Whether you’re looking for late-night fun or tranquil treks, the US states of Washington and Oregon have it all. You’ll also find beautiful beaches, impressive wine regions, and some of the country’s best ski resorts, making your trip to the Pacific Northwest one to remember.
Oregon’s capital, Salem, is home to the Oregon State Capitol, with its beautiful marble architecture and scenic park grounds.
|Salem is home to the Oregon State Capitol.
For more outdoor fun, head to Riverfront City Park and Minto-Brown Island Park, which are connected by pedestrian bridge. The latter is the largest recreational area in the city, with a mix of wetlands, woodlands, and prairie.
Portland (a.k.a. “Beervana”) boasts 60 impressive breweries, from well-known spots like the Deschutes Brewery and HopWorks Urban Brewery to the smaller brew pubs throughout the city.
|Portland is also known as Beervana.
Cure your hangover in Forest Park, the largest wooded urban park in the US, or in the picturesque gardens of Pittock Mansion, which offer panoramic views over Portland.
The 85-meter-tall Washington State Capitol can be found in the city of Olympia. Take a tour of the lavish interior before roaming around the gardens to see fountains, flowers, and the Capitol Lake, with plenty of scenic nature trails.
|The Washington State Capitol is located in Olympia.
Seattle, Washington’s largest city, is famous for its iconic Space Needle. Head up the 184-meter-high tower for panoramic views from its observation deck. Capitol Hill has the best nightlife, with tons of LGBTQ-friendly venues, while Downtown is perfect for shopping and art enthusiasts.
|Seattle is Washington’s largest city.
Don’t leave without visiting the famous Pike Place Market, where you can buy goods from over 200 local artisans, enjoy local performers, and sip coffee in the original Starbucks café.
Crater Lake National Park is a must-see while in Oregon. Explore the caldera of the extinct volcano, Mount Mazama, and spot huge volcanic cliffs around deep blue water.
|Crater Lake National Park is a must-see while in Oregon.
Check out the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area for fairly easy hikes along the Columbia River, passing the state’s highest waterfall, Multnomah Falls.
While in Washington, be sure to check out the impressive Olympic National Park.
|The Olympic National Park is full of beaches and mountains to explore.
From the beautiful Ruby and Rialto beaches to the relaxing waters of the Sol Duc Hot Springs, the list of things to do in this park is endless!
Oregon’s Cannon Beach is famous for its huge, towering monolith, the Haystack Rock. After admiring the unique formation, simply relax on the beach or head to the nearby town for quaint shops and restaurants.
|Cannon Beach is famous for the Haystack Rock.
Beach bums should also check out the town of Seaside for more monoliths or Newport for golf courses, deep-sea fishing, and an aquarium.
Washington’s most popular beach, Ocean Shores, offers plenty of beachfront restaurants, horseback riding, and whale watching tours. Alternatively, Mocrocks Beach makes for a fun day out, with great clam and oyster catching opportunities.
Avoid California’s busy wine region and visit the scenic vineyards of the Pacific Northwest instead! Oregon’s Willamette Valley is home to 700 vineyards across more than 80 square kilometers, most of which grow pinot noir grapes.
|Be sure to try some local wine in the US Pacific Northwest.
While most of Washington’s grapes are also red, you can also find some Chardonnay and Riesling vineyards. Sommeliers should definitely check out Walla Walla, Washington’s answer to Napa Valley, with beautiful hilly scenery and lots of small tasting rooms and restaurants.
Standing at over 3,400 meters high, Mount Hood is Oregon’s tallest peak. Enjoy its slopes in the Mt. Hood Meadows resort, home to 85 runs for both beginners and experts. Winter sports enthusiasts should also check out the Willamette Pass for nearly 30 runs and Mount Bachelor for one of the longest ski seasons in the region.
|Mount Bachelor has one of the longest ski seasons in the region.
Washington’s Crystal Mountain resort is located in the Mount Rainier National Park. It features Washington’s highest peak (4,392m) and more than ten square kilometers of skiable terrain.
|Mount Rainier National Park is a great destination in summer and winter.
Mount Baker is also worth visiting, as it receives more snow than any other Washington resort. Stevens Pass, meanwhile, offers great night skiing, as well as a fantastic food scene for those not looking to take to the slopes.
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Whether you’re looking for late-night fun or tranquil treks, the US states of Washington and Oregon have it all.