Oregon is nicknamed the Beaver State and the Beaver is the state animal. It entered the union on 14 February 1859. It is a collection of 231 state parks and covers 95,997 square miles. There many different Oregon cities to visit some located on the beach, in the mountains and some of them along many rivers located in Oregon. If you are searching for the ideal place to vacation, Oregon has the perfect spot for you!

1) Coos Bay

One of the best vacation spots in Oregon, Coos Bay is located on the Pacific Ocean. It has one of the best natural harbors between San Francisco to Puget Sound and is one of the best Oregon cities to stay a while. Enjoy the Clambake Jazz Festival in March to hear west coast bands plus go crabbing or take dune buggy rides or even beach strolls for a wonderful time. Settled in 1853 there are many areas for recreation including 3 state parks. One of them, Sunset Bay State Park offers beach swimming which is rare for the Oregon coast. Or take a tour of a myrtle wood factory for a change of scenery.

2) Gold Beach

This is one of the Oregon cities located where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean. You can find uncrowded beaches in this lovely beach town. There is excellent salmon and steelhead fishing making it one of the best vacation spots in Oregon. From May to October jet boats offer close up views of wildlife and river life.

3) Ashland

Along with the Ashland Shakespeare Festival and Mt Ashland Ski area this one of the Oregon cities with diverse offerings and is one of the best vacation spots in Oregon. It also hosts the Ashland Independent Film Festival. But perhaps unknown to many visitors is the the only Clark R Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in the world is located here which serves law enforcement including Interpol world wide. It even has an outdoor forensics garden. The mission is to determine in a typical police lab what happened to the victims which in these cases happens to be animals of all kinds.

4) Port Orford

A small fishing town and arts colony located on the Oregon coast. It is also the oldest town on the Oregon coast. It is one of the delightful Oregon cities and is one of the best vacations spots in Oregon. It is home to 30 commercial fishing vessels and a visit to the working fishing port is always enjoyable. You can overlook the Pacific for glorious views or visit tide pools when walking along the easy to walk hard packed beach.

5) Cottage Grove

This smaller of the Oregon cities is considered the covered bridge capital of Oregon. There are seven of them located in and near Cottage Grove. It is one of the best vacation spots in Oregon and close to a thriving Indian casino called Seven Feathers. It is also a part of the Row River Trail which is a 15.6 mile long trail along an abandoned rail line. This is a multi use paved trail that includes Cottage Grove, Dorena Lake and Culp Creek and the nearby Umpqua National Forest which passes urban landscape, pasture, farms, and forest including 3 covered bridges.  

6) Portland

One of Oregon cities being Portland is the state’s largest city and it is one of the best vacation spots in Oregon. Ever since Captain James Cook went looking for the Northwest Passage and charted portions of the coastline in 1778 people have visited Oregon. And Portland is one area where visitors keep returning. It is where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers meet. It is considered one of the greenest cities in the world with numerous open spaces and parks. It is home to a large arts colony and has 28 microbreweries which are more than in any other US city.

7) Grants Pass

One of the Oregon cities that host many visitors year round Grants Pass is home to Hellgate Tours for white water rapid boat trips and also many miles of the Rogue River. One of the best vacation spots in Oregon it has easy access to much of Oregon via Interstate 5. Also close is Wildlife Images open year round to visitors, a refuge for non-releasable animals.

8) Pendleton

Home of both the Pendleton Round-Up since 1910 and the Pendleton Woolen Mills this one of a number of Oregon cities that visitors enjoy and one of the best vacation spots in Oregon. The round up or rodeo has seven major PRCA events plus barrel racing and other events including wild cow milking. The woolen mills offer a free 20 minute tour where you can see the Pendleton blankets actually being created. Or go hiking for a few hours to two days up to the summit of Eagle Cap, one of the central peeks of the Wallowa Mountains.

9) Jacksonville

Originally a gold mining town Jacksonville is one of the prime Oregon cities to visit. In 1851 gold was discovered at Rich Gulch and it became a tent city for the miners and others. Located in the foothills of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges it thrives today as one of the best vacation spots in Oregon with many antique shops and the Britt Festival which is host to international performers in 40 different performances. There is an art walk in the fall. Dogs are more than welcome as almost every shop has water for them sitting at the entrance.

10) Bend

One of the old mill towns has recreated itself into a visitor’s mecca and one of the Oregon cities worth a visit. It is one of the best vacation spots in Oregon if you like spelunking or exploring caves Bend has it and it even has a beginners experience in the Lava Rock Caves. With 500 miles of streams and rivers it is a sports person’s ideal spot. From fly fishing to cross country skiing or even Alpine skiing you can have it all. Then visit the spectacular triple waterfall on the Deschutes River.