Explore Oregon

Battle Rock Beach

Trip Planner: Port Orford Coastal Nirvana

The Pacific beckons: extreme cliffs, ocean paddling, scenic pedaling and rewarding comforts Named in 1792 after George, Earl of Orford, Port Orford had been a quiet Pacific coastal area that was home to the Tututni tribe of the Lower Rogue Athabascan tribes in what would become southwestern Oregon.  As part of a well-known series of events, European explorers encountered the tribe in the eighteenth century and wiped out the majority of Native American populations with small pox and measles. Not long after, white settlers came to town on the Oregon Trail and made land claims under the premise of Manifest Destiny.  Another claim to new statehood came in 1941 from Port Orford mayor Gilbert Gable, a tireless attention seeker who complained of the lack and quality of roads and threatened to secede from Oregon to join California, founding the elusive State of Jefferson movement. The small fishing town with the…

Oregon wine country, France

How to Travel Abroad without Leaving the PNW

Twelve places in the PNW that transport you to other cultures written by Kevin Max, illustrations by Allison Bye For those of us with wanderlust, the pandemic greatly curtailed our travel plans, confining us exclusively to local destinations, and only those where it is safe to go. Thankfully, the Pacific Northwest brings with it many amazing proxies for foreign travel. In this piece, we explore the regions, towns and venues throughout the Northwest that share some stunning similarities with their European, Scandinavian and Asian counterparts. If you can’t hop on a plane right now, jump in your car and satisfy your wanderlust while contributing to the local economy. Here are twelve places where you can travel abroad from your car. POULSBO – NORWAY The sons and daughters of Norway are alive and well in the tiny Norwegian town of Poulsbo on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula. Known as Little Norway on the…

rafting the Owyhee

Rafting the Owyhee River

Travel through time in a land of legends written and photographed by Adam Thorn Smith Outdoorsy Portlanders love to say “every environment is an hour away!” But, what if we went farther? What if we went … all the way? There is a place in our state—an inexplicable convolution of time and rock—where a river spills like mercury through the heart of an ancient supervolcano. Hot springs still steam with hidden heat. Relics lie lost in caves. Legends are born and die here, some never told.  Oregon’s loneliest corner and most remote region, the extreme southeast, is seven hours and 400 miles from Portland. To most imaginations, southern Malheur County must be a bland expanse of tumbleweed and juniper, the rare hare or coyote, somewhere past Steens Mountain. In truth, earth-bending natural wonders and geologic monoliths abound. People who venture here, by luck or lack thereof, are as unusual as…

Ashland, Oregon

Ashland Wine Tasting: Shakespeare and chardonnay, a fine pairing in Southern Oregon

written by Kevin Max vines • wine • tapas There is no better place in America to combine bold wines and the boisterous Bard than in Ashland. So far south in Oregon, Ashland feels as much northern California as it does Southern Oregon. Climate doesn’t strictly respect state borders, but the climate for wine growing in Southern Oregon does have its boundaries. There are warmer Spanish tempranillos and cooler pinots, with syrahs and chardonnays in between. The stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival bud and bloom with wit, sarcasm, churl and charm. Spring and summer in the Southern Oregon tasting rooms and vineyards bring a full-bodied intensity with a note of drama and an air of openness. For visitors who have never been to Ashland, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful hills and rolling terrain surrounding it to the west, south and east. It’s on the faces of…

Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail, 175 years later — Gravel Bikes, Running Shoes & Great Brews & Views

  written by Kevin Max regon gives a lot and sometimes, when you’re retracing the Oregon Trail on bike and on foot in a four-day span, it gives more than you expect. Okay, we took an Airstream too, but chiefly for its historic connection along the Oregon Trail. Read on. It was the second week of June, and my friend Zach Violett and I left Central Oregon with our dogs and a thirst for new adventures and good beer, bound for Farewell Bend State Park—the eastern point of modern-day Oregon’s section of the Oregon Trail. Wagons that left Independence, Missouri, crossed here months later into what is now Oregon. We brought gravel bikes, running shoes and a curiosity of what we might find along the way. Zach is an ultra runner who was recovering from a hernia surgery. Thus predisposed, he would, by doctor’s order, have to reduce his mileage…

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Trip Planner: How to Spa in Central Oregon

How to spa in Central Oregon. The high desert is an ideal place to unplug and wind down to some of the most beautiful spa settings near Bend.

Trip Planner—The Dalles

Trip Planner—The Dalles. Nestled at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, The Dalles sits in a region rich in history, affords breathtaking scenery and is the perfect place for epic outdoor adventures.

Resorts

Whether you prefer water or trees—or even golf tees—Oregon’s resorts have the vacation you seek Plus: A brief history of the tribes behind local casinos written by Kevin Max and Sheila G. Miller WATER Water is in an Oregonian’s DNA. From Portland, where rain falls winter and spring, to the coast, where the Pacific Ocean laps our shores, to Central and Eastern Oregon, where the Deschutes, the Columbia, the Grande Ronde and John Day rivers run, water is at the center of our world. Given our connection with water, it’s no surprise that we seek rivers, lakes or the sea when we travel. Here, we explore Oregon’s best resorts and hotels that are bound to the water. Lake of the Woods Resort Klamath Falls If rustic is your fancy, Lake of the Woods Resort will appeal to your senses. Tucked into the mountains west of Klamath Falls and sitting on…

Ski guide PNW

Pacific Northwest Ski Guide

Find your favorite spot to shred the gnar pow this winter written by Kevin Max When it comes to skiing in the Pacific Northwest, we are pleasantly spoiled with options. Many of us are here to be in the mountains year-round, whether it be mountain biking or alpine skiing. When snow tops the Cascades, Blue Mountains and the Kootenay Rockies, skis of all widths come out of storage wax and their owners go into planning mode. Do we ski the same place we have forever because it’s familiar? Or do we break out and find a new place that has a cool ski culture and try something new? Here, we’ve brought together some of our favorites based on the alpine and nordic ski culture behind these winter destinations. OREGON Mt. Bachelor Because the nordic ski trails at Mt. Bachelor sit at about 6,000 feet elevation in the Cascades, this resort…