PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The last Tuesday of January is National Plan for Vacation Day and in Oregon, there are plenty of beautiful places to visit without traveling far.
From the plains to the Cascades to the coast, Oregon has a little bit of everything. Tuesday could be the perfect opportunity to plan a trip somewhere you’ve never been.
To help make vacation planning easy and affordable, Travel Oregon and the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association have a list of participating hotels offering 20% off to guests who book a future stay during the booking period of Jan. 25-28.
Here are several ideas to inspire you to book your next Oregon vacation:
Book a Valentine’s Day getaway – The Vintages Trailer Resort is a collection of stylishly designed travel trailers that intend to provide the ultimate glamping experience. The resort has a pool and clubhouse and each trailer comes with a grill and cruiser bikes.
No “wining” allowed on this vacation – Oregon’s wine country is world-renowned, so why not take advantage of it for yourself? Many vineyards offer tours and visitors can also take themselves on a self-guided tour of vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley.
Stay in a Southern Oregon hotel or resort – The Neuman Hotel Properties include the Historic Ashland Springs Hotel in downtown Ashland, Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, and Lithia Springs Resort, which is known for its natural mineral spring and spa.
Go Rogue – The Rogue River stretches from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean and the Rogue Valley includes Ashland, Medford and the charming town of Jackson. Ashland is home to the annual Shakespeare Festival and Grants Pass is a known destination for jet boat enthusiasts. The Rogue Valley’s reputation for its wineries is also on the rise.
Mt. Hood Territory
Take a tour in the snow – For people looking to enjoy the snow while it’s still around, head to Mt. Hood for your next adventure. Mt. Hood Outfitters offers a variety of tours in the wintery conditions – from guided snowmobile tours to carriage rides to cross country ski and snowshoe tours.
Shred some gnar – Anyone hoping to squeeze in some late winter turns can book a vacation to one of the ski resorts on Mt. Hood. Skibowl, Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows all offer day and night skiing. Skibowl has a tubing hill and Timberline has a snow tubing area at Summit Pass. Mt. Hood Meadows has a Nordic center for cross country skiers.
Is Bigfoot real? You might be more convinced after visiting the North American Bigfoot Center in Boring. The center is open seven days a week and is dedicated to the ever-elusive Bigfoot. Dozens of displays feature an array of bigfoot evidence and historical facts.
Southern Oregon Coast
Escape the crowds – If the beaches near Portland feel too crowded for your liking, the Southern Oregon Coast might be a place you find more enjoyable. The region features sunny vistas, secluded hike-in beaches, small towns, crab fishing and mountain biking.
Central Oregon Coast
Dude, you have to check out these dunes – Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area spans about 40 miles from Florence to Coos Bay and is one of the largest expanses of temporal coastal sand dunes in the world. Visitors can try Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) riding, hiking and birding at the dunes.
Ditch the car – Sure, you can drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway, but you can also travel it by bicycle. Travel Oregon says the Columbia River Gorge can also be explored by bus and train, and now, there’s a special waterfall trolley they’re encouraging people to check out.
What’s good in Hood River? Located east of Portland, Hood River is a destination for people looking to enjoy a beer, great food and a stunning view after a day of adventuring in the Gorge. Hood River is close to several hiking trails and the city has numerous breweries for beer-lovers to try.
Escape the rain – Western Oregon residents who need a reprieve from dreary, wet days might find it in Central Oregon where the climate is drier. Central Oregon offers downhill skiing at Mt. Bachelor, along with cross-country ski lessons and rentals.
Say “mush” – Sled dog rides are also available on Mt. Bachelor. They run through April 24, conditions permitting. Guests are required to make reservations in advance and will take the ride with a musher guiding the dogs. Children must be at least 3 years old to ride and children under 12 must have an adult accompany them.
Clearly, this is a great vacation idea – Clear Lake’s sparkling blue water will convince anyone they need to plan a trip there, just by seeing a photo of the pristine natural attraction. The lake formed 3,000 years ago from a volcanic eruption. Now, under the pristine water, lies a preserved ancient forest. It’s a great spot for fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
Visit a ghost town – Northeast of Madras sits the ghost town of Shaniko. The people who live in the town keep the old buildings from falling apart. Visitors can wander the town and take in its history. Shaniko was once the “Wool Capital of the World.”
Wide open spaces – Enjoy rolling hills, sagebrush plains and gorgeous mountains in Eastern Oregon. Travel Oregon recommends skiing, fishing and wildlife watching in the eastern part of the state. Visitors can even spot ruts carved in the earth by Oregon Trail travelers.
Grab your boots and yell yee-haw! Now could be the time to plan your trip to the Pendleton Round Up. The annual rodeo event has been entertaining fans for more than a century. The week-long event takes place in mid-September and features activities like the Dress-Up Parade, concerts, a tipi village, bull riding and the rodeo.
Heat things up – You can hit up the Alvord Desert and secluded hot springs in one trip. There are two personal soaking pools at the Alvord Hot Springs. The pools are managed by a private caretaker and are accessible for a $5 fee. Not far from the Alvord Hot Springs are the Mickey Hot Springs. Travel Oregon recommends using a Bureau of Land Management map to locate the site since it’s off the main highway.
The Rose City sounds rosy – Maybe Oregon’s biggest city is calling your name for a vacation? Portland loves to keep things weird and for those who love quirky things, Portland is a great city to visit. For people who are really into the weird and wonderful, try checking out the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium in Northwest Portland. The one-of-a-kind art gallery was established in 1967 and features interactive art for “all six senses.”
Support your favorite team – Die-hard sports fans could book a vacation to Portland to see one of their favorite teams play, whether it’s the Portland Thorns, Portland Timbers, Portland Trail Blazers, Winterhawks or another team, sporting events in Rip City are usually lively events. Portland stadiums and arenas are also conveniently located near many other places tourists would enjoy.