environment friendly winter destinations and summer vacations
Oregon is an ideal winter destination where you can ski on volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains; a nature lover’s paradise as you watch hundreds of gray whales spout and storms over the Pacific; a connoisseur destination where you can sip award-winning Oregon wines and micro beers; an environmentalist’s delight with Portland’s green lifestyle, free downtown transport and local distinctive neighborhoods.
The Landscape is diverse, with a windswept Pacific coastline, a volcano-studded Cascade Range, abundant bodies of water in and west of the Cascades; dense evergreen, mixed, and deciduous forests at lower elevations; and a high desert sprawling across much of its east all the way to the Great Basin. The tall conifers, mainly Douglas fir, along Oregon’s rainy west coast contrast with the lighter-timbered and fire-prone pine and juniper forests covering portions to the east. Abundant alders in the west fix nitrogen for the conifers. Stretching east from central Oregon are semi-arid shrub lands, prairies, deserts, steppes, and meadows. At 11,249 feet (3,429 m), Mount Hood is the state’s highest point, and Crater Lake is Oregon’s only national park.
The Coast heading west towards Oregon’s largest wine region through the small cities of Dundee, McMinnville and Newberg you can enjoy award-winning wines, with Pinot Noir being the most famous. Small tasting rooms are run by the proprietors and their families. Oregon’s 363-mile long coastline has a temperate climate and in the winter months Oregonians travel to the Coast to storm watch. From Cannon Beach, a charming artist colony, experience a rugged coastline dotted with picturesque lighthouses, coastal villages like Lincoln City, Newport, a working fishing town with fresh seafood restaurants. Also, wild life, including migrating whales in December and March and resident gray whales, which live on the Central Oregon Coast year-round, seals and sea lions.
The Willamette Valley the Oregon Dunes Overlook area allows for awesome views of this natural spectacle. After visiting Florence Old Town, heading east through the forests to the fertile Willamette Valley’s rolling hills of vineyards you reach Eugene, home of Oregon’s largest university and the 5th Street Historic Public Market. Continuing east over the Cascade Mountain Range, paralleling the scenic McKenzie River, catch a dip in the natural hot springs pools of Belknap Springs Resort, or pull over for the winter view of Sahalie Falls, right off Highway 126, before continuing to Central Oregon.
What’s in a Name! The earliest known use of the name, spelled Ouragon, was in a 1765 petition. The term referred to the mythical River of the west – the Columbia River. By 1778 the spelling had shifted to Oregon. The name comes from the French word ouragan, meaning windstorm or hurricane, which was applied to the River of the West based on Native American tales of powerful Chinook winds of the lower Columbia River. Go up the Columbia and hear and feel the waters falling out of the clouds of Mount Hood to understand entirely the full meaning of the name.
Central Oregon is a playground for winter enthusiasts. Mt. Bachelor, one of the premier ski resorts in North America, features downhill skiing and snow-boarding with 360-degree access to varied slopes, cross country, snowshoeing, and tubing with a season that regularly runs from November to May. An award-winning local eco-tourism company offers interpretive snowshoe trips, including moonlight snowshoeing, and snow camping.
Bend and its hopping downtown, offers you fantastic eateries, boutique shopping, people-watching and skiing on Mt. Bachelor a few miles away. Only two hours away, South Diamond Lake Resort operates year-round, in a magical setting of volcanic mountains all around. Near-by Crater Lake National Park is a must-see. The deepest lake in the U.S. is powder blue and the water never really freezes over.
Cultural Heritage & Museums, Water Resources & the Environment, Local Food Wine & Breweries, Community Public Transport Initiatives
The High Desert Museum South of Bend is a large indoor and outdoor interpretive center with interactive exhibits, showcasing the natural and cultural history of the area, including a fine Native American collection. Continuing north through the land of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the tribally owned Museum at Warm Springs is a calming and culturally inspiring experience. Oregon’s Mount Hood is a year-round skiing destination. Timberline Lodge is located at the 6,000 ft/1829 m level. The lodge was built in the 1930s as a Work Projects Administration project and showcases the artistic skills of many artisan craftsmen of the era. It features a huge fire place, a fine dining room with an award-winning wine cellar, lodging, hot tub and heated pool.
Mt Hood Cultural Center & Museum
The regional history of Mt. Hood: natural history, early exploration, settlement history, winter sports, mountain climbing and Mt. Hood National Forest via the arts, educational enrichment and oral histories
Hood River Mt. Hood offers two additional ski areas: Mt. Hood Ski bowl and Meadows, both excellent night ski areas. Expert skiers will find wonderful terrains, great vertical drops, awesome ski conditions and snow with majestic views. Hood River is a stylish town located on the scenic Columbia River. Stroll the charming streets where, you might see cars with snowboard and surfboards driving down the road. Hood River is also home to Full City Brewery, a micro-brewery.
Portland located between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, is at the northern end of the Willamette Valley and river which flows through the city and links with the Columbia River. The citizens and their local government are notable for: land-use planning, local transport, environment conscious policies, high walkability, many bicyclists and ten thousand acres of public parks.
Neighborhoods the Office of Neighborhood Involvement serves as a conduit between city government and Portland’s 95 neighborhoods, each represented by a volunteer association serving as liaison between residents and the city government. Portland and its surrounding metropolitan area also have the only directly elected metro planning organization the United States with responsibility for land use, transport planning and solid waste management.
Experiential Tourism for Friends and Families in Oregon
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