Looking to plan a family vacation in Oregon, but worried you won’t have the budget to make it work? Oregon is home to an incredible number of smaller towns and cities and national parks that make it an excellent choice for families looking to stretch their dollar on all the nature, food, history, and beers (for mom and dad) their hearts desire. Try out these 10 great ideas for family vacations in Oregon if you’re on a budget.
Portland hipster foodie tour
Because hipster food tends to be located in converted warehouses instead of five-star hotels and trends more towards banh mi and tacos than foie gras and caviar, a hipster foodie tour is likely to be easy on the wallet. And bonus: You’ll get to soak up the essential Portland, which is made up of creatives in flannel with handlebar mustaches rather than business people in suits.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake’s claim to fame is that it is the deepest lake in the United States, and it’s gorgeous, to boot. Pitch a tent for an astonishingly beautiful vacation in the national park that bears its name. There is plenty to explore beyond the lake, including acres of lush forest and a collapsed volcano called Wizard Island.
Visit Bend, Oregon
In a state that loves its lagers, Bend can lay claim to having the most breweries per capita of any town in Oregon. And compared to pricey vacations at wineries, a tour of a brewery and knocking a few back will hardly put a dent in your wallet. Hometown favorites Deschutes (home of the Red Chair IPA) and Boneyard are both good places to start. Head to the iconic Tower Theatre – an art deco jewel box – for a good deal on movies, theatre, and live music.
Mount Hood National Forest
Four million annual visitors can’t be wrong – Mt. Hood is a great place to vacation, and because you’ll be camping or staying in a cabin, it won’t be too expensive. Take your pick from a host of lodges (the Timberline Lodge, built in 1937 high atop Mount Hood, is particularly stunning) or bring a tent. And once your lodging is sorted, you’ll have plenty of activities to choose from, including horseback riding, mountain biking, berry picking, mushroom collecting, hunting, hiking, rafting, and fishing.
Picturesque Cannon Beach stays that way in part by prohibiting chain stores and restaurants from opening up there. So go prepared to pop in and out of cute mom and pop shops and cafes, and stroll along nine miles of unspoiled beach before bedding down at a homey bed and breakfast. If you have children, come to Cannon Beach during the annual sandcastle building competition – what child (or adult) could resist joining in the free fun?
Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks
While the nature in the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks is spectacular, history is the real draw at these parks, located near the mouth of the Columbia River. The parks house several sites commemorating the finale to Lewis and Clark’s grand expedition, including Fort Clatsop, where the expedition camped for the winter of 1805-1806, and which was lovingly recreated by volunteers from surviving sketches of the journals of William Clark.
Mount Bachelor Ski Area
If you’re in the market for a ski vacation but don’t want to pay Aspen or Beaver Creek prices, head to Mount Bachelor, in central Oregon. One of the country’s biggest ski resorts, Mount Bachelor also has one of the country’s longest ski seasons, running between mid-November and the end of May. Once you’ve had your fill of runs for the day, have dinner at the Pine Mountain Lodge – it is the highest elevation full-service restaurant in the Pacific Northwest, and the views of the sun setting over the mountain are nothing short of breathtaking.
Charming Newport, on Oregon’s central coast, is a hub of marine activity, including an outstanding Oregon Coast Aquarium, and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, which offers sweeping views of seals and tidal pools below.
Head to the Hood River Valley Lavender Farms
The incredible lavender farms around the Hood River Valley offer miles of fragrant scenery to bike or hike through, and plenty of local farms you can stop by for a tour. Stay in nearby Hood River, and stop by the Mt. Hood Winery on your way back into town – you just might think you’re in the south of France.
Home to the University of Oregon, brainy Eugene is a great pick to get your fill of culture on a budget. The university’s Jodan Schnitzer Museum of Art has particularly strong collections of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean art, and a great contemporary selection, as well. For a very different cultural immersion after the kids are in bed, visit Max’s Tavern, several blocks from campus. It is the real-life inspiration behind Moe’s Tavern on the Simpsons.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.