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Oregon's cities: an overview for travelers and new residents

Updated on August 12, 2013

Portland

Oregon’s largest city is equal parts cool, quirky, and fun, with a thriving modern culture that is at the forefront of everything you need to know about food, beer, art, music, and hip new fads that have yet to be uncovered (Portlanders will tell you that they were doing “fill in the blank” before it was cool, hipsters are like that but you gotta love them for it anyway). Portland also embodies a rich culture of arts, learning, and appreciation for the natural world celebrated at the city’s many museums and parks.

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Bend

This fast growing city in Central Oregon often out-shines Portland for its spectacular outdoor recreation industry and its budding breweries.

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Hood River

Oregon’s outdoor wonderland if a favorite of water sports enthusiasts, skiers and snowboarders, and wine and art lovers dig it too.

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Ashland

Small yet sophisticated is how Ashland is often described, but it’s also outdoorsy, theatrical, crafty, artsy, and whatever adjective goes with people who love crafting and consuming great wine and food.

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Grant’s Pass

The wild Rogue River tears through the center of Grant’s Pass making it an outdoor adventurer’s paradise, but in the quieter parts of town you’ll find art galleries, shops, and restaurants that thrill the less adventurous just as much.

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Eugene

Track Town USA is Oregon’s second largest city and it has plenty to entertain runners and non-runners alike including historic Hayward Field (where Nike shoes were dreamed up), hiking and biking trails, and a bustling Saturday Market.

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Cannon Beach

With only a handful of shops and restaurants, but never-ending stretches of beach, this little beach town is postcard perfect and a popular romantic getaway.

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Florence

Along the central Oregon Coast you’ll find this sizable beach city that has something for everyone with some of the country’s great golf courses, a quaint Old Town neighborhood, miles of sand dunes including the home of the world's first sandboarding park, and the nearby Sea Lion Caves.

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Pendleton

Enjoy a little of the Wild West in one of Oregon’s top eastern destinations where the annual rodeo, the Pendleton Roundup is known as one of Oregon’s premier attractions and one of the country’s oldest rodeos.

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Seaside

This buzzing beach town is where Portlanders go to play at the many arcades, restaurants and shops, or of course on the long sandy beach.

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Astoria

America’s oldest settlement west of the Rockies is home to art-deco era homes and stunning Pacific Ocean and Columbia River views, plus it’s not far from Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark ended their westward journey.

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Newport

This traditional port town near Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine and Science Center, and some darn good grub too (Hint, hint: Clam Chowder!)

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Depoe Bay

It might seem like just a few shops and restaurants scattered between Newport and Lincoln City but this little town on the coast is known as the Whale Watching Capital of Oregon.

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Lincoln City

Only 90 minutes from Portland you’ll find this big beach town that’s home to some of Oregon’s best beaches, antique stores, shopping outlets, and Chinook Winds Casino

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Bandon

Three-quarters of the way down the coast you’ll find this golfers’ paradise that is also a popular destination for crabbing, fishing, shopping, and sightseeing.

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Government Camp

Govy, as it’s affectionately known, is a little village that is the gateway to Mt. Hood where year-round recreation options include camping, hiking, fishing, and snow sports.

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What's your opinion?

Which Oregon city is your favorite?

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