weekend getaways from Portland

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15 Weekend Getaways From Portland: The Best Oregon Weekends

Weekend Getaways from Portland You Shouldn’t Miss

Whether you want to take a trip to the coast or head to smaller Oregon towns such as Manzanita or Seaside, there is always something new and exciting to see when you take a weekend trip from Portland. 

If you want to discover the Pacific Northwest, Portland is a great starting point. Portland is known for its close proximity to national forests, parks, and coastal communities, making it a great starting point for any vacation.

As long-time residents of Oregon’s neighboring states, Washington and Idaho, we’ve had the privilege of experiencing the Pacific Northwest to its fullest.

While many people flock to the usual tourist spots, our geographical advantage and desire to explore hidden gems, quaint towns, and untouched trails has allowed us to venture into Oregon from multiple angles, offering perspectives and experiences that are diverse.

If you’re looking to dive deep into the heart of the Pacific Northwest, and particularly around Portland, you’re in for a treat.

Join us as we unpack our adventures and share the best of what a weekend getaway in Portland has to offer.

Tips for Planning a Weekend Getaway From Portland

Many of these drives from Portland are straightforward, making a weekend getaway easy.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your weekend getaways from Portland.

  • Research your Portland Weekend Getaway– Decide where you want to go first. This may seem obvious, but if you’re a first-time visitor to the area or someone who’s never gone on a weekend excursion away from Portland, it’s important to do a bit of homework.
  • Plan for traffic โ€“When determining how far away your destination is and figuring out when to leave, remember to factor in delays. If you depart at popular times like Friday or Sunday afternoons, this might add hours to your journey. Congestion areas for traffic tend to be downtown Portland, Vancouver, and Tacoma, so if you’re able, I’d plan to stop for lunch or dinner in those areas to av

What to Pack for Weekend Trips From Portland

Some of these weekend trips are short getaways from Portland, but others are longer road trips.

๐Ÿš We have a whole article on how to pack and what to pack for a road trip, but here are some quick pointers of what to bring on your trip away from Portland:

  • Emergency Road Kit– I highly recommend everyone to have a roadside emergency kit in their cars at all times.
  • Windbreaker- The weather in Portland can change in an instant; especially if you are visiting the coast, be sure to bring layers with you.
    Reusable water bottle โ€“It’s important to stay hydrated when you travel, but it’s also important not to waste a lot of plastic water bottles in the process.
  • Reusable coffee mug To reduce waste, make sure to bring your own reusable cup to fill up with your morning coffee.
  • Snacks โ€“You’ll avoid crashing if you keep your energy levels up with nutritious snacks like protein bars and trail mix.

Best Portland Oregon Weekend Getaways

We hope that your time away from Portland is the most enjoyable it can be, so keep reading to find out which weekend getaway is perfect for you.

The great thing about our weekend from Portland list is that we have broken down our recommendations based on different types of experiences you may be looking for.

So whether you are looking for the best small towns in Oregon, the or the best drives from Portland you’ll find a bit of everything .

๐Ÿ‘€ Looking For Portland Getaways Packages? Here are some of our favorites
โ˜žColombia River Gorge And Mt Hood Tour
โ˜žMultnomah Falls and Columbia Gorge Air Tour from Portland

Coastal Weekend Getaways From Portland

Coastal weekend getaways from Portland offer travelers the chance to experience Oregon’s rugged and breathtaking shoreline.

Destinations like Cannon Beach and Seaside provide a perfect blend of scenic beauty, quaint town vibes, and beachside relaxation just a short drive away.

1. Astoria 

Astoria Oregon offers a different experience from most of the other Oregon Coast beach towns on our list.

Astoria is known for its rich maritime and pioneer history, setting it apart from primarily beach-focused towns along the Oregon Coast.

While many coastal towns in Oregon are known for their sandy shores and outdoor water activities, Astoria leans into its heritage as a fishing and shipping port.

Visitors will find a range of historical landmarks, such as the Astoria Column and the Columbia River Maritime Museum, that offer deep dives into the town’s past.

In addition to history, Astoria offers a lively waterfront with fresh seafood restaurants, shops, and views of the Columbia River meeting the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, making it a distinctive stop or destination on the Oregon Coast.

Our Favorite Places To Go In Astoria

  • Astoria Brewing
  • Bowpicker Fish and Chips
  • Fort George Brewing
  • Buoy Brewing (Unfortunately their location right on the water was structurally damaged; but their new location still has the same great beer)

2. Newport

Newport, Oregon, is a gem for those interested in a more authentic fishing town atmosphere, as opposed to the more tourist-focused vibe of places like Cannon Beach.

With its working marinas, fresh seafood markets, and the opportunity to watch fishing boats come and go, Newport offers a glimpse into the life of a coastal community built around the fishing industry.

It’s an excellent choice for visitors wanting to experience a different, more rugged side of the Oregon Coast

3. Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach, is one of Oregon’s most iconic coastal destinations, known for its sandy beaches and the dramatic Haystack Rock that juts out from the ocean.

This quaint town offers a more tourist-friendly atmosphere, complete with boutique shops, art galleries, and a range of dining options from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.

Whether you’re looking to explore tidal pools around Haystack Rock, catch a sunset over the Pacific, or simply stroll through a charming town with a laid-back vibe, Cannon Beach offers a quintessential Oregon Coast experience.

A couple of our favorite things to do:

  • Visit Ecola State Park where you can walk on the paved path to see the historic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
  • Visit Pelican Brewery

Insider Tip: Haystack sees thousands of nesting seabirds every year, including common murres, cormorants, pigeon guillemots, and tufted puffins. If you go on a low tide, you can actually walk out to the rock and get face-to-face with this Cannon Beach attraction.

4. Long Beach WA

Long Beach, Washington, is a coastal gem known for its expansive sandy shores and a variety of seaside activities.

As one of the longest continuous beaches in the U.S., it’s a hotspot for kite flying, with the annual Washington State International Kite Festival drawing enthusiasts from all over.

The town itself, though quaint, is bustling with unique shops, seafood restaurants, and attractions like the World Kite Museum and Marsh’s Free Museum.

Whether you’re exploring the Cape Disappointment State Park, delving into local history at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, or simply taking a leisurely walk on the 8.5 miles Discovery Trail, Long Beach offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.

โ˜ž Insider Tip: The Sea Lions are very active at night! I highly recommend seeing them if you ever have the chance.

5. Florence, Oregon

Florence, Oregon, situated along the central coast, offers a scenic weekend getaway from Portland with its expansive sand dunes and picturesque coastal views.

Visitors can explore the iconic Heceta Head Lighthouse, enjoy off-roading on the Oregon Dunes, or simply stroll the historic Old Town.

Its blend of natural beauty and local charm makes Florence a rejuvenating escape from city life.

6. Manzanita

Manzanita is a charming coastal town located just under two hours from Portland, offering a less crowded alternative to more popular Oregon beach destinations.

The seven-mile stretch of beach provides ample space for relaxation, beachcombing, and water activities.

The town itself is home to cozy cafes, boutique shops, and local art galleries, making it a well-rounded destination for a nature-filled yet quaint weekend escape.

Weekend Getaways From Portland For The Nature Lover

Nature enthusiasts in Portland can head to Mount Hood National Forest for hiking and camping amidst dense forests and mountains.

Another great option is the Columbia River Gorge with its impressive waterfalls and numerous trails.

7. Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake, nestled in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon, stands as a testament to nature’s beauty and power.

Born from the violent eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama around 7,700 years ago, this deep blue lake is the deepest in the United States.

Known for its pristine clarity and mesmerizing blue hue, Crater Lake is surrounded by cliffs nearly 2,000 feet high.

The lake’s isolation from other bodies of water and lack of pollutants give it its iconic color and clarity.

Visitors to Crater Lake National Park can enjoy various activities like hiking, scenic drives around its rim, or even boat tours to Wizard Island, the cinder cone island rising from its waters.

This natural wonder serves as both a recreational hotspot and a serene retreat, drawing those eager to experience one of nature’s most impressive spectacles.

8. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, just a couple of hours’ drive from Portland, offers an immersive experience into the power and recovery of nature.

The site, where the famous volcanic eruption occurred in 1980, now serves as a dynamic landscape for both educational and recreational pursuits. Visitors can hike along various trails, some leading to stunning viewpoints of the crater, while others traverse the regenerating blast zone.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory provides interactive displays detailing the day of the eruption and the subsequent ecological restoration.

As a weekend getaway from Portland, Mount St. Helens offers a rare blend of natural beauty, hiking opportunities, and a vivid testament to the resilience of nature in the face of catastrophic events

9. Mount Rainier National Park

weekend getaway from Seattle

Most Seattleites think of Mount Rainier as a day trip from Seattle, but it’s certainly doable from Portland too!

Rainier is the highest volcanic peak in the Cascade range and is surrounded by valleys, subalpine meadows, several waterfalls, and acres upon acres of old-growth forest.

A 3-hour drive from Portland will take you to this piece of heaven where nature is present in its truest form. Whether you like hiking or scenic drives through the mountains, this national park has it all.  

If you’re looking for ideas for what to do once you’re in the park Comet Falls, Myrtle Falls, and Christine Falls are popular spots. The 6-mile Skyline trail is a world-famous hike for nature overs and explorers. 

10. Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park, situated in Central Oregon’s high desert, is a haven for rock climbers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts alike.

Towering basalt rock formations rise dramatically from the Crooked River, creating a rugged and picturesque landscape that attracts climbers from around the world.

Climbing routes vary from beginner-friendly to highly advanced, while a network of trails offers visitors the chance to explore the park’s varied terrains, including the challenging Misery Ridge Trail which provides panoramic views of the Cascades and the surrounding area.

The park’s unique geology, coupled with the meandering river and diverse wildlife, makes Smith Rock a must-visit for anyone seeking outdoor adventure or simply wanting to marvel at one of Oregon’s natural wonders.

11. Willamette Valley

A visit to Willamette Valley from Portland is about a 2-hour drive and offers a lot of wineries to visit.

The Willamette Valley is the grape-growing region of Oregon and produces more Pinot Noir than any other place in the world. 

There are several tasting rooms to visit, so it’s definitely something fun to do with friends.

There is much more than just wine in Willamette Valley – it has amazing views and rolling hills that make for great cycling rides if you rent a bike from one of the local shops.

This scenic valley also offers biking trails and hiking, so there will be plenty for you to do during your visit.

If you’re into fishing, Willamette Valley is a great place to do it, and several rivers flow through the valley that provides good salmon and steelhead. You can also kayak or canoe down the river, which is great for those who are experienced.

City Getaways From Portland

City getaways from Portland open the door to a diverse range of urban experiences in the Pacific Northwest.

Whether exploring the vibrant cultural scene of Seattle or diving into the charm of Eugene, travelers are just a few hours away from dynamic cityscapes and attractions

12. Seattle Washington

seattle space needle

If you’re looking to explore city life a bit differently, head over to Seattle for a weekend.

Seattle is about a 2-hour drive from Portland and offers everything you can’t find in Oregon.

Seattle has some of the best seafood, especially on the waterfront, where restaurants offer outdoor seating with beautiful views of Puget Sound. This makes it popular to visit during the summer.

The Pike Place Market is a must-see when visiting Seattle.

The market has been around since 1907 and is famous for its fishmongers, artisan stalls, and tasty food.

Seattle also offers festivals throughout the year, including Seafair, which is held every summer to celebrate the city’s maritime history. You can see hydroplane boat races and participate in parades.

Seattle offers a lot for you to do- whether going out on the town, checking out some amazing views, or live music shows – it has everything you want.

Seattle is a great place to visit for all your summer outdoor activities! There’s a good reason many people from Portland decided to move to Seattle – it offers a lot more than just the city life.

The best time to visit Seattle is during the summer, but if you go in the winter, there’s still plenty that you can do, like skiing or snowboarding at Crystal Mountain.

With its proximity to Portland, Seattle makes for an easy weekend.

We have tons of great ideas for things to do in Seattle here.
Looking for things to do at night in Seattle click here, and find our favorite day trips from Seattle here.

13. Eugene

A trip from Portland to Eugene is definitely worth the effort.

Eugene is located on the banks of the Willamette River and offers a dynamic mix of artistic and cultural activities and shopping and dining. 

This pedestrian-friendly town is a one-stop destination for entertainment and adventures.

It is home to the University of Oregon, giving it the fun and unique vibe that we love from college towns. 

You’ll find that Eugene is a major destination for foodies, cyclists, and counter-culture history buffs.

14. Bend, OR

๐Ÿšตโ€โ™€๏ธ One Our Favorite Weekend Getaways Bend Oregon offers river activities, biking and great breweries

A scenic drive, breathtaking views, numerous adventure sports, and a hospitable environment, Bend is a 10/10 getaway from Portland. If you’re stuck in the busy city life and need an escape to nature, a 3.5-hour drive to Bend is all you need.

This thriving city is a complete package with beautiful scenery, plenty of parks, and the Deschutes River flowing right through the city.

During your visit to Bend, don’t miss a couple of our favorites

  • Smith Rock State Park
  • Tumalo Falls
  • 10 Barrel Brewing
  • Crux Brewing

Smith Rock is a world-renowned rock climbing mecca and has some of the most difficult sport climbs in the United States.

Any rock climber will be left speechless as you hike along the trails that run through this park with some spectacular views of desert canyons and rivers below. 

Tumalo Falls is a beautiful place to see multiple waterfalls cascading more than 200 feet into the canyon below. 

  • If you visit Bend in winter, head to Mt. Bachelor for downhill skiing and cross country trails.
  • During the summer, you’ll enjoy hiking, biking, river sports, and exploring the thriving downtown area of Bend.

 No weekend in Bend would be complete without visiting a popular brewery or two or eating at one of the food truck pods. August’s favorite food truck area is the Lot, but I really like Podski food truck area for their Thai Food Truck.

๐Ÿ‘€ Looking for the best things to do in Bend? You’ll find it here.

15. Hood River In The Colombia River Gorge

If you’re planning a scenic drive from Portland, or even a unique places in Oregon, nothing can beat the active lifestyle of Hood River.

Located just an hour away from Portland, Hood River draws you in with water sports, challenging hikes and rides, and welcoming fruit farms and wineries.

If you’re driving to Hood River from Portland, I highly recommend taking the Colombia River Gorge Scenic Highway where you’ll encounter excellent trailheads and waterfalls. 

If you need something other than hiking, how about windsurfing and kiteboarding in the Gorge?

The Gorge is a dream for expert windsurfers and kiteboarders because of its high winds.

But if you’re learning paddleboarding, kiteboarding, or surfing, you can pick a calmer side of the Gorge

Once you’re done adventuring for the day, there are plenty of great places to get a beer in Hood River and a bite to eat,

A couple of our favorite spots are:

  • Double Mountain Brewery
  • Pfriem Brewing
  • Solstice Wood Fired Pizzas

๐Ÿป Are you a a craft beer or cider lover? Read about the best breweries in Hood River here

๐Ÿ‘€ Looking to take a weekend trip to Portland? Check out our favorite things to do in Portland

How to Choose The Best Weekend Getaway From Portland?

  • Consider the season. Some destinations like Mount Hood are best enjoyed in specific seasons.
  • Factor in the travel time. While all these destinations are relatively close to Portland, make sure you’re comfortable with the drive or travel involved.
  • Reflect on your ideal weekend. Whether it’s soaking in nature, exploring history, or just unwinding, let your mood guide your choice.

Here’s All Our Favorite Things To Do In Oregon

Get out and Explore The Best Portland Oregon Getaways

So, which one of these locations resonates the most with you? Would you like hiking in Rainier National Park, or a relaxing day in Astoria is your idea of a relaxing getaway?

Whichever place you decide to visit, Oregon’s beauty is bound to leave you awestruck and craving for more.

So, make the most out of your time in Portland and explore the nearest places to fill your weekends with some extra fun. Let us know where you are headed next!  

FAQ About Weekend Getaways From Portland

What is the closest mountain to Portland

The closest mountain to Portland, Oregon, is Mount Hood, located approximately 50 miles to the southeast of the city. Its proximity to Portland makes it a popular destination for both day trips and extended getaways.

What city is 2 hours from Portland

Several cities are roughly two hours from Portland, Oregon, depending on traffic and specific starting and ending points. One notable city is Eugene, located about 110 miles to the south of Portland on Interstate 5.

How far is Portland Oregon from the ocean

Portland, Oregon, is approximately 80 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The closest coastal city, Seaside, can be reached in about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive, depending on traffic.

outside nomad jill wheeler author bio
Written by Jill Wheeler

Hi there! I’m Jill, a full-time travel blogger and passionate adventurer. I left the 9-to-5 grind to embrace the nomadic travel lifestyle and have never looked back. I love immersing myself in diverse cultures, and through my stories, photos, and tips, I hope to inspire others to embark on their own adventures. When I’m not exploring the world, you’ll find me skiing, mountain biking, or tasting the culture of breathtaking locations.

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