When looking for the perfect get away, it’s easy to fall into a rut and choose from the usual suspects: Las Vegas, Hawaii, New York, etc. Those are all great vacation spots to cross off your travel check list, but not always the right fit for the more adventurous types. If you’re more inclined to the outdoors, or just the road less traveled, the Pacific Northwest may be the perfect escape for you.
Elegantly poised along the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, Sunriver caters to both the refined and the outdoorsman alike. Sunriver offers accommodations to travelers that range from luxurious resort settings, to convenient vacation home rentals, to quaint cabin dwellings. Fisherman will love the tranquil banks of the Deschutes, climbers are only about 45 minutes away from the world famous Smith Rock, and snow enthusiasts can be hitting the slopes of beautiful Mt. Bachelor after a short 20 minute commute. Other attractions in the nearby vicinity even include lava caves that you can walk through at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, white water rafting tours and a whole host of mountain lakes along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.
There is so much to do and see in Portland, Oregon that one cannot accomplish it all in one trip. Portland is one of the more well known cities of the Northwest, and with good reason. With entertainment ranging from everything including the world’s most authentic and scenic 5.5 acre, Japanese style garden outside of Japan, to the legendary food carts slinging up some of best gourmet cuisine on the west coast. While you are Portland make sure to catch an NBA game and cheer on the Portland Trial Blazers in The Rose Garden Arena, and next day take the MAX blue line to the Portland Art Museum to critique some amazing art. When you’ve had your fill of city life, get out of town by heading East on the I-84 freeway to check out and hike the beautiful Multnomah Falls.
A couple of hours north of the Portland border, up the I-5corridor is Olympia, WA. Olympia is not only the capital city of Washington, but also one of the most beautiful cities the state has to offer. Olympia spans the attraction spectrum by offering everything from casinos, to sail boat charters around Puget Sound, to amazing Wineries and Wine Tasting. If you’re in the mood for some fresh organic produce, make sure to visit the Olympia Farmers Market. Maybe a tour of the Capitol piques your interest; you’ll have several options which include: Self Guided, Individual, Group, and even School. Have an appreciation of the arts? Consider a night at the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, which provides the finest in live music at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
Have you ever been to Eastern Oregon? If you aren’t the outdoorsy type then chances are probably slim to none that the answer is “Yes.” Wallowa Lake is a stunning body of water in the Blue Mounais and is a result of glaciation. The road to Wallowa Lake is paved with small town gold. It really is. There are so many beautiful places along the drive, including the picturesque small town of Joseph, Oregon. Joseph is most convenient of the small town convoy to find lodging in while visiting Wallowa Lake due to its proximity, but there are plenty of options. Neighboring cities are not that of a commute if you prefer other options.
Just southeast of the Steens Mountains, you can find the Alvord Desert. The Alvord is rather scenic for a desert in Oregon that offers many activities. It is perfect terrain for land sailing, glider flying and even camping! The Big Sand Gap offers an interesting sight for hikers who brave the heat. A set of binoculars and a couple gallons of spare water should get you through the 3-mile roundtrip hike to The Big Sand Gap. The rim rock opens up and offers a spectacular view of majestic sand dunes. For those in the know, you can take a care free and fee free soak in the Alvord Hot Springs at the end of your fun filled day.