Post Summary: The Best Weekend Trips From Portland, Oregon
Ahh, long weekends are the absolute best. Even better when you live in the Pacific Northwest! There are so many amazing destinations and things to do just a few hour’s drive away in any direction.
In this post, we’re talking about fun getaways from Portland. Day trips from Portland are fun, but a weekend trip from Portland opens so many more doors to adventure!
From the City of Roses, we’re sharing 22 beautiful destinations for amazing weekend trips from Portland, Oregon. Let’s get started!
22 Incredible Weekend Trips From Portland, Oregon
1. The Willamette Valley
The beautiful Willamette Valley is popular for its agricultural ventures and many local farming communities. One of the easiest ways to experience this area is to come for the weekend for a wine tasting with your friends!
Commonly referred to as “Oregon Wine County” this area hosts more than 500 wineries, each with its own unique take on Oregon-grown grapes and flavors (but you’ve really got to try their Pinot Noir!).
Spend some time exploring amazing wineries like Penner-Ash Cellars, Trisaetum, and Styring. Go even farther south to stay in Eugene, and experience King Estate Winery’s award-winning pinot noir.
To end your weekend trip from Portland, consider taking a hike around Silver Falls State Park, specifically the Trail of Ten Falls.
This 7.6-mile loop will bring you to ten gorgeous Oregon waterfalls, each with its own unique beauty. It’s the perfect way to finish off the weekend!
Read More: The Perfect Willamette Weekend Itinerary from Portland, Oregon
2. Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is probably the most popular place for a weekend trip from Portland, and for very good reason!
Stay around Hood River and spend your day hiking around the Columbia River Gorge for incredible waterfalls and scenic trails.
Even better – take a weekend trip from Portland in the fall season and venture south from the Gorge to experience the many bountiful orchards and farmland from Hood River! Come back with fresh produce like peaches, apples, pumpkins, and more!
Read More: 31 Incredibly Useful Road Trip Gifts
The Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge includes some of the most iconic falls in the area, including Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls, Wahkeena Falls, and Wahclella Falls.
Back in 2017, the Eagle Creek fire ripped through the area, closing many trails. Improvements happen every week, so click here to read the latest updates on trail openings and available hikes.
Finally, don’t forget the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge! You can find hidden gems just across the river, like Lower Lewis Falls, Panther Falls, and Falls Creek Falls.
Beacon Rock State Park is right alongside the river and offers stunning views of the Gorge from the top of the challenging Beacon Rock hiking trail.
If you love the outdoors, being near the water, and taking adventurous photos, the Columbia River Gorge is the perfect weekend getaway from Portland for you!
3. Mount Hood National Forest
Having difficulty narrowing down your many wonderful choices for an escape from the city? A weekend trip from Portland to Mount Hood is convenient, comfortable, and perfectly close to nature for a little bit of everything.
A weekend trip to Mount Hood is perfect for people who want to escape the crowds of the city and enjoy a little slice of nature all to themselves.
For remote adventures, consider staying at the Tilly Jane A-Frame (reserve it beforehand!) for an overnight backpacking trip or a day trip to Bagby Hot Springs for a soak among the huge evergreen trees.
Want a little more comfort? Drive up to the Timberline Lodge for a nature-filled weekend getaway from Portland! Check out cool places like Trillium Lake during sunrise, Ramona Falls hike, and other amazing Oregon waterfalls in Clackamas County.
These are all easy day trips in Mount Hood so that you can return to your cozy hotel bed in the evening!
Read More: 30 Necessary Road Trip Essentials You Need To Be Packing
4. Camping In The Willamette National Forest
The Willamette National Forest is probably one of our favorite places to plan a weekend escape from Portland. The perfect mixture of hidden hot springs, raging waterfalls, and gorgeous forest hikes really satisfy our Pacific Northwest fix!
Start your journey hiking to Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls, conveniently located off Highway 126 and connected by joining trails. For even more waterfall adventures, don’t forget to check out the Marion Falls Trail, Tamolitch Pool, and Downing Creek Falls.
If you loave a good forest hot spring soak, consider checking out the easy-to-reach Bigelow Hot Springs and Terwilliger Hot Springs (also called Cougar Hot Springs), both right off the Mackenzie Highway.
Drive a little farther north to reach the beautiful Bagby Hot Springs. Baby is a little bit out of the way, but worth the detour!
Read More: 20 Brilliant Car Camping Hacks You Should Try on Your Next Trip
5. The North Oregon Coast
The Northern Oregon Coast is probably one of the easiest and most convenient places to plan weekend trips from Portland.
Coastal towns in Oregon like Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Rockaway Beach are just 1.5 hours from Portland, making this a great place to go if you only have a day or two to spare. It’s also home to some of the best Oregon coast picnic areas to enjoy, so pack a basket full of your favorite snacks!
Drive to Astoria for some fun thrifting and antiquing opportunities and enjoy their great selection of quirk restaurants and cafes.
Drive a little farther south to Ecola State Park for relaxing walks along the shoreline and through the thick coastal forest. Crescent Beach trail is one of our favorites!
Want a little more adventure? Drive to Cape Kiwanda! Cape Kiwanda is one of the few beaches in Oregon which has paragliders, sand dunes, and lots of shoreline to explore. (Just steer clear of the waves, and know the tide times before visiting!)
Read More: How To Find The Mysterious Elk Flats Trail on the North Oregon Coast
6. The Central Oregon Coast
The Central Oregon Coast is the perfect weekend trip from Portland for those who want to carve out their own adventure. It brings its own unique charm and appreciation for quieter places and beaches.
Wide-open beaches like Heceta Beach, Hobbit Beach, Beverly Beach provide a plethora of activities to try. The Oregon Dunes bring peaceful walks, camping, and even testing your ATV riding skills across the dunes.
Small Oregon coast towns dot the shoreline here, (our favorite small town is Florence, Oregon) so visitors can really create their own fun and traditions.
For more structured activities, try coming to see the Sea Lion Caves near Heceta Head Lighthouse. Drive up to the Cape Perpetua Overlook and capture this iconic Oregon photography location off Highway 101 winding around the shoreline.
Finally, explore the Devil’s Punchbowl at low tide to see tide pools, explore the sea cave, and watch surfers try out the waves at this awesome state park.
Read More: 10 Amazing Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon
7. The Southern Oregon Coast
The Southern Oregon Coast is one of our favorite weekend trips from Portland, Oregon! If you like long walks on the beach, secluded hikes, and secret coves, this is the place for you too. Here are some of the highlights:
Florence, Oregon: From the adorable town (and its stellar restaurants and cafes) to adventurous nearby spots like Cape Perpetua and the lighthouse at Heceta Head, this is a great spot to hit iconic Oregon coast locations.
Coos. Bay, Oregon: We think this is the perfect spot to choose as your home base if you choose to explore the Southern Oregon Coast. From here, you can go north or south and within two hours explore all sorts of epic Oregon photography locations. Better yet, there are a ton of things to do in Coos Bay! Stay at Bay Point Landing for an inexpensive but bougie camping experience.
Gold Beach, Oregon: If secluded beaches and vast open spaces if your jam, consider driving the Gold Beach and the surrounding coastline. Don’t forget to stop by Bandon Beach and Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint!
Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor: Samuel H Boardman is probably one of the most popular spots for Oregon photography, and for good reason too! This 12-mile stretch of coastline is littered with natural bridges, hidden coves, Secret Beach, and so much to explore! Go with caution, however – these trails can be dangerously steep and slick.
You’ll be spending a lot of time in the car. Here are 101 Road Trip Questions to fill the time.
Why did we break the North, Central, and Southern Oregon Coast into two separate weekend trips from Portland?
While we love a good Oregon coast road trip, we think that each part deserves its own quality time. You can’t possibly stay in one place for too long if you try and squeeze the whole coast into one weekend, so we thought that choosing either Northern Oregon Coast, Central Coast or the Southern Oregon coast would allow you to explore deeper.
8. The Painted Hills, Oregon
If the desert is calling your name, take a weekend trip from Portland and head east to the dry climate of Eastern Oregon!
One of the most iconic places to visit in Eastern Oregon is the Painted Hills. The Painted Hills are just a small area of the larger John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
You’ve likely seen pictures from the famous Painted Cove Trail, which is the one with the short boardwalk surrounded by bright orange/red rock hills on either side.
Other areas of the park include the Clarno Unit and Sheep Rock Unit. Activities include biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography! If you love seclusion and wide-open landscapes, a weekend trip from Portland to the Painted Hills is the trip for you!
Camping is available at Red Hill for dispersed camping (aka, free camping!), or a cozier stay in the nearby town of Mitchell, Oregon.
Read More: Photos To Inspire You To Visit The Painted Hills In Oregon
9. Alvord Desert, Oregon
You may think the Pacific Northwest is exclusively foggy vistas, dense forests, and moody weather. However, a weekend in the Alvord Desert will quickly prove that assumption incorrect!
The Alvord Desert is one of the coolest and most remote spots in Oregon, with only the most dedicated of weekend travelers worthy of its secrets! Hidden hours away from civilization is Alvord Hot Springs, a private and natural pool with uninterrupted views of the Steens Mountains to the west, and the vast & empty Alvord Desert to the east.
Stay overnight for a small fee at the hot springs, or venture out to the mountains to find your own backcountry campsites. In the morning, drive out on the Alvord Desert (commonly referred to as “The Playa”) for some fun in the sun, and chances to stargaze as you’ve never seen the sky before!
This weekend getaway from Portland is located in the polar opposite part of the state, so it’s best suited for people who are prepared for long drives. (make sure to arm yourselves with these epic road trip podcasts!)
Read More: How To Reach Alvord Hot Springs in The Alvord Desert
10. Joseph, Oregon
For a little seclusion and a lot of mountain views, take the drive over to the small Eastern Oregon town of Joseph. This area of Oregon is tucked away in the Wallowa Mountains, which is fondly referred to as “Little Switzerland.” It’s also one of the iconic Seven Wonders of Oregon!
Joseph, Oregon is a 5.5-hour drive from Portland, but you’ll be driving a large portion of it on the scenic Columbia River Gorge Highway! Don’t forget to stop at cool places like Multnomah Falls, Ramona Crest, and the Bridge of the Gods along your way.
Once in Joseph, stay overnight at the artist-run Jennings Hotel. It’s a historic building that partners with local artists and makers to provide unique and one-of-a-kind rooms for each guest. For a little more adventure, ride the Tramway to tons of amazing high altitude Oregon hikes up in near alpine lakes and cooler temperatures. Some of the most popular hikes include the Chief Joseph Trail and Hurricane Creek trail.
For even MORE adventure, discover awesome Oregon backpacking trips in the Eagle Cap Wilderness area. Check out all our guides for packing for your first backpacking trip, ways to find discount outdoor gear, and more PNW backpacking tips!
Read More: The Perfect Eastern Oregon Road Trip Route (All The Best Stops)
11. Olympic Peninsula in Washington State
If you are looking for a weekend getaway from Portland that includes the ocean, rainforests, and fun hiking trails, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington is the destination for you!
Start your journey by making your way up the coast and discovering unique and gorgeous Washington beaches.
Cape Disappointment is the closest beach to Portland, and you’ll make your way up past iconic ones like Kalaloch Beach, Ruby Beach, Rialto Beach, and La Push Second Beach.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Makah Reservation, where you can explore the quiet Shi Shi Beach and experience panoramic ocean views at Cape Flattery.
The crown jewel of any Olympic Peninsula trip has got to be visiting the best Olympic National Park stops. We recommend popular places like Sol Duc Falls, the Hoh Rainforest, and Hurricane Ridge. Want a challenging Washington hiking trail with epic views? Consider trekking up the Mount Storm King trail to watch the sunset!
Connect all of these stops together: An Olympic Peninsula road trip loop can start and finish in Portland!
12. Seattle, Washington
Love the big city but want to leave your own? Seattle, Washington is only a 3-hour drive, making it an excellent choice for a fun weekend trip from Portland. This city is nestled right on the Puget Sound, so no matter where you go you’ll have lovely views of the Sound.
Here, you’ll find a great food and coffee scene. Your list of restaurants to try will be longer by the time you leave!
Some of our favorite coffee shops include General Porpoise, Cherry Street Coffee, and Herkimer in Phinney Ridge. For food, you’ve got to try Bongos for Cuban sandwiches, Hot Cakes for dessert, and The Matador for late-night drinks and snacks.
Don’t limit yourself to just staying in Seattle either! Take a quick 30-minute ferry ride to one of several Washington islands. Some of our favorites include Bainbridge Island, Whidbey Island, and Vashon Island. You could even venture east to the Cascades and discover all the cool hikes near Seattle.
Read More: The 20 Best Hikes In Washington Take To Experience
13. The Washington Coast
Craving the ocean but want to explore somewhere new? The Washington Coast is full of hidden treasures, quiet towns, and lots of nature! The closest Washington beaches to visit for a Portland weekend trip would be at Cape Disappointment State Park, or on the Long Beach Peninsula. Both of these places provide moody shores and lots of long walks on the beach.
Cape Disappointment provides explorers with lots of secret coves to discover, and it’s also quite a popular spot for photographers to capture the King Tides, which happen about three or four times a year. For more beach access, Long Beach is the longest stretch of continuous beach in Washington. You can also drive your car on the shore!
For a little more seclusion, continue north to the Kalaloch Lodge for your Portland weekend trip in Washington. This lodge is owned by the Olympic National Park, and the lodge rooms and cabins have unobstructed views of the ocean just ahead.
Explore the Tree of Life while you can too – this iconic Washington Instagram spot is slowly crumbling, and will soon be gone because of erosion.
Read More: The Best Washington Beaches To Explore On Your Next Trip To The PNW
14. Eugene, Oregon
One of the easiest and most direct weekend trips from Portland is the short drive down to Eugene! This speedy 1-hour 45-minute drive will give you the perfect distance from everyday life and place you among new restaurants, trails, and activities.
Many people come for the abundant hiking trails. Stay close to town and hike up Spencer Butte for the morning and come back down to have waffles at Off The Waffle Downtown.
For the afternoon, head over to Oregon’s second highest waterfall, Salt Creek Falls, just an hour’s drive away from town. While there, take the side trail to Diamond Creek Falls, one of our favorite Oregon waterfalls!
No matter how you spend your time Portland weekend trip to Eugene, you’ll get a fresh perspective on all things Oregon and the Pacific Northwest!
Read More: 11 Things To Do In Eugene, Oregon In The Winter
15. Bend, Oregon
Stay in Bend for a weekend trip from Portland if you love all things rock climbing, breweries, and outdoor adventure. This outdoor-loving town is a haven for adventure seekers, sitting right in the middle of the Cascades to the west and the high desert to the east. There are so many things to do in Bend, Oregon!
Take the popular trip to Smith Rock State Park for some climbing, hiking, and mountain biking. Misery Ridge is a short but steep trail, with panoramic views of Central Oregon from the top.
If you’re a foodie – add these places to your Bend restaurant list:
- The Sparrow Bakery’s ocean rolls are the perfect breakfast pick me up before you embark on the day’s adventures.
- Stop over at Spoken Moto for an afternoon coffee, and lunch at their outdoor food truck area.
- Finally, stop at 10 Barrel Brewing for dinner and beers, to debrief the day with your friends!
For the ultimate weekend trip from Portland, make sure to stay the weekend at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, Oregon.
Read More: The 14 Best Hikes in bend, Oregon
16. Umpqua National Forest
If you love capturing photos and area seeking beautiful Oregon photography locations, this is the place to go! The Umpqua National Forest is a photographer’s dream, brimming with waterfalls, national forest camping, hot springs, and hidden Oregon treasures.
The most popular destinations in the Umpqua National Forest are Umpqua Hot Springs and Toketee Falls. Both are easy locations to reach!
Other popular destinations in the area include Lemolo Falls, Watson Falls, and the trail to Twin Lakes. If you had an extra day to spare, you could also keep driving east to see Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake!
This Portland weekend trip requires a lot of driving and little amenities along the way, so come prepared for lots of car camping and download these road trip podcasts!
Read More: 10 Natural Oregon Hot Springs To Soak Away Your Sore Muscles
17. Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is one of the best Portland weekend trips for people who love history and geology! For the visitors who want the whole experience, stay overnight at the Crater Lake Lodge. Here, you’ll be in the center of everything. You can also book boat tours or trolley tours of Crater Lake. On these tours, you’ll hear cool facts about the lake and its history.
For cheap/free options to do around Crater Lake, take the 33-mile Rim Drive to several overlooks. You can stop at any point to take the short trails for more perspectives, and some even have water access too.
Because of its high altitude, Crater Lake is covered in snow most of the year, so the best months to visit are August – October, or the first snowfall. Check the current weather conditions before going so that you know what to expect on your Portland weekend getaway!
Read More: 25 Things To Do During Oregon In Winter (including Crater Lake snowshoeing)
18. Mount Rainier National Park
Are you a National Park lover? The closest one for a fun weekend trip from Portland would be Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Here, there is a range of year-round activities to try, but the best activities are only available in the summer season.
Visit the Paradise Area of the park for the most iconic trails and easiest access. The Nisqually Vista Loop is an easy ~1-mile trail through white high country meadows. On a clear day, you can see Mount Rainier front and center! You can also hike the easy Skyline Trail to Myrtle Falls viewpoint.
The Sunrise Area of Mount Rainier National Park also has some pretty amazing hikes. Like the famous Naches Peak Loop, a 3.5 mile out and back trail on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
This is the perfect Portland weekend trip for outdoor lovers, hikers, and backpackers looking for a new adventure!
Read More: 30 Incredible Things To Do In Washington State
19. Sisters, Oregon
Sisters, Oregon is similar to Bend in climate and location. However, this small town attracts crowds seeking nature up close and personal. Sitting at the foothills of the Central Cascades, this is one of the best weekend trips from Portland for mountain climbers and hikers.
Come explore the Three Sisters Wilderness, which includes iconic Oregon hikes like Proxy Falls trail, South Sister Trail, and Broken Top Loop. Go just a bit further to include Marion Falls Trail and Sahalie and Koosah Falls on your route.
For a romantic weekend getaway from Portland, Extend your Oregon trip plans to include Tamolitch Falls (The Blue Pool), Proxy Falls, and the Lost Lake Lava Tube, and stay in the eco-friendly Fine Pine Lodge! Alternatively, you could stay at the shore’s edge at the luxurious Suttle Lodge, located right on Suttle Lake.
Read More: 19 West Coast Road Trip Routes For Adventures All Year Long
20. Hood Canal, Washington
When whale watching, rainforests, and wine tasting collide, you know you’re in the Hood Canal! Situated between the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound, this unique area of Washington provides exceptional activities, farm-to-table events, and lots of history to explore.
One of our favorite weekend trips from Portland is to the Alderbrook Resort. This scenic and luxurious spa is perfect for couples seeking relaxation and solitude. Sitting right on the Hood Canal, guests have access to several Washington hiking trails. There are also boating activities right on the resort’s property!
For a little bit more adventure, take a short drive out to Washington’s most instagrammable place of the 2010s – Vance Creek Bridge. Keep exploring the area to reach the Southeastern part of Olympic National Park, which includes Lake Cushman and the Staircase Area. This weekend getaway near Portland will surely help you learn to love the rain!
Read More: All The Best Things To Do In Olympic National Park in Washington
21. Yakima Valley, Washington
Love a good wine tasting, but want something a little different than the Willamette Valley? Try the Yakima Valley in Washington! The Yakima Valley hosts over 17,000 acres of vineyards, 120 wineries, and five separate AVAs to discover.
Stay downtown and plan an entire Portland weekend trip dedicated to local produce, artisan restaurants, and amazing wineries. Discover the Yakima Valley winery map to plan the perfect route along Highway 82.
22. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
This active volcano in Washington State is open for visitors who love history, geology, and wildflowers! Right off I-5 on State Route 504, you can reach Johnston Ridge Observatory (the most popular visitors center here) with clear views of the blast zone from its recent eruption in 1980.
Come in the late summer to experience the gorgeous wildflower trails near the base of the mountain. Coldwater Lake and the Hummocks Trail are popular for day hikes. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can also stop at several popular viewpoints, including Elk Rock Viewpoint, Castle Lake Viewpoint, and Loowit Viewpoint.
If you want to test out your mountaineering skills, you can climb Mt St Helens! It’s the perfect route for everyone from beginners to experienced climbers. Late spring through early fall is the best time to climb, and make sure you snap up a Mt. St Helens climbing permit well before you leave!
Read More: The Beginner’s Guide To Packing For Your First Backpacking Trip
Map of Weekend Trips From Portland, Oregon
Below, you’ll find our complete list of weekend trips from Portland, Oregon.
We wanted to create this map to give you a visual of all the places nearby that you can explore, which are a lot!
Make sure to save this list for more Oregon inspiration in the future. Click here to save the map, and keep it for inspiration for even more future Portland weekend getaways.
What are some of your favorite weekend trips from Portland, Oregon? Share with us in the comments below!
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