Oregon is one of those states that many people have on their bucket lists. That said, there are a huge number of people who finally get to Oregon and have no idea what to do. This is where an Oregon bucket list can come into play.
You see, there are tons of amazing things to see and do in Oregon, and a travel list specifically for the state can help you narrow down your options. Once you’ve decided which options are ideal for your trip, you can create a travel bucket list that you can follow to ensure you see the things that are most important to you.
Not sure where to begin? Below, we’ve included our own Oregon bucket list. Use some of our bucket list ideas and gather some of your own to create the perfect must-do list for your trip to the Beaver State.
What is a Bucket List?
Of course, before you can make an Oregon bucket list, you have to know what a bucket list is. A bucket list includes everything you want to see and do before you die. You might add places to visit, foods to eat, or experiences to have.
Many people make a single bucket list for everything. We, on the other hand, prefer to make individual travel bucket lists for every state we plan to visit. This helps keep us organized and ensures we see and do everything we want to see and do during any given trip.
A perfect example of this is the Oregon bucket list below. Check it out for some inspiration!
— Bucket List Vacations: Oregon’s National Parks —
National parks are always worth including on any bucket list. The National Park Service does an excellent job of maintaining our parks, monuments, trails, and historic sites, so we can fully appreciate the beauty and history lessons they have to offer.
Some of our favorite Oregon NPS sites are below:
Crater Lake National Park
An absolutely gorgeous place, Crater Lake was formed by a violent volcanic eruption around 7,700 years ago. Today, the lake is the deepest in the US and is one of the most pristine bodies of water in the world.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is spread across four different sites in two different states. That park tells incredible stories of transition, settlement, conflict, community, and more, helping us better understand the history of the area and of the country.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Explore the prehistoric past of Oregon at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Whether you prefer hiking through the places where fossils have been preserved, or exploring the working lab and visitor center, there is something for you at this amazing park.
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
The Lewis and Clark expedition was an incredible one to say the least. These men and the rest of their team were determined, resourceful, and ready to tackle anything. Learn more about this incredible journey at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
New Perce National Historical Park
For as long as anyone can remember, the land of the inland northwest has been home to the Nez Perce people. This resilient tribe survived and adapted to enormous changes, always holding fast to their history and culture. Learn about this history and culture at the Nez Perce National Historical Park.
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
Some of the most spectacular caves in the entire country, the Oregon Caves are truly a sight to see. These caves were formed by eons of acidic water seeping into marble rock. The result is an otherworldly and magical place that you are sure to want to explore.
Oregon is also home to a number of national trails, all of which have amazing stories to share.
- Oregon National Historic Trail
- Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
- Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
- California National Historic Trail
— More Oregon Bucket List Experiences —
Need more suggestions? Not to worry, Oregon has plenty of amazing options to fill your list. Our favorite Oregon bucket list items are included below. These should be enough to get you started, so you can head out on your Oregon trip with the perfect travel list already in hand.
Stroll the International Rose Test Garden
Featuring an enormous variety of roses, the International Rose Test Garden is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. Be sure to get plenty of photos of the gorgeous roses, and make time to stop and smell a few of the beautiful flowers.
Explore the Portland Japanese Garden
Another fantastic garden for a lovely little walk is the Portland Japanese Garden. This is an amazingly well-manicured garden with plenty of places to sit and reflect on life. Again, we highly recommend taking a camera, and we also recommend giving yourself plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in the peace this garden has to offer.
Browse Powell’s City of Books
Another fantastic place to go when in Portland, Powell’s City of Books claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. It is definitely one of the biggest bookstores we’ve ever been to, and has a little bit of everything. Plan on browsing for a while, especially if you love to read.
Hike to the Witch’s Castle
Most people don’t think of hiking when they think about visiting a city like Portland. Nevertheless, the city does have a few hikes to offer. One of our favorites is the Lower Macleay Trail in Forest Park. This trail leads hikers right to an old stone house known as the Witch’s Castle.
Attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
One of the best festivals the state has to offer is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This is one of the most well known Shakespeare festivals in the world and is attended by theater fans from all over. If you are a person who appreciates the performing arts, this is a must-do.
Try Salt and Straw Ice Cream
We love a good ice cream. Fortunately, Oregon has quite a few amazing ice cream places to choose from. Our favorite? Salt and Straw. This up-and-coming ice cream chain serves up some seriously amazing frozen treats. Not only that, they also have a number of super interesting flavors like Pear and Blue Cheese, Honey Lavender, and Arequipa Olive Oil. Don’t worry! More classic flavors are available as well.
Ski Mount Hood
No visit to Oregon is complete without a visit to Mount Hood, and if you’re visiting in winter, this means you simply must try skiing the mountain. Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort offers lessons and rentals, so even complete newbies can give the sport a try.
Climb to the Top of Multnomah Falls
Oregon is chock-full of amazing scenery, including some of the prettiest waterfalls in the entire country. One of these falls is the amazing Multnomah Falls. Located along the beautiful Columbia River Highway, this waterfall is a full 620 feet tall, making it the tallest waterfall in the state.
Drive the Hood River Fruit Loop
In the mood for some fresh fruit? The Hood River Fruit Loop is a stretch of road that runs right by a number of local farms. Shop the farm shops and stands, or head to a pick-your-own farm. Either way, you’re sure to come home with some delicious fresh fruits and veggies.
Eat Tillamook Cheese
Yes, we all know Wisconsin is famous for its cheese, and rightfully so. That said, some of the best cheese in the country is actually made in Oregon. Be sure to grab some Tillamook Cheese while in the state. Melt it on something or eat it straight from the block. Either way, you’ll be glad you did.
Oregon’s coastal towns are absolutely charming and well worth visiting. One of our favorites is the little town of Astoria. Be sure to give yourself time to stroll the streets of the historic downtown area, where there are little local shops and boutiques as well as plenty of delicious eateries. You’ll also want to cross the Astoria-Megler bridge, which is the longest continuous truss bridge in the country.
Ride a Horse on the Shore in Bandon
Honestly, riding a horse is a memorable experience no matter where you do it. That said, riding a horse along the Oregon coastline is one of those magical things that everyone should try at least once. One great place to do this is the slow-paced town of Bandon.
Visit with Sea Lions at Sea Lion Caves
Have you ever visited with a sea lion? If not, you should probably visit the Sea Lion Caves. Here, you will get to see dozens of beautiful sea lions and explore the largest sea cave in America. It is definitely a great experience for adults and kids alike.
Check Out Thor’s Well
Thor’s Well is a sort of bizarre natural phenomenon that we highly recommend checking out. This hole in the rocks looks to be bottomless and seems to be mysteriously draining the ocean away as the water streams endlessly into it.
Sled the Oregon Sand Dunes
An interesting part of the Oregon coastline, the Oregon sand dunes are a great option for those looking for a different kind of recreation. People do of course drive dune buggies over the dunes, but we recommend trying sand boarding or sand sledding instead. These are both super fun and unique sports that can’t be experienced in most places.
Admire the Painted Hills
The painted hills got their name because… well, they look painted. These hills are covered in stripes of green, red, orange, pink, and gold, and the end result is awe-inspiring to say the least. It’s not hard to see why these are referred to as one of the “7 Wonders of Oregon.”
Kayak Devils Lake
Devils Lake is yet another gorgeous natural attraction in the state of Oregon. This beautiful lake is a brilliant turquoise, and it beckons kayakers with its shimmery surface. This is easily the prettiest lake in all of Oregon, and considering how many beautiful lakes there are in the state, this is really saying something.
Cruise Highway 101
Highway 101 is famous for a reason. This highway stretches along the west coast and allows travelers to take in some of the most incredible sights in the country. We highly recommend driving at least a portion of this highway when in Oregon. Make sure you stop for photos along the way!
Savor a Slice of Marionberry Pie
If you aren’t from Oregon, you’ve probably never heard of marionberries. These local berries are something you absolutely must taste before leaving the state, and we think they’re best when eaten in a pie. Luckily, marionberry pie is served up in eateries all over the state, so it should be easy enough to find.
See Haystack Rock
Cannon Beach is famous for its iconic 235-foot sea stack, which has been lovingly named Haystack Rock. This huge rock formation certainly is a sight to see, and is well worth snapping some photos of before you head out to explore the adorable town and Ecola State Park nearby.
Float the Deschutes River
Grab a tube and get ready for a super fun time when you head to the Deschutes River. This river is well known as the place to go when you just want to let the river carry you away. The water is nice and cool, and the sights are beautiful. This is an ideal place to cool off in the heat of the summer.
Relax in Umpqua Hot Springs
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as soaking in natural hot springs. One of our favorites is Umpqua Hot Springs. This place is absolutely incredible, and the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring the state.
Learn at Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Whether you choose to walk through a lava tube, check out the lava forest, or hike up a mountain of obsidian, a visit to Newberry National Volcanic Monument is always unique and memorable. Not only that, you’ll likely learn something new in this fascinating place.
Enjoy the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Tulips are absolutely beautiful flowers. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm of Oregon plays host to an entire festival for the flowers each year. Tulip festivals are actually fairly common in Holland, meaning you’ll be getting a little taste of another culture when you attend this event.
Clearly, Oregon is a fantastic place to visit and you won’t be running out of places to go anytime soon. That said, attempting to see all of these amazing places in a single trip can be tricky. One thing that can help is taking an RV.
Traveling in an RV gives you the freedom to jump from one attraction to the next quickly and without much hassle. Additionally, you will be comfortable wherever you roam.
Lucky for you, we have plenty of Oregon rental RVs to choose from, so you can book one today in preparation for the ultimate Oregon road trip!