By now, you’ve probably heard that Oregon is filled with a wide variety of amazing attractions and natural wonders. What you may not know is that some of the best places to visit are often a little off the beaten path. From hidden rock gardens to little-known scenic railroads, the following are 11 of our favorite underrated Oregon attractions that we think not enough people visit. Check ’em out:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Sumpter Valley Railway (McEwen)
A ride aboard the historic Sumpter Valley Railroad will take you back in time. The train runs through the heart of Oregon's gold country in the scenic Sumpter Valley. For trip schedules, visit the railroad's
12259 Huckleberry Loop,
McEwen, OR 97877
2. Peterson Rock Garden (Redmond)
This quirky roadside attraction is one of the most unique sights in the Beaver State. It was built entirely by one man — Rasmus Peterson — back in 1935. What started as a simple rock feature now stretches for over four acres of land and includes fantastic castles, monuments, bridges, and ponds. Peterson's creations are created using rocks, petrified wood, and semiprecious stones found across the high desert.
7930 SW 77th St., Redmond, OR 97756
3. Wildlife Safari (Winston)
A visit to the Wildlife Safari is not to be missed. This drive-through zoo offers a unique way to observe more than 500 different animal species. You can even feed the elephants on one of the many enrichment encounters.
1790 Safari Rd, Winston, OR 97496
4. Peter Iredale Ship Wreck (Warrenton)
While little remains of the Peter Iredale, this 110-year-old ship wreck is still a fascinating sight. The rusty remains are at their most picturesque during sunset.
Peter Iredale Rd., Warrenton, OR 97121
5. The Oregon Vortex, House of Mystery (Gold Hill)
The Oregon Vortex House of Mystery has been baffling visitors with strange phenomena since the 1930s. Here, you can witness amazing gravity optical illusions and visual oddities. If you have yet to check out this bizarre roadside attraction, you need take a trip here.
4303 Sardine Creek L Fork Rd., Gold Hill, OR 97525
6. Boardman Tree Farm (Boardman)
The Boardman Tree Farm is a captivating landmark along Oregon's I-84. The poplar trees are especially enchanting during the autumn season.
73669 Homestead Ln., Boardman, OR 97818
7. Shaniko, Oregon (Shaniko)
As one of Oregon's best preserved living ghost towns, Shaniko is filled with history and the rustic charm of the Old West. You can visit the old jailhouse, bank, and blacksmith shop while you're here.
93482 4th St., Shaniko, OR 97057
8. Spend the night at the Out'n'About Treesort (Cave Junction)
A night at the Out'n'About Treesort is sure to be downright magical. You'll stay high up in the trees in an authentic treehouse. You can also enjoy zipline adventures, horseback riding, and river rafting while you're here.
300 Page Creek Rd., Cave Junction, OR 97523
9. Thomas Condon Paleontology Center
Located in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is not to be missed.
The whole family will be delighted by the interactive fossil displays and informative exhibits at this museum.
Hwy. 19, Dayville, OR 97825
10. Wolf Creek Inn
The historic Wolf Creek Inn is the oldest running hotel in the Pacific Northwest. Many famous guests have stayed here over the years, including Clark Gable, Orson Welles, and the author Jack London. Today, it offers an enchanting glimpse into the past.
100 Front St., Wolf Creek, OR 97497
11. Thor's Well and Cape Perpetua
Thor's Well is a captivating natural wonder located at Cape Perpetua on the Oregon Coast. When the tide is right, water spouts upward from the bowl and then drains back into the opening. You can reach the well by taking the Captain Cook Trailhead from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center.
Highway 101, Yachats, OR 97498
Have you been to any of these attractions? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments below.