Above the sunny state of California lies Oregon, also nicknamed "The Beaver State"; Known for its rugged coastlines, fresh seafood, and scenic natural landscapes, Oregon is a must-see for travelers seeking a relaxing, nature-filled getaway.
Tourists flock to the northern Oregon coast to enjoy Cannon Beach, whether it's to admire the Haystack Rock or to sink their toes into the beach's powdery sand. Cannon Beach also sits in the tourist town of Astoria, which is packed full of restaurants, resorts, and shops. As beautiful as the area is, Oregon offers an eclectic mix of other landscapes and activities fit for any traveler.
After a fun-filled day at Cannon Beach, travelers should plan their Oregon itinerary to check out these top-rated tourist attractions in the state. From peaceful national parks to artistic city exhibits, Oregon offers tourists a cultural experience with a chance to explore its natural landscape!
8 Crater Lake National Park
- Location: Crater Lake, OR
The Crater Lake National Park is located in southwestern Oregon and is embedded in the Cascade Mountains. There's a ton of activities to do around this national park! Head to Cleetwood Cove and catch a ferry to Wizard Island. Visitors can also take their rental cars and drive around Rim Drive to get a panoramic view of the lake, possessing a deep hue of blue. Throughout the drive, drivers and passengers alike can admire the backdrop of the Mazama Mountain and lava cliffs. Tourists should also check out Rim Village, which can only be accessed by car (and during warmer periods).
7 Columbia River George National Scenic Area
- Location: Hood River, OR
Tourists heading to Portland should check out this state gem. Hovering between Oregon and Washington, the Columbia River George National Scenic Area is home to many picturesque waterfalls, including the Multnomah Falls. Visitors can spend the day on a leisurely hike (or bike) along the Columbia River or spend a couple of nights in the area's campground. This area cuts through the Cascade Mountain Range, so visitors will have tons of opportunities to photograph its natural landscape, from its babbling rivers to the lush foliage. The Columbia River George National Scenic Area is a must-see destination, no matter what time of year tourists are traveling to Oregon.
6 Silver Falls State Park
- Location: 20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity
Travelers who can't get enough scenic sites of waterfalls must see the Silver Falls State Park. Blessed with over 9,000 acres of land, the park is also known for its extensive walking, biking, and horse trails. The Silver Falls State Park is the largest park in the state and is often nicknamed the "crown jewel" in Oregon. Visitors chasing waterfalls should check out the South Falls along the Trail of Ten Falls, known for its majestic 177-foot statue (you can even walk behind it)! Activities like camping, picnicking, horseback riding, and RVing are also available at the Silver Falls State Park.
5 Portland Japanese Garden
- Location: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland
The Portland Japanese Garden offers a tranquil space for visitors. Tourists can partake in cultural activities like tea ceremonies. The array of gardens also offer artistic exhibits mixed with the peaceful sounds of nature, including koi ponds and gently flowing mini waterfalls. Visitors can awe the architecture in Portland Japanese Gardens, from its Minka Houses to its woodblock exhibitions. The gardens are regarded as a little slice of Japan in Oregon; in fact, former Japanese Ambassador Nobuo Matsunaga regarded it as "the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan".
4 Thor's Well
- Location: Highway 101, Yachats
Sinkholes are terrifying sights, showing us that the true power of nature. While Thor's Well is considered a sinkhole, it's a popular tourist attraction due to its beauty. Also nicknamed the "Drainpipe of the Pacific", Thor's Well is so powerful it looks like it's draining the sea of water! This marvelous natural wonder sits on Cape Perpetua, drawing thousands of tourists every season. Curious travelers should be cautious when approaching Thor's Well; this 20-foot sinkhole is so powerful, it's capable of sweeping people to its mighty gullet violent ocean torrents!
3 Oregon Coast Aquarium
- Location: 2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport
In the busy city of Newport, tourists can check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium, featuring 23-acres of exhibits exclusively dedicated to aquatic life. From seals to starfish, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is a must-see and is often considered one of the best tourist attractions in the state. Visit this world-famous aquarium with a fellow traveler to check out some turkey vultures or stare into the eyes of a giant pacific octopus. Travelers can even book an interactive experience at the aquarium, whether it's petting some moon jellies or learning how the facility takes care of its 15,000+ aquatic animals!
2 Newberry National Volcanic Monument
- Location : Bend
Nature-lovers rejoice: This 54,000-acre park is home to a vast array of lakes, forests, an obsidian field, and a caldera to award the senses. At the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, enjoy a refreshing hike on Trail of the Molten Land or enjoy a scenic view at Lava Butte (equipped with a museum nearby). The Monument also features a Lava Lands Visitor Centre where tourists can learn more about the active volcano present in the park (and is about the size of Rhode Island)! Located in central Oregon, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a must-see for travelers heading to The Beaver State.
1 Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
- Location : 855 US-101, Reedsport
Visitors who thought Oregon was all-ocean and lush foliage will be pleasantly surprised when they visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Located in Reedsport, this recreational area is the only place along the state's coast that is blessed with sand dunes. Through the magic of wind, water, and geology, the Oregon Sand Dunes are perfect for thrill-seeking tourists. Take a bumpy ride in this desert-like area on an Off-Highway Vehicle or paddle your way on the coast. Lucky visitors may even spot some birds or local wildlife while checking out the dunes.