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Beyond Portland: Road Trips from the City to Discover Oregon's Natural Beauty

Posted on 26 Apr, 2019 at 11:43 am - by Amelia Frankland

While Portland, Oregon, offers a wealth of attractions and activities, venturing beyond the city limits allows you to witness the stunning natural beauty that the state has to offer. From rugged coastlines to towering mountains, here are some scenic road trips that will take you on a journey through Oregon's picturesque landscapes and hidden gems.

1. Oregon Coast

Embark on a road trip along the Oregon Coast and be mesmerized by its rugged beauty. Starting from Portland, head west to Highway 101 and make your way down the coast. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns that dot the shoreline. Don't miss iconic landmarks like Cannon Beach, home to the famous Haystack Rock, and the quaint town of Newport, where you can explore the historic bayfront and visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Take your time to stop at viewpoints, hike scenic trails, and savor fresh seafood while enjoying the sights and sounds of the Pacific Ocean.

2. Columbia River Gorge

Just east of Portland lies the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge, a canyon carved by the Columbia River. Take the Historic Columbia River Highway and be prepared to be awestruck by the natural wonders along the way. Explore magnificent waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls, and Horsetail Falls. Hike through lush forests, enjoy panoramic viewpoints, and learn about the geological and cultural history of the area at the Vista House. For a thrilling experience, try windsurfing or kiteboarding on the Columbia River, where the winds create the perfect conditions for these water sports.

3. Mount Hood

Escape to the majestic Cascade Mountains and embark on a road trip to Mount Hood, Oregon's highest peak. Drive east from Portland and find yourself surrounded by towering evergreen forests and stunning alpine landscapes. Take the Mount Hood Scenic Byway and enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain as you wind through picturesque valleys and charming mountain towns. In winter, indulge in world-class skiing and snowboarding at one of the ski resorts on Mount Hood. During the warmer months, go hiking, mountain biking, or fishing in the crystal-clear lakes and rivers that adorn the mountain's slopes.

4. Crater Lake National Park

For an unforgettable adventure, venture south from Portland to Crater Lake National Park. This natural wonder is home to Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States and renowned for its intense blue color. Drive through scenic landscapes as you make your way to the park, and once you arrive, take in the awe-inspiring views from the rim or hike down to the water's edge. Explore the park's trails, go camping, or simply marvel at the beauty of this pristine and serene lake.

5. Willamette Valley Wine Country

Indulge your senses on a road trip through the picturesque Willamette Valley, known for its world-class wineries and vineyards. Located south of Portland, this region is renowned for its Pinot Noir and offers a delightful wine-tasting experience. Drive through rolling hills and charming countryside, stopping at wineries along the way to sample exquisite wines and enjoy the scenic beauty of the vineyards. Immerse yourself in the wine-making process, learn about the region's viticulture, and savor the flavors that make the Willamette Valley a haven for wine enthusiasts.

These road trips from Portland are just a glimpse of the natural wonders that await in Oregon. Whether you're drawn to the rugged coastline, majestic mountains, or serene lakes, each journey promises unforgettable adventures and a deeper appreciation for the state's breathtaking landscapes. So fuel up your car, pack your camera, and get ready to explore the natural beauty that lies beyond the Rose City.

About Author
  • Amelia Frankland

    Amelia has a great eye for photography. She has traveled to over 30 countries and has produced great videography and photos, along with penning them down with her writing skills. She has also worked with many top travel photographers.

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