8 Best Day Trips from Portland, Oregon
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8 Best Day Trips from Portland, Oregon
If you’re looking for ideas for fun day trips from Portland, look no further. The area around Portland, Oregon, has so many options for things to do. From wine country to the coast, from national parks to skiing, there is something for everyone on this list. Here we will discuss 8 of the best day trips you can take from the city.
Columbia River Gorge
Caption: Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.
There are plenty of things to do in the Columbia River Gorge on a day trip from Portland. The Columbia River Gorge is home to many beautiful waterfalls, including Wahkeena Falls, Latourell Falls, and Multnomah Falls, which is a must-see. There are plenty of great hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge. Some popular options are Tunnel Falls, Beacon Rock, and Angel’s Rest. If you do not want to hike, the Historic Columbia River Highway is a beautiful drive, and there are plenty of small towns and scenic spots to explore.
The Columbia River serves as the state line between Washington and Oregon in the gorge area. If you plan to cross the bridges east of the Portland/Vancouver area, be prepared to pay a toll. In Cascade Locks, the Bridge of the Gods costs $2 for most vehicles.
Please note that the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge Waterfall Corridor has a permit system implemented between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend along the stretch of the road between Vista House and Ainsworth State Park. This area of the highway includes a large majority of the hikes on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. You only need a permit if traveling by car, but you do not need to obtain a permit if arriving via shuttle, private transportation, or bike.
The Columbia River Gorge is a popular spot for kitesurfing. The strong winds and consistent waves make it an ideal location for the sport. There are several spots in the gorge where kitesurfing can be done, but the most popular site is near Hood River.
Caption: The Top Spur Trail is an easy hike in Mt Hood with stunning views.
If you’re looking for a day trip with plenty of activities, Mt. Hood is a great option. The mountain is just an hour and a half from Portland, and there’s plenty to do whether you’re into skiing, snowshoeing hiking, or paddle boarding.
Mount Hood is a popular destination for hiking, and there are many trails to choose from, depending on your level of experience. One of the most popular trails is the Ramona falls trail, which features one of the best waterfalls in Oregon that is especially beautiful in the spring. For those looking for a challenge, the Owl Point trail offers stunning views of the valley below. And for those looking for an easy hike, the Top Spur trail is a great option. No matter which trail you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Mount Hood.
Skiing at Mount Hood is a must-do for any winter sports enthusiast. The mountain has something for everyone, from beginner slopes to challenging black diamonds. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink in the area so that you can make a day of it.
Caption: Peter Iredale shipwreck in Fort Stevens State Park.
Astoria is a perfect spot for a day trip from Portland. Astoria is home to Fort Stevens State Park, which is a great place to visit if you’re looking for some history and nature. The park is home to the Fort Stevens military fort, which was used during the Civil War and World War II. This park costs $5 to visit for the day, and the entrance fee is covered under the Oregon State Parks pass, which costs $30 for the year.
Also in the park is the Peter Iredale shipwreck. The ship ran aground in 1906 and has been slowly disintegrating ever since. Today, Peter Iredale is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can hike out to the shipwreck and explore the various areas of the ship. Peter Iredale is also a popular spot for photographers, as the ship provides an interesting juxtaposition of artificial objects and nature’s elements. Peter Iredale is just one of many exciting attractions at Fort Stevens State Park. Other attractions include hiking trails and a variety of wildlife. Fort Stevens State Park is a great place to visit for a day or a weekend, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re looking for something different, you can check out the Astoria-Megler Bridge. This bridge spans 4.1 miles connecting Oregon and Washington, and it is one of the longest bridges in the world. It’s also one of the only bridges that allow cars, trains, and pedestrians to share the same space.
Caption: Ecola Viewpoint in Ecola State Park overlooking Cannon Beach.
Cannon Beach is a great option if you’re looking for a beautiful, natural beach to visit. Located on the Oregon coast, this beach is known for its Haystack Rock, a massive monolith that stands over 200 feet tall. Haystack Rock is home to many birds, including puffins, cormorants, gulls, and tidepools full of starfish, anemones, and crabs. The rocks are part of Haystack Rock State Park and are accessible from the beach only at low tide. In addition to Haystack Rock, there are plenty of other interesting geological features to explore at Cannon Beach.
Also located in Cannon Beach is Ecola State Park. It is situated on a coastline and provides beautiful views of the ocean. This park costs $5 to visit for the day, and the entrance fee is covered under the Oregon State Parks pass, which costs $30 for the year.
Ecola State Park is home to many hikes and trails, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. One of the most popular attractions at Ecola state park is the Ecola viewpoint. From here, visitors can see the dramatic cliffs, rocky shores, and crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Ecola State Park is also famous for being the filming location of the movie “The Goonies.” If you’re a fan of the film, check out The Goonies house, which is located nearby.
Tillamook Cheese Factory
Caption: The entrance of Tillamook Cheese Factory.
If you’re looking for a fun day trip from Portland, Oregon, that is great for the whole family, be sure to check out the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Located just an hour and a half away from the city, the factory is home to some of the best cheese in the country. Visitors can see the entire process of cheese making, from curdling to packaging.
You can take a guided tour of the facility or simply wander around and sample all the different types of cheese on offer. There is a large gift shop where you can purchase all sorts of Tillamook cheese-related items. There’s also a cafe on site where you can enjoy a delicious lunch.
Mt. Rainier National Park
Caption: The view of Mt. Rainier from the Tolmie Peak trail.
If you’re looking for a day trip from Portland that will take you into the great outdoors, a trip to Mt. Rainier National Park is a perfect option. The park is a nature lover’s paradise with towering mountains, pristine forests, and wildflower-filled meadows. Plus you can do it in combination with a trip to Seattle.
The main feature of this park is the beautiful Mt. Rainier – one of the tallest mountains in the contiguous United States, reaching a height of 14,411 feet. But it’s not just the height that makes Mt. Rainier so unique – it’s also the fact that the mountain is an active volcano. Mt. Rainier last erupted in 1894, and scientists believe another eruption is inevitable. While this might sound dangerous, there’s no need to worry – scientists closely monitor the mountain, and any signs of an impending eruption will be quickly detected. Clouds quite frequently obscure Mt. Rainier but if “the mountain is out,” you are in for a treat.
There are plenty of things to do in the park, including hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife watching. Be sure to check out the visitor center for information on trails and activities in the area. The fee for private vehicles to enter Mt. Rainier National Park is $30, and it covers you for seven days. The entrance to this park is protected under the America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass. If you plan to visit three parks in 12 months, you should consider purchasing this pass for $80.
Silver Falls State Park
Caption: One of the many beautiful waterfalls on the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park.
Silver Falls State Park is one of the best Oregon state parks located just over an hour south of Portland. This park is open all year and worth several visits during different seasons. There are several different trails to choose from, depending on your fitness level and how much time you want to spend exploring the park. The Trail of Ten Falls is the most popular trail, which features ten stunning waterfalls.
If you’re not interested in hiking, you can also drive through the park and stop at the various viewpoints. This park costs $5 to visit for the day, and the entrance fee is covered under the Oregon State Parks pass, which costs $30 for the year. Silver Falls State Park is worth a visit if you’re looking for a day trip from Portland!
Willamette Valley Wineries
Caption: Outside at Argyle Winery.
If you want to venture out of Portland for a day trip, consider visiting some of the Willamette Valley’s many wineries. The valley is home to more than 250 wineries, so there’s sure to be one that suits your taste. A few personal favorites are Solena Estate and Argyle. You can either drive yourself or take a tour with a company. No matter how you choose to do it, you’re sure to enjoy sampling some of the region’s world-renowned wines.
Best Day Trips from Portland, Oregon
Caption: Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast.
Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or wine enthusiast, we guarantee you’ll find something to love about these fantastic day trips from Portland. No matter which destination you choose, we know you’ll have an enjoyable time exploring all that these areas have to offer. So what are you waiting for? Pick your favorite day trip from our list and start planning your adventure today!
Bio: Andrea Cannon moved to Portland, Oregon, in July 2021. She is a pharmacist and enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband (Austin) and her dog (Dex). You can connect with her on Instagram @andreafcannon , TikTok @andreafcannon , and check out her blog: https://beautahfulworld.com/ .
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