Oregon is a state most people visit when they can’t decide between a relaxing vacation at the shoreline and an adventurous vacation out in the middle of a massive park. Since this gorgeous state is filled with shorelines, forests, deserts, glaciers, and volcanoes, you can easily enjoy it all during your next family vacation. Your vacation in Oregon can be spent embracing the outdoors while indulging in delectable cuisine and relaxing whenever you want to. And I can’t think of a better place to spend time with the people you love most in the world!
Some of the first settlers arrived in Oregon during the 17th and 18th centuries. However, it was Lewis and Clark that put this state on the map when they ventured out to discover the Northwest Passage. They created the Oregon Trail. This trail was one of the most popular trails in the country. Groups of people traveled along this trail over the years. However, approximately 12,000 people traveled from Missouri to Oregon on this trail, which was 2,000 miles long. They were looking for new land and a better life.
Oregon is known as the Beaver State, but there was a time during the middle of the 19th century when beavers were almost extinct. The reason was that so many people were trapping these creatures to make coats and hats from the beaver hides. Thankfully, a group stepped in to manage the hunting of beavers, and this animal is now a prominent feature in the state once again.
When it comes to food, the state of Oregon really knows how to do things right. There are more than 300 wineries in Oregon. Chances are you have already had some delicious wine made in this state. If you eat hazelnuts, you will be happy to know that Oregon produces approximately 99% of the hazelnuts in this country too.
The other food item you may be curious about is the maraschino cherry. Back in the early 1900s, cherries were spoiling before people could eat them. Ernest Wiegand, a professor at Oregon State University, created the maraschino cherry, so no cherry would ever get rotten ever again. So, next time you go to eat a hot fudge sundae, thank Mr. Wiegand for his dedication to the cherry!
The last thing you may not know about Oregon is it grows the most Christmas trees in the country. A decade ago, Oregon had almost five million Christmas trees to send throughout the country. That number is most likely even higher now!
The winters in Oregon may be mild, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to see the shining sun when spring finally arrives. While the temperatures begin to rise a little during these months, you will be most appreciative that the rain finally slows down in the spring.
While the temperatures warm up in Oregon during the summer months, it never truly gets really hot. Therefore, you can easily spend time outside without sweating buckets. The best part about the summer months though is the bright sun and the fact that it hardly ever rains.
The fall months in Oregon can be a little unpredictable unless you are talking about the rain. This is the time of the year when the rain starts back up. However, it is also when you can have warm temperatures one day and cold temperatures the next. If you are looking for good news when it comes to the weather in Oregon during the fall, it would be the fact the rain is more of a drizzle than a downpour!
It does get cold in Oregon during the winter, but the temperatures rarely reach freezing or below. Therefore, all the precipitation normally comes down in the form of rain instead of snow. The upside to winters in Oregon is you won’t freeze as you do in many other parts of the country.
Packing for a family vacation in Oregon is kind of like packing for the unexpected. Unless you are planning to visit Oregon in the middle of summer, you will need to be prepared for cool and warm temperatures. This means packing shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, pants, sweaters, and sweatshirts. A light jacket is also a must unless you are visiting during the winter.
Layers are necessary for Oregon and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. You will find yourself removing layers throughout the day and putting them back on later in the evening. In months like December and January, you will want to add winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to your packing list. Winter boots can be helpful to keep your feet warm, but make sure they are waterproof.
An umbrella should always go into your suitcase when traveling to Oregon. Although a raincoat can keep you dry without the hassle of holding an umbrella all day long.
If your family loves spending time outside, you must plan a few hikes during your family vacation in Oregon. There are so many trails to choose from. And when you are finished hiking for the day, you can always jump into a body of water to go for a swim.
Additional relaxation might be necessary on some days when you are in Oregon. If you happen to require a quiet space to wander around and enjoy a picnic lunch, there are many to choose from. You may even discover the smallest park in the world during your days off the beaten path.
There are not many hauntings in Oregon, but your family can spend the day, or night, checking out the Witch’s House. You will find this house over in Forest Park. Spirits are said to haunt the home, so you will want to keep your eyes and ears open throughout your visit.
Do you have an avid reader or two in your family? If you do, wandering around Powell’s City of Books must be at the top of your list of family activities! This bookstore covers an entire block in Portland and is several floors high. I recommend grabbing a map before venturing too far into this bookstore because it is so easy to get lost amongst the stacks of books.
Additional activities to do as a family while on vacation in Oregon include:
When it comes to places to see in Oregon during your family vacation, there are two destinations clamoring for the number one spot. Crater Lake National Park is the first option. This park is full of hiking trails, the crater, and a scenic drive around the rim of the crater. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is the other option that must be close to the top of your list. This destination is known for its waterfalls, hiking and biking trails, and scenic drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Only you will know which destination must be at the top of your list, but we can figure that out as we plan your family vacation in Oregon.
Beach days must be spent over at Cannon Beach. Whether you are swimming in the water or relaxing on the sand, you can look up to Haystack Rock. There are many restaurants and boutiques near this beach. However, you may be more intrigued by Ecola State Park and Tillamook Head, as well as the Lewis and Clark Saltworks.
You cannot spend time in Oregon without checking out Mount Hood. The Timberline Trail and Mount Hood Scenic Loop are two ways to see this massive mountain peak. If you want even better views of Oregon, but not necessarily this mountain, I recommend heading over to Silver Falls State Park. The Trail of Ten Falls is located there. It is an incredible option for those who have always wanted to stand behind a waterfall or two.
Other top places to see in Oregon include:
Every July, there is one day that stands out from all the rest in Pendleton, Oregon. That is the day when the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest is held! Country musicians hit the stage to play music all day long. While you are listening, you can devour local cuisine and drink your favorite whiskey. The best part is you can camp right on the festival grounds, so you embrace the fun and excitement of this event a little longer!
The Portland Rose Festival has been held for more than 100 years now. This festival always begins around Memorial Day weekend and lasts for approximately two weeks. There are too many parades to count during this festival. But you will also love the live music, fleet week, boat races, city fair, and the Rose Cup Races at the end of the festival.
The Eugene Scottish Festival is held in Eugene, Oregon, every May. This is a day-long event that is filled with Scottish music and fun activities. Your favorite thing to see during this festival will be the dog parade.
You must be more than ready to plan your next family vacation in Oregon! I would love to have a planning session with you, so I can create and customize the perfect itinerary for your family. You can click here to be taken directly to my digital calendar. This will allow you to set up a time for us to meet that is convenient for you.
If you don’t have your vacation dates in mind yet or haven’t narrowed down your vacation destination, you can always sign up for my newsletter by clicking here. This will allow us to stay connected while I share travel information in the future.
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