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Places Welcoming You

A map indicating a south-north trip along Interstate 5 in Oregon.

Explore the connection between wine, water and wood in this Pacific Northwestern journey. Hike through lush seasonal rainforests for miles, or cycle from vineyard to vineyard on extensive wine trails in the verdant Willamette Valley. Experience an adrenaline rush airboating and rafting the Rogue River, or settle down with a great read in the world’s largest bookstore. Find your inner “bard” in the state that welcomes all who come to visit.

1) Ashland

Starting Point

Surrounded by the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges, this hot spot in Southern Oregon is host to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Founded in 1935, the event plays in three theaters from March through October each year. See Shakespeare one night, a David Mamet play the next and possibly a Neil Simon production the following night. If you have had your fill of theater, hop aboard a whitewater raft for some unchoreographed excitement on Rogue River rapids. Or follow Ashland’s Applegate Valley Wine Trail for flavorful sips of the fermented beverage at more than 15 wineries.

Paddlers in yellow life vests ride a raft in a ravine.

Ingram Publishing

2) Grants Pass

Drive 42 miles • 48 minutes

If you still can’t get enough fast driving with water, a Hellgate Jetboat Excursion is right up your alley. Just outside of Grants Pass, travelers can explore the Rogue River at tremendous speeds as these high-powered vessels zoom through Hellgate Canyon. Witness native wildlife on the river and enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at exclusive Hellgate River Lodge. To dry out, venture downtown to G Street for shopping at exclusive boutiques, art galleries and antique stores in the historic district. Or take a self-guided tour of this vibrant town with maps from the visitor center. Tour the nearby Golden Ghost Town — if you’re feeling brave.

3) Eugene

Drive 138 miles • 2 hours, 16 minutes

Let a limo or party bus take you on a customized tour of Willamette Valley wineries, where tastings are scheduled entirely around your time frame. Stroll through endless vineyards, learning wine-making techniques while you revel in each flavor selection and enjoy the crisp beauty of this region. When you are ready to take the wheel, jump on a bicycle to explore Eugene’s extensive trail system. With many cycling events, bike friendly lodging and a bicycle sharing program, this town is certain to enchant two wheelers from around the country.

4) Salem

Drive 66 miles • 1 hour, 7 minutes

  Get a sense of the capital city’s colorful history in the Downtown Historic District, where seven blocks of buildings from the Victorian era stand rejuvenated with today’s retail stores and restaurants. Structures like the Reed Opera House retain their ornate architecture, having housed the state supreme court, the state library and rowdy saloons. A tunnel system under the city was used for opium dens, smuggling and other illicit activities in the 1800s. Take a tour to see how Oregon’s criminal underground lived. And for a unique adventure, travel east of town to Silver Falls State Park. The waterfall is a 177-foot-tall wall of water that hikers can walk behind.

A hiker walks through a lush Oregon meadow toward a thicket of trees.


Recommended Stopovers

Phoenix RV Park • Salem, OR – (503) 581-2497

5) Portland

Drive 45 miles • 48 minutes

    The City of Roses has preserved a large piece of Mother Nature within its city limits. Forest Park encompasses 5,200 acres of northwest forest land, where runners, hikers and equestrians can escape the noise and hustle of the city without leaving town. Back in town, bibliophiles converge on Powell’s City of Books, the largest bookstore in the world. Peruse the Rare Book Room for autographed first editions or sit in on a reading by your favorite author in the Basil Hallward Gallery Room. Then pick up your favorite java at any of dozens of coffee houses and roasteries that line downtown streets.

Recommended Stopovers

Jantzen Beach RV Park • Portland, OR – (800) 443-7248