14 Reasons Why We Love Oregon


written by Anna Bird


Our wonderful state was founded on February 14, 1859. To celebrate, we are sharing 14 reasons why we love Oregon leading up to her birthday.


#1: Each region is unique.


 photo by Talia Galvin

Southern Oregon, for instance, has what is considered to be the world’s only Bigfoot Trap. Built in 1974, the 10-by-10-foot wooden box sits deep in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, accessible by the Collings Mountain Trail.


#2: Beer, of course.


photo by Kevin Harlander

In 2015, Portland was declared the “Best Beer City in the World.” We have some of the hoppiest IPAs, the maltiest stouts, the most refreshing lagers and the best ales in all the land. Last year there were 194 brewing companies in 72 cities across Oregon. With new breweries and creations cropping up every day, Oregonians have endless pint-sized options on hand.


#3: The Coast, in all its moody glory.


photo by Corey Bruce

Thanks to Gov. Tom McCall and the 1967 Beach Bill, all of our Oregon beaches are open to the public. So where our coast lacks in sunshine, it makes up for in accessibility—year-round, no less.


#4: Fire lookouts. They really take an overnight stay in the backcountry to new heights.


photo by Elena Pressprich

The U.S. Forest Service rents out twenty lookouts in Oregon, but they are normally booked out a couple months. Ignore your longing for summer and start planning for an overnight trip next winter. You won’t regret it.


#5: The Willamette Valley and all its bounty. Particularly that which winds up in a wine glass.

Oregon wine quickly made an indelible mark on the global wine map when ambitious winemakers decided to take a gamble on Oregon terroir. It paid off. Oregon wineries are now producing top-notch wines to the delight of oenophiles around the country.

#6: Our athletes.


photo by Terry Manier

Oregon has raised some of the finest athletes in the world, including the top decathlete of all time: Ashton Eaton, captured here by Terry Manier for the 2015 March/April feature “A Life Unexpected.” In the upcoming March/April issue, we catch up with his other half, Brianne Theison-Eaton, to talk heptathlon training for Rio. Talk about a power couple.

#7: The endless adventures in Central Oregon.


photo by Tyler Roemer

If you’re not into the Valentine’s Day hoopla, consider going out and doing your favorite Oregon activity instead. Like climbing rocks with top-notch spotters, for example.

#8: The farmers who grow our food.


photo by Duncan Galvin

This photo was taken at the dairy used by Face Rock Creamery in Bandon to make delicious cheeses. Look for the Farm to Table piece in the March/April issue, along with some cheesy good recipes recommended by local chefs.

#9: Portland and its bikes, bridges and beer. Also the food. Definitely the food, too.


photo by Kate Daigneault

#10: The many talented and funky musicians we have here.


Left Coast Country

If you are looking for a good show, check out the Portland-based bluegrass string band, Left Coast Country. Their tour is coming back to Oregon later this month, hitting Eugene, Cottage Grove, Corvallis, Bend and Portland.


#11: The [gorge]ous Columbia River Gorge with all its waterfalls, scenic lookouts and the mighty Columbia River.

This year marks the centennial of the Historic Columbia River Highway, the nation’s first scenic highway. The road stretches 73 miles from Troutdale to The Dalles, and to celebrate the 100-year-old legacy, events will be held throughout the year.

#12: The many talented artists and makers who make this state even more beautiful.


photo by Eugene Pavlov

Florist Katie Davis creates unique bouquets with foraged flourish. No matter the medium, Oregon artists inspire.

#13: Eastern Oregon and all its untamed beauty.


photo by Brown Cannon III

Our “Oregon Cowboy” feature this past summer, profiling Wallowa County rancher Todd Nash. “When you’re on a ranch and operating a ranch, there’s never a time when you walk away from it,” Nash said.

#14: We’re revealing the fourteenth reason we love Oregon on our Instagram.

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  1. says: Meredith

    In my hometown Hood River, you can go hiking, windsurf, kiteboarding, skiing, snowboarding, sightsee, drink many different locally crafted beer, shop downtown, ride bikes, cave exploring, camp around Mt Hood and so much more. This is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the world.

  2. says: Neal

    Oregon usually has whatever fits your mood, be it the dry side or the wet side. Side not to Terry: Yes, there are. Hope that makes you more comfortable walking in the woods.

  3. says: Diane Bloyd Kent

    My family has been here since my great-grandparents. I guess I'm prejudice.
    I'm surprised you didn't list Shore Acres State Park with its incredible exploding giant waves crashing on the rocks.
    Or the Steens Mts.

  4. says: Carol Pomeroy

    I love Oregon! There is so much to see and do here. Ashland has a storehouse of treasures including the Shakespeare Festival, wonderful restaurants and art galleries, Lithia Park, museums, on and on…including the locals and tourists who are friendly. Life is good here…fun to explore with our friends and relatives.
    As I gaze out my living room window looking at the snow covered mountains, I am home again…with a happy new life…

  5. says: Linda K

    The people in Oregon are way friendlier and they're not in a big hurry when they drive and the scenery is absolutely beautiful…

  6. says: Jason

    I grew up in Oregon and loved it. I left to go to school and ended up near Chicago where my wife's family lives. I still want to move back to Oregon someday. One thing not mentioned is the drag racing in Woodburn near Portland. They have many different shows throughout the year for lovers of all kinds of cars!

  7. says: Linda

    In Oregon we are a diversified culture of people. We accept each other and say hello or give a smile as we pass by individules on the street. What is to love about Oregon – – – everything and everyone p. We don't mind the rain in Oregon because it brings snow to the mountains for our water system in the summer and it makes our huge trees grow even bigger. Beauty is everywhere in its" people and in its deversifid landscapes; from the mountains to the shining seas.

  8. says: Dona Miller

    Today is also my Birthday! I love that I share my Birthday with Oregon! I moved here in 1987 (sight unseen) and I was absolutely and irrevocably spellbound by the unbelievable beauty of this paradise! 29 years later…it remains the home of my heart.

  9. says: Cameron

    Great list! As an Oregonian who has to travel and work abroad and elsewhere in the country it makes me miss our great state all the more. You can't find hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and all of the things that make our state green and great anywhere else!

  10. says: Carolyn

    We moved to Central Oregon because of the beautiful views of the Cascades Mountains. We don't climb them, we just look at them and SMILE.

  11. says: Mary Lynne Hamlin

    The people of Oregon are friendly, environmentally responsible and they are passionate about their Ducks or their Beavers!