Oregon Kids Adventure
Otherwise known as the 'Beaver State', Oregon inspired the largest voluntary land migration in recorded history, and not without good reason. Windswept beaches, verdant forests and snow capped peaks give way to sweeping rangelands, towering rock formations and dramatic river Valleys in this incredibly diverse land. The state is divided into seven distinct regions; the coast, Portland, Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Central Oregon & Eastern Oregon. Each region offers a wide range of activities and things to see and do like a visit to the amazing Crater Lake National Park that will captivate the whole family on this exciting self drive adventure.
- Crater Lake National Park
Depart the UK on your indirect flight to Portland, Oregon's largest city. Collect your hire car on arrival or alternatively transfer to your hotel by taxi(approx 25 mins.
Begin your stay in the delightful 'City of the Roses' by discovering what makes Portland North America's "Best Big City." Visit Portland's most popular attractions for kids and adults. Purchase a Portland Attractions Pass for the family at the Visitors Center in Pioneer Square. With this pass you can visit the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Zoo, Pittock Mansion, Portland Art Museum, Portland Children's Museum, Portland Classical Chinese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden and the World Forestry Center and Discovery Museum.
Today, take a ride on the Aerial and see Portland from 500 feet in the air. Visit the largest bookstore in the USA, Powell's Books. Walk to a local grocery store or visit one of the many outdoor farmers markets and prepare a picnic lunch to enjoy at Portland's International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. If you are in the mood for a little more adventure spend the afternoon in on the Columbia River at Scappoose Bay Kayaking. Here they have day trips, lessons, pontoon boat rides and something for all ages. Take a scenic day tour on the Columbia River Gorge! Visit Multnomah Falls, Vista House, Bonneville Dam and Hood River. Finish the loop with a late lunch at Timberline Lodge and head back to Portland.
Departing Portland today you will be heading for the amazing Northern Oregon Coast where you will spend the next 2 nights in the delightful town of Astoria , the first European settlement in the Pacific Northwest. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the beach or exploring the surrounding area. Driving on Highway 101, don't forget to visit on of Oregon's nine light houses as some of them are haunted!
Arcades and bumper cards will entertain children of all ages on the Seaside Promenade. Have an educational experience and visit the Maritime Museum in Astoria and don't miss the house of Lewis & Clark from 1805-06 in Fort Clatsop. 33 explorers lived here, and you won't believe how small it is. Nearby you can also visit the life size statue of Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the explorers on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.
Be sure to explore nearby Cannon Beach with its quaint town centre and many art galleries. Nearby Haystack Rock, the third largest monolith in the world is one of the State's most photographed natural wonders.
Continue your journey south to the Central Oregon Coast and Florence which will be your base for the next 2 nights. Stop en route at the charming Depoe Bay which has the smallest navigable harbour in the world and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
The best thing about the coast is the 363 miles of public beach! Spend plenty of time beach combing, flying kites and building sand castles. You will find kite festivals and sand castle building contests all along the Oregon Coast all throughout the Summer.
Take an interactive tour on the Newport Bay with Marine Discovery Tours, the coastal leader in narrated bay and ocean tours specializing in whales, oyster farming and sea wildlife. You might even be able to help drive the boat!Watch the sea otters zip and play, 500 species of sea life, including jelly fish, seals and sharks or learn the crab dance at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.
Be sure to stop by the largest sea lion cave in the world at the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence, where the Sea Lions live year round. Be daring and descend in an elevator 208 feet down to the most spectacular natural sea cave.
Leaving the Central Coast behind and continuing your drive further south you will quickly find yourselves on the Southern Oregon Coast and your next port of call at Coos Bay. Between Florence and Coos Bay, wind and waves have formed large sand dunes which are part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area with over 47 miles of cream coloured ever shifting sand. Glistening valleys, vast hills and ghost like forests in a desert atmosphere create the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in the USA.
A perfect location for exploring on foot, by dune buggy or even on a sand board!
Finally leaving the coast behind your journey today will take you in land to the Southern Oregon region. Here you will get a chance to explore the underground Oregon Caves National Monument near Cave Junction and see a National Historic Landmark (the Oregon Caves Chateau), and hiking trails through ancient forests.
Take in the majestic Rogue River and sign up for a Jet Boat or river rafting tour. There you can see deer, birds and even take a dip in the chilly water. The Rogue River runs from Crater Lake all the way to the Pacific Ocean, that is 215 miles!
Crater Lake National Park
A short journey today will bring you finally to some of the highlights of any visit to Oregon. En route stop at the Oregon Vortex near Gold Hill. The vortex is a glimpse of a strange world where the improbable is the commonplace and everyday physical facts are reversed. It is a naturally occurring visual and perceptual phenomenon. You have to see it to believe it! Continue on to Oregon's National Park, Crater Lake and but don't forget to stop at Natural Bridge Viewpoint along the way near Union Creek and Prospect. At Natural Bridge the river is swallowed by an underground maze of lava tubes.
A full day at leisure in the area exploring the National Park. The Lake was created by a volcanic eruption approximately 7,700 years ago when the 4000m high volcano Mt Mazama erupted in an enormous explosion leaving nothing but a crater that filled over hundreds of years with rain water and melted snow. At 592m in depth, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and one of the largest in the world. This incredible natural site has inspired people for hundreds of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color, with sheer surrounding cliffs almost two thousand feet high! A 33 mile drive around the rim offers glimpses of the intensely blue coloured water which is created by it's clarity and depth. Also. Situated right in the middle of the Lake is Wizard Island. In addition to the breathtaking scenery, this outstanding national park offers many activities in both Summer and Winter.
From Crater Lake your journey back to Portland will take you via the town of Eugene in Southern Oregon. En route visit one of the seven or all the covered bridges in the Cottage Grove area. At one time Oregon had over 400 covered bridges. The covered bridges blended will into the early economy of the Oregon countryside. Explore Oregon's small towns along the way. At the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, visitors can get a good look at more than 60 raptors of 33 different species and on a hot day don't miss the RivePlay Discovery Village at Skinner Butte Park. Here children can scale a play replica of Skinner Butte, uncover fossils at an ancient-history sand dig and cool off under a giant rain circle.
Home to the University of Oregon, Eugene is a mix of rural town charm and urban sophistication. This is most evident in the city's attractions, which range from naturally beautiful parks and walking trails to the prestigious Asian art collection at the University's Museum of Art. There are also plenty of trendy shops, delicious restaurants and top-notch entertainment venues to check out. Don't miss the Nike Store where you can buy, and learn about the history of, athletic shoes.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some last minute shopping in Eugene before heading back to Portland later in the day for your last night.
- Return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
- 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
- Fully Insured Full Size Car Hire for 2 drivers
- A detailed travel pack with a day by day itinerary, driving instructions and maps
Daily Departures 01 June to 30 September.