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By Oleg Temple, November 2015
Oregon, nicknamed ‘the beaver state’, is among the most picturesque and bio-diverse regions of the United States. As the ninth state in terms of size and only the 27th in terms of population (area larger than Romania, but just about four million inhabitants—roughly the same as Croatia), Oregon is a perfect getaway from the ever-more-intrusive technological hustle and bustle of the modern age.
The Pacific Northwest is a region of great beauty and astonishing diversity, from farmlands to forests and mountains to beaches, with a rich history of settlement by the early pioneers. Oregon in particular is a state with many breathtaking sightseeing possibilities for the outdoor adventurer, no matter the season. Tourism in Oregon is always popular, largely because of its diverse natural beauty.
Oregon boasts a mild, temperate climate. Dense evergreen, mixed forests are predominant in the western part of the state and an arid climate prevails to the east.
Oregon is home to the amazing Crater Lake National Park, which surrounds a caldera formed by a volcanic eruption 7700 years ago. The lake was formed naturally, as the area receives an average of over 44 feet of snow per year.
Tickets to the reserve are incredibly cheap, starting at just $10 per motorbike or $15 per car for 7 days (prices confirmed fall 2015). Around half a million people visit the park each year to enjoy its wild, pristine nature while hiking, cycling trails. Abundant flora and fauna (the park is home to foxes, Clark's nutcrackers and the violet-green swallows, among many other animals) await eager explorers, as they embark on bird-watching sprees and similar expeditions.
|Tourists in search of creature comforts, rather than a rugged adventure will not be disappointed either, as Oregon has much to offer in terms of culture and urban charms. From busy University cities like Eugene (the second largest city in Oregon after Portland) to old logging-turned-outdoor-gateway towns like Bend, there are many different ways to enjoy the state. Portland in particular is known as a quirky and fun city, with the popularized slogan, “Keep Portland Weird.” There are many things in this colorful city to enjoy, from bridges, to museums, to delicious foods. City tours of the emerging Eastside of Portland in particular offer culinary treats with artisan food, like craft chocolates, local honey, and, of course, lots of coffee.|
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been organized annually (with the exception of WWII) since 1935 and offers a diversity of plays as well as events and activities. With an annual budget of $32 million, it is a safe bet that OSF will keep you well-entertained. Indeed, Oregon’s cultural scene is vibrant and soars on glorious wings!*
Still, nature is what sets Oregon apart from all other places on Earth. When taking the more scenic route, there are many points of interest and natural beauty to choose from. Some of the most popular sights include the state’s many waterfalls, with the most popular being Multnomah Falls, found in the northern end of the state near the Columbia River Gorge. Another popular sight to visit is Mount Hood, the tallest volcanic point in Oregon, with lush landscape all around. This area offers visitors everything from beautiful lakes to canoe on, densely forested paths to hike through, and exciting slopes to ski down. Whether you are looking for an interesting urban experience or an exciting outdoor adventure, Oregon offers some of the best opportunities as a prevalent travel destination.
*Motto of the State of Oregon reads: “Alis volat propriis”