Find out where all the best things to see in Oregon are! Oregon isn’t short of stunning sites. From snow-capped volcanoes to expensive deserts and lush forests lining a rugged coastline, The Beaver State is among the most diverse areas in the United States.

I’ve lived in Oregon for a long time now, but for some reason or another, I have never put together a list of the best places to see in Oregon. I finally sat down and put one together. Here are the best of the best in no particular order.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

26 Amazing Thing To See in Oregon

The first three things on this list can all be seen on my Southern Oregon Road Trip Itinerary! This itinerary also includes the waterfall trail. 

Crater Lake 

Crater Lake National Park is in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon. It’s known for its namesake Crater Lake, formed by the now-collapsed volcano, Mount Mazama. Wizard Island is a cinder cone near the western edge of the lake. The Rim Drive, a road surrounding the lake, offers views of the park’s volcanic formations. The park’s numerous trails include Sun Notch, with views of the Phantom Ship, a small island.

Oregon Caves National Monument

Oregon Caves

Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is a protected area in the northern Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon in the United States. The 4,554-acre park, including the marble cave, is 20 miles east of Cave Junction, on Oregon Route 46.

Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort

Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort

Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort

 Set on 36 acres of countryside next to Siskiyou National Forest, this imaginative treehouse resort is 11.4 miles from Cave Junction and 26.8 miles from the Oregon Caves National Monument. Learn more.

Painted Hills

Painted Hills – Photo from

Painted Hills

The Painted Hills in eastern Oregon near the small town of Mitchell, is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in Wheeler County, Oregon. It totals 3,132 acres and is located 9 miles northwest of Mitchell, Oregon.

The Painted Hills are a collection of hills that were created from a series of volcanic ash eruptions that formed approximately 32 million years ago. What makes them so special is fact that they’re colored in different tones of red, tan, orange, gold, and black that change during the year depending on the light levels. 

Unlike most depictions of Oregon, this part of the state is a high dry desert, a sight you wouldn’t exactly expect to find here! The area is surrounded by hiking trails and other natural wonders like the Sheep Rock Unit, which will give you an insight into the area’s history through fossilized rocks.

Not far from the Painted Hills is a phenomenal working ranch that you can visit: Silvies Valley Ranch: A Luxury Dude Ranch in Eastern Oregon

Multnomah Falls covered in snow and ice

Multnomah Falls covered in snow and ice

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is a waterfall located in the Scenic Columbia River Gorge area, east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, Oregon, United States. The 611-foot-tall waterfall is accessible from the Historic Columbia River Highway and Interstate 84. Consider having dessert at the lodge, they have excellent desserts.

Japanese Garden in Portland

Japanese Garden in Portland

Portland Japanese Garden

Located in downtown Portland, Oregon. The Portland Japanese Garden is a traditional Japanese garden occupying 9.1 acres, located within Washington Park.

Portland Oregon Travel Guide

Lava Tubes

The cave is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The cave temperature is a constant 42 degrees, so wear warm clothing. This one-mile cave is one of the longest lava tubes in Oregon and offers self-guided exploration.

Oregon GardenThe Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical garden and tourist attraction in Silverton, Oregon, south of Portland and not far from Salem. Opened in 1999, it is home to over 20 gardens, including a rose garden, children’s garden, and Silverton market garden. It is open 365 days a year and hosts both public and private events. The land is also home to the Gordon House, Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright home. 879 West Main Street, Silverton, Oregon.

Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park is a state park located near Silverton, about 20 miles east-southeast of Salem. It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres, with more than 24 miles of walking trails, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile bike path. Its 8.7-mile  Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls, from which the park received its name. Four of the ten falls have amphitheater-like surroundings that allow the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls.
Ecola State park

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park

This state park is located just north of Cannon Beach. Ecola State Park stretches along 9 miles of coastline. I consider this to be the most beautiful beach in Oregon.

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park is an American state park located in central Oregon’s High Desert near the communities of Redmond and Terrebonne. Its sheer cliffs of tuff and basalt are ideal for rock climbing of all difficulty levels.

Oregon Dunes National recreation areaSand Dunes

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is located on the Oregon Coast, stretching approximately 40 miles north from the Coos River in North Bend, to the Siuslaw River, in Florence.
Whitewater rafting the Big Eddy near Bend, Oregon.

Whitewater rafting the Big Eddy near Bend, Oregon.

White water rafting on the Deschutes River

There are lots of places along the Deschutes to raft. We went Whitewater Rafting with Sun Country Tours

Willamette Valley Wine Country

Spend a day or two wine tasting at some of the 554 wineries in the Willamette Valley. Need a place to stay, check out the Vintage Trailer Resort.

Yaquina Head LighthouseLighthouses in Newport

Newport, Oregon has two lighthouses including Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
Portland Rose Garden

Portland International Test Rose Garden

International Test Rose Garden

The International Rose Test Garden is a rose garden in Washington Park in Portland, Oregon, United States. There are over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. This is a free attraction.

Chinese garden in Portland

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Formerly known as the Portland Classical Chinese Garden and titled the Garden of Awakening Orchids, is a walled Chinese garden enclosing a full city block, roughly 40,000 square feet. 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209

Hoyt Arboretum

Hoyt Arboretum is Portland’s museum of living trees where we grow and exhibit trees and plants from around the world while educating our community and conserving vitally important plant biodiversity.  The arboretum is open free to the public and encompasses 189 ridge-top acres in Washington Park that are accessible by 12 miles of trails. Our collection nurtures 6,000 specimens from around the world, including over 2,000 species, 63 of which are vulnerable or endangered.

Jerry’s Rogue River Jet Boats

Go on a 104-Mile Wilderness Whitewater will travel into the ‘Wild’ section, an area only accessible by jet boating, rafting, and hiking. Jerry’s is the only commercial jet boat trip allowed to operate in this remote twelve-mile section.

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge is a mountain lodge on the south side of Mount Hood. Constructed from 1936 to 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, it was built and furnished by local artisans during the Great Depression.

Things to do on Mt. Hood

Wind Surfing and Kite Surfing in Hood River – Hood River is the windsurfing capital of the world. People come from all of the world to windsurf and kitesurf here. It’s fun to watch.

8 Kid-Friendly Wineries in Hood River


McMenamins is a family-owned chain of brewpubs, breweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs in the Pacific Northwest.

Sahalie FallsSahalie Falls

Just off Highway 126 is the most beautiful waterfall, Shalie Falls. The whole drive down highway 126 is scenic.

Powell Books

Powell’s Books is a chain of bookstores in Portland, Oregon, and its surrounding metropolitan area. The Powell Books in the Pearl District is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

John Day Fossil Beds

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument consists of three units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno. All three give glimpses into Oregon’s prehistoric past. Hike through colorful rock formations at John Day Fossil Beds preserve a world-class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years.  Exhibits and a working lab at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center as well as scenic drives and hikes.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

A 66-mile drive dotted with Alpine lakes across the high country of Central Oregon, home to striking volcanic strata and the stunning Cascade Range mountains.

Known for its magical landscapes, choosing where to go in Oregon isn’t exactly an easy task because there is just so much to see and do here! If you’re currently planning a trip to Oregon and wondering where to go, this list of 26 of the best destinations in the state you absolutely have to visit in order to get a pretty good picture of how diverse it actually is!

Do you see your favorite attraction on our list? Why is it your favorite? If you do not see your favorite attraction tell us what your favorite is!

26 Top things to do in Oregon, including waterfalls, gardens, scenic drives, and more.

26 Top things to do in Oregon, including waterfalls, gardens, scenic drives, and more.


bmc qr

If you found this information helpful consider buying me a cup of coffee aka helping me pay to put kids through college! Just scan the QR code or click the link. As always, thank you for your support!

Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using or for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO. If you are looking for a hostel, I use HostelWorld.

Rent Clothes

Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!

Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available. Groupon also tends to have a lot of local travel deals.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Hertz or Discover Cars.

Save Money on Gas

Upside a free app gets you cash back on gas! Use promo code RV2Q2 to get an extra 15¢/gal bonus on your first purchase.

Get a Visa

I use iVisa to get all of my Visas.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended but doesn’t cost you any extra. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!