The beach, the mountains, the big city or small towns Oregon really does have it all. Planning a vacation the whole family will enjoy can be challenging, but Oregon makes it easy by having so many options.
A trip to the Snow
If it is the winter wonderland that you seek, then try a ski vacation. There are a number of ski villages in Oregon, but I would recommend Mt. Bachelor ski village for a family vacation. They offer all the usual amenities, and its located close to the town of Bend, Oregon which can offer some variety if you need a day away from the slopes. There is lots of accommodation available in Bend as well, and this might be a good option if you want to divide your time between mountains. Mt. Bachelor is the closest, but Hoodoo is cheaper, and boasts deeper snow and a larger variety of runs as well as night skiing. There is no shortage of mountains from Mt. Hood to Bachelor and a number in between.
The region offers a whole host of winter activities including horse-drawn sleigh rides, sledding, snow mobile lessons, in addition to skiing, snowboarding, and more extreme snow adventures.
If the snow is not something for you then consider this area in the summer for some fantastic hiking, biking, fishing white water rafting.
The Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is stunning. It may not be an especially warm and tropical destination, but the views of the Pacific Ocean are amazing. The Oregon Coast offers a number of quaint seaside villages and towns that offer accommodation, fishing charters, galleries, shops, handmade salt-water taffy and award winning clam chowder.
The aquarium at Newport and the cheese factory in Tillamook are well worth visiting. If you plan ahead you may be lucky enough to see one of the kite festivals or sand castle competitions. You can try your hand at sailing, or spend time beach combing for sand dollars and driftwood.
Portland Oregon is a beautiful city. Perched on the edge of both the Columbia and Willamette rivers, it is a green and alive with all kinds of arts and culture. There are too many attractions to cover it all, but I have listed my top 7 family activities in or around Portland.
1) Portland Saturday Markets-the nations largest weekly open air markets. There is row after row of stalls selling creative arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry exotic foods, and live music. There is something for everyone!
2) The Oregon Zoo – the tropics, the rainforest, the African desert. All are represented at the Oregon Zoo. Located right near the heart of downtown, it is easy to get to, and offers a lot.
3) Lloyd Centre Ice Rink – Oregons largest shopping mall also offers an ice rink. Surrounded by 200 plus specialty shops and food vendors, there is something to amuse most everyone. Contact Lloyd Centre ahead of time for a schedule. They offer discos, and other themed skating at various times in the week.
4) Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) – OMSI is a huge, science-based play ground for kids. They can experience an earthquake, tour a submarine, and visit the planetarium. There is more to do than time to do it, and they might learn something in the process.
5) Pittock Mansion – Catch a glimpse of Portlands past at Pittock Mansion. Located on the West side of Portland in the hills, Pittock Mansion is a museum of Portland’s history, and a beautiful piece of architecture surrounded by stunning views and gorgeous gardens. A great place for a picnic!
6) Oaks amusement park – This old-fashioned amusement park go-karts, roller coasters, skating and rides. Take a picnic or have a corn dog. This family friendly environment is lots of fun and not too overpriced.
7) Multnomah Falls – Even if you aren’t interested in the climb to the top…it is very worth the 30 mile drive up I84 to see the historic Multnomah Falls. They have a fantastic gift shop and a caf for your eating pleasure. The view from the top is remarkable, but even the view from the bottom is awe-inspiring.
A trip to Oregon will only provide one difficulty…finding time to do it all!