The state of Oregon is in the northwest of the US, and has mountains, lakes, rivers, and miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean. The state can be divided into seven geographical regions, more or less, according to the landscape.
Eastern Oregon is also called the Columbia Plateau. The famous Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America, is here along with the Painted Hills. There are lakes, rivers, pastures, deserts – such as the Alvord Desert, historic towns and ghost towns as well. The region is a motorcyclists’ paradise. Towns worth visiting include Joseph and Enterprise, because of the art galleries, shopping, and good food, specially the farm to table variety. There are numerous trails for a backpacking or hiking adventure on the mountains, such as the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.
The central region has beautiful landscapes, is mostly arid, and contains some steep mountains. Skiing, fishing, climbing, hiking, biking, and golf are the some of the activities that can be pursued. For those interested in biking, there is the McKenzie Pass, and White River Falls are a mega attraction for nature lovers. For a good meal, and endless outdoor activity, the place to visit is Bend, home to the Worthy Brewing Hopservatory.
Southern Oregon is a sunny place with a happening art scene, along with Crater Lake National Park, the deepest lake in the US, at 1,943 feet deep. The rugged and forested Klamath Mountains are also here. One world-renown attraction is the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, that draws large crowds each summer.
Northern Oregon has two sub-regions, the first is Mt. Hood, with its fertile foothills, and the Gorge, both well known for activities such as skiing, hiking, and wind surfing. There are a number of waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, with the tallest being Multnomah Falls, followed by Horsetail, Bridal Veil, and Ponytail. There are charming small towns with amazing craft beer and breweries waiting to be visited along with forest, lakes, meadows and valleys.
On the north-western side, is the city of Roses, Portland. This city has burst onto the national scene over the past decade due to easy public transportation, bicycle friendly atmosphere, and exceptional and unique cuisine, as well as its cultural attractions, parks, gardens, and amazing restaurants. The place is also known for its craft beer and wonderful bands playing small venues throughout the city.
One can trek the many hiking trails throughout the area, one well known area is the 40 miles of Forest Park Trails.
South of Greater Portland is the Willamette Valley, which is a narrow and fertile. Its wine, historic towns, and covered bridges are what makes this region a must visit for any one. Important cities include Eugene and Salem, which also happens to be the capital of Oregon. Eugene was named as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States by Bicycle Magazine. A special mention, this region has award winning vineyards, and there are about 700 of them.
The 363-mile Coast along the Pacific Ocean has low, forested mountains, small lakes, and cliffs. There are beautiful views, lighthouses, and charming fishing villages. Areas to explore include the sub-regions of Waldport, Yachats, and Seal Rock and the Wild Rivers Coast. Again, there are options for hiking or fat-tire biking on the Coast. One coastal community that many people are familiar with is Tillamook, home to the famous cheese.
Oregon has 11 national forests, 21 national wildlife refuges, 361 state parks, national scenic area and national grassland. Its national forests and Parks include the Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, Malheur National Forest, Sisuslaw National Forest, Mount Hood National Forest and Fort Clatsop National Memorial.
Some of the most talked museums and history centers include:
Astoria’s Columbia River Maritime Museum
Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center
Lane Country Historic Museum
Historic Timberline Lodge
Little Log Church Museum
Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site
Oregon Historical Society
Some of the historic old Hotels in Oregon include:
The Columbia Gorge Hotel
The Historic Balch Hotel