Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

Taking One-Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is a great city to visit, both for couples and families (or just for friends who want to have new experiences and a good time!). While the city itself is full of amazing cuisine, great museums and culture, shopping, and parks, there's also plenty to do outside of the city limits.

If you've rented a car, you can spend a day at Mt. Hood or enjoy wine and relaxation in Willamette Valley.

Whether you're in the mood for getting back to nature or getting in touch with the finer things in life, the areas around Portland have a lot to offer.

The view from Black Walnut Inn, Willamette Valley
The view from Black Walnut Inn, Willamette Valley | Source

Traveling to Wine Country Outside of Portland, Oregon

If you love pinot noir, Dundee, Oregon, roughly an hour from Portland, will be your personal heaven! The area is like a mini-Napa with glorious scenery; vineyards climb up hills against deep green trees and hills in the background.

Around almost every corner you'll find another vineyard, most of them small and many of them by appointment only. However, enough are open for set hours to give you a day's worth of activity.

For the most amazing view, head to Black Walnut Inn in Willamette Valley; for friendly, knowledgeable service in a quaint little house, head to Four Graces in Dundee. Of course, you can get other kinds of wine besides pinot noir, so don't worry if you're not in love with red wine!

There are also several award-winning restaurants in the area, including the Joel Palmer House and the Dundee Bistro. If you're in the mood for variety, drive a bit further and hit the main drag of McMinnville, which has an old-fashioned feel with several delicious restaurants and great shopping.

Visiting Oregon's Wine Country

A markerDundee, Oregon -
Dundee, OR 97115, USA
[get directions]

A view of Mt. Hood
A view of Mt. Hood | Source

Spending a Day at Mount Hood Outside of Portland, Oregon

If you're spending more than a few days in Portland, Oregon, it would be a shame not to visit Mt. Hood National Forest. The mountain itself is breathtakingly majestic, and the surrounding park offers plentiful opportunities for hiking.

On the drive up, consider stopping at Lavender Valley if it's springtime (the area shares roughly the same latitude, altitude, and rainfall as Provence, France), and at any time of year you can stop at one of many little local shops selling fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, and sweets.

Once you're inside the park itself, buy a permit to go hiking (you display it on your car) and pick a trail--the park website has listed the trail lengths, difficulties, and how maintained they are (though be sure to check this before you go, as you likely won't get cell reception in the park).

Once you've done your first hike, keep following Highway 26 and visit the Timberline Lodge, which is a national historic landmark and also served for some of the exterior shots of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining."

If you're feeling brave, take Lolo Pass back--but be warned it's only open for a few months a year, and you definitely should not drive down it if anyone in your car is made nervous by heights, lack of guardrails, or crumbling roadside.

Additional Day Trips from Portland

Other day trips from Portland include:

  • Cannon Beach, Oregon (the coastline)
  • Warm Springs Indian Reservation
  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Silver Lake, Washington

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, outside of Portland, Oregon
Multnomah Falls, outside of Portland, Oregon | Source

Mt. Hood Video

Visiting Portland, Oregon and the Surrounding Areas

Portland, Oregon is one of the most amazing cities in America--you can find nature alongside big city life, culture alongside more rustic pursuits. If you have time, certainly consider leaving its boundaries, though--you'll make some amazing memories just a short drive from the city limits!

What are you favorite Portland day trips?

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5 comments

nArchuleta profile image

nArchuleta 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Ooh, I didn't get to any falls when I was in Oregon. It gives me a reason to go back (that and the delish clam strips I had on the coast -- best since Boston for this Colorado girl!) Thanks for sharing!


SaffronBlossom profile image

SaffronBlossom 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thanks for the comment! The falls are amazingly beautiful...the food in Portland was great too, which I didn't expect!


Edward J. Palumbo profile image

Edward J. Palumbo 2 years ago from Tualatin, OR

My family and I have lived in the Northwest for 16-17 years, having moved from southern California. This area has been very good to us. I would add day trips to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, to the Japanese Rose Garden in Portland, to Sauvie Island (about 15 miles NW of Portland), to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Reserve, and dozens of other places. Explore and enjoy.


KawikaChann profile image

KawikaChann 2 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

Nice job Saffron - I like multnomah falls, that whole drive is amazing - especially when theres a bit of snow on the ground. Up/useful/follow. Peace. Kawi.


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

We have relative in Portland, so get to visit from time to time. Thank you for sharing these points of interest! Useful! ;-)

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