Top 10 Awesome and Unique Attractions in Oregon

oregon attractions

The Oregon tourism industry is booming, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

What brings so many people to this great state? For many, it’s the variety of amazing indoor and outdoor attractions that folks of all ages can appreciate.

If you have a trip to Oregon coming up soon, be sure to hit up these ten great Oregon Attractions during your visit.

1. Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is one of Oregon’s most popular and eye-catching attractions.

The lake is almost perfectly circular in shape, and it is actually the water-filled caldera of Mount Mazama, an extinct volcano.

Located in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park allows you to easily circle and explore the lake and take in the incredible views.

You can also take a short cruise from Cleetwood Cove to Wizard Island to view the lake from a different perspective.

2. Cannon Beach

The Oregon coast is filled with beautiful beaches, and one of the best is Cannon Beach, which is located in northwest Oregon.

Cannon Beach provides tourists with beautiful views of coastal rocks. You can even spot Hay Stack Rock from the shores of Cannon Beach. Hay Stack Rok is one of the world’s largest monoliths.

Cannon Beach is also located close to the resort towns of Seaside and Astoria.

3. Mount Hood National Forest

At 11,239 feet, Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest peak. It’s a great place for skiing, hiking, and taking in incredible views from the Mount Hood Scenic Loop.

Mount Hood National Forest is also home to a variety of waterfalls and hot springs.

There’s something here for everyone, whether you want to explore deep into the forests or simply rest and relax in the great outdoors.

4. Oregon Caves National Monument

Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve gives you guided access to its amazing marble caves.

There are three different guided cave tours you can take here. During each of them, you’ll get to explore the wide range of subterranean stairs and passageways that make up the cave system.

If caving isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There are plenty of above-ground hiking trails that take you through the forests of the Siskiyou Mountains.

5. Steelhead Falls

If you’re interested in hiking during your Oregon trip, Steelhead Falls ought to be at the top of your list.

This used to be a hidden hiking trail, but it’s become much more popular over the last few years. It’s even earned a place on the list of best day hikes in central Oregon.

The one-mile round trip hike will lead you into the Deschutes Canyon, where you’ll experience rocky shores and be able to get a close look at incredible canyon walls. You’ll even be able to view petroglyphs if you look carefully!

Steelhead Falls also provides plenty of areas to swim and cool off on hot days. For those who like a little more adventure in their lives, there are also places designated for cliff jumping and cliff diving.

6. Oregon Shakespeare Festival

There’s clearly plenty of options in Oregon for those who want to explore the great outdoors. But, if you’re not much of an outdoorsman (or woman) you’ll still find lots to do in this great state.

If you visit sometime between mid-February and October, for example, you’ll be able to visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

This world-famous festival gives you the opportunity to enjoy a variety of classic and contemporary plays. You can also take backstages tours, attend talks, classes, workshops, and lectures.

If you need a break from the festival, take a look around Ashland and enjoy tons of local restaurants and shopping opportunities.

7. Oregon Coast Aquarium

Another fun indoor activity is the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Located in Newport, this 23-acre features four large exhibits.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is open year round, and it hosts a wide range of tours, encounters, field trips, and visitor trips. You can even take private tours and experience up-close interactions with a variety of sea creatures.

Be sure to keep in mind that events and tours change frequently.

If you’re interested in a particular exhibit or experience, it’s best to check the aquarium’s website and book it in advance.

8. Portland Japanese Garden

If you want to see beautiful trees and flowers, you’ll have to visit the Portland Japanese Garden during your trip.

This 5.5-acre garden was the first of its kind in the U.S. It features a unique, Japanese-inspired layout and is home to an incredible variety of blooms.

The flowering cherry trees are particularly impressive and draw in thousands of visitors every year.

9. Astoria Column

The Astoria Column was completed in 1926. It’s a historic monument that depicts important events like the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the arrival of the railroad, and the destruction of the “Tonquin” ship.

You can explore the inside of the column by climbing a spiral staircase.

When you reach the top, you’ll be able to look out over the town of Astoria and take it all in. You’ll also be able to spot the mouth of the Columbia River and several lakes, mountains, and rivers.

10. National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

If all your knowledge of the Oregon Trail comes the computer game, a visit to the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is a must.

This attraction brings the journey of those who blazed the Oregon Trail to life in a way you’ve never experienced before.

The center is located in Eastern Oregon, on a key portion of the actual route. It features lots of informative exhibits, presentations, demonstrations, and artifacts.

You can even take a four-mile hike to expand your knowledge and experience part of the Oregon Trail for yourself.

Learn More About the Best Oregon Attractions

As you can see, there’s a lot to do in the great state of Oregon, whether you want to explore and spend time in nature or learn more about the state’s history.

Are you looking for even more resources to help you plan a great Oregon vacation? If so, be sure to explore our site for more information on the best Oregon attractions. This article on the best places to eat in Bend, Oregon, is a great place to start!

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