Oregon is filled to the brim with beautiful destinations and one-of-a-kind attractions. While it’s always fun to check out our state’s classic tourist sites like Multnomah Falls and Crater Lake, there are many wonderful, lesser-known attractions that should not be overlooked. From quirky roadside attractions to hidden gems on the Oregon Coast, here are 11 underrated places in the Beaver State that most natives have never heard of. Take a look:
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. Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor (Gold Beach)
Most people don't know about this scenic drive you can take along the Oregon Coast. The route passes by rugged rock formations and beautiful beach after beautiful beach. Even when it's foggy, the views are spectacular.
Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor, Gold Beach, OR 97444
2. Shelton McMurphey Johnson House (Eugene)
Travel back in time with s visit to the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House. Built in 1888, this gorgeous Victorian-style residence will give you a peek into what life was like in Eugene over a hundred years ago. Guests can take a short tour of the home's interior, which is overflowing with historical memorabilia and photographs. There are also special events scheduled throughout the year, including Christmas tea and a Mother's Day celebration.
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303 Willamette St., Eugene, OR 97401
3. Alvord Desert
Escape to one of the most otherworldly (and isolated) spots in the Beaver State with a trip to the Alvord Desert. Located in southeastern Oregon near the Steens Mountain, this unique land formation is a 12-mile lake bed desert that is unlike anywhere else in Oregon. You can enjoy hiking, biking, and stargazing throughout the desert. The recommended time to visit is from July to November.
Harney County, OR
4. Tamolitch Blue Pool (Cascadia)
Blue doesn't even begin to describe the vibrant color of this incredible pool. Tucked away in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, the "Blue Pool", also known as Tamolitch Pool, might just be one of the most beautiful hidden gems in all of Oregon. To reach this natural pool, you’ll take a short and enchanting hike through an old-growth forest. The short hike is well worth the incredible view awaiting you at the end.
McKenzie Hwy., Willamette National Forest, Cascadia, OR 97413
5. Richardson's Rock Ranch (Madras)
This family-owned and operated ranch is the perfect place to dig up some buried treasure. The world-famous agate beds are filled with thunder eggs and agate ledge material, which you can dig up yourself and take home. This is one adventure that promises to be fun for rock hounds young and old.
6683 Hay Creek Rd., Madras, OR 97741
6. Hug Point State Park (Cannon Beach)
Located just south of Cannon Beach, Hug Point is a stunning hidden gem on the Oregon Coast overflowing with natural beauty. You'll find incredible sandstone cliffs, colorful tide pools, numerous caves, and a spectacular beach waterfall here.
Highway 101, Cannon Beach, OR
7 The Candy Basket Candy Shop (Portland)
The first thing you'll notice upon walking into the Candy Basket is the giant chocolate waterfall. This 21-foot cascading fountain has been around since 1991, and is one of the oldest and tallest chocolate fountains in the world. While you can't eat the chocolate in the fountain, there are plenty of delicious treats to sample elsewhere in this fantastic store.
1924 NE 181st Ave., Portland, OR 97230
8. Short Bridge Ghost Towne
Located off of Oregon Route 20 east of Sweet Home, Short Bridge Ghost Towne is an impressive replica of an Old West town. The area features a variety of Western-themed storefronts, including a saloon and a stage stop. Short Bridge may not be a real ghost town, but that doesn't make this funky roadside attraction any less fun.
9. Devil's Punchbowl (Otter Rock)
Devil's Punchbowl is a one-of-a-kind rock formation that can only be found on the Oregon Coast. It is believed that this punch bowl formed from the collapse of the roof over two sea caves and intense wave action.
US Highway 101, Otter Crest Loop, Newport, OR 97369
10. French Round Barn (Diamond)
The French Round Barn isn't your average old barn. This unique structure was built about 150 years ago by a wealthy cattle rancher looking for a way to train his horses during the cold winter months. Guests can take a tour of the barn and stop by the nearby visitor's center to learn more about this fascinating piece of local history.
51955 Lava Bed Rd., Diamond, OR 97722
11. Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area (Jewell)
Open year-round, Jewell Meadows offers visitors an opportunity to view wildlife in a natural setting. You'll find a wide range of birds in the area and an enchanting elk herd.
79878 OR-202, Seaside, OR 97138
How many of these places have you explored? What else would you add to this list? Share your thoughts with us below!