Exploring the Best 3-Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

Exploring the Best 3-Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

  • Emily Corning
  • 08/1/23

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oregon, is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers a plethora of attractions for locals and tourists alike. However, sometimes a change of scenery can revitalize the soul. Fortunately, the surrounding region is teeming with breathtaking destinations perfect for a rejuvenating 3-day getaway. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, history buff, or a foodie seeking new culinary experiences, here are the top three day trips you must consider when visiting Portland.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Venture into the natural wonderland that is the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, located just 30 minutes east of Portland. Spanning 80 miles, the gorge is a magnificent sight with towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Begin your journey at Multnomah Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls in the United States. Hike the short trail to the Benson Bridge for a fantastic view of the 620-foot two-tiered falls.
Continue your exploration with a scenic drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway, taking you past other captivating waterfalls like Horsetail Falls and Latourell Falls. For outdoor enthusiasts, the gorge offers an abundance of hiking opportunities with trails suited for all skill levels.
As the day draws to a close, don't miss the chance to visit Hood River, a charming town known for its windsurfing, craft breweries, and local art scene. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many farm-to-table restaurants while savoring views of Mount Hood in the distance.

Willamette Valley Wine Country

Just an hour's drive south of Portland lies the Willamette Valley, a renowned wine region known for its Pinot Noir and lush vineyards. Spend the day wine tasting at some of the area's award-winning wineries and soak in the picturesque landscapes. Wineries like Domaine Drouhin, Archery Summit, and Sokol Blosser offer exceptional experiences and tastings that will delight both novice and seasoned wine connoisseurs.
Between winery visits, explore the charming towns of Dundee and McMinnville, each with its own unique character and welcoming atmosphere. Indulge in local cuisine at one of the many farm-to-fork restaurants, and be sure to stop by the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville if you have an interest in aerospace and aviation history. There is even an indoor water park called Wings & Waves for the little ones!

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

Heading west towards the stunning Oregon coast you must visit Cannon Beach, a little over an hour's drive from Portland. This charming coastal town is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and the iconic Haystack Rock, a massive sea stack rising 235 feet from the shoreline. Explore tide pools teeming with marine life or simply relax on the beach and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
Afterward, take a stroll through the picturesque downtown area, filled with art galleries, boutique shops, and delightful cafes. If you have the time, continue a short distance south to Ecola State Park for breathtaking vistas overlooking the coastline.


The region surrounding Portland is truly a treasure trove of diverse landscapes and experiences, perfect for a day trip getaway. Whether you crave the beauty of waterfalls and dramatic cliffs, the exquisite taste of locally produced wines, or the soothing ambiance of the Oregon coast, these day trips have something to offer every traveler. So, when planning your next visit to Portland, make sure to allocate a few days to explore the wonders that surround this captivating city. Happy travels!

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