Author: Francis Hill

Why Should You Visit Oregon

If the great outdoors is what calls to you, you need to pay a visit to Oregon. It possesses a natural magnificence that is, so breathtaking. If you would take a look at pictures featured by Oregon, you will know what I mean, but it cannot possibly compare to seeing the place and its scenic beauty that a camera lens simply cannot translate. If you are not convinced enough, here are a few good reasons to visit Oregon today:

Sales Tax is not a thing

Whether you are eating out, grocery shopping, or simply just shopping, sales tax does not apply in this state. You do not have to twiddle your thumbs at the checkout station hoping you have brought enough cash or have enough credit left to pay for your shopping PLUS the seemingly unpredictable sales tax.

If you buy a two-dollar item on the menu, it stays two dollars at the tab. If you get a piece of clothing that says that it is five dollars, you leave the store paying nothing more than five dollars for it. Many tourists take advantage of this and spend away at Oregon. After all, there are not many places in the US that do not apply sales tax.

You can stay dry even in the midst of the sun. Not from the rain though, since Oregon is known to have a fair share of rainfall throughout the year. People around here like to layer clothing, and it is not just during the colder months. Some light layering is the norm even through the spring and summer, and people are free to do so because there is practically no humidity. No matter how hot it gets outside, you will not be soaking in sweat so you stay dry and comfortable as much as possible.

Natural awesomeness is everywhere

Oregon is known to be gifted with a lot of interesting landscape. Cliffs are a favorite among thrill seekers who want to brave the heights and take the most outrageous selfies. Waterfalls here are so relaxing and super majestic that you might feel like you have been transported somewhere in middle earth.

The mountains are abundant and towering and make the state the perfect destination for hikers, adventurers, campers, and even skiers in the winter season. Some of these mountains are volcanoes –active and inactive. Since volcanoes are a thing here, you can find a place that is just filled with volcanic rocks –the Obsidian Flow. While it is just a place full of rocks that are made up of cooled lava, you would be surprised at how shimmery each rock is since it contains crystals.

The rivers and lakes here are also grand and magnificent. The clean and clear waters are home to many species of water dwellers, marine life, and seabirds as well. One good example is the Metolius River which is so clean and unpolluted that you can see the rocks at the bottom and the fish swimming their way downstream.

It is studded with quaint communities

Cities in Oregon are filled with so much history, art, food, and music that you will find something worth of interest for you. These cities may not be the hectic buzzing metropolis that other states have, but their laid-back environment makes Oregon cities more proliferative in the most creative of aspects.

If you’re looking for things to do in Oregon, places to go, and how to plan your trip, check out Travel Oregon.


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What to Pack for an Oregon Trip

Planning a trip to Oregon? Below are a few things you will want to include in your packing list to make sure you will be Oregon-ready:

Water-ready gear

Oregon is popularly known for its wet climate a significant amount of days of the year. Even in the midst of a hot summer, it is still a good idea to bring even just a light jacket with you to counter any sudden weather changes.

Other weather-ready apparel also comes useful such as a waterproof jacket shell or light handy raincoat, a waterproof backpack or bag rain cover, and rain-ready shoes like rubber flats. You will also need a trusty hat and a waterproof pouch for your gadgets, money, and other important documents that you’d like to keep dry in case of a downpour. In case you are up for some water activities in the many lakes, beaches, and rivers in this nature-filled state, your gear will keep you protected from the elements.

Insect repellent

Due to the wet climate and the abundant nature that the state of Oregon naturally possesses, you will most likely be definitely tempted to venture out into the mountains for a good old camping trip or an adventurous hike. Adventures like this call for some protection from the abundance of insects that you may encounter. Bug bites are a sure downer for any vacation, so you should bring your favorite insect repellent with you. There are many DEET-free options to choose from, including ones with natural citronella extract which is non-toxic and safe for even the youngest adventurers.

Comfortable shoes

Since there are many places to visit in Oregon, you may be doing a lot of walking around. Many cities offer day tours, and a lot of parks offer hiking trips, so with this, you will need a good pair of walking or hiking shoes. Some comfortable boots that are weather-resistant is a good idea too. If you want something a bit more fashionable to tour the cities’ downtown areas, fancy and stylish ballet flats and handsome loafers may do just the trick.


Refillable water bottle

This is not just a must for Oregon, but for a lot of states of places, you will visit. With Oregon, you will find that there are enough refilling fountains you can get your water from. This way, you are saving a lot of bucks since you will be drinking a lot without having to spend a lot on those convenience-store water bottles, and at the same time, you are doing Oregon’s amazing natural beauty a favour by minimising the trash you generate during your stay simply by bringing your refillable bottle.


Sun protection

Despite the moist weather that Oregon enjoys many days of the year, it still does get quite sunny and even hot during the summer. If you plan to spend some or a lot of your days basking in Oregon’s great outdoors, you better bring out the sunblock. Wetness will not spare you from burns once the clouds clear up and the sun comes out.



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What to Eat in Oregon

When exploring any place, people tend to ask what food to eat to maximize their visit. A culinary exploration is usually one of the main stars of any vacation. Therefore, if you are planning a trip to Oregon anytime soon, below is a list of grubs you should watch out for.

Dungeness crab

These sweet and tender-fleshed grubs of the Northern American seas are a local favorite in Oregon. It is so abundant that in each year, Oregon alone harvests about ten million pounds of these. If you are the adventurous or fishing type of traveler, you could even rent your crab pots and dingy in local stores so you can catch your own. There are stores that help you not just catch but also cook your crabs the way you want them –steamed, buttered, and laced with a squeeze of lemon and a sweet little pinch of salt.

Wild mushrooms

Being the wet and wild terrain that it is, you can expect to find some interesting things when scouring the forest beds. It is worth it to try wild mushrooms at restaurants that offer them in Oregon because you can be assured that it was sourced probably right off the restaurateur’s backyard.

The local chefs have developed their artistry in handling these wild mushrooms. You would be surprised at the flexibility that they possess as they can be found in all courses in many meals –from the hors de oeuvres to the entrees and even tarts and desserts. If you are a mushroom type of person, you will enjoy the fares they can offer.


This is the state’s official nut. Oregon is positively teeming with hazelnuts. In fact, almost all of the commercial hazelnuts in the US are sourced from Oregon. Because of this, you can expect that locals have also grown creative in making hazelnut dishes. Also, Oregon Hazelnut and Salted Caramel ice cream by Tillamook Cheese Factory features this nutty pride of the state and is a tourist attraction by itself. You have not gotten to Oregon unless you have tried their Hazelnut desserts.


Pears are the state fruit and are mostly grown in Salem. That means that pears are quite a staple in the area and pear products are pretty much available all year round. Salt & Straw in Portland, for example, produces the famous Pear and Blue cheese ice cream which can be readily bought by the pint in stores. You can opt for the supermarket option, but if you want to get the most authentic experience of it, you can head to their store and brave the crazy queue.


There is something about biscuits that make it so familiar to Oregon’s lumber history. There was once upon a time when Oregon produced massive quantities of lumber for great North America after the civil wars, during the boom of industrialism.  There is something that is just homey and filling with a buttery hot and freshly baked biscuit, especially if you pair it with some saucy ribs.


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Top Oregon Destinations for Nature Lovers

Oregon is a dream destination for those who love the great outdoors. Below are a few of the best spots to visit when nature tripping in Oregon:

Crater Lake National Park

This park is a hundred and eighty-three thousand acres vast and contains America’s deepest lake. It also is home to Mount Mazuma which was once the highest mountain in the region until it erupted and depleted during the time of the first inhabitants.

You can visit during the warm and dry seasons –somewhere between June and September –to be able to take advantage of the park’s many trails that may close up during winter or the wet seasons. Hikes, boat trips, and overviews are a few of the most popular activities in the park.

Columbia River Gorge

This breath-taking nature preserve along the Columbia River proudly features an eighty-mile and four thousand feet deep canyon. If you like lush greens with a backdrop of whooshing waterfall, you will enjoy this nature preserve. Hiking along its paths will give you a sense of nature and make you feel one with the environment.

Cannon Beach

This beach is a small coastal city in the north of Oregon. Aside from the vast sandy shores, it is also known for the famous Haystack rock which stands in the middle of the ocean and serves as a seasonal respite for the tufted puffins with their thick red bills and yellow tufts.

Ecola state park in the northern land offers a wonderful view of the vast oceans, numerous little coves, and a lighthouse. If you want to go on a picnic or enjoy swirling tide pools, head down south to Arcadia beach. You can also enjoy a light stroll downtown which sports a few boutiques as well as galleries.

Mount Hood

Climbing, snowboarding, volcano, and hiking –Mount Hood is an adventurer’s destination. It mountain is a potentially active stratovolcano, which makes the hikes all the more thrilling for adventure-seekers since it is the volcano in Oregon that is considered most likely to erupt. It is now considered Oregon’s highest mountain and one of the tallest in the country.

There are twelve named glaciers and snowfields that make this mountain home. Mount Hood national forest is one of the top spots to pick if you want outdoor recreation. It has its ski resort, lodge, and campsites that are perfect for families or groups.

Oregon Dunes

Wind-sculpted sand dunes are usually delegated to somewhere exotic like the Middle East. However, you can find them –forty miles of them right at Oregon. The site is best enjoyed by those who are into off-roading since the dunes make the perfect obstacle course and playground for the most adventurous off-roaders. It is also a great hiking spot for those who want to experience a different type of terrain. Campgrounds are available around the area for those who want to pitch in for the night after a long day’s adventure.

Cascade Locks

Fishing, hiking, and camping usually go perfectly well together. At Cascade Locks, you can enjoy all three at your leisure. You can feel like living right in the outback when you are at the locks.


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Oregon Cities to Visit

Oregon is home to not just mountains, lakes, creeks, and beaches it has a thriving city life within its cities which boast of different offerings for every type of traveler.


Oregon’s largest city. It is best known for its parks, bridges, bike paths, coffee houses, microbreweries, and overall environment consciousness. That is why bringing around a refillable water bottle or sporting a reusable shopping bag when doing groceries is greatly appreciated and pretty much the norm around here.

Music, theatre, and the arts are simply flourishing in Portland, so you are most definitely going to be entertained. It is like that eccentric, easy-going friend of yours turned into a city. In fact, Portland’s unofficial slogan is “Keep Portland Weird.”


This city sits on the Columbia River near the Pacific Ocean. It is home to some historical or history-featuring establishments like the Astoria column which is a towering monument which showcases murals that depict the area’s history and panoramic views from the hilltop. There is also the Columbia River Maritime Museum which is housed in a waterfront building as it features a history of fishing, shipping, and naval military.

Another history-inspired edifice is the Flavel house museum which is a Victorian building that features historic furniture, and impressively manicured gardens to make you feel as if you have just been shipped through time. There are plenty more historical features that Astoria has to offer. If you are the type who likes looking back through time, Astoria is a romantic getaway from the modern world.


If you are a fan of marine creatures and birds, Newport proudly boasts the Oregon Coast aquarium which showcases local marine wildlife with its underwater walkways and seabird aviary. Another feature that gives Newport its authentic port-city-like vibe is that it is home to the 1871 Yaquina Bay lighthouse found in the Yaquina bay state park.

The Hatfield Marine Science Centre of Oregon State University in Newport has interactive exhibits that allow visitors to truly experience and appreciate the local marine life of the city, and of the state.


Located in the southern part of Oregon, Ashland is most well known for hosting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It also features some beautiful ponds, rose gardens, butterfly gardens and themed gardens as well–the perfect venue to read and study Shakespeare indeed.

It also features the Science Works hands-on museum which lets kids build and explore around a depiction of Da Vinci’s workspace. You may be able to say that this city is more of the refined and classic arts and literature type of city.


The capital city of Oregon, Salem is positively filled with beautiful historic mansions that depict the history of the state. The best example perhaps is the Willamette Heritage Centre which contains several 19th-century houses complete with period furniture as well as an actual victoria wool mill. Another example is the Italianate architecture of the Bush house museum which was originally built to be a family home in the 1800s.


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Oregon’s Most Prominent

From athletes to TV personalities to business tycoons to writers–below are some of the most prominent people from Oregon.

Danny Ainge (1959) was an Oregon-born basketball player from Eugene. He was a Wooden Award recipient during his basketball years in college while also playing baseball professionally with the Toronto Blue Jays.

It was not long after that he was drafted to play with the Boston Celtics that ended his baseball stint with the Blue Jays. As a Celtic, he starred for two championships and gained the honor of being the second NBA player in history to score nine hundred three-point shots in his career. When he retired, he coached the Portland Trail Blazers for a brief period.

Beverly Cleary (1916 – ) is most well known for her Ramona books that include Ramona’s World, Ramona Forever, and several more. She was a prolific writer of more than thirty books and an awarded writer for her works which include children’s books.

However, she did not begin writing until her thirties despite it being something she has always wanted to do due to lack of time. She studied at the University of Washington to be a librarian after having grown up on a family farm in McMinnville Oregon.

Abigail Scott Duniway (1834 – 1915) lived mostly in Lafayette and is a prominent female suffrage advocate, leader, and activist. She worked as a journalist during her time.

Dick Fosbury (1947 – ) was a Portland-born Olympic gymnast who invented the Fosbury Flop move in high jumping which involved flipping over the bar backward. He set an Olympic record in 1968.

Matt Groening (1954 – ) is the brains behind The Simpsons which is now considered the longest-running prime-time animated show in history. His father was a cartoonist who encouraged his creativity from a young age.

After college, he moved to LA to become a writer, but having no luck in this endeavor, he began sending comic strips to his friends back home entitled Life in Hell, which still appears in newspapers. The unintentional success of the strip caught the eye of TV producer James Brooks who hired Matt to develop what is now The Simpsons.

Chief Joseph, also known as Young Joseph was part of the Nez Perce tribe of Wallowa Valley. He was a peaceful leader but later on was forced into war in the 1870s because of problems with white settlement. He tried to lead his people to Canada on a thousand mile trek but was forced to surrender when his people were starved, freezing, and dying. He relocated to Oklahoma but later returned to Wallowa to encourage his fellow natives to lead better lives.

Phil Knight is presently the CEO, president and chairman of Nike. He was a Business Administration graduate from the University of Oregon and was a track athlete. His business venture started out when he and his former track coach invested a thousand dollars to start Nike, which was at the time named Blue Ribbon Sports and would later be successful enough to be one of the leaders in the sports shoe market.

Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is the actress best known for her role as Jaime Sommers in the TV series The Bionic Woman for which she won an Emmy. In 2013, she began a teaching career at the San Bernardino Valley College as an adjunct faculty member for acting and directing.



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Activities To Enjoy In Oregon

There are a number of unique experiences you can encounter in Oregon. Below are some of the top picks that can make your Oregon trip all the more memorable.


Crabbing is an Oregon thing. All you need are a few crabbing pots and a decent little boat to get you started. You will be catching a lot of those Dungeoness crabs that the North is quite popular for. Its sweet and tender flesh is definitely worth the effort to go crabbing, but the act of crabbing itself is a unique and fun experience on its own.

If you do not have the necessary materials to go crabbing, there are quite some places where you can rent them since crabbing is quite a proliferative activity in the area. Beware though, if you do go crabbing, you might be in for some real problem since these coasts are their natural habitat too. To keep them off your business, you can opt for mink or chicken as bait since they are not attracted to these, unlike when you are using bait that had been caught from the sea.

Lastly, make sure you bring a measuring tape or rule to measure the crabs you catch. Only keep the biggest ones you find and release the rest. Catching crabs that are too young can get you in trouble with marine conservation in the state. Catching juvenile crabs also puts the crab population at risk, so it is all for the better to just follow the rules with crabbing.

Food Tripping

Many eats in Oregon boasts of super fresh locally sourced ingredients that come from the state’s backyard. The state is positively teeming with farms, rivers, vineyards, seas, and dairies that make these fresh and excellent ingredients accessible to almost any local establishment.

In Oregon, you can be assured that your food is made with only the best and the freshest. What is more is that you can cut on cost with eating too because food comes with no sales tax. The bounty of the state can be tasted with every plate.

Day Trips and Hiking

Parks and preserved natural areas offer hiking trips that are perfect for the outdoor person. Just make sure to be equipped with the right gear to battle the weather and face the terrain of great North America.

If you are not that into the great outdoors, you can always go for day tours which are offered by various cities in Oregon. They give you tours of historic sites, monuments, museums, parks, and other places of interest that you might find appealing.

Wine Tasting

Since Oregon is positively teeming with farms and wineries, it is one of the best places to visit for wine tasting. There are some companies that offer a wine tasting tour that takes you to the scenic vineyards and offer a great variety of wines to explore. This is a great getaway for amateur wine connoisseurs, friends, or even couples who like to have a deeper appreciation for wine and at the same time explore the beauty of the northern country.


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Oregon Across the Centuries

Geologic Activity

Much like many places that are rich in landscape, Oregon’s hills, valleys, rivers, and lakes are a result of millions of years’ worth of geologic activity involving massive floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions long before the arrival of the first inhabitants.

Even with the native inhabitants that have pitched home in the terrains of the state, these geologic activities have been noted and accounted for. For example, what was once the tallest mountain in the region, Mount Mazama, experienced an eruption so severe that the mountain reduced itself by a full kilometer. This was witnessed by natives who were inhabitants of the area and recognized it as a great battle between the mountain god and the sky god.

These geologic activities are what led to create the scenic terrain and landscape that many nature lovers enjoy so much in Oregon.

Native Inhabitants

Much of the earliest discoveries about the most probable first inhabitants of the state were made by archaeologist Luther Cressman when he discovered sage bark sandals that dated more than thirteen thousand years ago, around the area of Fort Rock Cave. He later found more evidence around the Paisley Caves supporting his previous evidences.

By around 8000 BC, there is believed to be settlements of tribes all around the state, mostly concentrated along the Colombia river. Many native American groups have made Oregon their settlement, including the Chinook, Bannock, Chasta, Takelma, and a lot more.

European Exploration

During the 19th century, the earliest official European explorers came by Oregon, at first, only to seek passage to the Northwest by sea and by land. Later on, traders, Christian missionaries, and even immigrants came along.

These explorations were positively welcomed by the natives because of the opportunities brought about by trade. However, it would later be noted that diseases brought about by the foreigners would later become the downfall of the native tribes. These explorations started when the Spanish sighted south of Oregon in the 1500s and continued with the British explorations in the 1700s to the 1800s.

Pioneer Settlement

The first official permanent white settlement was Fort Astoria, established and funded by American businessmen. The Oregon Trail which was what immigrants took to settle permanently in the region was established at around 1830. Most of these immigrants were Christian missionaries who wanted to convert natives to Christianity.

The trail brought many new settlers to the area, and soon a government was set up by need as the settlers have begun acquiring property and participating more actively in communities. Native populations were later pushed back to Indian reservations where they set up casinos where state laws do not apply, to curb looming poverty.

Modern Times

In the 1900s, the construction of the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia river prompted a lot of industrial growth. Oregon, by this time, was providing a significant amount of power, food, and lumber in the developing Northwest. However, due to the multiple and varied inhabitants that have come and still occupied the area,  conflict is always at present.

There was also a vile history of racial discrimination and minority discrimination in the state. The Oregon Supreme Court itself declared in the 90s that minorities were more likely to be incarcerated, thanks to institutionalized discrimination with which it prescribes a more multicultural exposure and training of individuals in the justice system.



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Historical Landmarks to Check Out in Oregon

While the time machine is yet to be invented, we can always walk back in time with the remnants of the past that our ancestors have left for us. Perhaps that is why historical landmarks are always a fascinating prospect when touring a place such as Oregon.

Peter Iredale Shipwreck

You will not find any leftover booty here, but you will find a ton of history in its place. The remnants of the gigantic Peter Iredale ship on the coast of Oregon near Hammond.

Kin Wah Chung Heritage Site

Historically, when the Oregon trail was opened, some immigrants came from so far east –as far as China. There were Chinese settlers that took part in the history of Oregon. This heritage site is a Chinese apothecary turned museum in John Day that lets you step way back in time to the 1870s.

Lewis and Clark

This national historical park at Fort Clatsop allows you to get a view of American explorers Lewis and Clark’s day-to-day life and living conditions when they once spent an entire winter in this picturesque site.

Tillamook Air Museum

Considered the biggest clear-span wooden structure in the world –it is a simple wonder to behold. This world war two blimp hangar now houses an astounding aviation museum.

End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre

This is actually the exact spot where the historic Oregon trail ended. Take a walk through history with the center’s multimedia exhibits. It also features entertaining and educational re-enactments during the diaspora of immigrants from the South and East towards what is now Oregon.

Fort Astoria

Built with full-girth timbres just as you would have seen in period movies, fort Astoria was once the Pacific Fur company’s main trading post. It has a colorful history being the first American owned settlement in Oregon and then the first British port in the Pacific coast.

Timberline Lodge

Situated near the summit of Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge is a safe and cozy respite for skiers and visitors for a hot and hearty meal with a beautiful view of the snowy summit and the surrounding forests. It is listed as a national historic landmark by the US.


The quaint and quiet gold mining town if Jacksonville houses a number Oregon’s oldest buildings. Walking down the streets of Jacksonville feels like walking back in time with the streets lined with old buildings that are similar to those you see in Wild West movies.

Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre

Located near Baker City, this actual historical site offers re-enactments and informative interactions. On top of that, you can fully attest that you are along the Oregon trail because you will see actual ruts made by the actual hundreds of wagons that passed through the trail.

Pittock Mansion

If you have never been inside an actual mansion, this one is open to the public. It was built in the 1900s and is kept the real deal through rigorous and meticulous preservation.



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Experiencing the Vast Beauties of Oregon

If you have not paid a visit yet, you are missing out on a lot. Oregon has a lot to offer that you cannot find just in any other state.

Oregon Across the Centuries

Take a brief look at the state’s history across the Centuries and even across the millennia–from the beginning of the formation of what is now the breathtaking landscapes that the state boasts to proudly of to the first settlers and up to its modern history.

Oregon’s Most Prominent

If you find people interesting, Oregon has its share of celebrities to offer. From business tycoons to actors to writers, tribe leaders, and artists–Oregon has it all. Do not be alarmed when you run into someone famous in restaurants and malls; these things happen all the time.

Why Visit Oregon

If you still are on the fence as to whether or not you should pay a visit, you should take a look at the list of things that everybody loves about Oregon and why you should go. Let us look at the many reasons why Oregon is worth the trip.

What to Pack for a Trip to Oregon

Once you have made up your mind about that visit, it is best to come prepared. There are a few distinct necessities that you need to consider specifically when traveling to Oregon to make your stay more convenient and enjoyable.

Historical Landmarks to Check Out in Oregon

Once you have made it there, you would want to take a look at the state’s rich history in the flesh. There are a lot of museums and historical sites that offer you entertaining and educational information. It is not all about the people and the adventure because heritage is also a rich aspect that adds to the overall allure of the place.

Activities to Enjoy in Oregon

You will never get bored in Oregon, especially if you love the great outdoors.

What to Eat in Oregon

After all that activity and all those sightseeing trips, you would want to get filled up and not just by any common food, but by true Oregon delicacies that will complete your Oregon experience.

Top Oregon Destinations for Nature lovers

Among all the nature destinations that Oregon has to offer, if you are crunching on time, there is a list of the top sites you should not miss out.

Oregon Cities to Visit

The state is home to many cities, and each of them has their distinct characteristics and offerings for visitors, depending on your taste and preference. Browsing which city fits your personality will convince you to make Oregon your primary destination.

Oregon Animals to Avoid When Visiting

You would want to be safe when in the great outback of Oregon. Moreover, since Oregon is rich in nature and wildlife, there are a few of these locals that you should avoid to keep your trip safe and the animals undisturbed.



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