If you’re moving to Portland, Oregon, you’re in for a treat. Not only does this city offer a vibrant urban environment, but it’s also a gateway to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. If you are a newcomer to Portland, here are some fantastic long weekend getaways to explore the beauty of the region.
The Oregon Coast (2-3 hours’ drive)
One of the most popular long weekend getaways from Portland is a trip to the Oregon Coast. With its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns like Cannon Beach and Newport, the coast is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and beach lovers. Explore tide pools, go whale watching, or simply relax by the ocean.
Columbia River Gorge (30-45 minutes’ drive)
Just a short drive from Portland, the Columbia River Gorge offers a breathtaking escape into nature. Hike to see iconic waterfalls like Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, and enjoy scenic drives along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The Gorge is a paradise for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
Mount Hood (1-2 hours’ drive)
Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest peak, is an excellent destination for outdoor adventures year-round. In winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Mount Hood Meadows or Timberline Lodge. During the summer months, hike the numerous trails, go mountain biking, or simply relax at Trillium Lake with a view of the majestic mountain.
Willamette Valley Wine Country (1-2 hours’ drive)
For wine aficionados, a visit to the Willamette Valley is a must. This wine region is known for its world-class Pinot Noir and offers numerous wineries and tasting rooms. Spend your long weekend savoring award-winning wines, exploring charming towns like Dundee and Newberg, and dining at farm-to-table restaurants.
Bend, Oregon (3-4 hours’ drive)
If you’re up for a longer road trip, head to Bend, located in the high desert of Central Oregon. Known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, Bend offers hiking, mountain biking, and world-class fly fishing. You can also explore the stunning lava caves at Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (2-3 hours’ drive)
A unique getaway from Portland is a visit to Mount St. Helens, the volcano that famously erupted in 1980. Explore the visitor center, hike the trails, and learn about the geological history of this remarkable area. The scenery here is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
The San Juan Islands, Washington (4-5 hours’ drive and ferry ride)
For a coastal adventure a bit farther afield, consider visiting the San Juan Islands in Washington. Take a scenic drive to Anacortes, Washington, and hop on a ferry to the islands. Enjoy whale watching, kayaking, and exploring charming towns like Friday Harbor and Lopez Village.
Portland, Oregon, offers newcomers a fantastic opportunity to explore the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest through a variety of long weekend getaways. Whether you prefer the coastal charm of Cannon Beach, the outdoor adventures in Bend, or the wine tasting in Willamette Valley, there’s something for everyone within a short drive of the city. These getaways allow you to experience the diverse landscapes and unique culture of the region, making your transition to life in Portland all the more exciting and enriching.