You can drive it. You can fly it. You can do it by train. Oregon, a shorter drive than many southern California destinations, is quickly becoming a popular vacation destination for Lodians.
Ask your friends, ask your neighbors, chances are someone you know is planning an Oregon adventure. Perhaps it's because it's a faster drive to Ashland than to Disneyland. And it's the same amount of miles to scenic Bend as it is to the beaches of San Diego. Oregon - with its fossil parks, festivals and blissful beaches - has made Lodi fall in love.
Portland: 3D art and adventure in one stop
Anything you want is in Portland: Camping and spas, museums and trails, shopping and crafts. The bookstores are a main attraction in Portland. One great stop is Powell City of Books (www.powells.com), an independent bookstore that sells books that are rare, used and new.
For those interested in history and the sea, visit the Oregon Maritime Center and Museum that features models of ships that traveled along the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
Eugene: Take in the sites - including painted ducks
You may never have thought about visiting Eugene, but it's a great stop if traveling by train, especially if you like to see some interesting local activities. If you're in Eugene, don't forget hunt some large duck statues painted by local artists and sold for charity.
The University of Oregon is also in Eugene. Its historic buildings, including Deady Hall and Gilbert Hall, were built in the 1800s. The campus also has its own cemetery.
Bend: Your Central Oregon destination for all things outdoors
Located in Central Oregon at the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Bend is known for its scenic settings and year-round recreational activities. As one of Oregon's largest cities, Bend offers downhill and cross-country skiing, rafting and kayaking, golfing, fishing, hiking and mountain biking.
Bend is also home to the Art in the High Desert Festival that will take place Aug. 28 through 30. This year's festival will feature local artists, from ceramics and glassworks to painting, photography and woodwork. For information, visit http://www.artinthehighdesert.com">www.artinthehighdesert.com.
Gold Beach: Where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean
Eight hours from Lodi is Oregon's Gold Beach. While the Oregon coast is all beautiful, the southern beaches are credited for their warmer weather and lush surroundings. Gold Beach is one coastal town surround by a blend of forest, river and ocean. The early history of the beach weaves Native American culture and wars, Spanish explorers and European fur trappers. The Rogue River is a hot spot for rafters who enjoy gliding downriver between basalt canyon walls. For a scenic (but long) drive, take Highway 101 starting in California.
Ashland: The Hippie Town just over the border
Just across the California border off near Highway 5, Ashland is a quaint town that lures in thespians with the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. However, there is more to the town than costume shops and old-fashioned theater. Ashland is a college town with plenty of unique shops, parks, theaters and places to camp or fish.
Ashland is an Oregon art hub. On the first Friday of each month, The Ashland Gallery Association hosts and art walk where visitors can meet the artists, shop and view demonstrations.
At the 100-acre Lithia Park near the center of Ashland, there are ponds, tennis courts, trails, a human-sized rat wheel and even a place to taste flowing mineral water.
With plenty of tie-dye and beads around ever corner, Ashland's hippie culture is anything but hidden.
Attractions: From Shakespeare to roller coasters, here are things to see and do across Oregon
Set inside a lush forest is one of Oregon's best theme parks with roller coasters and theater performances. Enchanted Forest is home to Timber Log Ride, the biggest log ride in the northwest. Visit http://www.enchantedforest.com">www.enchantedforest.com.
At 509 feet tall, KOIN Center is a unique building that is also Portland's third tallest. It was controversial while being built because its location blocks the view of Mount Hood. KOIN Center is located at 222 Southwest Columbia Street in Portland.
Founded in 1935, the Tony-Award winning Shakespeare Festival is one of the oldest and largest professional and non-profit theaters in the nations. Each year, OSF presents more than 780 performances that attracts 400,000 attendants.
Get a glimpse into old Eastern Oregon by exploring the 14,000 acre park that reveals vestiges of soils, rivers, ponds, watering holes, mudslides, ashfalls, floodplains, prairies and forests. There is no charge for visiting. Visit http://www.nps.gov/joda">www.nps.gov/joda.
Fifteen miles south of Bend, Sunriver is a private residential and resort community that has over 3,000 acres of forested meadows and preserved wetlands. Though there are spas, places to shop and activities for the entire family, it is the golf getaway that attracts many of the resorts visitors. For more information, visit http://www.sunriver-resort.com">www.sunriver-resort.com.
Oregon 101 - A Roadtrip Cheat Sheet
- Drivers may not pump their own gas. In Oregon, self-serve is
out. You have to wait for an attendant to fill your car up and then
you walk inside and pay.
- Get in the next lane if an emergency vehicle is stopped. When
approaching the rear of a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights
on, Oregon law requires drivers to move to the other lane. If there
is no room, you must slow down and give as much room as safely
- A door on a car may not be left open longer than necessary. In
Oregon, car doors may only be done when it is safe to do so, and
when it doesn't interfere with the movement of traffic or with
pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders.
- You cannot eat a doughnut and walk backwards on a city
- If you're driving on the sidewalk in Oregon, you must yield to
- Speeding is costly. Oregon is known for dealing some of the
most expensive speeding tickets in the country.
Lodi to Oregon, by the milesTo Ashland: 334
To Bend: 474
To Portland: 617
To Gold Beach: 465
To Eugene: 511