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13 Wonderful Weekend Getaways from Portland

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When I lived in Seattle, I made many weekend trips to Portland to see friends and enjoy the totally different vibe Oregon’s largest city has. Now I’m here, sharing weekend trips from Portland, for those of you who call the city home – or are visiting Portland and curious about what else there is to do in the area.

Portland, like Seattle in Washington State, is located in the upper left corner of Oregon – so a weekend getaway from Portland won’t take you to every corner of the state. (Instead, you’ll want to peruse my list of road trips from Portland if you have more time and want to put in some more mileage.) However, you might be delighted to learn how many weekend destinations from Oregon there are – and how diverse they are.

Weekend Getaways from Portland Hero

From gorgeous rock formations and waterfalls to the stunning Pacific coast, and a collection of curious and funky small towns, there are plenty of weekend trips from Portland you can plan without needing to hop on a plane or waste travel time. Read on for my list of the best weekend getaways from Portland – and then start planning a few of your own to break up any cabin fever you might have.

Astoria

PCH Road Trip - Oregon - Astoria
  • Distance from Portland: 90 miles (145km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer through Autumn
  • Hotel Options: The Hotel Elliott (right in the heart of town) or this historic Victorian on VRBO for some serious Goonies vibes

As the oldest city in Oregon, Astoria is definitely one of the coolest weekend trips from Portland. Within its borders, you can admire Victorian-era homes, visit old forts, and ride a historic trolley.

And while the history is the most distinctive feature of Astoria, there are other aspects that are worth your time as well. You can enjoy the beauty of the Columbia River on the Astoria Riverwalk, peek at the beautifully carved Astoria Column, and check out many of The Goonies’ filming locations.

Bend

Weekend Trips from Portland - Bend
  • Distance from Portland: 166 miles (267km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Year-round
  • Hotel Options: The Oxford Hotel is right in the heart of downtown Bend, or this downtown cottage is not far from all the action.

Bend is the perfect destination for an under-the-radar nature getaway. Regardless of what nature-focused activity you have in mind, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to do it in Bend.

You can canoe on the Deschutes River, go spelunking at Lava River Cave, and hike to the beautiful Tumalo Falls. In the winter, you can ski down the slopes of Mount Bachelor and warm up in Paulina Lake Hot Springs. And if none of those options get your adrenaline pumping, you can even head to Newberry National Volcanic Monument to climb a volcano!

Cannon Beach

PCH - Oregon - Haystack Rock
  • Distance from Portland: 80 miles (129km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer
  • Hotel Options: The Surfsand Resort is right on the coast with epic views, or this dog-friendly cottage is spacious and has a fireplace.

Many of the best weekend getaways from Portland revolve around nature, and Cannon Beach is no exception. But while most Portland weekend trips center around waterfalls, greenery, or mountains, Cannon Beach revolves around the ocean.

The most famous attraction in Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock. This gorgeous rock formation is not only a fantastic place to take pictures, but it is also one of the best tide pool spots in the state! Keep an eye out for the beautiful brightly colored starfish that like to hang out in this area.

But Cannon Beach has far more to offer than just this eye-catching rock structure. You can also tackle one of the hikes of Ecola State Park, find the waterfall at Hug Point, and enjoy a bonfire on the beach.

Columbia River Gorge

  • Distance from Portland: 65 miles (105km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Spring through Autumn
  • Hotel Options: Hood River‘s the place to stay; this splurge-worthy apartment is perfect if you want to be near everything in town.

The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most scenic spots in all of Oregon – and Oregon as a whole is a naturally stunning state, so that’s saying something. It’s the perfect destination to simply escape the hustle and bustle of life and instead enjoy nature.

There are a few different ways to see the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. The easiest way is to drive on the Historic Columbia River Highway. On the way, you’ll see the Bridge of the Gods, the Bonneville Lock and Dam, and the famous Multnomah Falls. But if hiking isn’t the option for you, you can also kayak down the Columbia River or hike one of the many trails in the area.

Crater Lake National Park

National Parks in Oregon - Crater Lake
  • Distance from Portland: 232 miles (373km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 4 hours, 20 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer
  • Hotel Options: Crater Lake Lodge is the place to stay in the national park

Situated in the towering Cascade Mountains, Crater Lake National Park is Oregon’s only national park, and one of the most spectacular Portland weekend getaways.

The main feature of this awe-inspiring national park is the bright blue Crater Lake, but access to this lake is surprisingly difficult. In order to reach Crater Lake, you’ll have to hike the Cleetwood Cove trail. And while you can swim in the lake, the water is quite cold.

Instead, visitors to Crater Lake National Park typically enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake. You can tackle one of the many hikes, take a boat to Wizard Island, or spend the night at one of the campsites overlooking Crater Lake.

Hood River

Weekend Getaways from Portland - Hood River
  • Distance from Portland: 64 miles (103km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Spring through Summer
  • Hotel Options: Inn at the Gorge is the place to stay in town, and as mentioned, this splurge-worthy apartment is perfect if you want to be near everything in town.

Hood River is one of those unique small towns that has something for everyone – from nature lovers to foodies to history buffs.

The most popular thing to do in Hood River is windsurfing, due to the ideal wind conditions on the river. And while I recommend that you try this popular activity during your time in town, there are other activities for you to do if you find that it’s not the sport for you.

You can also savor a fabulous brunch at one of the local eateries, catch a ride on the historic Mount Hood Railroad, and mountain bike or hike the Indian Creek Trail.

Long Beach, WA

Seattle Weekend Getaways - Long Beach View
  • Distance from Portland: 111 miles (179km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer
  • Hotel Options: The Adrift Hotel is right on the water The Breakers is a good family-friendly option; for a vacation rental, try the Seawatch.

Long Beach, Washington may be the most kid-friendly destination on this list of the best weekend trips from Portland.

You and your kids can enjoy the rides at The Rides at Long Beach, learn about the history of kites at the World Kite Museum, and grab a bit of ice cream from Scoopers. There are also quite a few amazing activities that aren’t focused on kids, including enjoying the breezy Boardwalk, visiting the gorgeous Cape Disappointment State Park, and savoring the fresh seafood from one of the many local restaurants.

If you’re sold on visiting Long Beach, check out my guide of things to do in Long Beach and the area.

Mt. Hood

  • Distance from Portland: 71 miles (114km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Year-round
  • Hotel Options: The Timberline Lodge is the place to stay on the mountain

At a whopping 11,250 feet above sea level, Mt. Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon. In other words, it’s quite a special weekend getaway from Portland.

The things to do at Mt. Hood differ based on the time of year. In the warmer months, you can kayak or swim in Trillium Lake, hike the Timberline Trail, and race down the alpine slide at Mt. Hood Adventure Park. And in the colder months, you can ski, snowboard, and even tube down the powdery slopes of Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline Lodge.

Newport

  • Distance from Portland: 113 miles (182km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer
  • Hotel Options: The Inn at Nye Beach is a good option to enjoy more Pacific coast time, this seafront-inspired condo is another great option.

Portland locals embrace the saying, “Keep Portland Weird.” Newport has embraced a title with a similar vibe, as it has been dubbed the funkiest town on the Oregon Coast.

Despite the fact that Newport has a population of just over 10,000 people, there are a shocking number of fun things to do in this tiny town. You can stop by Oregon’s tallest lighthouse at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, say hello to the giant Pacific octopus at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and watch the swirling waters of the Devil’s Punch Bowl.

Seaside

Pacific Coast Highway - Oregon - Seaside
  • Distance from Portland: 79 miles (127km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer through Autumn
  • Hotel Options: Stay right on the beach at the Seaside Oceanside Inn, or try this Newly Remodeled Cottage.

Seaside, Oregon is a lovely little town located just fifteen minutes north of Cannon Beach. As a matter of fact, many people combine the two towns into one epic weekend trip from Portland.

There’s a good chance that everything you end up doing in Seaside will revolve around, well, the sea – or I suppose, more accurately, the ocean. You can stroll along the oceanfront promenade, say hello to the sea lions at the Seaside Aquarium, tackle the Tillamook Head hike for beautiful views of the ocean, and have dinner at one of the town’s many delicious seafood restaurants.

Seattle, WA

  • Distance from Portland: 174 miles (280km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 3 hours
  • Best Season to Visit: Year-round
  • Hotel Options: Check out my guide for where to stay in Seattle

Seattle is known for its calming rainy skies and tasty cups of coffee. Luckily, this major Pacific Northwest city is only a few hours outside of Portland!

Since Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, there are loads of things to do there. First, there are all the famous attractions, like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the original Starbucks location.

And then there are the under-the-radar activities that are definitely worth your time. You can stop by the Seattle Pinball Museum, say hello to the Fremont Troll, visit the quirky Museum of Pop Culture, and gaze at the cascading waterfall at the UPS Waterfall Garden Park.

Need more ideas for Seattle? Check out my guide for a weekend trip to Seattle.

Sisters

Weekend Trips from Portland - Sisters
  • Distance from Portland: 154 miles (248km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer
  • Hotel Options: Sisters Inn & Suites is affordable and right on the edge of town, or you can stay in this brand new house just one block from downtown.

With a population of just over 2,000 people, Sisters, Oregon is an amazing place for a calm, quiet weekend getaway.

If you’d like, you can completely embrace the relaxing, small town vibe. You can wake up late, grab a quick breakfast at an adorable cafe, and then head out into nature. Hike to Proxy Falls, watch the Lost Lake mysteriously drain into a waterfall-like hole, learn to fly fish in the Metolius River, or dive to the preserved trees below the surface of Clear Lake.

Sisters also hosts quite a few quirky festivals throughout the year. There’s the Sisters Rodeo in June, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July, and the Sisters Folk Festival in September.

Smith Rock State Park

Weekend Trips from Portland - Smith Rock
  • Distance from Portland: 145 miles (233km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 3 hours
  • Best Season to Visit: Spring through Autumn
  • Hotel Options: Smith Rock Casita is right at the edge of the park and highly recommended; otherwise, camping is always an option!

Smith Rock State Park is one of the most gorgeous state parks in Oregon. It’s so lovely that I’m surprised that it’s not a national park!

By far, the most popular thing to do at Smith Rock State Park is rock climb. A few of the best rock climbing spots include the Cat Walk Crawl, the Moonshine Dihedral, and the Llama Wall.

But if rock climbing isn’t your thing, you can also hike one of the twelve official trails, kayak down the Crooked River, keep an eye out for adorable beavers, and mountain bike along the Canyon Trail.

Willamette Valley

  • Distance from Portland: 49 miles (79km)
  • Travel Time from Portland: 1 hour 
  • Best Season to Visit: Year-round
  • Hotel Options: McMinnville is a good base for a weekend in Oregon wine country; this “half-pint” farmhouse on VRBO is too cute to pass up

The Willamette Valley, often referred to as Oregon Wine Country, boasts hundreds of wineries – and for good reason. The soil in the valley is packed with all the nutrients needed to create a lovely bottle of wine.

During your trip to Willamette Valley, you should definitely make time to explore many of the wineries. Adelsheim, Brooks Wines, Elk Cove Vineyards, and Soter Vineyards are just a few of the most noteworthy ones in the area.

If you’d like to take a break from the wine tasting, you can also hike the Trail of Ten Falls, stop and smell the flowers at Oregon Garden, and admire the pieces at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

There you have it – 13 of the best weekend trips from Portland. The only question left is… which Portland weekend getaway will you plan first? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

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