20 Things Oregon is Known and Famous For

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Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Washington, on the south by California, and the east by Idaho. Oregon is known for being a great place to enjoy some extreme sports, but the state is about more than just adrenaline-pumping activities. It’s also a place where you can relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

What Is Oregon Known For?

Oregon is known for its diverse landscape and many outdoor recreational opportunities, including scenic bikeways, lush forests, and beautiful lakes. From the deep Crater lake to the impressive Mount Hood, Oregon is truly a paradise for outdoor lovers. Oregon is also famous for being the birthplace of Nike as well as having a great food scene filled with delicious cheese, wine, and breweries.

These are just some of the things that Oregon is known for and you can enjoy when visiting.

Famous Food In Oregon


Voodoo Doughnuts

If you’re looking for a unique and tasty treat, look no further than Voodoo Doughnuts. This Portland institution is famous for its creative and unusual doughnut flavors.

With over 50 different types of doughnuts to choose from, there’s something for everyone at Voodoo. From the classic bacon maple bar to the more adventurous voodoo doll-shaped doughnut filled with raspberry jelly, you’re sure to find a flavor that you love.

In addition to the delicious doughnuts, Voodoo is also famous for its quirky atmosphere. The walls are covered in eccentric artwork and the staff is always happy to help you find the perfect doughnut for your mood.


Oregon is known for its Marionberries, a type of blackberry that is native to the state. It is a cross between Chehalem blackberry and Olallieberry and typically only found in the Pacific Northwest.

Marionberries are larger and sweeter than other types of blackberries, making them perfect for pies, jams, and other baked goods. In fact, Marionberry Pie is the official state pie.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Oregon during berry season (July-August), be sure to try some of these delicious berries. They are some of the most famous foods from Oregon.


Tillamook Cheese

If you love cheese, then you’ll want to make a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Tillamook is a small town located on the Oregon coast, and it’s known for its delicious cheese.

Tillamook Cheese is a bit of an Oregon institution. It’s a cooperative of family farms that has been making cheese since 1909. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is one of the largest cheese factories in the world and it offers tours seven days a week.

The tour takes you through the factory to see how the cheese is made. You can also sample some of the different types of cheese and purchase your favorites to take home.

The Tillamook Cheese Factory is a great place to learn about Oregon’s dairy history and enjoy some delicious cheese.

History, Culture, And Traditions


Birthplace of Nike

Nike is one of the most popular athletic brands in the world. But did you know that it all started in Oregon?

In 1964, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Sports, which would eventually become Nike. The company was born from Knight’s desire to find a lighter and more comfortable running shoe for distance runners.

Bowerman, a track and field coach at the time, was also interested in improving his athletes’ performance. Together, they began experimenting with different designs and materials.

Eventually, they found success with a waffle iron design, and the Nike “Moon Shoe” was born. Today, Nike is a multi-billion dollar company with a global reach. And it all started in Oregon. A great book to read is Phil Knight’s “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike”.


Mushroom Hunting

Mushrooms might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Oregon, but they are actually quite popular here.

There are many different types of mushrooms that can be found in Oregon, including chanterelles, morels, and truffles. Mushroom hunting is a great activity for nature lovers and foodies alike.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at foraging for your own mushrooms. Just be sure to do your research first, as some mushrooms are poisonous.

For a less risky experience, you can go on a guided mushroom hunt with an experienced guide. This is a great way to learn about different types of mushrooms and where to find them.


Craft Breweries

Oregon is home to many craft breweries, making it the perfect place for beer lovers. The state’s first albeit unofficial craft brewery is said to be the Liberty Brewery founded all the way back in 1852. Regardless, it is also home to McMenamins which is one of the largest breweries in the United States and opened the first brewpub in Oregon.

There are estimated to be over 300 breweries in Oregon. Portland alone has over 70 breweries. Whether you like hoppy IPAs or malty stouts, you’re sure to find something to your taste.

North Bend Myrtlewood Coins

Myrtlewood is a type of tree that is native to Oregon. It’s prized for its beautiful wood grain, which can be made into everything from furniture to sculptures.

One of the most unique uses for Myrtlewood is in coins. This happened in the timber town of North Bend when the only bank there closed during the Great Depression. Therefore, locals turned to their natural resources to keep the economy running by making currency out of Oregon Myrtlewood. They were carved into round shapes, printed, and finished with shellac.

In fact, the coins still serve as legal tender in the town, but nobody really uses them anymore. They are treated as prized pieces by coin collectors.

No Sales Tax

Oregon is one of five states in the US that doesn’t have a sales tax. Although there are still income and corporate taxes. Nonetheless, this makes it a great shopper’s paradise, whether you’re looking for clothes, electronics, or anything else.

Be sure to take advantage of this when you visit Oregon, as it can save you quite a bit of money. Just be aware that some localities, such as Portland, do have their own city-level taxes.

Sports In Oregon


Scenic Bikeways and Bike-Friendly Cities

Oregon is a great place for road biking, with many scenic bikeways running through state parks, mountain passes, and deserts.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there’s a route for you. For those looking for a challenge, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Bikeway is a popular option. This 70-mile route takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Oregon, including forests, mountains, and lakes. Before you head to any of these cross-nature bikeways, make sure the routes are open and accessible.

If you’re more interested in urban riding, Oregon has you covered there too. Cities like Portland and Eugene are known for their bike-friendly infrastructure, with plenty of bike lanes and trails to explore. It is a nice and active way to get around the city.

Windsurfer on board with a white sail floating away. Summer landscape. The concept of freedom and movement.

Hood River – Windsurfing Capital of the World

The town of Hood River is located in the Columbia River Gorge and it’s known as the windsurfing capital of the world.

This is because the conditions are perfect for windsurfing, with strong winds and large waves. The Columbia River Gorge is also a popular spot for kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding.

If you’re looking for a place to windsurf, Hood River is the perfect spot. There are several schools that offer lessons and rentals, so you can enjoy this popular water sport.

If you prefer to stay on land, Hood River is also great for hiking and trail biking with its scenic landscapes. You will also find some craft breweries and wineries to enjoy the countryside.

Cities And Travel Destinations


Portland, Oregon

Of course, no list of Oregon’s famous things would be complete without mentioning Portland. This is arguably the most popular city in Oregon. This hip and eclectic city is known for its food carts, microbreweries, and coffee shops.

Portland has many unique landmarks, such as the “Keep Portland Weird” sign and the giant statue of Paul Bunyan. From the International Rose Test Garden and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, there are many things to do in Portland. Whether you’re looking to explore the city or just relax in a hipster coffee shop, Portland is the perfect place to do it.


Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

If you’re looking for a beautiful beach to relax on, Cannon Beach is the perfect spot. There are some stunning rock formations and is a great place to catch a beautiful sunset. This Oregon coast town is also home to Haystack Rock, a 235-foot monolith that is a popular spot for birdwatching and tide-pooling. It is known to be the 3rd tallest intertidal structure in the world.

In addition to the nature scape, Cannon Beach is also known for its quaint shops and galleries. You can spend some time checking out the unique shops and art galleries before heading to the beach. It can be a good place to grab some artistic souvenirs.


The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile-long historic trail that stretches from Missouri to Oregon. It was used by settlers in the 1800s as a way to travel westward in search of new opportunities.

Today, the Oregon Trail is a popular tourist attraction. You can explore parts of the trail by foot, horseback, or even by wagon. There are also Oregon Trail museums and interpretive centers that offer visitors a glimpse into what life was like for early settlers.

It’s a great way to learn about Oregon’s history and see some of the state’s beautiful scenery.

Travel Insurance

Famous People In Oregon

Matt Groening

Did you know that the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, is from Oregon? He was born in Portland and grew up in the suburbs.

He has said that his experience growing up in Oregon greatly influenced the Simpson’s town of Springfield. In fact, some of the locations and landmarks in Springfield are based on real places in Oregon.

So, if you’re a fan of The Simpsons, be sure to check out some of the places that inspired the show. You might just feel like you’re in Springfield!

Lewis and Clark (Fort Clatsop)

The Lewis and Clark expedition is one of the most famous journeys in American history. In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out from St. Louis to explore the western United States.

Their journey took them through what is now Oregon, including the cities of Portland, Astoria, and Eugene. They ended up spending the winter of 1805-1806 at Fort Clatsop, which is now a National Historic Park.

If you’re interested in American history, be sure to check out some of the sites associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition. You can even visit Fort Clatsop and see what life was like for the explorers all those years ago.

Architecture And Landmarks


Crater Lake

Crater Lake is a stunning blue lake that is located in the caldera of a volcano. The lake formed over 7,000 years ago after the volcanic eruption. It’s the deepest lake in the US with around 2,000 feet.

Crater Lake is also one of the clearest and cleanest lakes in the world because of its source of rain and snow. The lake is surrounded by cliffs and there are a number of hiking trails that offer breathtaking views. In the winter, the lake is popular for ice fishing and snowmobiling.

You can spend time on the lake, or even enjoy it via the Crater Lake Rim Drive. No matter what time of year you visit, Crater Lake is sure to take your breath away.

Mill Ends Park – World’s Smallest Park

In the middle of Portland, there is a park that is just 452 square inches. It’s called Mill Ends Park and it’s considered the world’s smallest park.

The park was created in the 1940s by journalist Dick Fagan. He originally placed a small evergreen tree in a hole in the ground to mark the spot where a light pole had been removed. The tree died shortly after, but people kept putting other plants in the hole.

Eventually, the city of Portland decided to make it an official park. Today, it’s a popular photo spot for locals and visitors. You will find a small, cute park signage there, and this record is on the Guinness Book of World Records. If you’re in Portland, be sure to check it out.


Mount Hood

Mount Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon, towering over the state at over 11,000 feet. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in the state. The mountain is home to 12 glaciers, including Eliot Glacier which is the largest in Oregon.

Mount Hood is a popular destination for hikers, skiers, and snowboarders. There are several trails that lead to the summit, and ski resorts on the mountain.

In the summer, you can enjoy activities like camping, fishing, and mountain biking. In the winter, you can hit the slopes or go for a snowshoeing adventure. That makes Mount Hood an attractive place to visit all year round depending on what activities you want to do.

With all its popularity, it might be surprising to know that Mount Hood is actually an active volcano with an estimated 3-7% eruption possibility in the next 30 years.


Painted Hills

The Painted Hills are one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon and it’s easy to see why. These hills are located in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and they’re famous for their colorful stripes.

The stripes are actually layers of different types of rock and minerals that have been exposed over time. The colors are created by different minerals, including iron, manganese, and siltstone.

The Painted Hills are a great place to hike, picnic, and simply enjoy the incredible views. Be sure to bring your camera, as you’re sure to want to capture the beauty of this natural wonder.

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon is a 10-mile wide located on the border of Oregon and Idaho. At 7339 feet deep, it’s the deepest river-cut canyon in North America and one of the most scenic places in the state.

There are many ways to explore Hells Canyon. You can take a jet boat tour, go whitewater rafting, or simply hike along the rim. No matter how you choose to experience it, Hells Canyon is a great place to immerse in Oregon’s nature.

Many More Things Oregon Is Known And Famous For

These are some things that Oregon is known for. The beaver state is a beautiful and diverse destination to explore. With its stunning coastline, towering mountains, and lush green forests, there are plenty of opportunities to get your heart racing, whether you’re rafting down a river or hiking through the forests. From mushroom hunting to sampling tasty craft beer, get ready to relax and discover all that Oregon is famous for.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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