Best Places To Visit Near Portland, Oregon

Few American cities have such an abundance of nearby nature than Portland, Oregon. From the Cascades volcanoes to lush waterfalls, a spectacular coastline and pristine forests, there’s something to do for everyone. If you like being outdoors, you’ll certainly enjoy the following places to visit near Portland.

Top 5 Places to Visit Near Portland, Oregon

Although there are literally dozens of options for Portland excursions, these five stick out above the rest, simply because of how undeniably beautiful—even unique—they are.

5. Silver Falls State Park

Waterfall in Silver Falls State Park near Salem, Oregon - Best Places to Visit Near Portland Oregon
Waterfall in Silver Falls State Park near Salem, Oregon

If you like waterfall hikes, Silver Falls State Park may just be one of the greatest destinations in the entire U.S. The park’s Trail of Ten Falls offers easy access to ten beautiful waterfalls and makes for a fantastic afternoon hike. Located about an hour south of Portland, it’s a superb day trip destination. The best time of year to visit is fall, when the trees explode with color and rains increase the waterfalls’ volume.

4. Mount Rainier National Park

Edith Creek in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Edith Creek in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

The national parks closest to Portland, Mount Rainier National Park one of the natural star attractions in the Pacific Northwest. The centerpiece is Mount Rainier itself, a massive volcano covered with glaciers, while gorgeous alpine meadows and old-growth forests run gently down its lower slopes. Worthy of a very long day trip, Mount Rainier National Park is without question one of the most spectacular places to visit near Portland.

3. Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge seen from Chanticleer Point, Oregon - Best Places to Visit Near Portland, Oregon
Columbia River Gorge seen from Chanticleer Point, Oregon

Only half an hour’s drive east of the Portland city center, the Columbia River Gorge is the most famous natural attraction in the area. It makes for a phenomenal drive, winding along this beautiful gorge carved through the Cascade Mountains by the mighty Columbia River. On the way, you’ll find old-growth forests, an abundance of waterfalls and great hikes. In terms of places to visit near Portland, this is the most popular one.

2. Oregon Coast

Cannon Beach, Oregon - Best Destinations Near Portland, Oregon
Cannon Beach, Oregon

From Portland, you can get to the Oregon Coast in just an hour and a half. The nearest destination is Cannon Beach, a small but busy coastal town directly northwest of Portland. Here, you’ll find beautiful Ecola State Park and iconic Haystack Rock, as well as numerous fun restaurants and boutiques. Further south lie places like Hug Point, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda, all of which are simply spectacular.

1. Mount Hood National Forest

Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon - Best Destination Near Portland to Visit
Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

Mount Hood National Forest lies just east of the Portland Metro, a vast expanse of forests, mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The star of the show is, of course, Mount Hood, an active volcano and Oregon’s tallest mountain. In summer, you can spend your day hiking, boating or fishing, while winter snows create world-class snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing conditions.

About Bram


Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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3 Responses

  1. Top 7 Oregon State Parks to Visit | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] It’s not all about the coast, though. There are also a couple of world-class parks more inland. Near Bend and Salem, to be specific. Note also that all these parks—except for the number one in this list—are easily reached on a day trip from Portland. […]

  2. How to Spend a Weekend in Cannon Beach, Oregon | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] Beach, the Oregon Coast town that’s easiest to reach from Portland, is one of the region’s most popular tourist towns. It is, however, not only that accessibility […]

  3. Oregon Coast Photos That Show Its Sheer Beauty | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] know this is a less-known region—I, myself, wasn’t aware of its existence before I moved to Portland. Now, however, I’m in love with the coast of Oregon. I go there to find peace, to think, to […]


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