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Ten Weird and Unusual Things to See and Do In Oregon

Updated on August 5, 2012

Oregon, like all states, has a share of interesting tourist attractions. Also, it has a share of more offbeat attractions, the kind that the average traveler might not be interested in, but that those with quirky tastes wouldn't want to miss. The city of Portland by itself has a huge number of just plain weird and usual attractions. This list includes four of my favorites, and six others from throughout the state. Even vacationers who like more mainstream tourist attractions might want to add one or two of them to their list. Many of these will also be sure to delight children.


In Portland you can find The National Sanctuary of the Sorrowful Mother, or simply The Grotto. It is a shrine to The Virgin Mary specifically, but this beautiful Catholic shrine has many other statues and art that shows other Catholic figures. It costs money to ride the elevator to the upper level, which has a breathtaking view, but the grounds can be walked for free below that. The grounds also have a church and gift shop. It is located at 8840 NE Skidmore Rd, in Portland.


Ghost hunters will want to catch a bite at Old Town Pizza, or at least the original location at 226 NW Davis Street. The ghost Nina is famous for wondering the tunnels of the historic building.


One of Portland's most famous businesses, Voodoo Donuts has an unusual selection of donuts that feature a variety of different toppings. The shop has become famous for its oddities and attracts a number of tourists, as well as regular customers from the city to sample bacon or cereal topped donuts. The original Voodoo donuts is located at 22 SW 3rd Avenue but there is a second location in Portland at 1501 N Davis Street and a third Voodoo Donuts in Eugene at 20 E Broadway, for those who can't make it to Portland.


The title kind of says it all. Or maybe not. This is a snack bar dedicated to displaying weird stuff the owner has collected from around the world. Even by Portland standards it has a slight edge in terms of weirdness. The place is located at 2234 NW Thurman Street.


The town Astoria, Oregon was the setting of the cult classic Richard Donner movie Goonies and fans of the film can find many of the movies locations in the town. In addition to this, and tours within the town, there is a Goonies museum that collects a lot of great memorabilia from the movie. The Museum is located at 111 West Marine Dr.


Weird museums are a staple of every state's tourist attractions and this museum plays along with that. There are mummies, two headed calves and the kind of oddities that fans of the weird will love, along with many exhibits capturing less weird Oregon history. It is located in Canyon City, on 101 South Canyon City Boulevard.


There is nothing unusual about this museum by itself but it does contain one attraction that is one of a kind. Howard Hughes massive plane the Spruce Goose is here and that alone will make the museum worth visiting. The rest of the exhibits are just icing on the cake. The museum is located at 500 NE Capt. Michael King Smith Way, in McMinnville, Oregon.


The same lovers of the paranormal who will want to visit Old Town Pizza might want to visit Oregon City where they have ghost trails with a number of interesting stories. The tours are every year during the summer, the month of October and on Friday the 13th. There are two tours, one in the downtown area and the other in the McLoughlin Neighborhood. You can book a tour at the Pioneer Community Center at 615 Fifth street.


Lovers of the aquatic should check out Newport, Oregon. There are several interesting sites in the city. The undersea gardens are located at 250 SW Bay Boulevard. Here you can take a look at the undersea aquatic life. There is a statue of the "Yaquina Bay Monster" at 3101 SE Ferry Slip Road. On the same road you'll see the statue of a giant killer whale. Finally, at the same location you will find a variety of nautical themed shops, made to look like pirate ships.


In Port Orford, Oregon there are the prehistoric gardens. The Garden itself is lush and beautiful, but the attraction is the life sized dinoasaur statues that are all throughout the garden. This is a good place to take the kids who will delight at discovering the dinos. It is located at 36848 Highway 101 South Port Orford, Oregon.


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    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Great hub, but now I want a VooDoo donut. Thanks for the info, I'm going there in a couple months. Will have a voodoo donut then. I am really interested in the ghost tours, just for fun. Thanks! Voted up and funny.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a fun hub to read. If I ever make it back to visit Oregon, will have to add some of these to my list of places to visit. Oregon is such a beautiful state! Have written several hubs about it but featured the scenic spots like Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge, etc. I also like seeing unusual things such as you have shown us. Thanks! Up, useful and interesting votes.