Family Vacations in Oregon

Courtesy of Seaside Oregon: Mark Larson The historic town of Seaside, Oregon, marks the end of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.

Perched on the coast of the Pacific, Oregon boasts one of the most diverse terrains of any state in the country. The region’s parks and cities offer a range of exciting activities that are sure to make memorable family vacations.

­In the following pages, you’ll find profiles of some of the state’s attractions, from national parks to historic beaches to city festivals. You’ll also find contact information to help with your trip planning, as well as photographs of each destination. Here’s a preview:


Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

This site, filled with wind-sculpted dunes that stretch 47 miles along the Oregon coast, is a popular spot for families who enjoy hiking, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, and camping.


This historic coastal town, which is both a national landmark and the endpoint of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, has been a favorite family destination since the 1800s.

Astoria-Megler Bridge

This bridge, which spans the 4-mile-wide mouth of the Columbia River, connects Astoria, Oregon, to Point Ellice, Washington and is the last link in a highway system connecting Canada to Mexico.

The Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls

This gorge is framed by dramatic cliffs and has the highest concentration of waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest.

Portland Rose Festival and Rose Gardens

This historic festival has hundreds of family-friendly activities and performances, including a children's stage complete with clowns, jugglers, magicians, and musicians.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

The square, which has been transformed from schoolhouse to to a hotel to a parking garage, is now an active public common area that plays host to special events year-round.

Mount Hood

This volcano mountain offers plenty of outdoor recreation, including hiking and backpacking. Shrouded in snow all year long, skiing is not only a winter activity but sometimes a summer one, too.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

In the midst of the Deschutes National Forest, expanses of lava exist next to alpine lakes and a breathtaking waterfall.

Multnomah Falls

Ancient Multnomah Falls is a sight to behold. Cascading from its origin on Larch Mountain, it highlights the picturesque Columbia River Gorge in central Oregon. At 620 feet, some claim it's the second-tallest year-round waterfall in the nation.

Not only is Oregon a great vacation spot, but it is also one of the best sandboarding destinations in North America. Check out the sandboarding article, video and images at Discovery’s Fearless Planet to learn more.

Continue reading to find out about the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Oregon State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Oregon, as well as other recreational activites.
  • Scenic Drives:For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.