Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are so many wonderful places to escape that there is no reason to go the same place twice. If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway, add one of these area classics to your list for this spring.
1. Willamette Valley Wine Country
Dundee, Carlton, McMinnville and Yamhill are all cute small towns that are great starting points for a weekend away in wine country. Tour wineries, stroll small downtowns and enjoy a little peace and quiet in the quaint setting.
Corvallis is a lovely town for a getaway. Explore the McDonald State Forest or Peavey Arboretum, and walk the downtown area for a fun getaway at a slower pace than Portland.
3. Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Made up of 50,000 acres of lava flows, lakes and amazing geographic features, this is a great natural getaway. Explore the monument's four attractions - Lava Butte, Lava River Cave, Lava Cast Forest, and Newberry Caldera - and stay at one of the many local campsites for a rustic weekend away.
4. Crater Lake
A visit to our state's only national park is a must. Peer into the vast lake created by a volcanic explosion over 7500 years ago, and marvel at its amazing scale. Camp at the park for a rustic getaway or stay at one of many cabins or hotels near the park.
5. Three Sisters
The three peaks near Sisters are home to some of the best hikes in the state and the second largest wilderness area. Head here in the summer and be sure to get a permit first for hiking.
Like Corvallis, you are going to want to avoid town when the Ducks are playing, but otherwise, this college town is a great weekend excursion. A lovely downtown and thriving arts scene make Eugene a great destination.
7. John Day Fossil Beds
This park is well-known for its preserved fossils from millions of years ago. Follow along on a ranger-led talk or tour to gain some knowledge of the history of the area and its early inhabitants.
In winter you can enjoy snow sports at Mt. Bachelor, or in summer, stroll downtown and jump into the robust local beer scene. Lodging from rustic to resort makes the trip accessible for all.
9. Great Wolf Lodge
Families will love a getaway to this indoor waterpark and hotel near Centralia, Washington. Make a weekend of it and your kids (or kids at heart) will have amazing memories for years.
Make the drive up the I-5 and delve into all the Seattle has to offer. Explore the music scene, walk the Olympic Sculpture Park or duck into one of the city's numerous museums and attractions for an action-packed getaway with something for everyone.
11. Ecola State Park
Nine miles of coastline makes this state park a destination. Situated between Seaside and Cannon Beach, there is hiking, surfing and beach exploring activities galore.
12. Columbia Gorge
Sure, it is close, but the Gorge is worth exploring nonetheless. Take a weekend in Hood River to really branch out and do some hiking, windsurfing or swimming and you will feel refreshed and re-energized by weekend's end.