This year for Valentine’s Day, celebrate the love of your life and take a minute to toast a cold one to our nation’s favorite state, according to some. Founded in 1859 on February 14th, the state of Oregon is proud to present some of America’s most pristine wilderness, richest culture, and a collection of high-quality, locally-produced goods. Enjoy this list to discover some of greatest treasures and what not to miss in Oregon.
1. Crater Lake National Park – The deepest lake in the United States happens to also be one of the clearest and bluest you’ve ever seen. Spend some time hiking and biking through the pine forests surrounding this 6,500-year-old lake, or simply gaze upon its beauty amidst a backdrop of mountains.
2. Willamette Valley Wine – Featuring over 200 wineries patch-worked throughout one of America’s most pastoral settings is the fertile farming capital of Oregon, Willamette Valley. Settle into a cottage or historic inn and get ready for a feast of farmer’s markets and roadside stands to celebrate fruits, veggies, and a bounty of Oregonian delights.
3. Hazelnuts – Temperate ocean, mountain and river climates, and rich, volcanic soil combine to make the perfect conditions for growing hazelnuts. Producing 99% of America’s and 5% of the world’s filberts, Oregon farmers set the highest standard for these distinctive nuts.
4. Shakespeare Festival – If you find yourself in Ashland anytime between February and November, spend an evening or two applauding a Shakespearian production under the stars. This iconic, nonprofit theater has been showcasing remarkable plays since 1935.
5. Craft Beer – With over 172 breweries in the state, Oregon boasts one of the proudest craft beer scenes in the world. Opt for an adventure of the senses and sample a pint or two with a fresh, steaming bowl of mussels or charcuterie of local meats and cheeses.
6. Rogue River – When perusing Oregon’s endless offerings of outdoor recreation, do not overlook the adventures to be had on this stunning waterway that takes you through lava canyons, pear-producing valleys, lush forests, and guaranteed good times on Class III and IV rapids.
7. Truffles – These delectable gourmet treats would not grow in the dank roots and loam of Oregon’s forests if it wasn’t for those same ideal conditions that it takes for growing fabulous grapes. From mycology research to cultivation for culinary creations, Oregon is heralded as a true Mecca for this Pacific Northwestern accent piece for everything from popcorn to pancakes.
8. Voodoo Doughnuts – A visit to Portland is not complete without a snack break at Voodoo Doughnuts where “the magic is in the hole.” You’re guaranteed to find something that tickles your fancy, from the Pepto-pink decor to artistic license found in each sugary sensation. Come hungry, leave laughing.
9. Tillamook Cheese – Take a road trip along Highway 101 and experience some of Oregon’s magical 363 miles of coastline. Along the way, stop for a sample of cheese curds and a quick tour of Tillamook, Oregon’s most famous cheese factory.
10. Coffee – It’s true: Oregonians take their coffee as seriously as they take their beer. From quiet mornings tucked away in a cozy cottage surrounded by misty rainforests to the hipster scenes found on Portland’s weird streets, a cup of Joe seems to be the perfect companion for locals and visitors alike.
11. The Goonies – If you make it to Canon Beach or Astoria, take a minute to appreciate the filming location of the 1985 cult classic movie, The Goonies, and keep your eyes peeled for gold. Or at least really cool seashells, a buttery dish of fresh Dungeness Crabs, and a host of charming bed and breakfasts.
12. No Sales Tax – Along with Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, and Delaware, Oregon welcomes consumers to pay exactly what the price tag says. That’s right: $9.99 means $9.99!
Now that you know what not to miss in Oregon, check out our adventures that visit this amazing landscape!