The Seven Wonders of Oregon Fly Drive Holiday
Oregon has such varied natural landscapes, it is little wonder that it is known as a destination for outdoor adventures. With deep lakes, soaring mountain peaks, lush river gorges, deserts and lava fields, there is no shortage of amazing sights. Fortunately, the locals have identified 7 places that every visitor should experience within the state, which this route will take you around.
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Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.
Portland & Willamette Valley
A direct flight from Heathrow takes you to the "City of Roses", named for the International Test Rose Garden that is in the city. You will be here for two nights to enjoy the craft breweries, food carts, live music, duty free shopping and the amazing Powell's book store.
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Portland & Willamette Valley to Hood River
Collect your car and head for the first of the wonders on this tour, the Columbia River Gorge. Marvel at the vast river, the waterfalls, the canyons and the Hood River. Allow yourself time to hike at least one of the many trails before spending the night at Hood River.
The following day head south to see the second wonder of the holiday, Mount Hood. Capped with 11 glaciers and snow throughout the year at over 11000 feet high, the highest peak in Oregon is home to six ski areas, including some of the only year-round skiing anywhere on Earth. Alpine lakes dot the flanks of this majestic peak, providing magnificent views to enjoy for those hiking along the trails. Return back to Hood River on the picturesque route locals call the Fruit Loop for the vast bounty of apples, pears and berries produced nearby each year.
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Hood River to Pendleton
Continue east into the more arid climes of Eastern Oregon. The SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture and Energy) Centre in Boardman illuminates the importance of local agriculture through a range of exhibitions including a simulated hot air balloon ride. You might also like to visit the Tamastalikt Cultural Institute, a Native American owned museum and research centre. You will spend a couple of nights in Pendleton, home of the Pendleton Rodeo, one of the largest and oldest rodeos in the world. Try the craft beer, check out the glorious blankets made here, go to Hamleys to watch a saddle craftsman, or take the historic Underground tour.
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Pendleton to Joseph
Today you will discover stunning vistas and dramatic canyons. Drive to La Grande, which is the start of the 218-mile Hells Canyon Scenic Byway. This winding road passes basalt cliffs, snow-capped peaks and along the edge of the Gorge. You should also head over to Wallowa Lake to take the Tramway to the summit of Mount Howard in the third of the wonders, The Wallowas, where they say on a clear day you can see past Hells Canyon into the next state.
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Joseph to Baker City
Continue exploring the area around The Wallowas as you make your way towards Baker City, a former gold-rush boomtown with historic buildings and the award winning Barley Brown's Brew Pub. Just outside the town is the Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre which will help you to imagine walking the 2000 mile pioneer Oregon Trail.
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Baker City to Bend
Heading west on Highway 7, you will arrive in John Day, another former gold-rush town, where the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site paints a vivid picture of the Chinese immigrants' lives. The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a palaeontology site where fossils such as molluscs originally found on a beach hundreds of millions of years ago are found in abundance. The Sheep Rock Unit has amazing blue-green rock contrasting nicely with the ochres and yellows of the Painted Hills, your fourth wonder of Oregon, a few miles further on. En route to Bend, you should also stop at the Smith Rock State Park, another of Oregon's wonders.
While staying in Bend you might also enjoy Bend's Beer Trail.
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Bend to Ashland
Today is sure to be one of the highlights of the holiday as you visit the sixth wonder of your trip, Crater Lake. You will be sure to be astounded by the azure colours, frequently set off by snow capped mountains. You might like to have lunch at the historic Crater Lake Hotel before driving through the Applegate Valley. Your overnight stop will be at Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival performed on an outdoor stage.
1 night in Ashland
TIP: If you prefer outdoor activities to Shakespeare, you might prefer to stay in Grants Pass which is the starting point for many white water rafting trips. Choose from a few hours on the river to a multi-day trip. Just ask your Frontier America travel expert for details.Close
Ashland to Newport
Today you will be making your way across to the seventh wonder of Oregon, the Oregon Coast. Rugged headlands and historic lighthouses, beuatifully maintained state parks, bustling harbours and vast stretches of pristine beaches that are freely accessible to all. Frontier America would suggest a stop for lunch at Florence taking time to enjoy an exciting ride on the vast sand dunes.A glorious drive up the coast will take you to Newport where you will spend a couple of days to enjoy this lovely coast line.
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Newport to Astoria
Continue up the coast to spend the last day of this fly-drive holiday in Astoria at the head of the Columbia River. Explore the Columbia River Maritime Museum, the Astoria Column and enjoy the history of this area.
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Astoria to Portland & Willamette Valley
Enjoy an easy drive back to Portland Airport before your overnight flight home.Close
This is a selection of hotels for this itinerary. Some areas have many more choices; please use the search function above if you wish to find an alternative hotel.
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