Whether you live in Portland or you plan to visit, while there are a ton of things to do in the city, you’ll also have easy access to a number of spectacular day trips, including some of our favorites, like these.
Astoria is just an hour and a half’s drive west of Portland, located along the Columbia River. It’s one of the state’s most historic cities and it also served as the setting for 1985’s cult hit, “The Goonies.” Check out the view from the Astoria Column, pictured here, and then stroll the city streets, taking in the magnificent architecture as well as some of the sights seen in the film, like Mikey’s house, the Flavel House Museum which served as his dad’s place of employment, and the County Jail, where Ma and Francs Fratelli break Jake out of lockup – it’s now the Oregon Film Museum.
Columbia Gorge: Wine Tasting and Waterfalls
The Columbia River Gorge, which divides the states of Washington and Oregon, is home to some of the most scenic waterfalls in the world, including iconic Multnomah Falls, which is less than 30 miles from Portland. Go waterfall hopping, or wine tasting – there are more than 30 wineries and tasting rooms in a 40-mile stretch of scenic roadway that winds through the Cascade Mountain Range. If you want to experience it from the water, take USA River Cruises Columbia River Wine Tasting Yacht Cruise.
80 miles from Portland, Cannon Beach is the place to go if you’re looking for breathtaking coastal scenery. For the best views, take a hike in Ecola State Park, with lush trails that wind through ancient, old-growth forest at the edge of the Pacific where you can view the eerily abandoned Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, and then head to the beach for some fantastic beachcombing, and peer into the tide pools to look for a sorts of colorful sea creatures.
While Cannon Beach is ideal for romance-seekers, Seaside makes the perfect day trip for families, just 15 minutes north on the coast. Walk or bike the nearly three-mile stretch of beach along the promenade, which offers ocean views and easy access to all of the city’s attractions. Fly a kite, feed the sea lions at the Seaside Aquarium, or play at the Funland Arcade which hosts bumper cars, pinball, video games, skee ball and numerous carnival-type amusements.
Less than 100 miles southeast of Portland, Mount Hood offers all sorts of things to do year round. During the warmer months of the year, hike or bike the numerous mountain trails, and when the slopes are covered with snow, ski or board one of six areas near the mountain. Be sure to check out historic Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark. It was used in aerial shots for 1980’s “The Shining.”