If you’re on the hunt for a great travel destination, there are loads of reasons to visit Portland, Oregon. From beautiful green spaces to a thriving art, music and food scene, this vacation destination offers a fun mix of activities and attractions, but when you’ve seen all you want to see within the city, it’s time to explore further. Discover ten scenic day trips from Portland spanning less than 200 miles round trip.
- Barton Park – On summer weekends, many Portland locals head to Barton Park, which is 35 miles to the southeast in Boring, Oregon. Located along the Clackamas River, this recreational area attracts tubing and rafting aficionados as well as anglers. Abundant amenities include pretty picnic areas, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, a softball field, a boat ramp and more than 100 campsites.
- Willamette Valley – Located 50 miles south of Portland, Willamette Valley is the place to go for wine lovers. The area features more than 150 vineyards, and the cool climate and rich soil make an especially good formula for pinot noir and pinot grigio grapes. Traveling through the lush, green countryside, you can find tasting rooms of all kinds, from wine caves and country barns to Tuscan-style villas.
- McMinnville – While you’re touring the Willamette Valley, stop at the little city of McMinnville, Oregon. With a walk downtown, you’ll discover loads of charming shops, galleries and delicious eateries, and with hundreds of vineyards nearby, it’s not difficult to find a wine tasting room. For more fun, check out the downtown farmers market on Thursday’s from May through October.
- Silver Falls State Park – Just southwest of the Willamette Valley, Silver Falls State Park offers a hiking experience like no other. A moderate seven-mile trek through lush forest takes hikers by 10 magnificent waterfalls, five of which stand higher than 100 feet. Along parts of the route, you’ll even wander behind the pouring sheets of water and through moss-covered caverns. More things to do in this state park include biking, fishing, swimming, picnicking and camping.
- Hood River – The 60-mile journey from Portland to Hood River, Oregon, is as wonderful as the destination. The drive takes you east through the Columbia River Gorge, and a stop at Multnomah Falls promises plenty of beautiful photo ops. Downtown Hood River features historic buildings, tree-lined streets and lots of local shops, restaurants and galleries. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Range offer many opportunities for hiking, biking and water sports.
- Cannon Beach – If you’re looking for a Pacific Coast experience, drive 80 miles northwest of Portland to the town of Cannon Beach. Start with a delicious meal and a craft beer in town, and then hit the coastline. To spot puffins and cormorants, head to Haystack Rock, a majestic natural attraction located just two miles south of town. Travel further south to Oswald West State Park for great hiking, and find nine miles of coastline for shelling, surfing and picnicking just north of Cannon Beach at Ecola State Park.
- Astoria – Situated 97 miles northwest of Portland on the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon, is packed with small-town appeal. Visitors and locals call this village “Little San Francisco” for its quaint hillside neighborhoods. For an enjoyable history lesson, stop by the Flavel House Museum, and catch the best views in town with a climb up the Astoria Column. Find fishing boats, freighters and sea lions while walking the riverfront, or take a fun tour on the town trolley.
- Lighthouses in Newport – For an immersive Pacific experience, head to Newport along the central coast where two iconic lighthouses have guided ships since the 19th century. Shops, restaurants and plenty of attractions make Newport a lovely family weekend destination from Portland. Visit the aquarium, science centers and shoreline to absorb all that Newport has to offer.
- Mount Hood – Pack up the skis or the hiking boots for a jaunt around 70 miles from Portland. Oregon’s loftiest peak offers year-round scenic grandeur and physical challenges. There are numerous options in the region for vacation cabins and condos whether you’re a snowboarder or a couch warrior on vacation.
- Crater Lake – Check out the bluest blue on a weekend trip to Crater Lake. The 270-mile trip is worth it to witness the splendor of the lake and hike the trails. Do check in wintertime that roads are open and enjoy the crisp air of the cliffs surrounding the flooded volcano. Hike around the rim or snowshoe in the area when there’s snow on the ground. Crater Lake is an excellent place to learn scuba diving because of its 2,000-feet depth.
On a vacation to Portland, Oregon, you’ll find plenty of enjoyable attractions, but when you think you’ve seen it all, the surrounding area offers even more. Take a day trip to one of these seven stops for a scenic getaway you won’t forget.