Oregon Destinations for Every Type of Traveler

The remote Minam River Lodge is accessible only on foot, on horseback or by small chartered airplane.
The remote Minam River Lodge is accessible only on foot, on horseback or by small chartered airplane.
Photo by Evan G. Schneider/Minam River Lodge
written by Jean Chen Smith

With limited time between work, family and other commitments, a vacation is something I look forward to from the moment I decide where I’m going. As we welcome 2024 and begin to plan for the year ahead, we look to new destinations, and new experiences. Why not try something new this year based on the type of traveler you already are? Choose your own journey—here are nine of our favorite spots.

THE ROMANTIC PICK: PACIFIC CITY

Adventures in Pacific City are greatly supported by a retreat to Headlands Coastal Lodge.
Adventures in Pacific City are greatly supported by a retreat to Headlands Coastal Lodge.
Photo by Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

As you arrive at the entrance of Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa, you will be struck by the spectacular views of this oceanfront property. Located alongside the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, this elegant hotel features thirty-three upscale guest rooms, along with spacious cottages. Both offer sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Haystack Rock. Watch the sunset from your private balcony with your sweetheart, or cuddle by the fireplace during the winter. Some guest rooms feature soaking tubs.

Photo by Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

Book a spa treatment at Tide-pools, where you will be immersed in rest and relaxation as wellness experts customize your experience. The signature Marine Moisture Drench, a comprehensive ninety-minute service, includes dry brushing, a detoxifying wrap and shea butter to moisturize.

Do not miss dinner at Meridian, serving Pacific Northwest cuisine at its finest, while enjoying ocean views. The restaurant focuses on local and seasonal ingredients, so look forward to fresh seafood, local fruit and ethically sourced meat and fish.

The windswept beauty of Pacific City’s Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.
The windswept beauty of Pacific City’s Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.
Photo by Tillamook Caost Visitors Association

Stay: Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa, 33000 Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City, www.headlandslodge.com

THE ZEN SEEKER PICK: HOOD RIVER

While staying at Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge, be sure to pop over to Hood River and explore its waterfront and downtown areas.
While staying at Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge, be sure to pop over to Hood River and explore its waterfront and downtown areas.
Photo by Katie Falkenberg/TravelOregon.com

Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge is nestled at the foothills of Mount Hood, approximately a fifteen-minute drive to the quaint, but popular, town of Hood River. The 22-acre, certified-organic working farm is owned by Nashi Orchards, best known for its award-winning apple and pear ciders. On the property, they grow pears, apples, peaches, a variety of berries and plums.

The eco-luxury bed-and-breakfast has five rooms, featuring Japanese minimalist design with cherry wood headboards, vintage East Asian cabinets, custom rugs and authentic artwork. Some rooms have soaking tubs and private balconies. Walk the property and its orchards, connecting with nature amid peace and quiet. A homemade breakfast prepared by a professional chef is included with your stay, using farm-fresh eggs from Sakura’s happy hens and ingredients from local Hood River purveyors.

For off-property activities, head to the Hood River Waterfront Park, where you can see kitesurfers and parasailers blowing in the wind. The waterfront stretches for 2 miles, which is a flat and easy walk. Downtown Hood River gives visitors a chance to get in some retail therapy. Check out Zencare, which offers holistic treatments such as massage and light therapy to promote healing.

Whether you are enjoying the fireplace in the great room and meeting other guests or sitting on the deck enjoying the views of Mount Hood, you will find tranquility in this sacred spot. The property is open from April 1 through November 30.

Stay: Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge, 5610 York Hill Drive, Hood River, www.sakuraridge.com

THE BUDGET-CONSCIOUS PICK: WELCHES

Live large at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village surrounded by national forest.
Live large at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village surrounded by national forest.
Photo by Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Did you know, just an hour outside of Portland, Mt. Hood Tiny House Village offers adorable and comfortable accommodations for travelers on a budget? There are seven distinctive tiny homes to choose from, with the smallest starting at 175 square feet. The Lincoln offers a kitchen and full bathroom and sleeps up to five people. At 261 square feet, the unit is also pet friendly for a $10 fee. The Ingrid home is slightly larger, with a living area that offers a pull-out sofa, a great option for cost-conscious families.

Mount Hood National Forest is minutes from the village, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The Trillium Lake Loop Trail, an easy 2-mile hike, is a quiet route with stunning views of Mount Hood on sunny days. In the summer, rent kayaks and canoes from Clackamas River Outfitters and Blue Sky Rafting. Winter adventures include night skiing at Mt. Hood Skibowl, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Stay: Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, 65000 E. Highway 26, Welches, www.mthoodtinyhouse.com

THE FAMILY TRAVELER PICK: LINCOLN CITY

Beachcomb with the family in Lincoln City.
Beachcomb with the family in Lincoln City.
Photo by Cody Cha/Explore Lincoln City

Families will love The Coho Oceanfront Lodge for its spacious rooms and kid-friendly amenities. Book the Large Family Suite, which has two bedrooms, in addition to a pullout sleeper sofa, and two bathrooms. There is a well-equipped kitchen for added convenience and a large balcony for dinners outside. A large flatscreen TV and DVD player keep little ones busy if the weather is bad outside. Some suites include Xbox systems.

The property features an indoor heated swimming pool, along with a jacuzzi and sauna. Families can enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast each morning before heading out to enjoy the Oregon Coast.

This beachfront property is less than a mile from Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area, where there are plenty of hiking trails and opportunities for water sports.

The Coho Oceanfront Lodge offers families room to kick back on the Oregon Coast without draining their budgets.
The Coho Oceanfront Lodge offers families room to kick back on the Oregon Coast without draining their budgets.
Photo by The Coho Oceanfront Lodge
The Coho Oceanfront Lodge offers families room to kick back on the Oregon Coast without draining their budgets.
Photo by The Coho Oceanfront Lodge

Stay: The Coho Oceanfront Lodge, 1635 NW Harbor Ave., Lincoln City, www.thecoholodge.com

THE FOODIE PICK: BEND

Rancher Butcher Chef serves steaks and elegance in NorthWest Crossing.
Rancher Butcher Chef serves steaks and elegance in NorthWest Crossing.
Photo by Tyler Valzania/Rancher Butcher Chef

There is no place that satisfies all my culinary checklists like Bend. With so many restaurants to choose from, it’s always difficult to pick a favorite. Rancher Butcher Chef recently opened in the NorthWest Crossing section of Bend. The contemporary butcher counter and steakhouse is a casually elegant dining experience, with sustainability and classic plates being the focus.

Served family-style, seasonal ingredients are always represented, along with the Veracruz octopus cocktail and housemade brioche popups being absolutely must-haves on the list of appetizers. My absolute favorites here are the Japanese Miyazaki striploin and Snake River Farms ribeye. For casual bites, you cannot go wrong with their bistro burger and well-seasoned fries.

For some seriously authentic Italian food, head to Trattoria Sbandati, a Bend mainstay since 2009. Family-owned and operated, reflecting owner Juri Sbandati’s Tuscan roots, the menu features housemade pastas, savory sauces and delicious desserts, along with an extensive wine and cocktail selection.

Homemade goodness from Trattoria Sbandati.
Homemade goodness from Trattoria Sbandati.
Photo by Trattoria Sbandati

The town is home to many healthy eating options as well, such as NW Raw Organic Juice Bar, which serves organic and plant-based juices and foods.

Make the Campfire Hotel your homebase. Conveniently located off Highway 97, this chic hotel has comfortable rooms with flatscreen TVs, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and a fire pit. The Happy Camper Suite has two bedrooms, one of which features bunk beds, which is great for families traveling with small children. The suite also has a living room and spacious bathroom.

Campfire Hotel is a hip retreat in the heart of Bend.
Campfire Hotel is a hip retreat in the heart of Bend.
Photo by Campfire Hotel

Stay: Campfire Hotel, 721 NE 3rd St., Bend, www.campfirehotel.com

THE HISTORY BUFF PICK: IDLEYLD PARK

Fishing on the North Umpqua River hooks people to the Steamboat Inn.
Fishing on the North Umpqua River hooks people to the Steamboat Inn.
Photo by Experience Roseburg

Set within the Umpqua National Forest on a hilltop overlooking the North Umpqua River, the Steamboat Inn has a rich history of hospitality. Set across 23 acres, the resort presents visitors a chance to disconnect from technology as it has no wifi, TVs or phones. Taking a step back in time and slowing down the pace presents opportunities for connecting with nature and bonding with friends and family.

The river is best known as a year-round fly-fishing destination. However, be sure to check for angling closures, as low numbers of returning wild summer steelhead have prompted temporary closures in recent years by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The inn offers two suites, a collection of cabins, cottages and larger houses for visitors to rest their weary heads. The day café serves breakfast and lunch, with seasonal dinner service. The restaurant uses fresh and local ingredients, opting for organic when possible. Dishes are made from scratch, reflecting Pacific Northwest fare.

Visit the library to peruse the collection of titles on hand and curl up by the fireplace as you read and sip a glass of wine or hot chocolate. Visitors can also book a private massage service after a day of fly-fishing or hiking.

A true escape at the Steamboat Inn.
A true escape at the Steamboat Inn.
Photo by Steamboat Inn

Stay: Steamboat Inn, 42705 N. Umpqua Highway, Idleyld Park, www.thesteamboatinn.com

THE INTREPID EXPLORER PICK: EAGLE CAP WILDERNESS

Minam River Lodge in northeastern Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness.
Minam River Lodge in northeastern Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness.
Photo by Koi Ellis/Minam River Lodge

For those looking for adventure, lace up your boots and hike the roughly 8.5 miles to Minam River Lodge, which rests in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the state’s northeastern corner. The hike into the property is not for the faint hearted. Guests carry their own essentials, so you will want to make sure the weight is manageable. The hike typically takes around four hours, depending on your fitness level. Other options for getting to Minam include horseback riding or booking a chartered plane. A flight takes twenty minutes from the nearby Enterprise Municipal Airport and approximately forty minutes from Portland International Airport.

At more than 350,000 acres, the Eagle Cap Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in the state. In 2011, native Oregonian Barnes Ellis, who had fond memories of visiting the area as a child, purchased the 126-acre Minam property along with the previous lodge, which had fallen into disrepair.

Rewarding views from the deck of the Minam River Lodge.
Rewarding views from the deck of the Minam River Lodge.
Photo by Evan G. Schenider/Minam River Lodge

Today the property offers three types of accommodations including the main lodge, rustic cabins and wall tents for a glamping experience. The main lodge hosts two well-appointed rooms, which share a hallway bathroom, and its Eagle Cap Suite. The suite is spacious with a private bathroom and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the property. A free-standing copper tub for soaking tired muscles is the highlight of the suite.

There are nine cabin offerings, and visitors can find special touches such as waterfall showers, cozy wood stoves and luxuriously soft linens for a restful sleep. Three tents with comfortable queen beds share a bath house.

Find rustic beauty in the lodge’s guest cabins.
Find rustic beauty in the lodge’s guest cabins.
Photo by Evan G. Schenider/Minam River Lodge

Stay: Minam River Lodge, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, www.minam-lodge.com

THE DOG LOVER PICK: LINCOLN CITY

The Looking Glass Inn in Lincoln City is a good choice for people and pets.
The Looking Glass Inn in Lincoln City is a good choice for people and pets.

If you are anything like me, then you will bring your pup on your travels. Lincoln City is one of the most dog-friendly places along the Oregon Coast. The Looking Glass Inn welcomes your canine with a basket of amenities including dog sheets, towels, dog bowls and treats to use during their visit. Located in the historic section of the city, the Looking Glass allows a maximum of two pups per room for a fee of $20 per pet per night.

Rooms and suites are spacious and decorated in neutral tones with pops of greens and blues, reminiscent of the ocean. Some rooms include a whirlpool tub, fireplace and sitting area. Larger suites feature kitchenettes.

The beaches are dog friendly, provided they are always on a leash. This is a huge deal for us because our pups love the ocean. Spend some time beachcombing for agates and seashells. If you are lucky, you might spot a gray whale, which are known to inhabit the area year-round.

There are additional activities you can check out as your four-legged friend rests after a full day of romping. Spend some time at the Lincoln City Culinary Center, where you can take a class or workshop to refine your home cooking endeavors. Lincoln City is home to one of the biggest discount outlet malls in Oregon, so pop in for a visit. Book a treatment at Rejuvenation Spa, which offers massage therapy, hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

Stay: Looking Glass Inn, 861 SW 51st St., Lincoln City, www.lookingglassinn.com

THE CONNOISSEUR PICK: NEWBERG

The Allison Inn lies at the intersection of luxury and beauty in Oregon’s wine country.
The Allison Inn lies at the intersection of luxury and beauty in Oregon’s wine country.
Photo by The Allison Inn & Spa

The Allison Inn & Spa is the epitome of luxury and refined hospitality. Nestled within the Willamette Valley on 35 beautifully landscaped acres, rooms have gas fireplaces, bay window seats and private balconies. Indulge in your soaking tub with artisan sea salts provided by the resort. Order in-room dining, or make reservations at the highly acclaimed Jory restaurant, which focuses on Pacific Northwest cuisine. Dishes are creatively prepared, highlighting partnerships with local sources.

Book a treatment at the spa, a 15,000-square-foot facility with a swimming pool, whirlpool, showers, sauna and steam rooms. With over a dozen wineries nearby, art galleries and hiking trails, The Allison sets the stage for an extravagant journey.

Sometimes you’re the canvas at the spa at the Allison Inn.
Sometimes you’re the canvas at the spa at the Allison Inn.
Photo by The Allison Inn & Spa

Stay: The Allison Inn & Spa, 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, www.theallison.com

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