We love exploring Portland and its many neighborhoods, but on some days, we just need to get out of the city. Here are our favorite day trips from Portland.
Just an hour away from downtown Portland, Hood River feels a little like a miniature Lake Tahoe—it has the water, the trees, the outdoor adventure. It’s home to popular microbreweries like Full Sail, Pfriem Family Brewers, and Double Mountain, where you can dig into the biggest, most delicious heirloom pizza pie you’ve ever laid eyes on.
People love Dog Mountain for its gorgeous views, easy access to the Gorge, and approachable distance from Portland—at just one hour away. The main loop is known for wildflower viewing in May and June, with Northwest Balsamroot, Harsh Paintbrush, and Spring Gold flowers covering both the meadows near the summit, and the lower section of the trail. However, there’s no dogging it on this trail – be ready to work for those views of the Columbia River Gorge. The trail gains nearly 3,000 feet in elevation over a three mile climb to the lookout – and the three mile downhill return to the trailhead is a steady quad-burner, but well-worth the hustle.
An hour and twenty minutes from Portland, Trillium Lake is a gorgeous nature and wildlife area in the heart of Mt. Hood National Forest. The trail around the lake winds through majestic spruce trees and mountain hemlocks, and the shoreline is covered in a variety of wetland wildflowers. The entire area yields postcard-perfect pictures of Mt. Hood.
Known for its iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is one of the most popular beach towns on the Oregon Coast. We recommend wading through tide pools during low tide to admire the area’s diverse marine life (the Cannon Beach Tide Charts can guide you to the best pools for exploring). Afterwards, warm up and take in a gorgeous view of the beach with lunch at Mo’s.
Drive just 27 miles southwest of Portland and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Willamette wine country. Nearly thirty highly-rated wineries and vineyards exist in this city of 3,000. We recommend going for a tasting or two, and marking your calendar for January, when Dundee hosts its annual Oregon Truffle Festival.