Wonders of Oregon
Experience some of the wonders of Oregon on this self-drive itinerary which starts and ends in the quirky city of Portland. Discover waterfalls and green escarpments as you follow the historic Columbia River Highway, the unique splendour has been designated as a national scenic area. From here take the epic road journey between the town of Hood River and the mountains, called the Fruit Loop. Be awestruck by the natural wonder of Crater Lake with its tall cliffs, and then head to the Oregon Coast for surf crashing on cliffs, tidal pools, whale watching and stretches of sand dunes.
Food Trucks + Keeping it Weird
It all starts in Portland which pairs big city style with small town warmth, tax free shopping, the world;s largest independent book store, an acclaimed food scene and a host of craft distilleries and cideries. The Willamette Rivers dissects the city and always in the distance the year round snow-capped Mount Hood.
Wander through Washington Park where the International Rose Test Garden and magnificent Portland Japanese Gardens are found and witness Native American artefacts and cutting-edge sculptures at the Portland Art Museum. There are plenty of days to explore the eclectic neighbourhoods and what is described as the “culinary utopia” that is Portland.
Waterfalls + Fruit Loop
Leave the city behind as you follow one of North America’s grandest rivers, the Columbia is at its finest as it rolls through the Columbia River Gorge, framed by sheer walls of basalt, cloaked in firs and ferns with dozens of waterfalls. Make sure to stop at Multnomah Falls, as it cascades down a cliff and feel the mist and thunder from the bridge viewing area.
First Nations Culture to Crater Lake
Head south from The Dalles to the charming city of Bend, traveling through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation that is home to the Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute tribes. Discover the cultural history of the region at the Warm Springs Museum and go walking along the banks of Shitike Creek, then travel along the spectacular Cascades Lakes Highway that offers magnificent views of Mount Bachelor and the jagged Three Sisters Peak.
Spend the next morning hiking or mountain biking in the spectacular landscapes of the Deschutes National Forest before continuing south to Crater Lake National Park. Travel along the Rim Drive that offers superb views of the park’s famous Crater Lake and the surrounding volcanic formations or hit the picturesque Sun Notch trail to see the Phantom Ship island.
The Oregon Coast
Spend overnight in the river town of Grants Pass before travelling northwest to the Pacific Coast and the bustling port of Coos Bay known for its recreational fishing, crabbing and clamming. From here the coast gives way to mile after mile of high dunes and sandy beaches stretching all the way to Florence, where fishing boats and shop filled historic buildings line up along the Siuslaw River.
Hugging the coastline stop at Heceta Head Lighouse, Oregon’s brightest beacon and the nearby Sea Lion Caves where an elevator descends to an observation area in a huge natural cavern. Arrive in Newport which sits on Yaquina Bay with its iconic arched bridge and is marked by the pretty 1871 Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, the last remaining wooden lighthouse I Oregon.
Feast on freshly-caught seafood in one of the waterfront restaurants and sample the locally-crafted beers of the Rogue Brewery – and look for crab cakes on the menu! It is then time to head inland and back to Portland for a final evening of gourmet delights and time to reflect on the natural wonders of Oregon.
12 nights' accommodation + Brewvana Walking Tour in Portland
More than ever, the USA offers a wide range of tours + itineraries appealing to travellers of all ages looking for that unforgettable trip. Here is our collection of favourite places to inspire + encourage those wishing to seek out their own unique experience.
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