With the rising cost of travel, there’s an immediate and overwhelming need to find new things to do within a close proximity to home. Luckily for us, the positioning of our fair city allows for many opportunities: two major metropolitan areas, the mountains, rivers and beaches. In other words: Hey, Salem. This song isn’t about you. Don’t be so vain.
What follows is not an all expansive list of things to do or daily itineraries. There are easily 100 places to go hiking, drink wine, and have local organic food. Instead this is a list to supplement what you already know about this area. Branch out a little bit, go for something a little strange or kitschy. Mix it up and enjoy the region this summer.
We’ve done our best to make sure that hours, addresses and distances are correct, but prior to making a trek, you should always make sure that those things have not changed. Distances are based on Google Maps directions from Salem’s city center.
KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM, KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM ~ 31.2 miles
In addition to losing all of your hard earned money on penny slots, Spirit Mountain Casino has a wide range of entertainment throughout the summer like MMA fights with Caged Combat 4, singers John Michael Montgomery and George Benson. If none of that applies, there’s also the Raindrops Nightclub where you can get your dance on.
Info: Spirit Mountain Casino 27100 Southwest Salmon River Highway, Grand Ronde
PIG OUT ON A PANCAKE ~ 60.2 miles
Talk about putting it all out on front street. Pig ‘n Pancake serves up, well, pigs and pancakes. They aren’t exactly Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, but they are locally owned and spread all over the northern coast. After a rough night of boozing on the beach, they’re worth a visit to soak up some of that alcohol with a piece of pig, and a pile of pancakes.
Info: 3910 NE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, 541-994-3268, Open Daily 6am to 3pm. pignpancake.com
GO ON AN EMO TOUR ~ 60.3 miles
Have a veil and an overabundance of black mascara that need to be put to good use? Pioneer Cemetery is a good place to write the emotional dramatic poems that are in your tortured, bleeding heart. Or … you can enjoy the view of the ocean and walk through a wide array of gravestones.
Info: The cemetery is located across the road from Inn at Spanish Head in the 4000 block of south Highway 101.
EAT WITH MATILDA, THE FRIENDLY GHOST ~ 55.5 miles
Local legend says that The Wildflower Grill has a benevolent spirit named Matilda. There are reports of cabinets opening and closing on its own and doorknobs being rattled. Rumor also has it that the grill has a killer breakfast.
Info: The Wildflower Grill, 4250 NE Hwy 101, Lincoln City
EXPLORE THE GNARLIEST SKATE PARK IN AMERICA ~ 47.6 miles
Don’t take our word for it. Thrasher Magazine, who know a thing or two about skating, gave the Lincoln City Skate Park a 9 out of 10 score. That’s totally gnarly, right? The skate park features four bowls: the Moguls Bowl, The Cradle and Half Pipe, Swimming Pool, and Snake Run.
Info: Located in Kirtsis Park. From Hwy 101, turn east on NE 22nd St. Turn left past the ball fields.
CREATE ART THAT BLOWS GLASS ~ 60.9 miles
Get together with a group of tourists, fanny pack optional, and watch the professionals at Jennifer L. Sears Glass Art studio blow glass. The more adventurous can pony up some cash ($65-$135) and be taught how to blow their own glass float or paperweight. The artists encourage questions and photographs.
Info: Call ahead with large groups. SW 48th and Hwy 101. 541-996-2569, jennifersearsglassart.com
PERUSE A VIBRATOR MUSEUM AND ENJOY A TASTY SANDWICH ~ 57.4 miles
Aunt Mary’s Toaster Bistro is a place where you can get a sandwich called “F#ck me, that’s good.” It seems like that’s enough of a reason to go. Just in case there’s still some hold outs: It’s a combination head shop, adult shop, and full service bar. The bistro serves up food with Vegan/vegetarian and alcohol, but also acts as a vibrator and douche bag museum. How can you go wrong?
Info: Aunt Mary’s Toaster Bistro, 1347 U.S. 101, Lincoln City. filthycabbage.net
HIDDEN TREASURES ON THE BEACH
With each receding tide, there are leftovers of seashells that are left behind. Take a break from look over the beach and collect some sand dollars.
Info: Any public beach access
GO FLY A KITE ~ 48 miles
Lincoln City has a reputation among kite enthusiasts for being one of the best places to fly kites. Of course, you don’t have to wait for a festival to fly one. Don’t worry about bringing one with you, as Catch the Wind Kites is near prime kite flying territory and can set you up with a number of things to, well, catch the wind with.
Info: Catch The Wind Kites, 266 SE Highway 101, 541-994-9500, catchthewind.com
HELP OUT A GARDEN ~ 56.5 miles
The Connie Hansen Garden looks to volunteers to maintain the garden on a regular basis. The garden itself was planted over 30 years time by Connie Hansen, who was a collector of rhododendrons and was known for working in the garden from dawn to dusk. Now it’s up to volunteers to maintain the garden.
Info: The Connie Hansen Garden, 1931 NW 33rd St. Visit the garden any Tuesday for information on volunteering or call 541-994-6338, www.conniehansengarden.com
FIND AN OWL WHO DOESN’T COUNT LICKS ~ 56.6 miles
Cascade Head Nature Preserve is a number of mid-difficulty hiking paths through hemlock and Sitka forests. The preserve acts a good place to go bird watching for a Wilson’s warble, wrentit, chestnut-backed chickadee, golden-crowned kinglet or a great horned and north pigmy owl.
Info: Head north on US 101 from Lincoln City. Turn west on Three Rocks Road.
At 2 miles, take the left fork and park in Knight Park. The road opens on July 15, so plan accordingly.
JOIN AN OREGON COAST ANTIQUES ROADSHOW ~ 59.8 miles
The Little Antique Mall is billed as the largest antique mall on the coast with a combination of primitives, furniture, and pottery. The whole area surrounding it is a mini-antique district with other malls dishing out their wares.
Info: Little Antique Mall, 3128 NE Highway 101, Lincoln City 541-994-8572
SCOOP A MEAL OUT OF TIDE POOL ~ 58.6 miles
Lee Gray knows a thing or two about tide pools to say the least. He spends his weekends taking groups of people around digging through the leftovers of the sea and making big meals. Attend a class or get him to cater a meal.
Info: The Wild Gourmet 628 SE Port Lincoln City, OR 97367 541-992-3798
SEE THAT SIZE DOESN’T MATTER ~ 58 miles
On the Pacific side of Highway 101 in downtown Lincoln City flows (or does it trickle?) The D River, which claims to be the world’s shortest river. There’s not much in the way of recreation here, but a side note for a Lincoln City day trip.
Info: The nearest intersection is US 101 and NE 1st, across from Kylio’s Seafood and Grill
EXCUSE YOURSELF FOR AN EXCURSION ~ 70.7 miles
There are plenty of options to rent a kayak or canoe on the coast, but NorthWest EcoExcursions offers something a little special. They allow children under eight and dogs to come along for the trip. Finally, Paris Hilton can go kayaking.
Info: nwecoexcursions.com, info@NWEcoExcursions.com 541-765-2598
DON’T BE SO CRABBY ~ 61.1 miles
There are plenty of options when it comes to eating dungeness crab on the coast. Sure, you can go and eat the crab that’s been boiled and handed to you on a literal silver platter. Or you can act like a real fisherperson and catch your own. Yeah, you’ll need a crabbing license and some bait, but the reward is worth the work, right?
Info: Get your bait at Elanor’s Undertow, 869 SW 51st St.
SWIRL, SNIFF, SIP AND SPIT ~ 76.2 and 99.1 miles
There are only a couple wineries on the Oregon Coast. Flying Dutchman in Otter Rock is a boutique winery that produces small lots of wines with grapes that come from all over Oregon. In Nehalem, there’s Nehalem Bay Winery that produces 14 different wines.
Info: Flying Dutchman, 915 First St, Otter Rock dutchmanwinery.com
Nehalem Bay Winery 34965 Highway 53, Nehalem, OR 97131 503.368-9463, nehalembaywinery.com
CUT SOME CHEESE ~ 75.3 miles
Everyone knows about the Tillamook Cheese Factory, but what about Blue Heron French Cheese Company? It might be like cheating on your significant other, but the Blue Heron Brie has people sneaking in from time to time. They also have a full deli with fresh baked bread, house made salads, wines and more.
Info: Blue Heron French Cheese Company, 2001 Blue Heron Drive, Tillamook 800-275-0639, blueheronoregon.com
PRETEND TO FIGHT NAZIS ~ 74 miles
You don’t have to be Indiana Jones or an Inglorious Basterd to take on the evil Hitler. The Tillamook Air Museum has a jet simulator, pieces of the Hindenburg, a World War II Luftwaffe flight jacket, and over 30 war birds. After flying through the exhibits, have lunch at their 40/50s cafe.
Info: Tillamook Air Museum 6030 Hangar Rd. Tillamook 503-842-1130 tillamookair.com, email@example.com
PUT YOUR PINKY UP IN THE AIR ~ 74.3 miles
There’s an asexual tea time called the Governor’s Tea that the cleverly named La Tea Da hosts called the Governor’s Tea. It’s meant to appeal to both gentlemen and gentlewomen. Enjoy the three course meal that comes with a dish of sorbet, a pot of tea (of course) and homemade herbed Tillamook cheese and sweet scones.
Info: La Tea Da, 904 Main Ave, Tillamook, 503-842-5447 lateada-tearoom.com
VISIT THE TALLEST WATERFALL ON THE OREGON COAST ~ 67.5 miles
The park is home to ancient western red cedar and Sitka spruce. An important salmon spawning ground, Munson Creek Falls tumbles 319′, making it the tallest waterfall in the Coast Range. A trail system winds through the hills to the waterfall.
Info: Munson Creek State Natural Site, six miles south of Tillamook on Highway 101. Turn east on Munson Creek Rd. for two miles. http://bit.ly/j0j92
VISIT IDIOTVILLE ~ 81.8 miles
It’s a ghost town, because who wants to have their mail delivered to Idiotville, OR? It’s actually a part of the Tillamook State Forest now and not much remains there. It’s gone from a logging camp to a place for recreational ATV use and perhaps photographing some of the falls in the area.
HAVE AN ANIMAL ENCOUNTER ~ 54.5 miles
Ever wanted to be kissed by a sea lion? Shake tentacles with an octopus? The Oregon Coast Aquarium offers first encounters of a different kind in addition to the normal exhibits that they offer. Learn about the different animals from aquarium staff and then get up close and personal.
Info: $40 for non-members, $35 for members. Make out with a sea lion on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Octopus encounters are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd.,Newport 541-867-3474 aquarium.org
GET BLINDED BY LIGHT ~ 85 miles
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is said to be the oldest building in Newport. At one point in history, it was the only Oregon lighthouse with living quarters attached and today stands as the only historic wooden lighthouse in Oregon. It’s open to the public, with the exception of the lantern room itself for tours.
Info: Corner of Bay Blvd & Elizabeth, Newport. yaquinalights.org
SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR THE MARINERS ~ 85 miles
In the same state park as the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, there is a memorial sanctuary for fishermen who have lost their lives at sea. In a world where we watch their struggles on reality TV shows, take a second to pay tribute at the memorial where people leave mementos of their loved ones.
Info: Corner of Bay Blvd & Elizabeth, Newport, http://bit.ly/pC3dW2
GET SCHOOLED ON MARINE SCIENCE ~ 86.3 miles
The Hatfield Marine Science Center features an expansive visitor center where guests can walk through marine exhibits like the current Active Earth exhibit that covers information on earthquakes and tsunamis. Other exhibits include science for sustainable fisheries, a tidepool touch tank where guests can interact with fish, sea anemones, and sea stars. Guided tours of the facility are also available.
Info: Donations are suggested of $5 per person. 2030 SE Marine Science Dr Newport, OR 97365 541-867-0100 hmsc.oregonstate.edu
ENJOY A PHOTO OP WITH WEIRD STATUES ~ 86.1 miles
The Aquarium Village’s parking lot features a couple large statues like a giant killer whale and Nessie a local sea monster. Take photos with them, but please no photos of you riding them for your Facebook profile.
Info: 3101 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport, OR
DOCK A BIKE IN NEWPORT ~ 84.3 miles
Take a rental mountain bike to many of the trails in the area. Ask Bike Newport for suggestions based on your experience.
Info: $25 all day. Bike Newport, 541-265-9917
GIVE BOO BOO A PIC-A-NIC BASKET ~ 89.3 miles
The Picnic Basket was featured on the Food network for their 94 flavors of taffy, but they also have handcrafted fudge, fresh to order funnel cakes, and many flavors of Tillamook ice cream. This location is smaller than their flagship Cannon Beach location, but offers many of the same treats.
Info: The Picnic Basket 102 N. Highway 101, Rockaway Beach 97112
MUSICAL CHAIRS FOR GERMAN POTATOES ~ 52 miles
Otis Cafe is a usual stomping ground for coast goers. They’re known for their fresh-baked breads and those tasty German potatoes that can be ordered on top of hash browns or by themselves. It’s a cheap place to fill up the belly before finishing the trek to the beach. Be prepared to fight the crowds.
Info: Otis Cafe, 1259 Salmon River Hwy., Otis 541-994-2813, otiscafe.com
HAVE VALOR, BUT NO STEED? ~ 58 miles
Gallop along the beach with Oregon Beach Rides, who will provide a horse and all of the gear needed to giddy-up. They have multiple packages whether it’s a one- or two-hour ride, half-day adventure ride or a sunset ride that should guarantee swoons.
Info: Rides start at $95/person. RSVP required. 971-237-6653 oregonbeachrides.com
HAVE A SUDFUL DINNER ~ 59.1 miles
Leave to a brewery to focus on the proper way of pairing food with beer. Pelican Pub and Brewery adds some class to the dining experience by providing those pairings and also including their beers in a number of the recipes. They call it “Beer Cuisine” because most items on their summer menu contain beer products. Vegetarian and vegan selections are also available.
Info: Pelican Pub & Brewery, Sunday – Thursday, 8am until 10pm Friday & Saturday 8am until 11pm, 503-965-7007
PUT A BIRD ON YOU ~ 58 miles
Ever wanted to jump off a cliff and not meet your imminent demise? The Oregon Hang Gliding School is the only actively teaching hang gliding school in the region. It’s a little more different than strapping on gear and getting pushed off a cliff, but the school will fill you in on all of that safety stuff.
Info: Instruction is in Pacific City. Introductory lessons start at $130 per person, Oregon Hang Gliding School, oregonhanggliding.com, 541-913-1339
GET A BUTTERFLY KISS ~ 20 miles
Wings of Wonder offers a unique look at the world of a butterfly to all who travel through their exhibit that features both North American and imported exotic butterflies. It’s not only entertaining, but also educational with plenty of information sprinkled in. There are adult only days on the first Tuesday of every month from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Info: Wings of Wonder, 5978 Willamette Ferry St., Independence
RIDE ON A FERRY ~ 20.1 miles
Bicyclists used to be able to ride the ferry for free, but now they’ll be charged a dollar. The ferry was replaced using a $3.2 million grant, which was used to buy a new boat, improve landings and upgrade electrical utilities. It’s available year round.
Info: Pedestrians ride for free. Seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
ROGUE HOPPING ~ 19.3 miles
Independence was once known as the hop capitol of the world and Rogue Brewery is still embracing that particular culture. They have seven varieties and 42-acres of hops growing there. There’s also a tasting room on-site where a number of Rogue brews are poured.
Info: 3590 Wigrich Rd. Independence, 541-867-3660, rogue.com. For tours of the Micro Hopyard and facilities call 503-838-9813 or email Natascha Cronin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRETEND TO BE WATCHING A MOVIE IN YOUR CAR ~ 13.1 miles
Drive in movies are a rarity. Motor Vu Drive In is still kicking and serving up first run movies by the carload. Unlike other movie theaters, bringing outside food is A-OK and movies are actually a night’s worth of entertainment. Pick up a pizza or pack a picnic, fill up your car then head to a double bill of movies. Usually the drive-in shows a new movie coupled with a slightly older movie.
Info: Motor Vu Drive In, 315 SE Fir Villa, Dallas
GET AN ARCTIC CHILL ~ 15.6 miles
The Jensen Arctic Museum is the only museum on the West Coast dedicated to the arctic culture. It was founded in 1985 by philanthropist Paul H. Jensen who had a special fondness for arctic people, their art and lifestyle.
Info: Free, 503-838-8468, email@example.com, http://bit.ly/pcLz8s
SEE WHAT FLAPS IN THE NIGHT ~ 26.3 miles
Downtown Albany’s riverbank is home to two of the largest bat colonies in the Willamette Valley. On a summer evening at dusk, they come out of their slumber and fly along the bank looking for bugs.
Info: Downtown Albany
EAT WITH HUNGRY, HUNGRY HUNGARIANS ~ 21.9 miles
Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant is a locally owned and operated restaurant that acts as a homing beacon for hungry eaters traveling through town. They are known for their bakery that dishes out cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and authentic European treats.
Info: 2306 Heritage Way SE, Albany 541-967-9488, www.novakshungarian.com
CARVE A CAROUSEL ~ 26.3 miles
The Albany Carousel Project hosts carving lessons where the future of the project could end up creating a carousel for Albany.
Info: 503 First Ave. W. Corner of 1st and Washington in downtown Albany. 541-791-3340 or 541-928-0911 for hours and information.
WATCH 100 MILES PER HOUR WITH A SPLASH ~ 35.3 miles
The Field of Dreams Sprint Boar Race Track is home to speedy boats that zoom around the track at speeds of around 100 miles per hour. There are only two USSBA races scheduled in Albany: July 23 and September 10.
Info: Tickets are available at ticketwest.com More info: usbbaracing.com
HAVE A COW, MAN ~ 26 miles
Put on your bib, order up a full rack of ribs and eat up. As a strange bonus, the Knebel family, who owns the restaurant, often breaks into impromptu singing.
Info: Bo-Mack’s BBQ, 119 1st Ave. East,541-791-7058 bo-mack.com
GET PADDLED ~ 23.7 miles
Paddle boats are all the rage on Waverly Lake where you can rent boats with life jackets for $5 for 30 minutes. They’re available Thursday and Fridays from noon to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Info: Contact Albany Parks and Recreation at 541-917-7777.
CHERRY-FLAVORED PEZ. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. ~ 45.2 miles
Brownsville’s claim to fame is that the town was used as the fictional Castle Rock in the film Stand by Me. There are 14 locations that are still easily found and all within around a mile and a half of each other.
Info: Get a map of the tour at http://bit.ly/lEVp7R
FEAR AND LOATHE IN CORVALLIS ~ 35.4 miles
Nearly Normals calls their style “gonzo” cuisine. What that means to them is using fresh ingredients, coming up with original recipes, and including thoughtful preparation and presentation of food.
Info: Nearly Normals, 109 NW 15th St., Corvallis nearlynormals.com
RENACT DELIVERANCE, BUT WITHOUT THE PIGGY SQUEALS ~ 37.7 miles
The McKenzie River acts as your roller coaster on whitewater rafting day trips. Caster’s Guide Service runs on both Upper and Middle parts of McKenzie River, which allows for adventurers at all levels to enjoy the ride.
Info: Caster’s Guide Service 29410 SE Becker Dr.,Corvallis 541-757-7167, castersguideservice.com
EAT AT THE EGGISTENTIAL CAFE ~ 35 miles
Local, local, local. That’s what Sunnyside Up Cafe focuses on. They’re not big fans of additives or processing either so expect a clean meal that includes fresh made baked goods and locally grown organic fruit.
Info: Sunnyside Up Cafe, 116 NW 3rd St., Corvallis
SHAKE YOUR TAIL FEATHER ~ 35 miles
Peacock Bar and Grill has a huge dance floor and the normal night life attractions like karaoke, pool and random theme nights. Of course, the easiest way to ruffle feathers in Beaver Country is to wear a green shirt, but we wouldn’t recommend that.
Info: Peacock Bar and Grill, 125 SW 2nd St., Corvallis 541-754-8522
WALK THROUGH HISTORY WITH AN IPOD ~ 34.8 miles
This walking tour is narrated by MP3 and covers the founding of Corvallis from the founding Kalapyua people through the gold rush and stern-wheeler era into modern times. It’s around 40 minutes long.
Info: 553 NW Harrison Blvd. Corvallis 800-334-8118
RAW FISH WITH FRIENDS ~ 35 miles
The seating at Aomatsu is setup for large groups, so there’s plenty of room for everyone to nosh on sushi.
Info: Aomatsu Sushi, 122 NW 3rd St. Corvallis 541-752-1410
SEE HOW THE OTHER SIDE LIVES ~ 34.9 miles
Visit Corvallis hosts a Historic Homes Trolley Tour that they call a “relaxing ride on the trolley touring historic homes.” It’s free, but donations are accepted.
Info: Call 800-334-8118 for tour dates
HUG A TREE, DIRTY HIPPIES ~ 28.9 miles
There are a whole lot of trees to embrace on Peavy Arboretum’s 40 acres. It’s open every day to the public for free. Starting in 1926, trees were planted, the nursery on the land was expanded and roads and hiking trails were built.
EMBRACE YOUR INNER-REDNECK ~ 37.2 miles
Got a t-shirt that’s two sizes too small? A NASCAR hat? A Calvin peeing on, well, anything, sticker on your car? You’re ready to watch the action at the Trophy Motor Sports. It’s a fun night filled with light domestic beer, cars driving in circles on a dirt track, and occasionally the night’s topped off with a demolition derby. Git ‘er done.
Info: Willamette Speedway 36606 Airport Dr., 541-405-6944, www.trophymotorsports.com
TRY NOT TO FALL OFF YOUR BIKE ~ 25 miles
Shellburg Falls has moderate in difficulty trails for mountain biking. Brave bikers will encounter the forests surrounding the falls, leaving a wide variety of plants and animals in their dust.
Info: From Salem drive 25 miles east to Lyons, Oregon. Once reaching Lyons take Fern Ridge Road northbound and drive 1.2 miles. Drive until you reach a yellow gate on the East side of the road, an information sign is located near the yellow gate. Check out brmba.org for more biking trails.
SWIM AROUND VOLCANIC WALLS ~ 52.2 miles
Three Pools is a collection of green-hued pools that are known as a hot-spot for swimmers. The pools attract 15,000 visitors each year. It’s likely because you can see to the bottom of the clear pools. The area features a new parking area that accommodates 90 cars.
Info: $5 per vehicle. 3225 Highway 20, Sweet Home
EAT A REAL PIZZA ~ 66.3 miles
La Perla Pizzeria is one of only two pizzerias in the state that is Verace Pizza Napoletana-certified. The certification is meant to protect the reputation of pizza that calls itself Napoletana. La Perla uses fresh ingredients that are cooked for less than two minutes in a specially designed wood-burning oven that reaches up to 1,500 degrees.
Info: La Perla Pizzeria, 1313 Pearl St., Eugene, laperalpizzeria.com
RUN TO SEE WHO HAS THE MOST GUTS ~ 67.4 miles
Steve Prefontaine has a couple of tributes in Eugene to his name. One is called Pre’s Trail in Alton Baker Park (501 Day Island Rd.) that was used by Prefontaine himself. The second is the tragic location of his fatal car crash. Today, you’ll find that runners have decorated the site with shoes, medals, and other tokens of respect to the running legend.
Info: Pre’s Rock is located at Skyline Boulevard and Birch Lane, Eugene
JUST DO IT ~ 65.2 miles
The Nike store has a small museum of the brand’s history, like old shoes that was made by co-founded Bill Bowerman and the waffle iron that inspired the design for Nike’s Waffle Trainer. It was the path to greatness for the company and a quick stop on a Eugene journey.
Info: 135 Oakway Ctr, Eugene, 541-686-3141
ATTEND A HODEO ~ 67.3 miles
What’s not to like about an establishment that’s known as a meat market for its faux cowgirls with the straw hats and an artificial yeehaw? Sure, they might jump at the sight of a real cow, but that doesn’t mean they can’t dance.
Info: Rock’n Rodeo, 44 E 7th Ave., Eugene 541-344-1293 www.rocknrodeoclub.com
EAT AT A SUSTAINABLE TABLE ~ 66.5 miles
Want to savor the flavors of local organic foods coming from the farms, ranches and mills all within a 75 mile radius? Adam’s Sustainable Table brings all that without being too formal.
Info: Adam’s Sustainable Table, 30 E Broadway, Eugene www.thesustainabletable.com, 541-344-6948. Open Tues-Sat: 4:30 to close
HAVE DINNER AND A SHOW ~ 66.2 miles
The Actors Cabaret of Eugene (ACE) is highly regarded for their performances, which are scheduled almost every weekend. The non-profit group combines plays and musicals with food in their two theaters. Check their website for a full schedule.
Info: $41.95 with Dinner, Actors Cabaret of Eugene, 996 Willamette St., Eugene www.actorscabaret.org
THIS IS UNIX … I KNOW THIS! ~ 71.2 miles
Alright, fine. Cascades Raptor Center is not quite Jurassic Park. The titular raptors of the Cascades Raptor Center are more birds-of-prey than T-Rex. The center houses eagles, owls, hawks and other birds and is open to the public for tours. Fingers crossed that they’re cloning dinosaurs somewhere in the facility.
Info: Cost is $7 for adults, $6 for teens and seniors. Cascades Raptor Center, 32275 Fox Hollow Rd. Eugene 541-485-1320, info@eRaptors.org
LOOK AT MASKS WITHOUT JIM CARREY ~ 67.1 miles
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is currently showing an exhibit featuring masks and their importance throughout every culture and age. The collection will be available through December 31. Other collections include: a tribute to dancing by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Lanker (through September 4) and another photography exhibit titled The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World by Steven Kazlowski (through August 28).
Info: Museum of Natural and Cultural History 1680 E. 15th Ave. 541-346-3024
EAT SOME SINFULLY INTENSE CHOCOLATE ~ 68.1 miles
With a name like Euphoria Chocolate Company, the chocolate better be good. They’re known for their hand-dipped truffles that have won awards in Chocolatier, Success, and Candy Industry Magazines and were featured in “The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest.” The chocolates are available for sale in bulk and are made from local cream.
Info: Euphoria Chocolate Company, 6 W 17th Ave, Eugene euphoriachocolate.com
FIND A PHONE TO CALL SOMEONE WHO CARES ~ 66.1 miles
Every Thursday the public is invited to walk through the history of telephones and all of the equipment that it takes to get a call to your iPhone. Replicas of Alexander Graham bell’s original phone is available as well as switchboards and climbing tools.
Info: Telephone Pioneer Museum 112 E. 10th Ave. Eugene
SWIM IN A HOT SPRING ~ 62.9 miles
Breitenbush is the go-to place for natural hot spring pools and camping in the summer. They host a large number of workshops and conferences each year and have daily well-being programs.
Info: breitenbush.com, 503.854.3320 firstname.lastname@example.org
JUMP OUT OF A PERFECTLY WORKING PLANE ~ 28.9 miles
Whether you’re George H.W. Bush on your 212th birthday, a thrill-seeker, or just an average Joe with a death wish, Skydive Oregon will gladly throw you from their plane. Sure it may be with a licensed Tandem Instructor who will do all of the heavy lifting, but you’ll free fall 120 feet before opening the chute.
Info: Cost $200 for first tandem. 12150 S Highway 211 – Molalla, Oregon 97038, skydiveoregon.com
PLAN A SAUSAGE PARTY ~ 14.4 miles
Mt. Angel Sausage Company makes a mean sausage. They use lean meats that are lacking in the filler and preservative department. That’s not to say that they are flavorless, fresh spices are allowed.
Info: Mt. Angel Sausage Company, 105 S. Garfield St. Mt. Angel, 503-845-2322 www.ropesausage.com
HAVE COFFEE WITH A COVERED BRIDGE ~ 24.7
Have a cup of soup, a custom made sandwich, or a cuppa joe at Covered Bridge Cafe. After noshing, head over to actual covered bridges with a bicycle tour. See: http://bit.ly/p96PfQ for more info.
Info: Covered Bridge Coffee House, 38765 N Main St., Scio
CHOMP AT THE BIT TO VOLUNTEER ~ 27.4 miles
Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary hosts work parties almost every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring tools, gloves, and clothes that you’re willing to compromise to dirt. After volunteering, there’s a lunch and roundtable discussion of any topic concerning animal welfare.
Info: Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary 36831 Richardson Gap Rd. Scio lighthousefarmsanctuary.org
CELEBRATE A REAL LIFE HOMEWARD BOUND STORY ~ 14.2 miles
The story goes that Bobbie, a local Silverton dog, was lost on a family trip to Indiana. Six months later, Bobbie shows back up in Silverton and is said to have walked 2,800 miles in his pursuit. Today, Silverton has an annual pet parade to celebrate the wonder dog. There’s a mural, statue, and dog house in downtown Silverton that visitors can check out.
Info: Downtown Silverton
GET A BRIDE DRUNK ~ 13.2 miles
Seven Brides opened a tap room last year that offers up a wide selection of food from sandwiches to burgers and tacos. Of course, there’s also booze involved and the possibility of brewery tours. Contact them for more info.
Info: Seven Brides Brewing 990 N. First St., Silverton 503-874-4677
TAKE YOUR DOG TO OREGON GARDEN ~ 13.5 miles
There’s a section of the Oregon Garden that’s set aside for pets. It’s on the north side of the Chez Garden. It’ll also educate you and Spike on which plants are toxic to eat.
Info: Oregon Garden, 879 W Main St., 503-874-8100 oregongarden.org
WATCH CARS GO VROOM ~ 18.8 miles
Every weekend throughout the summer, the Woodburn Dragstrip holds dragster challenges, racing series and special events like the 33rd Annual Thunder Truck Drags.
Info: Woodburn Dragstrip 7730 Hwy. 219 Woodburn 503-982-4461
CHECK OUT A HOG’S HAIRBALL ~ 19.3 miles
The Mount Angel Abbey has a strange selection of artifacts to tour through, including the largest porcine hairball. There’s also antique vestments, American Civil War memorabilia, and other natural history artifacts.
Info: Mount Angel Abbey, One Abbey Dr., St. Benedict, mountangelabbey.org, 503-845-3030
PRAY FOR SOME CHOCOLATE ~ 24.9 miles
When the Brigittine Monks aren’t praying, they’re making sinful desserts for people to enjoy. They make tons of fudge every year, sell it not only in person, but also on their website.
Info: Mon-Sat – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 1 – 5 p.m., 23300 Walker Ln, Amity, brigittine.org
HAVE SOMETHING GET YOUR GOAT ~ 20.5 miles
It’s always nice to see a restaurant doing something a little different while trying to help their community. That’s the basis of The Blue Goat restaurant, which calls itself a rustic wood-fired cookery. They use local ingredients that come from sustainable farms, all the while trying to keeping their costs affordable.
Info: The Blue Goat Restaurant, 506 S. Trade St., Amity 503-835-5170, www.amitybluegoat.com
TAKE A DRUNKEN HELICOPTER TOUR ~ 24 miles
The wine country of Oregon is a wonderful view that’s quickly blurred with all of that wine so easily accessible. Before getting tipsy, take flight and tour the vineyards from the air. Tours start at $59 and range from 10 to 30 minutes.
Info: Konect Aviation, 4000 SE Cirrus Ave, McMinnville.
HAVE A BURGER WITH ELVIS … THE MONKEY ~ 26.7 miles
Monkey see, monkey do? If that’s true, guard your burgers and ice cream at Alf’s, because on occasion there’s a monkey in the restaurant. A real monkey named Elvis.
Info: Alf’s Ice Cream and Burgers, 1250 SW Baker St., McMinnville 503-472-7314
SWIM WITH A SPRUCE GOOSE ~ 24.6 miles
Evergreen Aviation Museum is a known commodity to the area, but they’ve opened up a waterpark that includes ten water slides, a wave pool, and a children’s museum dedicated to the power of water. All this is in addition to the air museum and the IMAX theater already on site.
Info: 500 Northeast Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville 503-434-4006
ENJOY A COLD ONE FROM THE ROOF ~ 27 miles
Like a Nitro? Hard cider? Ruby? Whatever your drink of choice is the rooftop at McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon is a good place to imbibe and enjoy the sunset.
Info: Hotel Oregon 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville 503-472-8427
GET STUCK BETWEEN A ROCK AND A PICNIC TABLE ~ 25.8 miles
Erratic Rock Park honors a hilltop boulder that was deemed worthy of its own park. It’s a good picnic spot, but there’s not much else going on here.
RIDE IN A UFO ~ 32.8 miles
Vista Balloon Adventures call themselves the largest hot air balloon company in the Pacific Northwest. Their balloons hold up to ten people, with special, smaller balloons available for marriage proposals. Rides start at $189 per person, include a one-hour flight and brunch afterward.
Info: Vista Balloon Adventure, 800-622-2309, vistaballoon.com
VISIT WHERE OREGON WAS BORN ~ 28.1 miles
Hike, bike, camp and picnic on a historical site where Oregon began. There’s an authentic 1860s kitchen garden and a wheat threshing barn. The visitor center features many educational exhibits and videos. From time to time, there are living history events where visitors can observe the goings-on of the site as it was back in the day.
Info: champoeg.org for upcoming events.
YOU NEVER GO FARM TO FORK ~ 26.4 miles
Okay, maybe you do. At least at Farm to Fork, a fine dining restaurant with a casual twist. Hungry diners can opt to take the gourmet fare to-go or enjoy it in the restaurant. Their menus are developed seasonally with locally sourced products within the Pacific Northwest. Rumor has it they’ve got a killer burger.
Info: Open 7 days week. Sunday-Thursday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday/Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 pm. 1410 N. Hwy 99W,Dundee 503-538-7666 innatredhills.com
MAKE LIKE GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE ~ 50.6 miles
Take various courses from tree-to-tree at the aptly named Tree To Tree Adventure Park. It’s a cross between a playground and obstacle course set above the trees. There’s a wide combination of shaky bridges, platforms, tight ropes and more.
Info: $45 for adults, $25 for kid’s course. Reservations required. 2975 SW Nelson Rd.,Gaston treetotreeadventurepark.com 503-357-0109
HAND OVER A PINK SLIP ~ 38.9 miles
Sykart Indoor Racing offers walk-in racing every day, so with a valid driver’s license or permit, a race is just a few minutes away. For those without a license, they also offer junior race sessions.
Info: Sykart Indoor Racing, 8205 SW Hunziker St. Tigard, 503-684-5060, www.sykart.com
CRUISE IN ANOTHER STERNWHEELER ~ 88.9 miles
There’s a sternwheeler in the Cascade Locks that takes passengers on narrated sightseeing cruises every day. There are also options to add brunch or dinner to a ticket.
Info: $28 adult, $18 child. SW Portage Rd, Cascade Locks. portlandspirit.com
PUT A LID ON IT ~ 47.6 miles
Spend an hour and a half walking through over 1,000 different varieties of hats, with a tour guide that offers up factoids about hats throughout the ages. Hat fetishists look no further.
Info: RSVP required. 503-232-0433, $15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1928 SE Ladd Ave, Portland. 503-232-0433 thehatmuseum.com
PRETEND TO BE A GHOSTBUSTER ~ 43.9 miles
How about a walking tour with a paranormal twist? The Beyond Bizarre tour hired Jefferson Davis, a leading expert on paranormal activity in the Pacific Northwest and Karan H., a clairvoyant, to put together the tour. The group itself are certified as members of the International Ghost Hunters Society.
Info: $19 adults, $15 seniors and youth, $5 for children from 5 to 10, www.portlandwalkingtours.com/tours/beyond_bizarre.php
ARGUE ABOUT WHO’S GOING TO DO THE PICKING ~ 59.4 miles
Kruger’s Farm Market is open daily on Sauvie Island and is currently offering strawberries for picking. They also have music and hayrides if getting dirty isn’t an option.
Info: Kruger’s Farm Market, 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland, krugersfarmmarket.com
VISIT A MUSEUM THAT SUCKS ~ 47.4 miles
Downtown Portland features a vacuum cleaner museum. The front of the Stark’s Vacuums location will want to sell you a new vacuum, but 300 vacuums from the 1800s to the 1960s are on display.
Info: Free, Stark’s Vacuums, 107 NE Grand Ave., Portland, starks.com
EAT WITH GREAT BALLS OF FIRE ~ 43.9 miles
Salvador Molly’s is known for their annual fundraiser Great Balls of Fire that benefits Oregonians who are need of heat every winter. Eat the Great Balls of Fire, which are habanero cheese fritters, any time and get your photo on their Hall of Flame.
Info: Salvador Molly’s, 1523 SW Sunset Blvd, Portland 503-293-1790 www.salvadormollys.com
GET IT ON LIKE DONKEY KONG ~ 47.9 miles
Want to feel the nostalgia of jumping over barrels thrown at you by a massive monkey? Or maybe Pacman’s chemical dependency is more your style. Either way, Ground Kontrol will feed the pangs of the video games of yore.
Info: Ground Kontrol 511 NW Couch St., Portland 503-796-9364, groundkontrol.com
SEE IF EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN ~ 49.1 miles
All summer long, guests of the International Rose Test Garden can go on tours led by trained volunteers. The garden is always looking for volunteers, so if your green thumbs like to get pricked every once and awhile, contact them about opportunities.
Info: International Rose Test Garden – Washington Park, 400 SW Kingston Ave. http://bit.ly/5m1qf
SKATE OR DIE ~ 45.5 miles
Oaks Parks is home to one of the largest skating rinks still open today. It’s a good place to take a skating class, or just enjoy the rink as part of the other activities like mini-golf and rides that they have on-site.
Info: Oaks Amusement Park, 503-233-5777, oakspark.com
DRINK A BLOODY MANSON ~ 47 miles
What’s a Bloody Manson, you say? At Le Bistro Montage, it’s a Bloody Mary with a Spam garnish. That’d be the imitation meat product, not the annoying mail. In addition to not-meat flavored drinks, they offer up unique food like frog legs and alligator meat.
Info: Le Bistro Montage, 301 SE Morrison, Portland, 503-234-1324 montageportland.com
SEE THE WORLD’S LARGEST POLE ~ 50 miles
Forest Grove has a special claim to fame. Their fair city houses the world’s largest barber pole standing 72 feet.
Info: Lincoln Park, north of Pacific University. 2043 College Way, Forest Grove
BE BABE THE BLUE OX ~ 51.9 miles
A 31-foot Paul Bunyan statue made its way to the U.S. National Register of Historic places. Now you can take your photo next to him.
Info: 8419 North Denver Ave., Portland