While I have never been to Oregon state, it is on the list of places that I would like to travel to. I have plans to eventually travel through most of the United States, so collecting information about the places I want to visit is important to me.
To get some information about the State of Oregon, I consulted a local to create a list of places to go and things to see in Oregon. Here is the result of my work with this advisor. I hope you enjoy the list!
What is Oregon Famous For? Oregon is famous for its beautiful, lush forests, its rocky and stunning coastline and its relaxed culture. Craft beers and local wines are a huge part of the state economy and portions of the state offer the chance to ski, snowboard or rock climb.
My consultant and I discussed many exciting things to do and see while you are in Oregon. Here is our list of 21 fun travel facts about Oregon.
Places to Visit in Oregon and Fun Facts about the State
Oregon was established in 1859. The state animal is a Beaver and the state is famous for its beautiful hikes, scenic coastline and unique people and places. Here are 28 of my favorite facts that I learned about Oregon.
Breweries Are Everywhere
Craft brewing and custom cider making are a huge part of Oregon’s economy.
There are local breweries in nearly every major city and the products they make are delicious, crisp and as unique as the places themselves.
The capital city, Portland, had more than 60 breweries all by itself! If you enjoy the peace and quiet of a little pub with a flight of craft alcohol to share and sample, you will love Oregon.
The Deepest Lake in the US is There
Oregon is home to Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the entire United States.
The lake formed in the remains of an ancient volcano. It is 6,500 years old and the water is famously crystal clear and refreshingly cold.
This is a common site for boating and you can even rent a house boat and stay out on the lake itself! Enjoy hiking and camping around the lake as well and make sure to wake up early to catch a stunning sunrise.
You Can See the World’s Smallest Park
Downtown Portland is known for many things but one of the most eclectic things is the world’s tiniest park.
The park is a 2-foot circle that is located on SW Naito Parkway in downtown Portland. Called Mills End Park, it was made in 1971 and continues to be one of the favored tourist spots to take pictures.
Oregon is Home to the Most Ghost Towns in the Nation
If you like to experience a little thrill or have a little scare, Oregon is a great place to experience 80 different ghost towns all locate in one state.
The sites all have their own associated lore and they are typically located in the midst of some of the most lovely scenery available in the state.
Some historical mysteries that have never been solved are discussed at each site and you will learn about the settlers of historical Oregon while you are at it.
The Largest Cheese Factory in the World
Tillamook in Oregon is home to the largest cheese factory in the world.
You can come visit the factory and sample ice cream and cheese and jerky that have been made there was well as learning about the history of the factory and some history about Tillamook itself.
Oregon is the Birthplace of Nike
The distinctive Nike Swoosh logo was designed by a college student at Portland State University in 1971 and then an undergrad named Phil Knight and his track coach used the symbol as part of the foundation for the company that they originally called Blue Ribbon Sports.
Nike has since grown into an industry giant and there are great outlet stores located throughout Oregon where you can shop for Nike products to your heart’s content.
Nike is considered to be part of the fabric of the state and many Oregonians feel that Nike is synonymous with Oregon.
One of the most stunning natural locations in Oregon is Multnomah Falls.
The falls are located in the Columbia Gorge near Troutdale and are one of the best love and most well-known scenic locations in the state. The access point to the falls requires a short hike but it is well worth the effort as the falls are majestic and utterly gorgeous.
TIP: Walk across the bridge in front of the falls and take pictures or simply watch the falls descending from above you.
The Oregon Coast is Second to None
The coastline in Oregon is well known for its quaint, cozy towns full of gift shops and chowder houses as well as its idyllic beauty.
Pack a warm coat before you head out to the coast and prepare for the scenery to take your breath away.
Visit towns like Newport and Depot Bay for a cup of yummy clam chowder and watch the ocean roll in against the cliffs.
There is no prettier place for dramatic sunrises and sunsets over the ocean. Book a stay in one of the many luxurious ocean-front hotels and sip a glass of wine in front of the fire while the sun sets.
Go Rock Climbing
There are many locations in Oregon that offer up some of the best rock climbing in the US.
Smith Rock and other locations like it are rated as some of the most difficult climbs but if you just starting out, there are tour companies all over the state that will happily take you out to do an easy supervised climb and enjoy a picnic lunch before you climb back down.
Most of these climbing locations are in Central Oregon and the views are panoramic and not to be missed.
Visit the Gorge
The Columbia Gorge is one of the most stunning scenic locations in the state.
Known for its strong winds and the deep and powerful river that runs through it, the Gorge offers stunning scenery and the chance to windsurf or parasail.
The drama of the rocky outcroppings alongside the gorge gives way to quaint little towns full of charm and personality as well as some other local tourist traps like a replica of Stonehenge.
You Cannot Pump Your Own Gas
Oregon is one of only two states in the US where drivers cannot pump their own gas.
This can come as quite a surprise to out of towners, but it is a stringent rule in Oregon not to allow drivers to pump any fuel besides diesel fuel.
REMEMBER: If you rent a car, make sure you don’t hop out and start fueling it up yourself at your stops along the way.
Springfield Oregon is the Basis for the Simpson’s Hometown
The little town of Springfield which is nestled alongside Eugene, is the foundation upon which Bart Simpson’s hometown was based.
Drop by Springfield to see the real place that this iconic show made famous.
Oregon is Home to Two of the Best Known Colleges in the US
Oregonians know well that their state is home to one of the original land grant universities, Oregon State University as well as University of Oregon of Nike fame.
Located only an hour from one another, the two school share a comfortable rivalry that extends to an annual football call the Civil War.
The two colleges offer world class education and both boast gorgeous campuses that are worth a visit. Stroll through either gorgeous campus and you will see a window into the local culture and state spirit.
Oregon is Home to More Than 750 Vineyards
If you love wine tasting, Oregon will tickle you pink.
There are wineries locate near almost every major city in the state and there are even some that are nestled along the Oregon coast.
Oregonians take their homemade wines almost as seriously as they take their craft beers and you will find unique and delicious reds and whites at each one.
Most of these wineries offer fun events and tastings of reserve bottles and they can be a great place to eat some local delicacies as well as trying out some new wines.
Oregon is the Home of Many Native American Tribes
Oregon was originally settled by many different Native American groups and their history is commemorated in place names throughout the state like Molalla, Cayuse and Clatskanie.
The coast alone is home to a large portion of the original tribes and there are museums and historical sites available in nearly every town where you can learn more about the history of these important peoples.
Oregon is one of the few places where Native Americans still live on tribal lands and they are always willing to share their story with visitors.
Central Oregon is the Home of Extreme Sports and Snow Sports
If you love to rock climb, hike, parasail or ski, Central Oregon is the place for you! Considered to be high desert, the area sees full snow pack in winter and can be hot and dry in the summer.
Campers, climbers and adventurers flock to Central Oregon each year to have fun.
Visit skibowl at HooDoo for a fun nighttime ski or some inner tube sledding or travel to Bend to have some craft beer and go on a hike.
NOTE: This is one of the most stunning parts of the state and should not be overlooked.
Visit the Oregon Vortex
This is a roadside attraction in Gold Hill where visitors can experience some interesting gravity effects that cause optical illusions that have made the area famous for its paranormal activity.
Take pictures with your friends of the bizarre shortening and lengthening effects of the area and walk through the mystery house full of crooked floors and strange gravity defying behaviors.
This site continues to delight even locals and is always a great experience.
Check out a few Casinos
Oregon has some of the best casinos available anywhere that offer great entertainment and awesome dining alongside the usual casino games.
Many are located near the coast and the proceeds of your time spent there benefit the native tribes of the state.
Nearly all of these casinos have excellent hotels attached to them and can make a great stop over in your travels.
Visit the Gardens in Portland
Portland is home to a variety of gorgeous gardens that are all well worth seeing.
Portland is home to the International Rose Garden as well as a Japanese Garden near the Oregon Zoo.
While you are in the area, you can also swing by the zoo and see elephants, enjoy a petting zoo and ride the train at the Zoo.
Visit the Oregon Dunes
The Oregon dunes are located just south of Florence and are world famous for their beauty and for the ability to ride quads and dune buggies on the sand.
The dunes are part of a National Park and are well maintained.
This stunning location could not be replicated in many other places and is well worth the visit.
Visit the State Capital of Salem
While Portland is the best known city in the state, Salem is actually the capital.
Located about an hour south of Portland, Salem is the home of many great historical museums and excellent shopping.
Not as stunning as Portland, Salem still offers up great dining, excellent historical opportunities to learn and expand your awareness and is also centrally located to many other fun destinations.
Visit the 9 Lighthouses
The Oregon coast is extensive and rocky, so 9 lighthouses were built along the coastline during the age of ship travel.
All of these lighthouses are beautiful and well-kept and many can actually be climbed to the top to see the views.
Added to the 9 is the little-known floating lighthouse near Astoria that is placed to indicate the mouth of the river that leads down to the Port of Astoria.
This little lighthouse bobs and sways in the current and is actually an anchored ship that is tended by coastguards 24/7.
Oregon is Home to Solid Marble Caves
The Caves National Monument is located in the Siskiyou Mountains near Cave Junction and is a stunning locale. Travel here to see solid marble caves as well as the national forest around them.
Portland is One of the Most Liberal Cities in the US
Portland is famous for its gardens and other scenic sites but is just as well known for its highly liberal nature.
Rules and regulations in Portland are minority friendly as well as set up to promote the arts and unique functions and festivals.
Annual events include a naked bike ride and the Portland Oddities and Curiosities Expo. The famous tagline, “Keep Portland Weird” is the defining attitude of the city.
Oregon has Two Major Airports
Oregon is very travel accessible due to its two major airports.
Located in Portland and Eugene, these airports make it very convenient to traverse the state as well as connect to other locations in your travels.
Portland airport also boasts some of the best dining in the state.
Stay in a B&B or a Boutique Hotel
Oregon is home to a huge selection of charming bed and breakfasts as well as tons of unique boutique hotels. Research the cities that you intend to visit and make sure you don’t pass up the chance to stay at a hotel that is more unique than a Motel 6.
Attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Held each summer in the tiny town of Ashland, the Shakespeare festival is a unique and wonderful experience.
The town gives itself over entirely to Shakespearean life including costumes, a local fair and nightly presentations of the bard’s greatest plays.
The town transforms overnight into a historical wonderland and you are welcome to dress in costume yourself.
Portland is Built on an Extinct Volcano
Portland is one of three cities in the US that has an extinct volcano inside its city limits. The volcano is located in the neighborhood of Mount Tabor which was named for the volcano itself. Come here for picturesque views and a bit of history about the geology of the state.
What Products is Oregon Most Known For? Oregon is well known for craft beers, local wines and Pendleton blankets and rugs. Oregon overall is well known for delicious organic produce and hand crafted products made with love and care.
What is Historical Oregon Most Known For? Oregon was originally populated by Native Americans with a rich history of their own. Later on, Oregon was settled by trappers, hunters and fishermen as well as those searching for gold. The state has a rich history that was contributed by many social groups and there are opportunities to learn about all of that history in nearly every city you go to.