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10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

Are you looking to visit Oregon? In case you haven’t heard, Oregon is this magical U.S. State with a ton of surprising landscapes and is home to the city of Portland and legalized marijuana. Oregon travel is special because the state is so diverse, friendly, and magical. If you are one of the lucky visitors jetting off to this gem of the Pacific Northwest, there are a few things you need to know before traveling to Oregon.

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon | Best Of Oregon | How To Travel To Oregon | Oregon Travel Tips | Best Hikes In Oregon | What To Do In Oregon | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

#1: Traveling to Oregon isn’t that expensive

Our round trip flights from Florida to Oregon rang in at about $300 a piece and would have been cheaper if we acted faster. There is a common misconception that the Pacific Northwest is super expensive to get to but this simply isn’t true. Many major US Airlines, including budget airlines, fly into Portland and make Oregon travel budget friendly right from the start. If you are hoping to travel in Oregon at a certain time of year, try to make your flight dates flexible if possible to save the most amount of money on flights. 

Read next: 5 Things To Know About Covered Bridges In Oregon

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

#2: The Columbia River Gorge is actually really close to Portland

Before we left, the GPS said it would take about an hour to drive from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge. We were pleasantly surprised that we hit the first sight in under 30 minutes! The drive is super easy to make and goes by quickly. Waterfalls, hikes, and beautiful drives are all within a very close proximity to the city. If you only have a few days in Portland, make sure to take a day trip to the Columbia River Gorge! Luckily, travel in Oregon is quite enjoyable because many great stops are all close to each other! If you are hoping to go to Oregon and see all of the best nature, make sure to rent a car so you can explore. 

Discover Affordable Hotels Near The Columbia River Gorge

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon | Best Of Oregon | How To Travel To Oregon | Oregon Travel Tips | Best Hikes In Oregon | What To Do In Oregon | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#3: The people in Oregon are extremely nice

We were honestly shocked at how absolutely lovely the people of Oregon were. If you are planning to visit Oregon, rest assured you will meet some of the nicest people you will ever meet! They were always cheerful, would stop in the middle of the road to let us cross the street even though they totally had the right of way, they would drive respectfully, hold the doors, make small talk, and more! If there is one thing you need to know before traveling to Oregon, it is that the people will make it their priority to be kind and helpful! Traveling to Oregon is a fantastic experience and the citizens certainly do their part to make you feel welcome.

oregon photography locations

#4. The cost of living is higher making it a little more pricey to visit Oregon 

Depending on where you are from, the cost of living in Oregon may be higher than what you are used to. When compared to products in Florida, goods in Oregon were about $2-$3 more expensive on average. Gas was sixty cents more per gallon and food at chain restaurants cost a bit more too. That being said, if you are hoping to visit Oregon and already live in a place where the cost of living is higher than Oregon, you will enjoy a price cut! Don’t worry, although the cost of living may be more expensive, it won’t make a huge impact on the price of your trip. The higher [or lower!] cost of living is one of those things to know about Oregon that most people don’t consider so you will be one step ahead of most when planning your Oregon travel! 

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon | Best Of Oregon | How To Travel To Oregon | Oregon Travel Tips | Best Hikes In Oregon | What To Do In Oregon | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#5. You can find almost every type of landscape imaginable when you travel Oregon

No, we are completely serious! Whether you are into coastal waters, towering mountains, the arid desert, rock formations, lava fields, urban environments, hot springs, waterfalls, lush forests and more, Oregon truly has it all! When you travel to Oregon, you are sure to find a surprising landscape around every corner and that makes for a fun trip! The best part about Oregon travel? Many of these landscapes are within an hour of each other so you don’t have to spend all day driving in the car. 

Read next: 10 Hidden Oregon Photography Locations And Where To Find Them

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

#6. Legal marijuana in Oregon really isn’t that big of a deal

One of the Oregon laws to know is that marijuana is indeed legal in the state. Many people are iffy about the legalization of pot, but the state of Oregon isn’t in complete disarray and everything is totally fine! Don’t let this small Oregon law about marijuana stop you from traveling to Oregon. While there are smoke shops around, the only difference is that you are going to smell weed and not cigarettes if someone else is smoking. We visit Oregon quite a lot and neither of us smoke anything and this Oregon law really didn’t bother us at all! Just travel around Oregon like you would any other state! 

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon | Best Of Oregon | How To Travel To Oregon | Oregon Travel Tips | Best Hikes In Oregon | What To Do In Oregon | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#7. Plastic bags are banned in some Oregon cities

There is a city-wide ban on plastic bags in Portland and other major cities in the state of Oregon. When traveling to Oregon, keep this in mind and pack a small reusable bag. Even giant stores such as Walmart only give out paper bags and most have no handles making it very difficult to carry multiple items when you visit Oregon. We love that the use of plastic is reduced, but come prepared so you aren’t stuck carrying a zillion paper bags or no bags at all! This is another one of the Oregon laws to know before planning your trip. Preparedness is key and will make your travel in Oregon much more enjoyable. 

Read next: Adventures Of Soaking With Naked People At Terwilliger Hot Springs

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

#8. Healthy foods are readily available when traveling in Oregon

The people of Oregon love their clean eating and healthy foods are really accessible when you are traveling in Oregon. Instead of making a trip out of the way to visit Whole Foods or a local grocery store, healthy options abound at chain stores such as Walmart, Safeway, and Fred Myers. Walmart tailors their offerings to the shoppers in each store demographic so it makes sense that they offer a ton of fresh and healthy food options in Oregon. If you are a vegan or vegetarian or just someone who likes to eat clean, make sure to visit Oregon for the ultimate foodie experience! 

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon | Best Of Oregon | How To Travel To Oregon | Oregon Travel Tips | Best Hikes In Oregon | What To Do In Oregon | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

#9. Never approach Elk when you visit Oregon

It is important to never ever approach Elk when you visit Oregon. Elk are often spotted in the mountains and near the coast of Oregon. They are huge animals with beautiful antlers, and they often stand their ground when approached by humans. They do not run away like your everyday deer will, but that doesn’t make them safe. If you see Elk on the side of the road, it is totally fine to pull over for a picture, but avoid getting out of your car and never try to pet or feed these wild animals. The wild animals are one of the best parts about Oregon travel but you must respect them and never try to approach or feed them. This keeps the animals in Oregon wild and you safe. 

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

#10. Natural beauty is always close by when you travel to Oregon

In Oregon, nature is never far away. Oregon cities are filled with beautiful parks or cool architecture like covered bridges and are located close to epic landscapes. If you want to get out of your surrounding area and see other parts of the state, you won’t have to drive more than two hours maximum at a time before you come across more breathtaking scenery. Mount Hood is only an hour and a half from Portland. The Mckenzie River can be visited in under two hours from Eugene. Bend to the Painted Hills? One hour! When traveling to Oregon, realize that with a little driving, you can easily transport yourself between a ton of different natural environments in a relatively short amount of time. 

Read next: 5 Crazy-Cool Oregon Landscapes You Didn’t Know Existed

10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon | Best Of Oregon | How To Travel To Oregon | Oregon Travel Tips | Best Hikes In Oregon | What To Do In Oregon | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Oregon is a state that shouldn’t be missed! Between the landscapes, prices, culture, and more, traveling to Oregon should land at the top of your bucket list. If you are hoping to visit Oregon, make sure to take these tips into consideration so you have a safe and fun time in one of the best states out there! 

Have you visited Oregon or is it on your bucket list? What sites are on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments! 

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39 thoughts on “10 Things To Know Before Traveling To Oregon

  1. Gemma

    Such a lush and useful post. Oregon’s nature is definitely one thing that stuck out for me, I didn’t get to the Gorge but after seeing this really want to! How good is the food (healthy and unhealthy!!)

  2. Andrea W.

    So cool! I always feel like traveling after reading your posts 🙂 Who would have known that plastic bags are banned! So interesting!

  3. Heather sell

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your tips on traveling to Oregon. Definitely a place on my wish list to visit. Now hoping to also add the Columbia River Gorge to my list of must-sees when I visit. Thanks so much!

  4. Erin

    I lived in WA the first 30 years of my life, and Oregon for 7 now. It’s so true that the people here are incredibly friendly! Yes, bring your own bags. And our redemption for cans/bottles goes up to 10 cents April 1sr 2017 so be prepared for a little sticker shock.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Oregon is the best and really affordable to get to these days! You should go one day for sure!

  5. Cindy Collins

    Oregon sounds like a great state. Never knew Marijuana was legal there! I’d love to see all those different types of landscapes. And the people being nice always makes it for a pleasant experience. Great post.

  6. Barb

    I was in Portland once, but havent had a chance to see more of the nature Oregon is famous for. Looks like a beautiful state!

  7. Megan Jerrard

    I love Oregon – there really are so many different types of landscape! It’s so funny that people think a city falls into complete anarchy because marijuana became legal – it’s probably more of a big deal for domestic tourists who visit from other states than it is for those who live locally lol! Cool to hear that Oregon has gone off plastic bags – we’ve implemented the same initiative throughout most Australian States – so we’re in the habit of traveling with reusable bags 🙂

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      So interesting that Australians banned plastic bags too! Americans need to get in on this!

  8. Natasha

    Oregon looks beautiful! I love how there is healthy food readily available, this is something that doesn’t happen often. I love how eco-friendly this place is as well by banning plastic bags! There is already too much plastic in the world!

  9. Paige W

    These are really great tips! I’ve not been to Oregon since I was 13 or 14, but I would LOVE to go back as an adult. I love hear that it’s not that expensive to travel there. The Columbia River Gorge and the Coastline were my two favorites! Now I have it even more on my radar for a new trip!

  10. Sandy N Vyjay

    Oregon is really awe inspiring and you have fueled my wanderlust with your stunning pictures of the place. I really appreciate the fact that plastic bags are banned in some cities. We need to take steps to preserve this beautiful place. Recently on a visit to Rwanda in Africa, I was pleasantly surprised to note that the country had banned plastic and one could not enter the country with plastic bags.

  11. Suruchi

    Your pictures are not beautiful but breathtaking. I can well imagine how gorgeous this place is. All types of landscapes – Wow! Good to know that Oregon is away from plastic bags, even we have the same rule in Himachal. And that is why it’s much cleaner and beautiful than other parts of India.

  12. Kathy Vaughan

    It’s so nice to see such a positive post about a beautiful state! I am from Oregon, but now live in Uganda, East Africa. This summer while I was home for a visit, a friend from Texas came to visit. In 4 1/2 days we traveled over 1,000 miles and saw the coast,spent a day in Portland, visited remarkable Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, spent a day in Bend, visited the High Cascade Lakes, toured art galleries in Sisters, Portland, and Bend, enjoyed small-town Prineville, hiked Smith Rocks, and hiked Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. We didn’t even get to some of my favorite places in Oregon. And there are so many places I haven’t visited yet! It truly is a beautiful state, with an incredible variety of scenery and landscapes, and yes, the people are friendly, and delicious, healthy food is easy to find. Thank you for such a positive post about my favorite state!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hey Kathy! We hope you are enjoying Uganda! Oregon is an amazing state and we just returned from a 2 week trip there a few weeks ago! It is such a lovely place and your trip sounds like so much fun! There is still so much left to see!

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    1. Kathy Vaughan

      Having lived there most of my life, I would say it depends on what you want to see and do, but I love summer in Oregon. In June it’s still possible you might find a lot of rain in western Oregon, but eastern Oregon is much drier and sunnier. Yes, Oregon is know for its rain, but Central Oregon advertises 300 days of sunshine a year. Lots of summer festivals, too, and all types of camping spots, from the coast to the mountains to the rivers and reservoirs. But the drive “around the loop” from Portland, up the Columbia River Gorge to Hood River, and then south around Mount Hood and back to Portland is spectacular in October when the leaves have turned color and you can stop at local farmer’s stands to buy apples and apple cider. And the flowers in western Oregon in the spring are beautiful! Mount Bachelor and environs around Bend can’t be beat for winter sports. So anytime is a great time to visit Oregon.

      1. Estrella

        Thank you so much! I am actually interested in going at the end of April since I will have the month off from work. I wish I had time in October

  15. Your everyday Portlander

    Hi! I just moved to europe last year, but I spent practically my entire life in Portland. I’m 14 by the way. Portland is awsome. The nature was probably my favorite part. I lived near forest park and would hike to the stone house every weekend. The beautiful, lush forests are amazing, and so are the desserts out side of Portland. I used to go to twickenham Oregon a lot, that’s near fossil, around the painted hills. And ya, there are a some rattle snakes, cougars, and scorpions, out of all the times I’ve been there, I’ve never seen any. It’s a big contrast to the forests around Portland. And I never found marijuana that big of a problem. I don’t smoke of course though, School made sure we learned that it was bad. Other than a funny smell here and there, it’s not a problem at all. And ya, the people are amazing, they love to make chit chat, and small talk, even though it’s a little annoying when your in hurry. They are very nice, and would totally not mind if you stopped them for directions. The food is very good too, you can get foods from a lot of different cultures. And they are VERY economicaly conservative.

  16. John P.

    Hmmm, when would it be best to go, Summer or Winter? I love the cold but I fear it would get too cold over there during the winter. Specially now, that climate has been weird these past years.

  17. James

    Beautiful post! For anybody having any doubts, the people alone are worth it. The landscapes are awe-inspiring and the people living in them make them feel like home. If you haven’t, you should squeeze Oregon into your travel list!

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  19. Pamela

    I just returned from vacationing in southern Oregon from Florence South to California along the coast and then to Crater Lake and back on the inland side. I saw some small, beautiful old growth forest, but vast areas of the state I saw are in some phase of forest clear cutting. Brought me to tears. Entire ranges, as far as the eye can see, totally unnatural with virtually nothing untouched from clear cutting. Clearly, from what I saw, the forest is never the same after a clear cut – what grows back is different that what was killed and taken away. So evident. Very visually disturbing. So sad, so sad. Truly devastating site to see. If you love trees, forest and nature be prepared for what has happened to the majority of the forest in Oregon – clear cut logging.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Oh no that is SO SAD!!! We have noticed the logging before but not to this extent 🙁 So terrible to hear about

  20. Yvonne

    Oregon is on our bucketlist. We’ve been there before many years again. Which month is beter for traveling May or June?☔️ we prefer less rain.
    Btw: In our country The Netherlands we’ve banned plastic a few years ago.. I take my grocery bags with me. 😃

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