September 15, 2018 – Portland’s location provides a huge variety of different sights and climates to explore nearby. Here is our list of 11 amazing Portland day trips within 1(ish) hours of the city!
Columbia River Gorge
Perhaps the most popular day trip from Portland, the Gorge is full of incredible spots including: Vista Point, Multnomah Falls (Oregon’s tallest), Oneonta Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. This amazing landscape may be the home to some of the most iconic views in Oregon, perhaps why it is a top movie filming location. This is a area perfect for the adventurer inside all of us and not to miss during your visit.
Some of Oregon’s best Vineyards (and there are a lot!) are within 30 miles of downtown Portland. Hawks View, Alloro, Raptor Ridge, Cooper Mountain, Hamacher, and Ponzi all offer great wines and provide unbeatable scenery. Grab a famous Oregon Pinot Noir (or few) and take in the Willamette Valley countryside. Please drive responsibly.
Mt. Hood is a outdoors wonderland no matter which season. Three separate ski resorts offer the longest ski season in North America, with glacier skiing available throughout the summer. Timberline Lodge is an amazing place to visit all year long, especially in winter with a while relaxing around the giant fireplace with a warm cocktail. Ski Bowl has tons of summer activities for both adults and kids. Don’t forget to check out the quaint restaurants and brewery in Government Camp!
The Oregon Coast
Okay technically if you’re driving the speed limit it’s a little over an hour – but the fact remains that there are lots of amazing ocean views that are just a short drive away from Portland! Bring your jacket and umbrella (even in the summer months) and head to beautiful Cannon Beach, Seaside, and Astoria – and the Tillamook Cheese Factory is a worthwhile stop, too! If you are a lover of the outdoors, you will be pleased to find tons of hiking trails with beautiful views along with several campgrounds nearby.
Mt. St Helens
This is the only place in the lower 48 for you to get an up-close look at an active volcano, which last erupted in 2008! The area has great hiking and climbing options for outdoorsy folks of all skills and the Johnston Ridge Observatory has views from another world – literally. Just 70 miles north of Portland.
Great for families of all ages! The Enchanted Forest is a theme park located just south of Salem, Oregon that’s been operated by the Tofte family since opening in the 1970s. Open from March through September, the property sprawls through an old natural forest and is made up of several themed districts: Storybook Lane, Western Town, English Village, and rides that are fun for all ages – including the best log ride we’ve ever been on!
Practically in Portland’s backyard, this river island is complete with beaches, pumpkin patches and farms. There is always something going on at Sauvie Island! We previously highlighted them as one of our top picks for summer in our blog – but really, it’s a good place to visit all year round.
Woodburn Outlet Mall
Did you know Oregon has no sales tax? This outlet mall is home to over 110 premium brand name stores, with super low prices every day – seriously. The mall is outdoors yet entirely sheltered from the rainy skies, and quite spread out for a comfortable visit. Just make sure to bring an extra suitcase!
Bagby Hot Springs
This hidden gem in the beautiful Mt. Hood National Forest is a 1.5 mile scenic walk from the end of the road. Entry is $5 and there are three different soaking options at this primitive facility surrounded by old growth forest – a wonderful place to spend a chilly day and a great chance to get off the beaten path on a less traveled road, which is not maintained in winter.
City of Hood River
This little big city in the Columbia River Gorge is a hidden gem for the foodies and (beer lovers) in all of us! Some of our favorite breweries are located here, as are some great restaurants. We recommend checking out Solstice Woodfired Pizza or The Sixth Street Bistro for food, and pFriem, Double Mountain, or Full Sail for a pint or (or few) of craft beer.
Silver Falls State Park
Another phenomenal wonderland for waterfall views, Silver Falls State Park is known as the “Crown Jewel” of the Oregon State Parks. As the largest state park in Oregon, this park has abundant winding trails for hikers of all skill levels. The most famous waterfall is the South Falls – where you are able to actually walk behind the water and see what a waterfall looks like from the other side. Hikes of all distances loop around the park’s dozen waterfalls, and BBQs, picnics, horse rides, and swimming are available from the day-use area. There is also a campground available for those looking to stay overnight.
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