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15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon

Do you love a good road trip? We do! Portland is a cool city to explore, but there is so much more to explore nearby.

Within a few hours, you can get a variety of amazing landscapes, beautiful beaches, and tons of waterfalls. If you have more time, check out our best weekend trips from Portland with over a 3-hour drive.

15 Most Popular Day Trips from Portland Oregon) //

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Last Updated: October 23, 2023

15 Popular Day Trips from Portland Oregon

1. Multnomah Falls + Columbia River Gorge →

53000 East, Historic Columbia River Hwy, Bridal Veil, OR 97010, map

Distance: 39 mi / 40 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Multnomah Falls, Elowah FallsWahclella Falls
What to Eat: 
Sugarpine Drive-InPfriem Family Brewers

Oregon has over 200 waterfalls throughout the state. Multnomah Falls is the tallest and easily the most famous in the state. Elowah Falls and Oneonta Falls are also close to Multnomah. Beyond that, the Columbia River Gorge has beautiful views and many other waterfalls to explore.

See More: 21 Best Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge

2. Willamette Valley

44.7745968,-123.4273769, map

Distance: 48 mi / 50 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Wine Tasting, Oregon Garden, Marys Peak
What to Eat: 
Izakaya Meiji CompanySantiam Brewing

Portland is technically within the Willamette Valley area that stretches 150 miles and is home to roughly 70 percent of Oregon’s population. In this case, we’re referring to the region where there are over 500 wineries, which makes for a great day trip. Drink responsibly! ;)

Willamette Valley Wine ToursPin
best day trips from portland orPin

3. Silver Falls State Park →

44.8719806,-122.6517783, map

Distance: 55 mi / 1 hr 10 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Trail of Ten Falls, South Falls, Canyon Trail
What to Eat: 
Silver Falls Country StorePenezanellie Breadstick Shoppe

This is the largest state park in Oregon and has one of our favorite hikes in the area. It’s a relatively easy hike, and you can see 10+ waterfalls on one hike! You can even walk behind four of them. After seeing the easy ones in the Columbia River Gorge, we always recommend this hike next.

See More: Trail of Ten Falls Hiking Guide

4. Trillium Lake →

Trillium Lake Rd, Government Camp, OR 97028, map

Distance: 60 mi / 1 hr 30 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Mirror Lake Trail, Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Timberline Lodge
What to Eat: 
Glacier Public HouseMt. Hood BrewingWraptitude

Trillium lake is a great spot for fishing and camping, but the highlight is how calm and reflective the lake is. You get a perfect mirror image of Mount Hood, and I almost felt vertigo as if I was going to fall into the sky. If you go in the winter, the lake is completely covered in snow, and it’s a popular beginner snowshoe hike.

See More: Your Complete Guide to Snowshoeing Trillium Lake

5. Bagby Hot Springs

44.9353982,-122.1912111, map

Distance: 66 mi / 1 hr 45 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Hike to Springs, Soak in the Springs, Enjoy the Springs
What to Eat: 
HarmonyThe Grind Coffee HouseOld Mill Saloon

These natural hot springs have always been a popular spot and the wait time can vary depending on when you go. They are open for 24-hour use and there are three bath houses at the site. There isn’t a road to the hot springs, so you have to hike 1.5 miles to get there.

See More: 25 Amazing Hot Springs in the US You Must Soak In

Bagby Hot Springs (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) //
photo: david_silverman (creative commons)

6. Rowena Crest →

6500 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Mosier, OR 97040, map

Distance: 76 mi / 1 hr 20 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Rowena Crest Viewpoint, Rowena Plateau Trail, McCall Point Trail
What to Eat: 
Mosier CompanyTwin Peak’s Drive-In RestaurantRiverside

Rowena Crest is one of the most popular photography spots in the state. It has beautiful views, an iconic road photo, and a couple easy hikes.

See More: Easy Hikes at Rowena Crest in the Columbia River Gorge

7. Hood River →

45.7097433,-121.5653455, map

Distance: 63 mi / 1 hr 5 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Hood River Valley Fruit Loop, Hood River Waterfront Park, Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum
What to Eat: 
Apple Valley BBQPfreim Family BrewersLake Taco

Hood River is a great stop if you’re driving along the gorge or a great destination for a day trip too! There are great restaurants and breweries in town, you can spend time along the waterfront, or take the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop for wine tasting and fruit picking.

See More: Apple Picking in the Hood River Fruit Loop

8. Cannon Beach

45.8849166,-123.9774709, map

Distance: 80 mi / 1 hr 20 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Haystack Rock, Ecola State Park, Hug Point State Park
What to Eat: 
Public Coast Brewing CoSleepy Monk Coffee RoastersCastaways

This is one of the most popular beach towns on the coast of Oregon and is best known for Haystack Rock. It’s a popular destination and can get pretty crowded. If possible, try going during the week.

See More: The Ultimate Oregon Coast Road Trip

9. Cape Lookout State Park

45.3559741,-123.9723747, map

Distance: 80 mi / 1 hr 35 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Cape Lookout State Park, Jacobsen Salt Co, Tillamook Cheese Factory
What to Eat: 
Tillamook CreameryTacos La ProvidenciaOld Oregon Smokehouse

Cape Lookout gives you a great view of the ocean and easy access to the beach. It’s a popular spot for camping, beach combing, and paragliding, and you might even spot a whale or two! You can also enjoy the hiking and walking trails.

Cape Lookout State Park - Paragliding from Anderson's Viewpoint, Oregon //
photo: auragoneboy

10. Astoria →

480 Industry St, Astoria, OR 97103, map

Distance: 94 mi / 1 hr 45 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Astoria Column, Astoria Riverwalk, Oregon Film Museum
What to Eat: 
Buoy Beer CompanyBowpicker Fish & ChipsPublic House

Astoria is located near the mouth of the Columbia River and best known as the filming location of The Goonies. We’re going next weekend and I still have yet to see the movie! It was initially a logging and fishing town but has become a larger tourism city. It’s also a port of call for cruise ships.

Fun Fact: Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, TMNT III, and Into the Wild are just some of the other films shot in Astoria.

See More: 15 Unique Things to Do in Astoria

11. Mount Hood

45.3625178,-121.7373645, map

Distance: 98 mi / 2 hrs (map)
Things You Can’t Miss:Mirror Lake Trail, Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Timberline Lodge
What to Eat: 
Glacier Public HouseMt. Hood BrewingThe Ratskeller

Mount Hood is one of those places that remind you how small you are in the grand scheme of things. There are 12 named glaciers and it’s surrounded by beautiful, green forests. During the winter, there are 6 ski areas near the mountain, and it’s also a popular mountain to summit. If you’re looking for a place to stay, check out Timberline Lodge, which is a national Historic Site.

12. Breitenbush Hot Springs

53000 Breitenbush Rd SE, Detroit, OR 97342, map

Distance: 105 mi / 1 hr 55 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Mirror Lake Trail, Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum, Timberline Lodge
What to Eat: 
McKenzie Station PubTakoda’sSchmizza Public House

We have yet to visit, but our friend loves this place! These hot springs are located within a retreat and conference center that is a worker-owned cooperative. Besides the hot springs, there are more than 20 miles of trails, a lodge, guest cabins, and more!

Breitenbush Hot Springs (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) //
photo: sparkleglowplug

13. Mount Rainier

Sunrise Park Rd, Ashford, WA 98304, map

Distance: 140 mi / 2 hr 15 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Paradise, Grove of the Patriarchs Trail, Silver Falls Trail
What to Eat: 
Summit House RestaurantAlpine Inn RestaurantThe Snorting Elk Cellar

If you love the National Parks like us, you should visit Mount Rainier. It offers spectacular mountain views, summertime wildflower meadows, and tons of hiking trails. The peak is often covered in clouds, so if you find a moment where you can see it, take it all in.

See More: 15 Best National Parks to Visit in the Summer


14. Smith Rock State Park →

44.3682459,-121.1427754, map

Distance: 140 mi / 2 hr 40 min (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: Rock Climb, Misery Ridge Loop, Kayaking
What to Eat: 
Pump House Bar & GrillGrace and HammerDiego’s Spirited Kitchen

If you are a rock climber, you definitely need to make a trip to Smith Rock. There are amazing climbs with picturesque views. Even if you don’t climb, it’s worth visiting just to see the beautiful landscapes. Misery Ridge trail is a popular hike there.

See More: 7 Amazing Things to Do at Smith Rock

15. Bend, Oregon

750 NW Lava Rd #160, Bend, OR 97703, map

Distance: 175 mi / 3 hrs (map)
Things You Can’t Miss: High Desert Museum, Tumalo Falls, Sparks Lake
What to Eat: 
Bangers & BrewsSporkZydeco Kitchen & Cocktails

A lot of folks who think Portland is growing too big too fast turn to Bend for solace. Bend is a great getaway if you want to be active, but also, if you’re just looking for a spot to relax and have a great beer. You can rock climb, stand up paddle board, hike, or head to a brewery. It’s home to Deschutes Brewery named after the river that runs through the city. If you’re looking for something more local, try Crux Fermentation Project.

Map of the Best Day Trips from Portland

Best Places to Stay in Portland

Planning Checklist

Have you been to any of these spots? What other day trips from Portland have you done?

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Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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