If you have never visited Oregon before, then you’re in for a real treat when you finally do.
It is full of beautiful natural areas and has many places that are quirky and unique, making it the perfect place to go on an adventure.
There’s something for everyone in Oregon, so regardless of how many people you are traveling with, you’re almost guaranteed to have a great time when you get there.
If you are currently planning a trip to Oregon, or you’ve found yourself within the borders of the state, you’re probably wondering how you can productively spend your time there.
There is so much to do in Oregon and each experience is so special.
Whether you want to spend all your time in nature or you want to see what the cities have to offer, we have put together a list of 25 of the very best attractions and places in Oregon that you need to Experience.
Regardless of your own personal tastes, you’re sure to find something across the state that will keep you entertained and make your overall experience even better.
So let’s get started!
The Top 25 Attractions In Oregon You Need To Experience
From Japanese gardens and hot springs, all the way to art museums and incredible fishing spots, Oregon really has a little of everything, which will make you fall in love with this state even more.
Oregon is situated in the Pacific Northwest, so this means it’s one of the most scenic states in the entire US.
There are plenty of beautiful nature spots for you to explore and each one will take your breath away.
For a more in-depth look into these places, read on and see which attractions stand out the most to you. You won’t be disappointed with what Oregon has to offer to anyone visiting.
1. Thor’s Well
First, on the list, we have a location that is incredibly unique and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else.
Thor’s Well is an incredible sinkhole that is absolutely huge. It looks fantastic in pictures, but it will really take your breath away when you see it in person for the first time.
Also known by its nickname “the drainpipe of the Pacific”, Thor’s Well gets its name from the Norse God of Thunder and when you experience it for yourself, you will understand why this is the perfect name.
The waves surrounding the sinkhole slam furiously into the rocks and the sound is very similar to the sound of thunder.
You will be absolutely speechless and amazed at the same time.
People travel from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of Thor’s Well, so if you find yourself in Oregon, this natural wonder should definitely be high on your list of attractions to visit.
2. Rimsky-Korsakoffee House
If you like places that are a bit spooky and macabre, then you are going to love the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House.
It is a dimly lit coffee house that serves a whole host of unusual cakes and coffees that you are sure to enjoy.
But the real reason we included the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House on this list is that there is a legend that comes with it that states the whole building is haunted.
So if you want to enjoy some coffee and cake with some ghosts, this is the place for you!
You won’t find a coffee house like this anywhere else, so it’s definitely worth visiting, especially if you like paranormal experiences.
The best way to experience this spooky venue is to go in prepared for anything because everyone’s experience is totally unique.
To make the atmosphere even spookier, the whole coffee house is decorated with spooky items and furnishings, and the only thing that plays is mournful music!
3. Terwilliger Hot Springs
This is a fantastic place to visit if you want to spend some time in the Oregon wilderness and relax.
The Terwilliger Hot Springs is the perfect temperature to enjoy a long, relaxing soak, and they are completely surrounded by woodland and forests, making this the perfect attraction for nature lovers everywhere.
The temperature of the six hot springs located here ranges from 85°F – 112°F, so you don’t have to worry about getting cold!
Clothing is also 100% optional, so if you really want an all-natural experience free of clothes, you are totally welcome to do that!
Everything about the Terwilliger Hot Springs is fresh and natural, and because you are miles from the rest of civilization, you will be able to enjoy them without having to worry about the city ruining your immersion.
If you do decide to visit the Terwilliger Hot Springs, just make sure you leave it as you found it, so future visitors will be able to enjoy it in all its natural splendor.
4. Crux Fermentation Project
Located in Bend, Oregon, the Crux Fermentation Project is a craft brewery that brews in experimental and unconventional ways.
The Crux Fermentation Project brews its beer in wooden barrels and they cultivate wild yeast strands which is one of many things that makes the finished product so unique.
The brewery is open to the public and it is full of activities that you can take part in.
Some of these activities include tours, visiting the bar, trying samples in the tasting room, and visiting their deck patio.
If you’re a fan of unique and delicious craft beer, then that’s all you need to have a good time at the Crux Fermentation Project.
The brewing techniques found on site are very different from what you might be used to, but it’s so interesting to learn about and experience, so you will enjoy every moment you spend here.
5. John Day Fossil Beds
Whether you are a fan of nature or you just really enjoy impressive rocks, you will absolutely love the John Day Fossil Beds.
The fossil beds span over a massive area of 14,000 acres and they really make the desert incredibly beautiful.
The cliff of the fossil beds are mainly red, but they are also made up of yellows, oranges, whites, and many other colors which really makes them stand out.
This is one of those places that you really need to experience for yourself to truly appreciate the natural beauty.
The whole fossil bed contains traces of the preserved remains of animals and plants that would have been found in Oregon millions of years ago.
This is one of Oregon’s biggest and most popular tourist attractions, and when you see it for the first time, you will understand why!
There are plenty of things for you to do in the area as well.
If you enjoy hiking then there are plenty of amazing trails for you to explore and there is also a museum, theater, and gift shop on-site for you to check out.
The John Day Fossil Beds are the perfect day out for anyone, and there really is something for everyone to enjoy here.
6. Mount Hood
Oregon is home to quite literally dozens of mountain ranges, so you’re really spoiled for choice if you like to mountain climb.
If you don’t have enough time to explore them all, then the main mountain you should check out is Mount Hood.
Mount Hood is widely considered to be one of the best mountains in all of Oregon, and it’s no real surprise as to why.
Along with an incredibly scenic hike and view, Mount Hood is also great for snow sports in the winter and camping in the summer.
It’s also a great place to visit if you are looking to get away from home for a week or two.
Mount Hood Meadows is a beautiful and relaxing resort that has everything you need and it has a fantastic rustic feel to it.
Regardless of what sort of nature activity you want to take part in, Mount Hood is the perfect place to do it, and you won’t be disappointed with all it has to offer.
When you see the mountain for the first time on the horizon, you will be speechless because it is incredibly impressive.
7. Wildlife Safari
Safaris are always fun, but the Wildlife Safari in Oregon is extra special because it is filled with fields, savannas, and lots of impressive wildlife.
It feels like you’re in the wilderness of Africa (You might want to check out Facts About Timbuktu) more than an enclosure in Oregon!
There are so many different kinds of species that you can see at the Wildlife Safari as well.
Some of these include giraffes, lions, cheetahs, hippos, and elephants. The whole safari stretches for about 600 acres, so there is plenty of wildlife for you to see.
The Wildlife Safari is actually one of the more ethical safaris in the country, and they work closely with conservation efforts.
Animal rights activists have even praised the safari for its open and natural habitat.
8. Lewis And Clark National And State Historical Parks
The Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks are made up of several nature reserves and parks and it covers multiple states and thousands of acres.
These parks were created to celebrate the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
There are loads of trails in the parks where Lewis and Clark actually traveled themselves, so in a lot of ways, you will be recreating the expedition for yourself.
When it comes to which areas are in Oregon territory, there are two state parks and one recreation site that you can visit.
They come in the form of Sunset Beach State Recreation Site, Ecola State Park, and Fort Stevens State Park.
This is a fantastic place to visit if you want to immerse yourself in some exciting history and because it is such a large area, it’s sure to keep you busy for quite a while.
The parks and recreation site that is located in Oregon is absolutely beautiful as well, so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to spend the day somewhere scenic.
9. Portland Japanese Garden
If Portland is one of the places you find yourself when you’re in Oregon, then this gives you the perfect opportunity to visit the Portland Japanese Garden.
These gardens are perfect for anyone who wants a Japanese garden experience but can’t get to Japan to do it!
The gardens are filled with amazing cherry blossom trees and koi ponds, and the whole atmosphere is incredibly tranquil and beautiful.
All of the buildings are inspired by the architecture of authentic Japanese temples and Minka houses, so you will really get a feel for what Japan is like without having to travel too far from home.
Aside from strolling through the gardens at your own pace, there are also plenty of activities for you to take part in.
Some of these activities include woodblock exhibitions and tea ceremonies. There is also plenty of art and music for you to enjoy.
Even if you don’t know much about Japanese culture, you will still have a fantastic time at the Portland Japanese Garden.
10. Powell’s Books
If you’re a fan of books of any kind (and this includes comic books!) then you will love everything about Powell’s Books.
This location is basically a massive bookstore, and when we say it’s massive, we really mean it!
The whole establishment covers an entire block of the city, so you could quite literally spend all day in here browsing.
There are quite literally thousands and thousands of books for you to take a look at here and what makes this place even better is that there are quite a few coffee bars on site and many comfy armchairs for you to sit and read some of the books in peace.
Powell’s Books also offers lots of unconventional things that standard bookstores don’t. You can join guided tours, and writing workshops, and there’s even children’s storybook time that you can take your kids along to.
Powell’s Books even has a website that you can check out, which sometimes lists books that you weren’t able to find in-store.
This is a fantastic place to go if you consider yourself to be a bit of a bibliophile.
11. Cannon Beach
Even if you have never been to Cannon Beach before, it might seem a bit familiar and that is because it’s been used as a filming location for some pretty big Hollywood movies.
Some examples of these include Point Break, The Goonies, and even Twilight!
This is a great beach to visit if you are looking for somewhere to relax and take part in regular beach activities, and you are free to go snorkeling and swimming in the sea.
The whole area that makes up Cannon Beach is incredibly lively and fun, and you will enjoy every moment that you spend there.
Close to the beach itself are plenty of restaurants, resorts, shops, movie theaters, and more for you to explore. There is enough going on at Cannon Beach so you can easily spend your whole day here.
It’s also just an incredibly picturesque place that looks even better in person than it does in movies and photos.
If you’re a movie buff, see if you can recreate some classic movie scenes that have been shot here!
12. Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry
If you think that museums are boring, then the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is definitely going to change your mind!
It is filled with over 200 exhibits that cover lots of interesting subjects and they are sure to keep you entertained for hours.
Along with the exhibits, there are plenty of other attractions in the museum that will keep you entertained.
There is a planetarium that astronomy enthusiasts will love, a movie theatre that plays different documentaries, and plenty of other attractions to keep you entertained.
Regardless of your age, you will have loads of fun when you visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
You’ll come away with new facts and information, and you will definitely want to return.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is actually one of the top attractions and vacation spots in the entire state, so if you find yourself close by, it’s definitely worth the visit!
13. Dee Wright Observatory
The Dee Wright Observatory is one of the most unique and interesting places to visit in all of Oregon.
It was built on the remains of an old wagon trail and it has an incredible observation point that lets you see the mountains that are nearby.
The whole structure is made out of real lava stones and it is actually built on the foundations of basaltic lava.
Getting to the top of the Dee Wright Observatory isn’t exactly easy and smooth, but it’s definitely worth traversing through jagged rocks just to see the view.
If you’re a bit adventurous and you want to do something different while you’re in Oregon, then this is the perfect place for you to visit.
Lots of people refer to it as a lava field because of the basaltic lava, but if you’re worried it’s dangerous, don’t worry!
The lava that was there turned to stone many thousand years ago, so it’s completely safe to visit now!
If you do decide to visit the Dee Wright Observatory, then you can tell all your friends that you walked across a lava lake to get there, and it’ll technically be true!
14. Kite Festival
Held during the summer and fall, the Kite Festival is one of the most fun things to do in all of Oregon.
You will get to witness thousands of beautiful and colorful kites as they are released into the air and it is an extraordinary experience.
You can even make your own kite for the festival if you’re crafty and it’s a great way to get the kids involved too.
You will see plenty of kites made by professionals at this festival as well, and some of them are absolutely incredible!
While the kites are being set off into the air, there will be plenty of activities and attractions on the ground to keep you further entertained.
You will find lots of live music performances around the festival, which are performed by local artists, and there are plenty of arts and crafts workshops for you to enjoy.
Both the summer and the fall versions of the festivals are amazing, and you should definitely try and attend both when you can.
The Kite Festival is a great day out and it’s perfect for families who are looking for activities where their kids can be heavily involved.
15. The Grotto
This is a Catholic site that is home to a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but regardless of your religious preferences, you will be able to appreciate just how beautiful this site is.
The Grotto can be found within a forest and it is surrounded by trees, rocks, gardens, and many beautiful flowers.
There’s something really special and magical about this location, and if you are a Catholic yourself, The Grotto is known to be a site of spiritual healing.
It is considered to be a deeply powerful and religious place, but even people who aren’t a part of the Catholic faith are welcome here.
The centerpiece of The Grotto is of course the statue of Mary. She can be found in a cave that was carved into the wall of the cliff.
If you aren’t religious at all, you will still love this location, and there are plenty of gardens and caves for you to explore in the surrounding area.
This is definitely one of the more interesting attractions in Oregon, and the memory of the place will really stick with you long after you have returned home.
Newport is a town that is located within the borders of Oregon, and it is known by many for its incredibly quirky and unique nature.
There is something for everyone to check out in this town, some of which include huge aquariums and a few wax museums.
Newport isn’t completely unknown to outsiders, but it’s still lowkey enough that you can enjoy it without feeling like it’s a tourist trap.
There are numerous buildings for you to visit which include museums, shops, restaurants, and plenty of art galleries.
This town is also home to lots of sea lions, so don’t be surprised if you cross paths with one, because they are almost just as common as humans here!
Newport is also home to quite a few lighthouses, with most of them still being operational, so if you have never seen an active lighthouse before, this is the perfect place to go and see one for the first time.
Locals love Newport, and once you visit for yourself, you will definitely want to go back.
Everyone there is friendly and there is plenty to keep you occupied for quite some time. You could quite easily stay here for a week and not run out of things to do.
17. Multnomah Falls
An/centerother scenic option, Multnomah Falls is incredibly beautiful and perfect for anyone who wants to visit some beautiful natural places in the boundaries of Oregon.
In order to see the falls for yourself, you will need to hike a short distance, but when you get there you will see that it was 100% worth the effort.
You can view the falls from multiple angles as there are plenty of trails, observation points, and footpaths for you to explore.
The main bridge that is located at Multnomah Falls is an attraction all of its own as well and it is incredibly photogenic.
The whole area is Instagram-worthy and the beauty of Multnomah Falls will really take your breath away!
It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in the entire state and thousands of people flock to see it for themselves all over the world.
If you find yourself in Oregon and you don’t know where to go first, Multnomah Falls is a fantastic place to start!
18. Enchanted Forest
From the name alone, you’re probably thinking that Enchanted Forest is some form of forest or woodland, but you might be surprised to learn that it is actually an amusement park!
It is based on fairytale stories such as the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, and more.
Any fantasy and fairy tale creature or troupe you can think of is represented in this amusement park, so expect to see lots of wizards, dragons, and fairies when you visit!
There are even castles in Enchanted Forest which are home to many shops for you to explore.
The rides that are featured in this amusement park will keep you entertained for hours and because it’s all fairy tale themed, this makes it perfect for children.
You will be able to enjoy waterslides, haunted houses, and roller coasters, so there is something for everyone to enjoy here.
There is lots of music playing throughout the park as well, especially folk music, which will immerse you in the setting even further.
Its opening times do vary depending on what season it is, so if you do want to check Enchanted Forest out, make sure to ring ahead so you don’t make the trip up on a day it’s closed!
19. Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort
The Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort can be found deep in the mountains and it is consistently covered in snow, making it the perfect place to go if you are into winter and snow sports.
There is a lot to do at the resort, but as you may have guessed, the main attraction is of course skiing.
You can choose between alpine and backcountry skiing and regardless of if you are a beginner or an expert, you will be welcome here.
Along with the skiing areas, there are also plenty of cabins, shops, cafes, and bars for you to check out when you aren’t hitting the slopes.
If you have none of your own skiing equipment, there is also an equipment rental shop, so the resort has got you covered!
Lots of people, both tourists and locals alike love the Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, and if you love to ski or you want to get into it, this is a great place to check out.
20. Oregon Vortex
The Oregon Vortex is the perfect tourist attraction for anyone who likes strange and unexplained things.
This building has an unnatural tilt and though there are multiple stories as to why it’s like that, no one knows for sure which is the real one.
Lots of people believe that the building is located on top of a supernatural vortex and that lots of strange things have happened here.
Some examples of some of the weird things that happen here are marbles rolling uphill instead of down, objects changing sizes depending on where you look at them, and people have even seen brooms stand on ends with no human interaction!
This is a great attraction to visit if you are in Oregon and you won’t find anywhere else like it.
There is an argument that everything here has a rational explanation, but if you’d prefer to suspend your disbelief and believe something paranormal is going on here, you will have a fantastic time exploring the Oregon Vortex.
21. Oregon State Fair
Fairs are always fun, but there is a really special atmosphere at the Oregon State Fair!
It is filled with all the smells and attractions you are used to seeing when you attend a fair, but the energy is so unique that you will definitely want to attend again and again.
People come from all over the country to attend the Oregon State Fair and there are plenty of things to see and do there.
There are plenty of thrilling rides, delicious food, fun games, and great music for you to enjoy as you venture around the fairground.
Around 200,000 to 300,000 people visit the Oregon State Fair every year, and the energy will keep you buzzing all day long! If you have any children, then you should definitely bring them along too, as the fair caterers to everyone, regardless of their age.
Along with all the standard fairground things, Oregon State Fair also has petting zoos on site, so be prepared to see a lot of cows and pigs!
There is a big emphasis on agriculture at the Oregon State Fair, and this just adds so much to the overall experience.
22. Three Capes Scenic Loop
If you love scenic views and you love to drive, then you simply have to check out the Three Capes Scenic Loop!
The Oregon Coast is famous for its beautiful driving trails, and if you drive on this loop you will be able to enjoy mountains, forests, and beaches.
There are loads of places you can stop at for a break along the way as well, so you can really make a day out of it if you choose to check it out.
Some of the things you can stop and check out on the drive include observation decks, monuments, lighthouses, and parks.
You will also find a few restaurants along the trail too.
Most of them serve some form of shrimp and other seafood, but if you don’t like seafood, there will be plenty of other options on the menu for you to choose from.
23. Oregon Shakespeare Festival
From the name alone, you are probably thinking that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is an event, but it’s actually a place!
You will find it in the city of Ashland and it is a repertory theater that has been in the area since the 1930s.
What makes this place even better is that shows are put on frequently, and we mean there are more than a dozen a week that you can go and enjoy.
You will of course find lots of Shakespeare plays going on here, but you can also enjoy Greek tragedies and even Spanish comedies.
This is a great place to visit if you want something different, or you just really appreciate old-school theatre. All the performances are held in a wonderful outdoor theatre.
24. Train Mountain Railroad
Calling all train lovers! The Train Mountain Railroad is definitely a location in Oregon that you’re going to want to visit because it is home to lots of miniature trains!
All of the locomotive trains that you will find here are only knee-high, but that just adds to the quirkiness of the whole area.
You can even ride these trains, but you may have to spend a bit of time working out how to balance them properly first!
If you go at the right time, you can even see miniature train enthusiasts gather for an event known as the Train Mountain Triennial.
This only happens once every three years though, so check when their next meet it!
25. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is only open for one month in the entire year, so you will have to check the dates before you visit.
If you do go when it is open though, you will absolutely love it!
The whole farm is filled with beautiful and colorful tulips as far as the eye can see and you have an excellent backdrop in the form of Mount Hood.
There are walking tours you can go on but you are also free to explore the farm at your own pace and leisure.
There are so many things to do in Oregon, but these are some of the best attractions the state has to offer. Check them out for yourself!
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