Described as America’s most European city – Portland, Oregon has many unique views and attractions. I mean, there is a ton of things to do in this beautiful, rugged, quaint, clean and gorgeous state. Here are just a few suggestions to really give you that memorable trip, that will leave you wanting more of Oregon.
1. Explore Oxbow Regional Park
Oxbow Regional Park is a gorgeous place to visit and to be one with untamed beauty that hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. Hike, camp and throw in a line for that perfect day on the river where cars cannot be heard and cell phones only ring if you want them to..perfect! $40 gets you in for the day and for the rest of the year. This small fee also allows entrance into many other parks including Blue Lake regional park, Broughton Beach, Chinhook Landing Marine Park and M. James Gleason Boat Ramp. If your really craving that full outdoor experience we suggest packing for an overnight stay. Enjoy the night around a campfire and under a sky full of stars. Pack a dinner or fish your dinner out of the river if your talented like that and cook your dinner over an open fire, classic! It is quite the experience for that adventurous couple or even if you just want to try something different (way different) from that typical dinner and a movie date night that couples are so accustomed to (boring). Oxbow Regional Park offers that experience to you.
2. Visit the Oregon Coast
Oregon’s coast has the most breathtaking views that you are going to find out West.. just Google up some pictures yourself online. There are three different regions that make up the coast; The North Coast, Central Coast, and South Coast. The Central Coast has been said to be the prettiest of the three and would be our first choice because it possesses fewer sandy beaches, more sea cliffs, terraces and a greater number of bays. Enjoy the expansive views, hear the breakers crashing onto the beaches and have yourself a little romantic picnic while your at it. View the lighthouses, fish, take a whale watch expedition, hike or even get lost on a little camping trip. The Oregon Coast isn’t just a beautiful place to see, it’s also an adventure waiting to be sought out. If you listen carefully and quietly, you can hear it calling out your name.
3. Drink in Wine Country
Less than an hour from Portland, Willamette Valley is a carrier for more than 250 wineries! To a wine connoisseur, that’s pretty impressive! But if wine isn’t your thing this quaint town also has beer! The Willamette Valley makes some of the world’s finest micro brews, so cheers! This valley is a rolling farmland ripe for touring. So, pick your poison and pick from a variety of activities to do with your lover. Take a long walk through a scenic covered bridge or view the magnificent Willamette Valley from the basket of a hot air balloon! We suggest the hot air balloon out of any of those fun activities 🙂 it is super romantic, fun and a tiny bit scary for those who have never been. The balloon ride is one of those things that satisfies all the senses and hey, a glass of wine (or 2) makes every occasion a little bit more romantic and a little less scary.. and well, you are in a place with 250 wineries ( I’m just saying!). The hot air balloon experience is something you can do April – October with flights lasting about an hour – so just go ahead and make your reservation today. Perfect for those anniversaries, birthdays, asking the woman of your dreams in marriage *wink wink. The balloon ride is said to be a wonderful experience that you will remember forever.
4. Visit The Lan Su Chinese Garden
Ahh, welcome to China! Or at least the closest thing to it – being that it is the most authentic Chinese garden in the US outside of China of course. $7 for students and $9 for adults gets you into this tranquil paradise. Lan Su Chinese Garden is a window into the Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. The garden perfectly mends Chinese tradition, architecture, art and nature into perfect harmony♥. The name can be translated to “The Garden Of Awakening Orchids” and orchids you shall see as well as many other botanical beauties. Learn about the Chinese culture, walk the gardens, (don’t forget to stop and smell all the flowers) and drink Chinese tea in the tea house. Gorgeous, beautiful, scenic day all for less than $20. If you really want to impress your date, without breaking the bank, well here you go. Your welcome.
5. Do Some Shopping!
No Sales Tax. Not now. Not ever. Woohoo 🙂 It honestly speaks for itself. Just go ahead and buy yourself something!! There’s no sales tax. This only exists in 4 other states. Go a little crazy, we give you permission.
6. Continue Shopping At The Portland Saturday – Sunday Market
As previously stated, shopping is amazing in Portland and handmade crafts are perhaps the best gifts, surprises and souvenirs! Portland offers a Saturday – Sunday Market and it operates every weekend March through December. This market extravaganza offers over 241 spaces for local artisans to show their skills and sell their handmade wares. Spend hours upon hours obsessing over the unique handcrafted items the locals have to offer and choose from a surplus of enticing foods that will satisfy your appetite all while listening to live music on the main stage. It’s a woman’s dream come true. Many tourists and locals show up every weekend and it’s never the same. The Portland market is open every weekend rain or shine 11-4:30 pm.
7. Be Amazed By Crater Lake
Surrounded by cliffs that are over 2,000 feet high Crater Lake is a picturesque island with a violent volcanic past! Consider to be one of the 7 wonders of Oregon, Crater Lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. Crater lake is the deepest in the United States, and one of the deepest in the world. It was formed by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. Another interesting fact is the “Old Man of the Lake”, a full-sized tree which is now a stump that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for over a century (wow). The low temperature of the water has slowed the decomposition of the wood, allowing the bobbing stump to survive for so long. Most visitors come to Crater Lake National Park during the months of July through mid-September, when the weather is generally mild with little precipitation. Just a heads up, the weather conditions may change quickly and a warm jacket and wool sweater are always recommended items to carry.
8. Visit the Pittock Mansion
Originally built in 1914 as a private home for The Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana. This beautiful palace is a 23-room estate situated on 46 acres and offering panoramic views of downtown Portland. It is now owned by the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation and open for touring. $10 gets you the grand tour! This old mansion is gorgeous and rich in history and marble, it is a historic must see!
9. Check out the Oregon Zoo
Check out the Oregon Zoo and have a day with the animals! The Oregon Zoo has a variety of animals from slender African crocodiles to Asian elephants. Over 100 species call this Zoo home of these, 22 endangered species and 37 threatened species live at the zoo. The zoo has five major exhibit areas: Great Northwest, Fragile Forests, Asia, Pacific Shores and Africa. Within these large areas are 23 specialized exhibits.
10. Walk Through The Hoyt Arboretum
Founded in 1928 to conserve endangered species and educate the community, Hoyt Arboretum encompasses a 189 ridge-top acres with 12 miles of hiking trails. More than 6,000 specimens from around the world grow here, 63 of which are vulnerable or endangered. Beginning in April, join Hoyt Arboretum tour guides on an informative 90-minute journey through the tree and plant collections.With Oregons temperate Pacific Northwest climate, Hoyt Arboretum is one of the few places on Earth where such a wide variety of trees and plants can grow. Observe rare and endangered trees that you would otherwise have to travel the world to see and every season has something new to offer visitors!
- September through November
The fall colors – blazing gold, red, orange and yellow
- December through March
Discover the Winter Garden
- April through May
Smell the magnolias, dogwoods and cherries in bloom
- June through August
Native wildflowers all over the meadows or under the towering fir trees