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Experienced and first-time travelers alike rely on Fodor's Gold Guides for rich, reliable coverage the world over.Completely up-to-date, Fodor's Gold Guides are essential tools for any kind of traveler.If you only have room for one guide, this is the guide for you.
The best guide to Oregon, packed with essentials
The great outdoors -- Crater Lake, Mount Hood, the Wine Country, the Columbia Gorge, and the John Day Fossil Beds, plus hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, golf, and whale-watching
Historic Portland, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and state and national parks
Where to stay and eat, no matter what your budget
Antiques-filled hideaways, oceanfront resorts, plush urban B&Bs, motels with character, and cozy cabins in the woods
Fine dining in the cities to roadhouse cuisine in the country
Fresh, thorough, practical -- off and on the beaten path
Costs, hours, descriptions, and tips by the thousands
17 pages of maps, vacation itineraries, and more
Important contacts, smart travel tips - Fodor's Choice - What's Where - Pleasures and Pastimes, don't-miss activities - New & Noteworthy - Festivals - Background essays, further reading, videos to watch - Complete index
Read an Excerpt
At its eastern end, Oregon begins in a high, sage-scented desert plateau that covers nearly two-thirds of the state's 96,000 square mi. Moving west, the landscape rises to 10,000-ft-high alpine peaks, meadows, and lakes; plunges to fertile farmland and forest; and ends at the cold, tumultuous Pacific. Within a 90-minute drive from Portland or Eugene you can lose yourself in the recreational landcape of your choice: a thriving wine country, uncrowded ocean beaches, snow-silvered mountain wilderness, or a butte-studded desert that has been used as the backdrop for many a Hollywood western.
Oregonians, who have been called the hardest-working and the hardest-playing Americans, take full advantage of the outdoors. There is a story, never confirmed, that early pioneers arriving at a crossroads of the Oregon Trail found a pile of gold quartz or pyrite pointing the way south to California. The way north, on the other hand, was marked by a hand-lettered sign: TO OREGON. Oregonians like to think that the more literate of the pioneers found their way here, while the fortune hunters continued south.
Tourism grows in importance every year Oregonians have discovered that the scenic and recreational treasures that thrill them also thrill visitors from all over the world. A sophisticated hospitality network has appeared, making Oregon more accessible than ever before.
Although the climate and landscape of Oregon vary dramatically from place to place,much of the state enjoys a constant level of natural splendor. The Pacific Coast is a wild and rocky 300-mile stretch dotted with small towns. In the Northeast are the Columbia river Gorge and Mount Hood, dramatic examples of the power of earth and water. On the gentler side, the willamette Valley is a lush wine-producing region and home to Eugene and other important cities. Oregon's largest city, Portland, in the northwest part of the state, is among the nation's most livable not surprising given its unspoiled setting and host of urban amenities.
Pleasures and Pastimes
Fresh foods grown, caught, and harvested in the Northwest are standard fare in gourmet restaurants throughout Oregon. Outside urban areas and resorts, most restaurants tend to be low-key and unpretentious,both in ambiance and cuisine. On the coast, look for regional specialties clam chowder, fresh fish (particularly salmon), sweet Dungenesse crab, mussels, shrimp and oysters. Elsewhere in the state, fresh water fish, local lamb and beef, and seasonal game dishes apear on many menus. Desserts made with local fruits such as huckleberries and marionberries are always worth trying.
Luxury hotels, sophisticated resorts, historic lodges, Old West hotels, and rustic inns are among Oregon's diverse accomodations. Cozy bed-and-breakfasts, many of them in Victorian-era houses in small towns, are often real finds.
Outdoor Activities and Sports
Biking and Hiking
For the past 20 years, Oregon has set aside 1% of its highway funds for the development and maintenance of bikeways throughout the state, resulting in one of the most extensive networks of bicycle trails in the country. The system of hking trails throughout state-park and national-forest lands is equally comprehensive.
Boating, Fishing, and Rafting
Oregon's many waterways afford limitless opportunities for adventure. Many companies operate boating and white-water rafting tours, or you can rent equipment and head out on your own. Fishing requires a license. Fishing, in the section Oregon A to Z explains how to obtain one.
Rockhounding searching for semiprecious or unusual rocks is very popular in the Ochocos in central Oregon and Harney County in the Stinkingwater Mountains in eastern Oregon. Agate, obsidian, jasper, and thundereggs are among the sought-after stones.
Most Oregon downhillers congregate around Mount hood and Mount Bachelor, but there is also skiing to the south, at Willamette Pass and Mount ashland. The temperate willamette Valley generally receives only a few inches of snow a year, but the coast Range, the Cascade Range, and the Siskiyou Mountains are all Nordic skiers' paradises, crisscrossed by hundreds of miles of trails. Every major downhill ski resort in the state also has Nordic skiing, but don't rule out the many Forest Service trails and logging roads.
The Willamette Valley is Oregon's mainregion for viticulture many area wineries are open for tours, tastings, or both. South of the Willamette Valley are the Umpqua Valley and Rouge River wine-growing regions. Guided Tours in the section Oregon A to Z gives a list of companies that conduct winery tours.
Table of Contents
On the Road with Fodor's
About Our Writer
New This Year
How to Use This Book
Don't Forget to Write
The Gold Guide
Smart Travel Tips A to Z
New and Noteworthy
Pleasures and Pastimes
Festivals and Seasonal Events
The Oregon Coast
The Willamette Valley and the Wine Country
The Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Cascades,
and Central Oregon
Portraits of Oregon
"Land of Contradictions," by Donald S. Olson
"Oregon: A Brief History," by Judy Jewell
"Pacific Northwest Microbrews: Good for What Ales You," by Jeff Kuechle
Books and Videos