Wizard Island, snow in May, cheese, ice cream, donuts, waffles, waterfalls, book city, and driving. Lots of driving! That is the gist of our Oregon adventure! There is no way to fit the amazingness that is the Beaver State into a measly three day weekend, but we sure did try. If you love food, nature, and an overall cool, laid back vibe, you will not leave Oregon disappointed.
There were three of us on this trip and since we only had three whole days to explore, each of us got a day to pick the adventure.
Day one: Myles’ pick: Crater Lake National Park
Oregon has so many amazing state parks and scenery but Crater Lake is Oregon’s only National Park. We drove about 4 hours from Portland to get there, and 4 hours that same day back. You know what? IT WAS WORTH IT. Visiting Crater Lake is a trip in itself. So many things to see and do, and so much beauty. In the Summer, you can take a boat ride out to Wizard Island which sits in the middle of the lake. We had to admire it from afar though since we were technically there during Crater Lake’s last leg of Winter! I couldn’t believe there was still that much snow there at the end of May.
Day two: Tim’s pick: The Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast was definitely not what I expected! This drive was another long day trip from Portland, but there were so many cool stops along the way. One of them was the Tillamook Cheese Factory ! It was a bit crowded the day we chose to go but I think that’s a good thing for me. I would have spent all day there eating the delicious cheese samples and Ice Cream. When we finally got to our destination which was Haystack Rock (aka the beach from The Goonies), I was surprised at how awesome and different it was from the beaches around where I grew up in Southern California. Totally different vibe, and a bit chilly! You definitely didn’t see many people frolicking in the waves like you would in San Diego!
Day three: My pick: Portland!
I had heard from some travel blogging buddies and enthusiasts that Portland was a rad place, and that it had a heaven for book lovers like me, so I had to see it for myself. They were right! I loved how everyone seemed really laid back. I loved how there was almost no traffic (at least not the beastly Southern California traffic I’m used to). The food scene was excellent! My favorites were the popular Voodoo Donuts ( if you like donuts, the 45 minute plus wait is worth it), and Waffle Window. Shari’s and Sizzle Pie are honorable mentions for full delicious meals. If you want to escape the bustle of the city, there were plenty of places with waterfalls ( I am an advocate for chasing waterfalls! ) close by to go hiking and just enjoy nature. The popular Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge is a mere 30 minute drive out of Portland.
And, they were right about the book heaven that is Powell’s Books. I could get lost in there forever! When you do go, make sure to ask for a pass to check out the Rare Book room. The price tags are high, but it’s worth it to just go have a look and glimpse the rare first editions of some literary classics.
Oregon, I will see you again someday soon! Those donuts are calling my name!