If there is such a thing as an ‘it’ state, then Oregon is making all the headlines in 2017. Not only has Portland emerged as one of the most exciting cities in North America, but as more people head for the great outdoors, they’re finding Oregon has some of America’s most awe-inspiring wilderness to explore. With new flights from London Heathrow to Portland International Airport with Delta Air Lines, it’s never been easier to visit – and here are just a few reasons why you should.
There’s so much to see when it comes to wildlife and, best of all, everything is within reach from Portland, so you can experience some of the best cuisine and nightlife the West Coast has to offer before unwinding in the great outdoors. The Wallowa Mountains are perfect for hiking, while Crater Lake National Park rivals any of the majestic fjords in Scandinavia. Looking for the perfect Instagram shot? Head to the lavender fields in the valley of Mount Hood (cute dog not included).
Portland is full of secret destinations that you wouldn’t expect to find in a North American metropolis. Least of all hidden oases such as Lan Su Chinese Garden, a serene example of how Asian influences have helped shape this West Coast hub. There’s also a tonne of museums, independent bookstores, galleries and designers to look out for, not to mention some of the best coffee on the Western seaboard. Head to Portland and discover a veritable treasure trove of culture.
From camping near Mount Hood to hot-air ballooning over the never-ending high desert of Central Oregon, you’re bound to find something for even the most hard-core adrenaline junkies. Take a scenic bikeway tour past Smith Rock and explore miles of pristine coastline using specially designed bikes that can ride on sand. For the super sporty, there’s even one of America’s most gruelling runs, which takes place every year and passes through Springwater Corridor and Willamette River trails.
Any wine lovers out there should definitely make the trip and explore some of Oregon’s incredible wine country. Ledger David Cellars near Crater Lake in Southern Oregon is a must-visit, while McMinnville wine country in Willamette Valley is home to dozens of wineries and vineyards. Experience some new-world classics such as Oregon’s famous pinot noir, all with stunning views of the surrounding sun-soaked hillsides and some culinary treats.
With the Pacific Ocean stretching out to the horizon, you’ll be glad you made the trip to Oregon’s stunning coastline. If you love long walks, there are plenty of hiking trails to choose from where you can explore incredible phenomena such as Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach. It’s accessible by foot during low tide and home to some incredible wildlife. Why not rent a car and take a drive down the coastal US Highway 101.
Experience the Wild West
You can’t visit Oregon without experiencing some West Coast traditions from the days of the Wild West. Pendleton Round-Up, one of America’s largest rodeo festivals, has events including competitive barrel racing and horse relays. There are gold rush ghost towns to explore, not to mention stunning canyons and open plains, where campers can’t help but feel as though they’ve been transported to the past.