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.