I grew up in Seattle and traveled to Oregon as a kid at least once every two years, as my family drove on sometimes-sketchy roads to my aunt and uncle’s ranch in Bend, Oregon for alternating holiday seasons. My impression of the state?
Oregon is awesome. It is a wonderful state with an incredible variety of geography, cultures, and climates. Take a look at this map, courtesy of the Oregon Master Naturalist Program at Oregon State University:
The first thing you should notice is that Portland, which everyone from out of the area thinks of first when they think of Oregon, is not really representative of the state, being located in the very northwest. Second, the Willamette Valley, which runs from Portland south past Eugene, while the heart of the wine area is itself only a small part of the state.
On our five-day Oregon Wine Adventure we fly into Eugene, tour the Willamette Valley, and even travel up and over the Cascades past the largest mountain in the state, Mount Hood, to descend on a second, smaller wine area, the Hood River Region. We then travel west on our final day to finish in Portland.
We have some incredible adventures on this trip, including walking through the vineyards of the state’s largest winery, King Estate; canoeing down the Willamette River before jumping out to walk through a vineyard for a wine tasting lunch; and bicycling down from the slopes of Mount Hood on paved roads and paths towards the Columbia River, with wine stops en route. Our Oregon Wine Adventure is a fantastic combination of wine, scenery, and activity.
But I started out this post by acknowledging that Oregon is so much more than what we can see on our wine adventure. So I encourage you to join us on our tour this August 18-22 and then stay another five days on your own.
Rent a car in Portland as the tour ends. Consider driving west to the Pacific Ocean and then traveling south on Highway 101, past the quaint village of Seaside, touring the cheese factory in Tillamook, and then visiting the Sea Lion Caves where you can watch (and listen to) these massive beasts.
Then, travel east, up and over the Cascades to Crater Lake, an absolutely stunning lake that fills the crater of an extinct volcano. Head north through Bend, outdoor recreation capital of the state (and home to my aunt’s ranch) and fun town to visit, before heading back to Portland to visit this liberal, bohemian, food-oriented city.
If you can manage it, this would be one of the best 10-day vacations you have ever had: five days exploring the wine regions of the state with a fun group of people and our expert guides followed by five days of adventure on your own.