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon at 11,250 feet (3,429 meters).

16. Ride one of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways, like the new Sherars Falls Scenic Bikeway, which weaves through a high-desert landscape along the Deschutes and White rivers.

17. Take a car-free trip to the Lincoln City and look for Finders Keepers’ glass floats hidden along the beaches in town.

18. Sip special pours and tour the vineyard at one of the many Oregon Wine Month celebrations.

19. Track down famous filming locations in Astoria (maps at the Oregon Film Museum), then toss a paper airplane off the iconic Astoria Column.

20. Bring your cowboy boots along on an authentic guest ranch experience.

21. Take a designated Oregon Scenic Byway, like the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway, stretching between the Columbia and Snake rivers.

National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City

22. Commemorate the 175th anniversary of the historic Oregon Trail.

23. Eat a farm-to-table dinner in the very field or vineyard where the ingredients were grown.

24. Practice your balance and try stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga on the Columbia River near The Dalles.

25. Paddle through whitewater rapids on the scenic Rogue River — or join a jet boat tour if that’s more your speed.

26. Unleash your inner cowboy (“yeehaw!”) at a famous Oregon rodeo.

27. Walk under Oregon’s towering ancient redwood trees — some up to 800 years old — along the Chetco River in Brookings.

28. Travel by rail, tram or llama in the Wallowa Mountains, known as Oregon’s “Little Switzerland.”

29. Ride the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler from Portland to the Gorge, listening to the captain’s historic tales along the way.

30. Dig for Oregon’s dazzling state gem at the public Spectrum Sunstone Mine near Plush.

31. Sing along and dance at show at the outdoor Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend.

32. Camp under a sparkling sky at one of Oregon’s prime stargazing spots.

33. Go deep underground in Oregon’s cool cave systems.

34. Swing through the trees on the zip lines at Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston.

Crosswater golf course by Sunriver Resort

35. Eat to your heart’s content (and then some more) at Feast Portland.

36. Soak in the tranquil hot springs of southeastern Oregon and let your troubles steam away.

37. Ogle at geological wonders in the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals in Hillsboro — including meteorites, petrified wood and the famed “Alma Rose” rhodochrosite.

38. Admire brilliant reds and golds at the fall foliage hot spots around the state.

39. Pedal past lava rock, waterfalls and old-growth forests on the McKenzie River Trail.

40. Look for ghosts at one of Oregon’s “haunted” spots and learn how they got their spooky reputations.

41. Check off your trail bucket list with a hiking tour of the Oregon Coast, from Ecola State Park to the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.

42. Step inside Howard Hughes’ famous Spruce Goose — the largest wooden airplane ever constructed — at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, also home to a waterpark and a movie theater.

43. Golf where the professionals played at one of the championship courses in Sisters, Sunriver and Bend.

44. Rent an electric vehicle, find a designated driver and visit some of the 20 Plug + Pinot wineries that have EV charging stations.

45.  Sleep with the sharks and get kisses from a sea lion at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.

46. Celebrate harvest season and taste the flavors of Hood River Valley’s cider scene.

47. Spend the night in a coveted fire lookout (and make your reservations well in advance).

North Umpqua River by Tyler Roemer

48. Take a ride in the Oregon City Municipal Elevator, the only “vertical street” in North America.

49. Cast a line in the North Umpqua River, known for its prime steelhead fly fishing spots.

50. Plan a cozy mountain getaway at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort with the family.

51. Taste beers along the Bend Ale Trail with stops at Immersion’s Brew-It-Yourself program and Worthy’s new Hopservatory.

52. Spend the evening in Baker City’s winter wonderland, complete with horse-drawn sleighs.

About The
Author

Trip Ideas

  • Cool Season Adventures
    Ready to trade the humdrum for some fresh thrills? Take an ambitious tour through all seven regions of Oregon to see everything that makes the cooler months so cool. But you don’t have to do... More
  • Train to Summit Mt. Hood
    One day each June, a group of climbers emerge from Timberline Lodge in the middle of the night, load up with head lamps, ice axes, crampons, harnesses and backpacks, and begin their careful ascent up... More