Why think about to set out on a travel to Oregon?
For its breathtaking nature, unexpected in its vastness and largeness. For “the savors” from the world, a symbol of a usual integration and multiculturalism, by now.
For the towns, never busy and unliveable metropolis, on the contrary they are elegant towns with a particular bent for the beauty and at the same time attention to history, culture, traditions and liveableness.
For the small towns, a stop motion of an America – the most authentic and furthest one –which it’s hard to find in the most famous and “crowded” areas, by now. And even for plain, prairies and the western scenarios you never think t find arriving as far as here.
And for the film locations of movies and TV series – the Northern Pacific, the Hollywood of the North – which accompanied, moved and enchanted over a generation (mine included).
Travel to Oregon to get lost into the breathtaking views Oregon Coast is able to give, to be able to drive the Hwy 101 from Astoria to Newport (at least) and enjoy the wonderful view of the giant monoliths in Cannon Beach, literally suspended between Ocean and earth.
For the forests, the lakes, the rivers, the covered bridges and the mountains’ peaks.
And for those two wonders – which left me literally speechless, making me excited as only few times before – of the Painted Hills, inside the larger John Day Fossil National Monument and the Crater Lake National Park.
Try to think about volcanic and fossil sediments multicoloured hills dating back to 30-60 millions of years and a very pure water mirror inside 2000m high active volcano. Then add wind, dust, in some periods snow too. And you’ll get scenery and magic.
Travel to Oregon to dream, explore, discover and make surprise – once again – by a different, disarming and unexpected America.
Travel to Oregon: 8 days itinerary
“Beyond the glittering street was darkness and beyond the darkness the West. I had to go”
Down here there is my 8 days itinerary for you – studied, tested and experienced personally – with stages distances, tips and indications.
Travel to Oregon – Day one
Arrival at the Portland International Airport – the major airline companies make intercontinental flights with 1-2 stopovers on this destination.
Rental car collecting and stay overnight.
One tip: the best solution to stay overnight as regards amounts and convenience – the motels chains in the airport area don’t have shuttles to the downtown – if you reckon a day of stop in the town to explore it is to book an hotel neighboring the downtown including the parking in the price.
Keep in mind parking in the town are about 30-40 $ per night. I recommend the Inn at Northup Station, in the lively and fashion Nob Hill district: a new building including in the price (100$ about per night) rooms with kitchen, breakfast and parking besides a series of extras (aperitifs, theme nights, et cetera).
Travel to Oregon – Day two
Full day – on foot and by streetcar, so comfortable shoes – dedicated to the tour of Portland and its districts. Downtown, Old Town, Pearl District, Nob Hill, West Hills and Lloyd District.
Travel to Oregon – Day three
From Portland to Astoria, 200km about.
- Oregon City – to drive along a short stretch of the old Oregon Trail and then explore the Visitor Center and its museum.
- Hwy 26 with stops along the route – Backer’s General Store and Camp 18 Restaurant & Museum – to reach Astoria.
- Tour of Astoria, Lewis & Clarke National Historical Park, the locations of “The Goonies” movie and passage on the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which crossing the Columbia River takes directly to the State of Washington.
- Stay overnight in Astoria.
Travel to Oregon – Day four
From Astoria to Salem – 280km about.
- Cannon Beach, to visit the small town and the amazing monoliths on the beach, the Haystack Rock included
- Go on along the Hwy 101 and the Oregon Coast with stops in Lincoln City and Newport
- Detour – Hwy 18 and 22 – via Salem, the Oregon capital.
- Tour of downtown Salem and the near Woodburn Premium Outlet, if you are interested in shopping (keep in mind in Oregon there are no taxes!!)
- Stay overnight in Salem
Travel to Oregon – Day five
From Salem to Bend – 450km.
A busy travel day with several stages:
- Brownsville, to visit the “Stand By Me” movie locations
- Hwy 126 and detour on the 242 (the road including two 2000m high mountains) via Sisters. Tour of the western small town.
- Continuation along the Hwy 26 to go into the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and visit (a couple of hours about, short paths and of scarce difficulty) the Painted Hills and the near Mitchell (short stop with refuel)
- Return always on the Hwy 26 and then 97 to Bend and stay overnight
Travel to Oregon – Day six
From Bend to Union Creek – 220km about.
- High Desert Museum.
- Newberry National Volcanic Monument – Entrance at the Lava Visitor Center. Tour of the Lava River Cave and the Newberry Crater (2-3 hours about).
- Keep going along the Hwy 97 and then 138 to Diamond Lake: tour of the lake and eventual trekking.
- Reach the Union Creek through the Hwy 230. Stay overnight in one among the cabins of the suggestive Union Creek Resort, swallowed up by forest at the foot of Crater Lake.
Travel to Oregon – Day seven
From Union Creek to Ashland – 120km about.
- Full morning dedicated to the visit and the paths of the Crater Lake National Monument.
- Continuation along the Hwy 62, the 234 and the 99 to Ashland.
- Tour of the small town which is the seat of one among the most important Theater Festivals dedicated to Shakespeare and his most representative works, and stay overnight.
Travel to Oregon – Day eight
- Ashland – tour of the Hwy 99, 199 and 46 – continuation with the road trip to the Northern California (150km about).
- Ashland – return to Portland (with a stop in Eugene) through the US 5 – 450km about and eventually return to Italy.
In the video below you can see the locations, the roads, the colours and the emotions of my travel to Oregon
Travel to Oregon: considerations and some tips
Planning a travel to Oregon is important to consider the season and the climate.
Many internal areas in the depths of winter are impassable due to snow that can arrive sudden and abundant until May – as it happened during my road trip.
The ideal for this typology of trip it would be to move between May and September: even though I have to admit that during my path the view of some naturalistic sceneries with the snow certainly made the difference as regards charm and beauty.
Take with you trekking shoes (necessary in many situations) and a comfortable layer clothing.
As I’ve already written above, in Oregon there are no taxes, no kind of expense.
An important factor that together with the prices generally lower (except for Portland) in comparison with other countries, the very good conditions of the internal roads and the kindness and helpfulness of people we met, makes a travel to Oregon more than cheap, besides to be highly recommended.