Top 15 Best Weekend Getaways from Portland

Portland is surrounded by the most beautiful natural scenery in the US, throw in some charming towns or cool cities and you have the perfect weekend break. From awesome outdoor destinations for adventurous types to quaint small towns and gorgeous coastal spots, here are the best weekend getaways from Portland, Oregon…

1. Bend, Oregon – a beautiful weekend destination from Portland for adventurous types

Lake in Bend Oregon

The best tourist attraction in Bend, Oregon is Pilot Butte, which is an extinct volcano. Speaking of volcanoes, you can also visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument where you can experience viewing a large lava tube. 

If you like learning about history, consider visiting the museums in the area such as Deschutes Historical Museum and the High Desert Museum. 

If you like a good mystery, place the Puzzle Effect escape room on your list of places to visit, too!

Distance from Portland — 3 hours and 15 minutes

2. Oregon Coast – makes a beautiful weekend break for both families and couples

Oregon Coast Highway

The Oregon Coast is home to key areas and routes such as the Three Capes Scenic Loop, Tillamook Bay Heritage Route, Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and Bandon’s Beach Loop Drive. 

The Three Capes Scenic Loop is at the top of the list because of the stunning scenery at Cape Kiwanda, Cape Meares, and Cape Lookout. Each cape has its own view and purpose as a tourist attraction. Cape Lookout offers the perfect place to have an afternoon beachside picnic while Cape Kiwanda gives you views of sand dunes to the north of it. Cape Meares is the segue to a beautiful walk towards a lighthouse. 

Distance from Portland — 1.5 hours (from the Portland Airport)

3. Newport, Oregon – a stunning getaway with wildlife watching

Newport Oregon - weekend's away from Portland

One of the best weekend getaways from Portland. Visit Yaquina Bay State Park so that you can visit the famous Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

Don’t forget to stop by the Sea Lion Docks where you can see the local sea lions up close and in-person. Since you will be nearby when visiting the Sea Lion Docks, hop on over to the Newport Historic Bayfront to enjoy delicious restaurants and grab souvenirs from the local gift shops. 

Distance from Portland — 2 hours and 18 minutes

4. Mount Hood, Oregon – a great weekend trip from Portland in both summer, fall or winter

Mount Hood, Oregon

Mount Hood is home to many scenic attractions such as Mount Hood National Forest, Ramona Falls, Zig Zag Falls, Split Rock, Teacup Nordic Snow Park, and Little John Sno Park. 

Since the area is very mountainous, you are able to ski at the local snow parks and hike anywhere in the Mount Hood Wilderness Preserve areas nearby.  

Mount Hood National Forest is to the east of the Portland area and is to the south in comparison to the Columbia River Gorge. You can enjoy ski trails and views of alpine lakes, especially when traveling the Timberline Trail that also includes views of glacier-filled creeks and many waterfalls. 

Distance from Portland — 2 hours (from the Portland Airport)

5. Eugene, Oregon – for a weekend break filled with crafts, culinary exploration and coastal adventures

Eugene Oregon - best weekends away from Portland Oregon

Eugene, Oregon is stationed right on the Willamette River, which will offer you many attractions throughout the Willamette Valley such as Hendricks Park, Delta Ponds, and Skinner Butte Lookout. 

Learn something new by visiting one of the local museums such as the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Adventure! Children’s Museum, or Springfield History Museum. 

At the Cascade Raptor Center, you can view 40 different types of raptors in the area and how they interact with their prey. Visiting this attraction will give you an appreciation for the surrounding nature and its wildlife in Eugene, Oregon. 

Distance from Portland — 1 hour and 44 minutes

6. Seattle, Washington – a fun and funky city break within 3 hours from Portland

Seattle, Washington - weekends away in Portland Oregon

Besides being Washington’s largest metro and home to Amazon and Microsoft, you will love the parkland and mountains that Seattle has to offer as well. 

Olympic Sculpture Park, Harborside Fountain Park, Kelsey Creek Park, Discovery Park, and so much more are some of the attractions that make up Seattle’s parkland. 

The Cascades in the east part of Seattle and the Olympics in the west part of Seattle are where you can embark on mountain hikes with you and your family. 

Your visit to Seattle would not be complete without visiting the Seattle Great Wheel, which is a ride that gives you a beautiful view of the local waterfront. 

Distance from Portland — 2 hours and 43 minutes

7. McMinnville, Oregon – a historic town in the heart of Oregon’s wine country perfect for a weekend getaway

Vineyards McMinnville Oregon

McMinnville is the home of Lafayette Locks Historical Park, Rotary Nature Preserve at Tice Woods, and West Hills Neighborhood Park. 

If you have children in your family, or you are a big kid at the park, stop by the Wings & Waves Waterpark for a water-based attraction that will cool you off during the spring and summer. 

For more family fun, visit the Oaks Amusement Park to experience a variety of amusement rides and even a local skating rink. Play a round of mini-golf and go on a picnic with the family while you are there as well!

Distance from Portland — 55 minutes

8. Ashland, Oregon – a leafy weekend break offering hiking and festivals

Ashland, Oregon

Ashland is best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which has happened annually since 1935 with performances in a theater depicting Shakespeare’s time.

Get your strategic thinking skills in order when you visit Escape Ashland, whether you go to the Ramblin Rogue Saloon or the Scottish Play locations. 

ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum is great for families with children that want to learn about different scientific concepts during their trip to Ashland. 

Kamerin Springs Park, Joseph Park, and Lithia Park are a few of the many nature and park areas that you can visit and enjoy in Ashland. 

Distance from Portland — 4 hours and 40 minutes

9. Olympic National Park – offers outdoor adventures, cultural experiences and serene, natural splendor

Olympic National Park Washington

The Olympic National Park measures over 922,000 acres with mountainous areas that are covered in snow on one end and blossoming rainforests on another end. Explore different climates across the same national park when you visit this attraction. 

Choose from a variety of campgrounds throughout the different terrains to plan your stay at Olympic National Park. With close to one million acres to explore, you will have to separate your journey into multiple stays at the park to explore all the terrains and see the different attractions throughout. 

Go backpacking, tide-pooling, photographing, hiking, and so much more when you visit Olympic National Park. 

Distance from Portland — 2 hours and 52 minutes

10. Vashon Island – a great place to visit for the weekend in the summer

Vashon Island Oregon

Known as the biggest island in Puget Sound, Vashon Island is a beautiful area that allows for a peaceful and adventurous weekend getaway from Portland. 

Visit Lisabeula Park for 5.5 acres of beachfront including a place to camp at the Washington State Cascadia Marine. 

KVI Beach allows for a great view of the wildlife. When the sun is blazing, you will enjoy sunbathing and going on picnics with your family and friends. 

Maury Island Regional Park offers vast trails for hiking amongst its 303 acres of area. 

Distance from Portland — 3 hours and 4 minutes

11. Astoria – a quaint fishing village-meets-Victoriana with forts, museums and great local brews

Astoria Oregon - great day trips from Portland, Oregon

Astoria is stationed on the Columbia River which is near the Pacific Ocean. Speaking of the Columbia River, you can visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum for a crash course in the local military history, their shipping operations, and how the local fishermen get their daily catch. 

Top off your trip to Astoria with visiting attractions such as the Astoria Underground Tours, the Oregon Film Museum, and the Lewis and Clark National Park.

Your weekend getaway to Astoria would not be complete without visiting the Astoria Column, where you can view a historical landmark that pictorially displays Oregon’s history. 

Distance from Portland — 1 hour and 46 minutes

12. Columbia River Gorge – an adventurous weekend break offering amazing views, hiking and mountain bike trails and more than 90 waterfalls

Columbia River Gorge Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge spans 80 miles with a canyon that rests 4,000 feet deep amongst the Columbia River. It’s located just less than an hour from Downtown Portland. 

Even if you do not get out to walk around, you can drive the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway to get a view of the area. 

Along the way on this route, you can visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum, the Vista House, and the Visitor Center at Bonneville Dam at Bradford Island for history lessons pertaining to the local area. 

Distance from Portland — 18 minutes

13. Crater Lake National Park – one of the most beautiful and oldest national parks in the US

Weekend away in Crater Laken Oregon

Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the United States called Crake Lake, hence the park’s namesake. The park spans 183,224 acres with snowy terrains in the winter and lush greenery in the summer. 

Most times, clouds cover the lake. You can view the live webcam to see if the clouds are hiding the lake or if they are away from them for the time being for you to be able to get a clear view of the lake. 

Distance from Portland — 4 hours 

14. Long Beach, WA – is the perfect getaway from Portland any time of year

Long Beach, Washington

Explore the beach as well as the boardwalk based on the Long Beach Peninsula during your planned weekend getaway. 

Take a walk through history when you navigate The Discovery Trail, which is part of a coastal route that Lewis and Clark took during their famous expedition. You can even visit the World Kite Museum to look at different types of kites. Learn how to make your own kite at the museum or view one of the videos on their website. 

Distance from Portland — 2 hours and 7 minutes

15. Smith Rock State Park – for scenic views of deep river canyons and rock climbing

Smith Rock State Park

If you are on the lookout for an adventurous weekend away, look no further than Smith Rock State Park as your weekend getaway destination.

Go rock climbing, camp in the wilderness the traditional way at campgrounds such as Skull Hollow, and hike throughout beautiful scenic routes during your journey. 

Adventure throughout the park via different modes of transportation besides walking such as horseback riding, mountain biking through the 5 available trails, kayaking through the Crooked River. 

Distance from Portland — 3 hours

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