Destination Guides


Oregon

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Ecola State Park, Oregon ©Cacophony

The state of Oregon has one of the most diverse landscapes of any state in the US, with its towering mountains, thick forests, arid scrublands, wide prairies, deserts and scenic Pacific coastline. Oregon lies in the northwest of the US, bordered by the ocean, and the states of California, Washington, Idaho and Nevada. Along its northern boundary lies the Columbia River, and its area encompasses the fertile Willamette Valley and two mountain ranges (Pacific Coast and Cascade) where lift-serviced alpine skiing is offered.


Most of Oregon's countryside, from beaches and valleys to mountain peaks, is remarkably unspoiled, and the state has been dubbed 'God's country'. Oregon boasts natural attractions like Hell's Canyon, the deepest river-carved gorge in northern America, as well as more than 6,000 lakes (including famous Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the USA), and more than a hundred thousand miles of rivers and streams. In addition, more than half of the state is covered in natural forest. This makes it a delight for nature lovers, although its merits as an outdoor adventure tourist destination are slightly marred by an over-abundance of rain.


Although Salem is the state capital, the largest city in Oregon is Portland, straddling the Willamette River. The modern, compact and vibrant city of Portland is the commercial and touristic hub of the state, famed for its locally brewed beer and multitude of roses.


It is far easier to head west on the 'Oregon Trail' today than it was for the historic pioneers in their covered wagons, but visitors are no less delighted by the charms of this destination than were the gutsy emigrants of the mid-1800s.


Climate Info

Oregon's climate is generally moderate, divided into east and west by the Cascade Mountain Range. The mountains block the moist winds blowing in from the sea, which moderates the temperature and brings heavy rainfall to the western part of the state, where most of the main cities are situated. The eastern part of Oregon has drier weather and more extreme temperatures. Average temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) in winter and 68°F (20°C) in summer along the coastal belt, to 25°F (-4°C) and 78°F (26°C) in the eastern part of the state. Heavy snowfalls are common in the Cascades in winter.


Getting Around

Getting around Portland is quick and easy on the city's award-winning light rail system, nicknamed 'MAX' (Metropolitan Area Express), which extends to the east and west of downtown with a spur to the Portland International Airport. MAX also connects to the popular attractions at Washington Park in about 10 minutes from the city centre. Portland has a streetcar system connecting the downtown cultural district to the Portland State University, the Pearl District and northwest 'Nob Hill' area. The Tri-Met bus service also covers the town centre and suburbs. Taxis are readily available, with regulated rates, and those who prefer to hire a car will find plentiful car rental companies.


Portland International Airport (PDX)

LocationThe airport is situated nine miles (14km) from downtown Portland.
Time DifferenceGMT -8 (GMT -7 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: Toll free 1 877 739 4636 or (503) 460 4234.

Getting to city

Portland's MAX light rail system serves the airport, connecting to the heart of the city, for a fare of around $2.50, and with a travelling time of around 40 minutes. Trains depart roughly every 15 minutes. Taxis, shuttles, buses and rental cars are also available. All transportation pickups occur on the airport terminal's lower roadway, on the baggage claim and departure level.

Car Rental

The Car Rental Center on the first floor of the parking garage includes Avis, Dollar, Enterprise, National and Hertz offices.

Airpor Taxis

The airport is served by taxis, although they may need to be ordered by telephone for late night arrivals. Taxi rates are regulated and reputable providers include Broadway Cab Company and Green Cab.

Airport Facilities

The airport has several ATMs, a currency exchange bureau, and a shopping mall which includes restaurants, coffee bars and a pub. There is also a postal service, information desk and a state-of-the-art conference centre.

Car Parking

Portland International offers ample parking options, including long-term and economy, in close proximity to the terminal building. Valet parking costs about $10 per hour or $30 per day. Short-term parking starts at around $3 per hour and costs $27 per day. Long-term parking costs about $21 per day and economy parking is $10 per day.

Websitewww.flypdx.com


Eugene Airport (EUG)

LocationThe airport is situated seven miles (11km) northwest of Eugene.
Time DifferenceGMT -8 (GMT -7 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

Taxis and a door-to-door shared shuttle service called OmniShuttle service the airport. Rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Alamo, National, Budget and Enterprise are represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

There are a number of taxi companies registered to operate at the airport, including Budget Taxi, Cascade Cab Company and E-Cabs Company.

Airport Facilities

Eugene Airport is small and facilities are limited. An ATM, two small eateries, a gift shop, an information booth, pay phones and an art gallery can be found in the terminal.

Car Parking

Short-term parking costs $1.25 per half hour, up to a daily maximum of $14. Long-term parking costs $2.50 per hour, up to a daily maximum of $10.

Websitewww.flyeug.com


International Rose Test Garden


The foremost of Portland's famed rose gardens, the International Rose Test Garden was founded in 1917 during World War I, when hybridists sent roses from around the world to keep them safe from the bombing in Europe. Since then the garden has served as a testing ground for new varieties.
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International Rose Test Garden ©Shubert Ciencia



Oregon Zoo


The award-winning Oregon Zoo is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi, founded in 1887. It covers 64 acres and is home to a vast variety of animals, including Asian elephants, Peruvian penguins and Arctic polar bears. All are housed in their natural habitats, and the zoo is an internati
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Asian Elephants at Oregon Zoo ©Stuart Seeger



Lan Su Chinese Garden


Named the 'Garden of Awakening Orchids', this walled classic garden in Portland's Chinatown is a replica of traditional gardens found in Suzhou, Portland's sister city in China. It combines the elements of water, stone, architecture, literature and plants to create balance and harmony. T
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Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland ©Eleonora Corsi



Pearl District


The trendiest neighbourhood in downtown Portland, the Pearl District is the place to see and be seen. The district was once a decaying industrial area, but today the old buildings have come alive with new purposes. Old warehouses have been turned into desirable loft residences and the st
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Pearl District, Portland ©AtlasPDX82



Museum of Science and Industry


The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, affectionately known as OMSI, is a feast of fun for young and old. It includes fascinating permanent exhibits dealing with maths, science and technology, and laboratories where children can undertake science experiments. The complex also contain
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Oregon Museum of Science and Industry ©M.O. Stevens



Cannon Beach


Cannon Beach is Oregon's most famous and popular stretch of coastline among Portland tourists. The beach is dominated by Haystack Rock, a 235-foot (71m) steep formation that can be reached on foot when the tide is low. The first tourist on the beach was William Clark, during the Lewis an
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Cannon Beach ©Tobias Haase



Mount Hood


Mount Hood, 67 miles (108km) east of Portland, is one of the most popular ski resort areas in Oregon. Dominating the Portland skyline, Mount Hood is a great place to get away from the city for a weekend ski break. The mountain is home to three resorts: Mount Hood Meadows, Timberline, and
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Mt Hood ©Tony Fischer



Eugene


As you would expect from a city with a memorial statue of 'Merry Prankster' Ken Kesey in its downtown area, Eugene is an offbeat place, full of people - from old-school hippies to new-age hipsters - seeking out alternative lifestyles. Home to the University of Oregon, and once proudly ca
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University of Oregon, Eugene ©Adam850



Hoyt Arboretum


The Hoyt Arboretum, located within Washington Park and about two miles west of downtown Portland, is home to an outstanding collection of rare and exotic tree species. The 187-acre arboretum is nothing less than a 'living laboratory', and boasts more than 10,000 individual trees and shru
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Hoyt Arboretum, Portland ©Sean Fornelli



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