At W1 Taekwondo in Portland, OR, we preach and value hard work, determination and dedication. However, we also realize the importance of rest & relaxation. We understand that working too hard will only lead to a loss of focus, burnout and fatigue. 


With the weekend finally here, we decided to share a list of 10 day trips around the Portland area. 


Most of these locations can be reached from the Portland area in about two hours, but some may take up to 3 or a bit longer. In a 24 hour day, that still gives you about ten hours to explore each area and make it back home in time to sleep a full eight hours. 



Columbia River Gorge (~1-2 hrs)

The first on our list is a quick trip to the Columbia River Gorge. This area is one of our favorites because of the sheer mount of activities that can be done here. If you just want to take a scenic drive and stop off for seafood in Cascade Locks or Hood River, that’s an option. If you want to take in beautiful views of the gorge from Vista House, Rowena Crest, or even just off the side of the road, you can do that, too. If you want to be a bit more adventurous, there are many beautiful waterfalls to hike to, including Wahkeena Falls, Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and more, each offering a different level of difficulty. Don’t forget to stop at the must see Multnomah Falls, which is the tallest and most popular waterfall in Oregon, but be aware that it can get pretty crowded and busy. You can also experience the gorge from the Washington side and enjoy places such as Beacon Rock State Park for a short hike that is a favorite of ours. 



Mt. Hood (~2 hrs)

The Mt. Hood area is another fantastic place to take a day trip to from the Portland area. Mt. Hood offers a plethora of fun activities such as biking, skiing, kayaking, etc. You can even drive the 100 mile Mt. Hood Scenic Byway that goes around the base of Mt. Hood through fruit valleys and forests, providing some of the best views you can possibly get of this dormant volcano. For us, the real stars of the Mt. Hood area are the lakes, namely Trillium Lake, Lost Lake, and Mirror Lake. Visit one of these magnificent lakes to hike, picnic, canoe or simply take in amazing views of Mt. Hood. 



Ecola State Park & Cannon Beach (~1.5 hrs)

Take a trip to the coast and visit Ecola State Park, which is home to an iconic view of sea stacks outside of Cannon Beach and further south down the Oregon Coast. Explore coastal trails from Ecola Point down to Indian Beach, or hike the 8 mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) that runs through Ecola State Park. After that, drive less than 10 minutes down the coast to Cannon Beach and visit the iconic Haystack Rock, made popular by the 1985 film, The Goonies.



Tillamook (~1.5 hrs)

Another great place to check out on the coast is the Tillamook area. From Portland, take a drive on Highway 6 up and over the Northern Oregon Coastal Range, through the Tillamook Forest and end up in Tillamook. Home of the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory (which you can tour), Tillamook has a handful of interesting attractions. Cruise the 40 mile Three Capes Scenic Loop, which includes Cape Lookout, Cape Meares and Cape Kiwanda, each home to their own highlights. Definitely don’t forget to check out the Cape Meares Lighthouse. 



Astoria (~2 hrs)

Explore the port city of Astoria, which is the oldest city in Oregon. That reason alone is enough to draw in history buffs, but Astoria is also home to the Oregon Film Museum and the Heritage Museum. Fort Stevens Park is nearby and is home to the famous Wreck of the Peter Iredale. Walk under the historic Astoria-Megler bridge via the Astoria Riverwalk, and walk the full 6.4 trail if you’re feeling up to it. After that, drive over the 4.1 mile Astoria-Megler bridge (which is an experience in itself) into Washington and head over to Cape Disappointment. Unfortunately, this is false advertisement, and you won’t be disappointed. 



Lincoln City/Depoe Bay (2-2.5hrs)

Lincoln City is a bit further south down the coast, but is a great place to spend a day away from the city. Aside from indulging in copious amounts of seafood, check out the many coastal viewpoints, hike God’s Thumb, or hunt for agates in Fogarty Creek. Continue south down the coast and hit Depoe Bay, which is home to the world’s smallest harbor. From there, you can indulge in even more seafood and coastal views, or better yet, or take a boat tour out into the ocean to go whale watching. On the way back to Portland, check out the Neskowin Ghost Forest about 13 miles north of Lincoln City at low tide. 



Silver Falls State Park (~1.5 hrs)

This gem is actually the largest state park in Oregon. With over 24 miles of trails stretched out over 9,000 acres, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. The crown jewel of the park is the aptly named Trail of Ten Falls, which is, you guessed it, a trail that takes you past (and sometimes under) ten different waterfalls. If you opt to do the entire trail, you’ll be in for a 7.1 mile loop, but that can be lessened via shortcuts. 



Smith Rock State Park (~3 hrs)

This state park is just about 3 hours away from Portland, but it’s well worth the drive. It’s a climber’s paradise, but even if you’re not planning on scaling any rocks, there are plenty of things to do. Have a picnic on the banks of the Crooked River, hike the 7.3 mile summit trail or the 2.5 mile river trail, or just take a leisurely stroll and take in the sights. There are also many opportunities year round to spot different wildlife. 



Mt. Rainer National Park (~3 hrs)

Mount Rainier NP is, in our opinion, one of the best parks in the National Park System. Like Smith Rock, it takes about three hours to get to from Portland, but this is one that should not be missed. Mt. Rainier itself is a 14,411 ft. peak and is the most glaciated peak in the US. It’s the source of five rivers. There are over 100 waterfalls within the bounds of the park and over 240 miles of maintained trails. You can easily spend more than a week here, but a day hike or a scenic drive up to Longmire, Paradise or Sunrise (three areas within the park with restaurants, shopping and lodging) is more than worth it. You’ll see breathtaking views of Mt. Rainer, pass by glacial lakes, and, if you’re lucky, see some of the wildlife the park is home to. 



Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (~2.5 hrs)

The infamous Mount St. Helens (which last erupted in 1980), is a marvel to see in person. Explore the area and check out the many trails it has to offer, or stop at the visitor center to learn all about this active volcano. There are a handful of different visitor centers within the park, but the one that’s worthwhile is the Johnson Ridge Observatory, which was originally designated to be a research center. On the way to the observatory, you’ll be treated to plenty of vistas and viewpoints of Mount St. Helens. Once you get to the observatory, you’ll be within the blast zone of the last eruption and be able to see the destruction, but also, the new life that has started to emerge around the volcano. 

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