Once you’ve had your fill of street food trucks, microbreweries and exploring lush parks throughout the City of Roses, you might want to explore a little further afield. Luckily there are a wide variety of great day trips from Portland and our local insiders have got the inside scoop just for you.
Home to some of the most stunning rock formations in Oregon, Smith Rock State Park is a day trip from Portland like no other. World-class rock climbing, hikes to suit all explorers and a campsite which gives you spectacular views to wake up to are all on offer. Choose your trail from a multi-hour trek across different terrain or stick close to the river for an easier walk. In around 2.5 hours from the city, you’ll be among the golden-toned rock formations and jaw-dropping views of Central Oregon. Recommended by local insider Madeline Churm.
In the heart of Oregon wine country, the Stoller Family Estate has been producing acclaimed wine since 1988, and locals claim they ferment the finest pinot noir of the region. Book in for a Legacy Tasting Tour with the experts, they’ll talk you through the soils, clones and varieties as well as providing samples of delicious wine with accompanying charcuterie. No judgement from us if you spend the entire afternoon on the patio sipping their finest vintage. Recommended by local insider Madeline Churm.
With a stunning landscape and a series of sprawling parks, a visit to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument has something to suit everyone in the family. Boasting some of the most spectacular geological feats in Oregon – gaze out at the Painted Hills, try spot a fossil at Sheep Rock and take in as much as you can of Clarno Formation. The Painted Hills Overlook trail boasts magnificent views but with so many options it’s easy to choose a trail which best suits your energy and footwear. Recommended by local insider Madeline Churm.
This one is for the dedicated hiker but your efforts will be rewarded. Around 90 minutes from Portland central, and a drive down a pretty rough forest road (nothing a small car can’t handle, so don’t worry!) you reach the trailhead. Parallel to the crystal-clear waters of the Siouxon Creek, the trail runs through forest and passes several waterfalls. You can even choose from one of many areas to make camp for the evening. Though it is a little more tricky to reach than others, the trail itself is flat and suitable for hiking families. Recommended by local insider Jordan Singh.
The journey to the Discovery Center itself feels like a scenic exhibition as you experience change from the endless fir trees of Portland to the desert of Oregon, all within 80 minutes. Creative architecture and interactive exhibits, this ode to the Columbia Gorge is worthy of a stop. Displays of volcanoes, floods, 13-foot mammoths and the Ice Age will delight, as will the seasonal falcon and hawk displays. The region of Dalles is known for its wineries so plan a tour while you’re there to tick off all the boxes. Recommended by local insider Jordan Singh.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
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.