Explore Oregon

Historic Luscher Farm

Food Forays: Following Oregon Food Trails

Follow these food trails to satisfy a hunger for world-class food, landscapes and meet the folks who make it happen written by Cathy Carroll No matter what, food not only sustains us, the better it is, the better we are, and the more fun we have. Now is the time to connect with some of the best food in the world, grown in Oregon, and the people who farm it, ranch it, brew it, crush it and cook it. With spring in full swing and summer on its way, following food trails through some of the state’s most compelling landscapes is our preferred way to feed body and soul. Each region has a trail designed to take you off the beaten path and get a locals’ view of where to go to eat well and satisfy not just your appetite, but a hunger to discover new food, new places and…

Capitol Hotel

Central Hotel: Shot in the Dark

In Burns, only those in the know get into The Boiler Room’s secret whiskey stash. written by Shirley A. Hancockphotography by Chris Murray While restoring the prohibition-era Central Hotel in Burns, residents Jen and Forrest Keady discovered a 500-square-foot-space hidden deep beneath the lobby. It had a distinctly mysterious, seedy, bootlegger vibe, said Jen Keady, a history buff and restoration junkie who grew up in the Eastern Oregon town. She got to work. Using repurposed lumber, brick and metals, the Keadys created a secret, underground lair that celebrates the 1920s age of the speakeasies, the juice joints, the blind tigers. They call their’s The Boiler Room. You won’t find much on their website and there’s no password, but a whispered inquiry to the proprietors may get you a tour—and complimentary tasting. Through the dead-bolted door that reads, “Private. Boiler Room,” down the creaky wooden staircase, dimly lit by red lights…

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…

Sugarpine Drive-In owners Ryan Domingo and Emily Cafazzo bring big-city know-how to a charming roadside eatery.

Sugarpine Drive-in Adventures

Blending old-school, roadside dining with farm-to-table sensibilities  written by Shirley A. Hancock What is now milepost 1 of the Columbia River Highway in Troutdale has been explored by many: Native Americans, fur trappers, Lewis and Clark and early Model T drivers. Today it’s where you can discover one of Oregon’s most creative outdoor dining experiences—Sugarpine Drive-in.  Husband-and-wife team Emily Cafazzo and Ryan Domingo left the stress of big city restaurants, moved to the Gorge, and opened up shop in a 1920s-era gas station. “We wanted to marry an old-school, roadside drive-in with a modern, farm-to-table restaurant, using local, organic farm produce and pasture-raised meats,” said Cafazzo, who, as executive chef, brings experience gained in the kitchens of some of Portland’s best restaurants, such as Beast. In winter, you’ll find adventurers bundled up, sipping local brews along with steaming clam chowder with leeks, celery root, bacon, smoked potatoes and cream. Or,…

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…


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.