Oregon's recreational opportunities are statewide. Because of the mild climate, most are available year round. The following are a small selection of events to attend and activities to enjoy in Oregon.
The Portland Rose Festival is a major event that includes the Starlight Parade, the Starlight run, the Grand Floral Parade, dragon boat races, the Rose Cup races, a traditional rose show, and much more. Big ships are in town, and sailors are everywhere, especially at the Fun Center at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
The world-class Peter Britt Music Festival in Jacksonville provides a wide range of music, including folk, country, bluegrass, jazz, music theater and dance. The festival hosts dozens of summer concerts, performed at the beautiful hillside estate of 19th century photographer and horticulturist, Peter Britt.
The internationally acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival is held in Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon. Staged in three outdoor festival theaters, the Shakespeare company has 500 paid staff, and is supported by over 1,000 volunteers. Visitors can immerse themselves in jolly Olde England and Shakespeare, by seeing several plays during a week, attending drama-oriented lectures, taking backstage tours, or sitting in on theatrical discussion groups.
The Dee Wright Observatory, in the McKenzie River Valley, was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Constructed mainly out of lava rock, the tower windows frame views of Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack and the Three Sisters. The half mile Lava River Trail next to the observatory meanders through the black lava lands. The spectacular mountain views and breathtaking scenery make this an essential stop for visitors.
Silver Falls State Park, near Salem, has ten magnificent waterfalls. Hiking around or behind these waterfalls is a cool way to spend a hot afternoon. Other park facilities include biking and hiking trails, picnic areas, a small lake and a snack bar.
Crater Lake National Park, located in Klamath County, is Oregon's only National Park. The sapphire blue waters of Crater Lake is one of Oregon's most photographed sights. The two hour boat tour takes you to mysterious Wizard Island, and hiking to the the top of the island offers incredible views of the lake. There are more than 100 miles of hiking trails in the park. One of the favorites is Garfield Peak Trail, a steep, 1.7 mile hike to the top of Garfield Peak. At the top, the view of the lake, 2,000 feet below, is breathtaking.
The Rogue River jet boat trips, either from Grants Pass or Gold Beach, provide white water excitement for all. The boats run through the white water of the wild and scenic section of the Rogue. Lunch is available, and you can expect to see many different types of wildlife, such as osprey, bald eagles, bear, deer, beaver and otters. This exciting trip is fun for all family members.
The High Desert Museum, located six miles outside of Bend on Highway 97, is an interactive museum with many activities for children and adults. The 150 acre area has many trails, winding by a river otter exhibit, porcupines, and a historic logging display. The "desertarium" has lizards, toads, bats, snakes, and an owl - finding all of the creatures will keep everyone busy. In the main building, exhibits, galleries, and slide and movie shows are presented.