What to do and see in Oregon, United States: The Best Free Things to do

May 17, 2022 Kaleigh Reichenbach

Discover the best top things to do in Oregon, United States including Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Rogue River, Mount Hood, Haystack Rock, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Coast Highway 101, Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, Schreiner's Iris Gardens, The Glass Forge, Washington Park.
Restaurants in Oregon

1. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

+1 541-308-1700 http://www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa
Excellent
87%
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12%
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5.0 based on 4,633 reviews

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

A 1243 mile long river with 80 miles of canyons. Located between the states of Oregon and Washington.

Reviewed By alif30 - Parrish, United States

What a beautiful area! We stopped at A few falls and then the scenic overview place. Multnomah Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and the Vista House. All in all it took only an a couple hours. I would like to go back someday and hike around the area.

2. Rogue River

3040 Biddle Road Siskiyou National Forest, Medford, OR 97504 +1 541-859-2200 http://www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou/
Excellent
84%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
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5.0 based on 308 reviews

Rogue River

Located in Southern Oregon, the Rogue River is a great fishing area.

Reviewed By CADNampa_Idaho

There are a couple sites just off the highway between Shady Cove and the Crater Lake road that are wonderful. They are an easy walk from the parking lot too for us seniors with health issues. It is a gorgeous River and interesting area.

3. Mount Hood

Mount Hood area Highway 26 & Highway 35., Hood River, OR 97031 +1 800-872-4661 http://www.mthoodadventure.com
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
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5.0 based on 634 reviews

Mount Hood

The tallest mountain in Oregon.

Reviewed By MarilynM1457

My birth place and such a beautiful drive any time of the year with lots of scenery, places to stop and taste the wonderful fruit and goodies along the way. Fruit Loop is a joy to go on. All the way from Hood River to Odell, to Parkdale, Dee and back to Hood River and seeing the majestic beauty of The Hood just about wherever you drive. Takes my breath away every time I see it.

4. Haystack Rock

Us 101, Cannon Beach, OR 97110
Excellent
82%
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5.0 based on 3,201 reviews

Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock is a unique 235 feet monolith that attracts wildlife and tourists alike and is part of the Oregon Coast’s geological history, formed millions of year ago by lava flows that created many of the dramatic capes and headlands along the coast. Haystack Rock is protected under U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a seabird nesting colony and it is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and is a State protected Marine Garden. The Rock is home to nesting seabirds in the summer and marine invertebrates all year. Tidepool seekers are beckoned by its wonders every day. The Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) is a stewardship and environmental educational program whose mission is to protect, through education, the intertidal and bird ecology of the Marine Garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock. HRAP offers an extensive interpretive program on the beach during the spring and summer months around low tide.

Reviewed By CreateCourageAdvent - Salem, United States

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is a huge Oregon Coast attraction. At 235 feet tall, this basalt beauty is one of the best-known symbols of the Oregon Coast in general and an image you see on every Oregon Coast Travel Blog out there (including this one!) At low tide you can explore vast tidepools and walk all the way to the rock itself. Tufted Puffins, Bald Eagles, Brown Pelicans, Common Murres, and many other birds are abundantly present on and around Haystack Rock depending on the season making this location a Pacific Northwest birdwatchers dream come true.

5. Columbia River Gorge

Hood River, OR 97031 +1 541-386-2333 [email protected] http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia/
Excellent
88%
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11%
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5.0 based on 1,199 reviews

Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge, a 75-mile canyon through the Cascades, is a broad, picturesque river with water-controlling dams.

Reviewed By traveladdict3500 - Hasselt, Belgium

We saw the Columbia River Gorge from Bonneville Dam to Troutdale. We loved all of our stops : The Bonneville Dam, the Fish Hatchery, Multnomah Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Latourell Falls and Vista House. The other falls were unreachable in June 2018 because the road and the complete area around those falls was closed due to a forest fire in 2017.

6. Oregon Coast Highway 101

OR http://www.oregoncoasttravel.net
Excellent
85%
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10%
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4%
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5.0 based on 210 reviews

Oregon Coast Highway 101

Scenic driving route along Oregon's Pacific coast and through the mountains.

Reviewed By embay - Texas, United States

This outfit runs a great trip out of Portland to the coast. We enjoyed a picturesque drive in a luxury van through pastures, valleys, to Ecola Park, along hwy 101 to Cannon Beach and beyond. Our guide was informative, energetic, and provided several stops to look at ocean views and beach strolls. A full day of fun, food, snacks, and 8 friendly passengers learning and enjoying this amazing area of the Northwest United States.

7. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

Off US 101, 1 Mile South of Bandon, Bandon, OR +1 800-551-6949 http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_66.php
Excellent
84%
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5.0 based on 774 reviews

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

This scenic coastal spot features a large rock with face-like features.

Reviewed By babydoctoral - Parkland, United States

Face Rock State Park has a myriad of beautiful sea stacks that make for exceptional photography in the right lighting conditions. Face Rock itself is not all that interesting on its own, but the large number of beautiful sea stacks are simply terrific. Definitely worth a stop if you are near Bandon Beach,

8. Schreiner's Iris Gardens

3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, OR 97303-9720 +1 503-393-3232 [email protected] https://www.schreinersgardens.com/
Excellent
87%
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5.0 based on 239 reviews

Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Iris bloom season is in the month of May. OPEN DAILY MAY 8 - MAY 31, 2020 9AM - 6PM. Bloom season events run Mother's Day through Memorial Day. Visit our website for details on bloom season events. Iris Display Gardens closed in summer and winter months. OFFICE remains open year-round, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m; office is closed New Year's Day, 1/2 day on Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day. Closed for the week of Thanksgiving. Closed for the week of Christmas.

Reviewed By casaahha - Salem, United States

For three short weeks in May, the Schreiner's Iris Gardens become one of the most beautiful spots in the world. The 10 acre display gardens are arranged in rectangular beds with multiple iris plants supplemented by rhododendrons, day lilies, oriental poppies and other flowers. This is augmented by circular beds of iris surrounding a flowering tree or large plant. The color combinations are excellent. This is heaven for a photographer. There are plenty of chairs and benches to rest if needed. There is a flower shop and gift store. We came on a week day and our only regret was that the gift shop did not have hot drinks available. It is hard to believe that the gardens are within sight of the I-5 freeway. The commercial iris growing areas surround the display gardens. It only costs $5 per car to enter.

9. The Glass Forge

501 SW G St, Grants Pass, OR 97526-2472 +1 541-955-0815 [email protected] http://glassforge.com
Excellent
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5.0 based on 280 reviews

The Glass Forge

This is a fully operational glass blowing shop, where you can get up close and even try your hand at blowing molten 2000 degree glass. The artisans are usually working producing all kinds of glass art from vases, bowls to paperweights and sculptural pieces. Come browse the gift shop, or just stay and visit. It does get warm so can be very nice in the winter!

Reviewed By ThisDotDanni - Grants Pass, United States

Easy glass blowing for people who have never done it before. Wonderful selection of colors for making floats or ornaments. Awesome explanations!!

10. Washington Park

4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221-2760 +1 503-319-0999 http://explorewashingtonpark.org/
Excellent
77%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 1,532 reviews

Washington Park

This popular park offers miles of trails, an extensive rose garden, a large Japanese garden and a zoo. For information on free shuttles, attraction admission hours and pricing within the park, and maps, visit our website.

Reviewed By PaulPapich - San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

My wife and I live immediately adjacent to Washington Park in Southwest Portland. In fact, being close to the Park was one of the major reasons we selected the property we bought. We visit it every week without fail. To start with, Washington Park is immense and gorgeous! It is home to the International Rose Test Garden, Japanese Garden, Holocaust Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, the city's zoo, arboretum and forestry museum, archery range, tennis courts, walking trails, and much, much more. It would be a world-class destination if it only had the Rose and Japanese Gardens, which are extraordinarily beautiful. But perhaps the greatest draw for me personally are the trees - my ancient, stately friends, covering the hilly terrain, providing shade to walkers like me, and peace to anyone seeking a haven in today's chaotic world.

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