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Oregon's state history is rich and diverse, shaped by Native American cultures, exploration, settlement, and subsequent development. Here's a brief overview:

Native American History: The region that is now Oregon has been inhabited by various Native American tribes for thousands of years. These include the Chinook, Kalapuya, Klamath, Modoc, Nez Perce, Rogue, Umatilla, and many others. They lived off the land, practiced fishing, hunting, and gathering, and had their own unique cultures and languages.

Exploration and Early Settlement: The first documented exploration of Oregon was by Spanish and British explorers in the late 18th century. In the early 19th century, American explorers, including Lewis and Clark, ventured through the area. The Oregon Country, including present-day Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming, became a subject of dispute between the United States and Great Britain.

Oregon Trail and Settlement: In the 1830s and 1840s, the Oregon Trail became a popular route for pioneers seeking new opportunities and a better life in the West. Thousands of settlers made the arduous journey, facing challenges such as disease, harsh weather, and difficult terrain. The Oregon Trail played a significant role in the settlement of Oregon and the American West.

Oregon Territory and Statehood: In 1848, the Oregon Territory was established, encompassing the present-day states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Oregon became the 33rd state of the United States on February 14, 1859. The state's name was derived from the Spanish word "orejón," meaning "big ear," which referred to the prominent earlobes of Native American tribes in the region.

Oregon's Role in the Civil War: During the American Civil War, Oregon was divided in its loyalties. Although officially aligned with the Union, there were Confederate sympathizers in the region. The conflict had limited impact on Oregon itself, but many Oregonians served in the Union Army, and the state contributed economically to the war effort.

Economic Growth and Development: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Oregon experienced significant economic growth. Industries such as logging, fishing, agriculture, and mining played crucial roles in the state's development. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1883 further spurred growth and connected Oregon to the rest of the country.

Environmental and Social Movements: Oregon has a history of environmental activism and progressive movements. In the 20th century, concerns for conservation and environmental preservation led to the creation of protected areas such as Crater Lake National Park and the establishment of land-use regulations.

Modern Oregon: Today, Oregon is known for its natural beauty, including the Pacific coastline, mountains, and forests. The state has a diverse economy with industries such as technology, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and renewable energy. It is also recognized for its progressive policies and cultural diversity.

This overview provides a glimpse into Oregon's history, but there are many more details, events, and individuals that have shaped the state's unique heritage.

Top Tourist Attractions

  • Crater Lake National Park: Located in the southern part of Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is renowned for its stunningly blue and pristine lake, which is actually a caldera formed by the collapse of a volcano. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, hiking trails, boat tours, and breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.
  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area: Stretching along the border between Oregon and Washington, the Columbia River Gorge offers dramatic landscapes, including waterfalls, cliffs, and dense forests. The area provides numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and windsurfing. Multnomah Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the United States, is located here.
  • Portland: Oregon's largest city, Portland, is known for its vibrant and eclectic atmosphere. Visitors can explore attractions such as Powell's City of Books (the world's largest independent bookstore), the Portland Japanese Garden, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and the International Rose Test Garden. Portland is also renowned for its food scene, craft breweries, and lively arts and music scene.
  • Cannon Beach: Located on the northern Oregon coast, Cannon Beach is famous for its picturesque coastline and Haystack Rock, a large sea stack that stands prominently on the beach. Visitors can stroll along the sandy shore, explore tide pools, and enjoy stunning sunsets. The town itself offers art galleries, boutique shops, and seafood restaurants.
  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Stretching along the central Oregon coast, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. These vast sand dunes provide opportunities for activities such as dune buggy rides, sandboarding, hiking, and camping. The area also features lakes and rivers for boating and fishing.
  • Mount Hood: Mount Hood is a prominent volcano and the highest peak in Oregon. It offers various outdoor activities throughout the year. In the winter, visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing at the popular ski resorts on the mountain. In the summer, hiking, mountain biking, and scenic drives are popular activities.
  • Willamette Valley Wine Country: Known for its fertile soil and mild climate, the Willamette Valley is Oregon's premier wine-producing region. Visitors can tour vineyards, taste world-class wines, and learn about the winemaking process. The area also offers charming small towns, farm-to-table dining, and beautiful countryside views.
  • Oregon Coast: Oregon's coastline stretches over 360 miles and offers breathtaking scenery, rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns. Visitors can explore attractions like the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, visit historic lighthouses, go whale watching, and indulge in fresh seafood.

These are just a few highlights of Oregon's top tourist attractions. The state offers many more natural wonders, cultural sites, and outdoor adventures for visitors to discover and enjoy.


Oregon's climate varies across different regions of the state, influenced by its diverse geography and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally, Oregon experiences mild summers and cool, wet winters. Here's an overview of the climate in different parts of the state:

  • Western Oregon: The western part of Oregon, including cities like Portland and Eugene, has a mild, marine-influenced climate. Summers are typically mild to warm with average temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 80s Fahrenheit (20s to 30s Celsius). Winters are cool and wet, with temperatures in the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit (5 to 10 degrees Celsius) and regular rainfall. The region experiences relatively consistent precipitation throughout the year.
  • Eastern Oregon: Eastern Oregon has a more continental climate, with hotter summers and colder winters compared to the western part of the state. Summers can be hot, with temperatures reaching the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) and occasionally over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Winters are colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing and occasional snowfall. The region receives less rainfall overall and has a drier climate.
  • Southern Oregon: Southern Oregon has a diverse climate due to its varying elevation. The Rogue Valley, including cities like Medford and Ashland, has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Summers can be hot, with temperatures often exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit (30s Celsius). Winters are relatively mild, with temperatures in the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit (5 to 10 degrees Celsius). Higher elevations in the southern part of the state, such as the Cascade Mountains, experience colder winters with significant snowfall.
  • Coastal Oregon: The coastal region of Oregon has a maritime climate influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Summers are generally mild with temperatures in the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit (15 to 25 degrees Celsius). Winters are cool and wet, with temperatures in the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit (5 to 10 degrees Celsius) and regular rainfall. Fog is also common along the coast, especially during the summer months.

It's important to note that Oregon's climate can vary within each region and from year to year. The state's diverse topography, including mountains, valleys, and coastal areas, contributes to microclimates and variations in weather patterns. It's advisable to check local weather forecasts and plan accordingly when visiting or living in Oregon.


Oregon's geography is characterized by its diverse landscapes, encompassing mountains, valleys, deserts, forests, and a scenic coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Here's an overview of the state's geography:

  • Cascade Range: Running north-south through the center of the state, the Cascade Range is a major geographical feature of Oregon. It includes several volcanic peaks, such as Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and Crater Lake. These mountains provide recreational opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountaineering.
  • Willamette Valley: Located between the Coast Range to the west and the Cascade Range to the east, the Willamette Valley is the state's most populated region. It is a fertile agricultural area known for its vineyards, berry farms, and diverse crops. The Willamette River flows through the valley, and it is surrounded by rolling hills.
  • Columbia Plateau: Covering the eastern part of Oregon, the Columbia Plateau is a vast, arid region characterized by flat plains, rolling hills, and deep canyons carved by the Columbia River and its tributaries. The plateau extends into neighboring states and is known for its unique geological formations, including the Columbia River Gorge.
  • Oregon Coast: Oregon's coastline stretches over 360 miles along the Pacific Ocean. It features picturesque beaches, rugged cliffs, sand dunes, and iconic sea stacks. The coastline is dotted with charming coastal towns, lighthouses, and offers opportunities for whale watching, beachcombing, and scenic drives.
  • High Desert: In the central and southeastern part of the state, the Oregon High Desert encompasses arid and semi-arid regions. This area includes the Great Basin, with its wide-open spaces, sagebrush plains, and volcanic formations such as Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
  • Rogue Valley: Located in southwestern Oregon, the Rogue Valley is known for its fertile soil and mild climate. It is surrounded by mountains, including the Siskiyou Mountains and the Cascade Range. The region is characterized by the Rogue River, which offers recreational activities like fishing, rafting, and scenic drives.
  • Wallowa Mountains: In northeastern Oregon, the Wallowa Mountains are part of the larger Rocky Mountain Range. Known as the "Alps of Oregon," this area is characterized by rugged peaks, deep valleys, and alpine lakes. The Wallowa Mountains are a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, and camping.
  • Crater Lake: Crater Lake, located in the southern part of the state, is the deepest lake in the United States. It is situated within the caldera of Mount Mazama and is known for its incredibly clear, deep blue water. The surrounding area is part of Crater Lake National Park and offers hiking trails, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing.

Oregon's geography provides a diverse range of recreational opportunities, scenic beauty, and natural wonders for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Some Interesting Facts about Oregon

Oregon's famous coastal scenery is spectacular indeed--but you haven't seen the state until you've also laid eyes on the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and the deepest lake in America.

Portland lush and livable, albeit wet, Portland is one of the country's newest hot spots, buoyed by a burgeoning arts scene and nature at its back door. Visit the City of Roses in June, when the blooms of more than 10,000 rosebushes in International Rose Test Gardens unfold. Don't miss the view of snowcapped Mount Hood in the distance. An open-air shuttle will take you to the Japanese Gardens, which visitors from Japan have pronounced exquisite.

Area: 98386 sq.mi, 9th Land 96003 sq. mi., 10th - Water 2383 sq.mi., 19th Coastline 296 mi., 8th - Shoreline 1,410 mi.

Catch the Zooliner, a charming steam train, for a ride to the Metro Washington Park Zoo, a rain forest exhibit regularly soaks its crocodiles with steamy downpours. More famous is the zoo's collection of Asian elephants, one of the largest in the country.

Downtown Portland, sprinkled with fountains, parks and cafes, also has its share of shops and museums and a smattering of Post modern architecture sure to elicit an opinion. Atop one such structure, the Portland Building, is a hammered-copper sculpture, Portlandia, second in size only to the Statue of Liberty. A harbor in stormy weather is Powell's City of Books, one of the largest bookstores in the country. At the Portland Art Museum, Make it a Point to see the Northwest Coast Indian art, which joins works from around the world spanning 35 centuries. In Old Town 19th-century cast-iron buildings like those in SoHo in New York house artists' studios, eateries, and shops.

Tillamook; at the Pacific City the Three Capes Scenic Loop winds west from Rte.101 to Tillamook. The three capes-Kiwanda, lookout, and Meares-sum up the Oregon coast's singular beauty: crashing waves white sand dunes, beaches strewn with sculptured driftwood and lustrous agates, and wildlife including seals, seal lions, and comical tufted puffins. Near the Cape Meares Lighthouse grows the Octopus Tree, a weathered Sitka spruce with six trucks.

In Tillamook visitors can tour the famed Tillamook Cheese Factory and sample some of the country's best Cheddar's. Head south on Rte. 101 for an easy one-mile hike to the Munson Creek Falls, which tumble 266 feet over mossy cliffs.

Cannon Beach; dubbed the Carmel of the Oregon coast, epitomizes the stunning scenery for which the shoreline is famous. A haven for artists, it boasts some of the finest galleries and shops on the West Coast, and the granddaddy of sandcastle contest, held in early summer. Almost synonymous with Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock, at 235 feet one of the tallest coastal monoliths in the world. It is framed by wind shaped trees and is best viewed from the beach at Ecola State Park. Scan the sea closely in April and May and you may spot a whale or two.