While Portland is the place that most people think of when Oregon comes up, there are so many other places also worth visiting in the gorgeous state. One of the best parts of Oregon is how many charming small towns there are, each with a population under 12,000 people. There you’ll find amazing wineries, breathtaking mountain landscapes, coastal charm, adventures, and great food. Here are some great Oregon towns you should cross off your list.
Astoria’s beautiful seaside town was featured in The Goonies, so you might actually recognize it. Located along the Columbia River, you can take a trolley ride on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley to enjoy the scenery, or you can do it on foot. There’s a strip downtown with boutiques, seafood eateries, and the Oregon Film Museum. You can also visit Buoy Beer Company and Fort George if you’re into local breweries.
Hood River has so much to offer for such a small town. You can visit the Columbia River Gorge where you’ll find gorgeous waterfalls. Historic downtown has plenty going on, with more than 30 restaurants and surrounding vineyards. Hood River can also boast that it is the wind surfing capital of the world, so you can try that out here.
Located about an hour and a half outside of Portland, Cannon Beach is a popular destination, with good reason. The long sandy shore is perfect for a long beach walk. Once you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants all along the beachfront. Haystack Rock is prominently viewed from most areas, and nearby you’ll find tide pools that are fun to explore. You can also bring your pet, as it is a pet-friendly beach.
Joseph is probably what most people think of when they try to picture Oregon off the top of their head. With a backdrop of the Wallowa Mountains, it’s no wonder that many refer to Joseph as the “Little Switzerland of America.” Eagle Cap Wilderness provides endless hours of incredible hiking while Wallowa Lake is known for its perfect fishing conditions. You can also visit the Wallowa County Museum, a seasonal farmer’s market, and take a ride on the Wallowa Lake Tramway.
Silverton can be found about 15 miles away from capital Salem. It is often referred to as Oregon’s Garden City, which is mostly due to the Oregon Garden that provides about 80 acres of parks and flowers. Along the way you’ll find plenty of murals as you head to Silver Falls State Park. There you can find the Trail of Ten Falls and plenty of waterfalls as you trek over. You can also visit the Gordon House by Frank Lloyd Wright while you’re there.