11 Best Vacation Spots in Oregon For Families

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Looking for the best vacation spots in Oregon for families? Make sure you check out this list of where to visit! 

Oregon provides some of the most remarkable rocky landscape and beach scenery that you’ll find anywhere along the coast, making it a great state to visit, especially for both the nature lover and outdoor enthusiast.

Even your children will be left impressed by the dramatic views, wildlife-viewing opportunities, and thrilling outdoor activities. 

Trail to Heceta Head Lighthouse
View from halfway up the trail

But perhaps you’re not all that interested in that and are seeking more of an urban vacation destination for your family that has plenty of tourist attractions, shops, and good eats. I’ve got that covered as well. Here are 11 of the best vacation spots in Oregon for families. 

These Oregon Vacation Spots are Perfect for Families

While you may be mostly visiting Oregon for the spectacular views, your children will mainly be interested in fun activities. These are perfect vacation spots in Oregon for families that still provide the best of both worlds.  

1. Newport, Oregon – A Charming Vacation Spot With Plenty to Do

The Oregon Coast is littered with dozens of small beach towns but the town of Newport, Oregon seems to have discovered a charm that simply cannot be matched.

This is the perfect vacation spot in Oregon for those wanting the authentic “Oregon Coast Vacation” experience.

Marine center in Newport, Oregon
The Hatfield Marine Science Center is full of hands-on exhibits

There you’ll discover more than enough kid-friendly attractions to keep you busy, including the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Hatfield Marine Center, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and crabbing just off the docks at the Newport Historic Bayfront.

Besides its beautiful beaches, Newport is a great destination to spot all sorts of wildlife like whales, sea lions, seals, and bald eagles. 

You can also visit Yaquina Bay State Park to explore trails, marine life, and more.    

2. Florence, Oregon Family Vacation

For vacationing families that plan on spending the majority of their time outdoors, Florence, Oregon is a place that comes to mind.

Not only is the area’s scenery absolutely breathtaking, but there are a lot of fun outdoor recreational activities that await, including horseback riding, fishing, hiking, biking, and plenty more. 

If you’re in need of a quick thrill, visitors also love sandboarding down the towering sand dunes at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Disneyland Kids Ticket Deal for Early 2024
Sandboarding is a great family activity near Florence, Oregon
My oldest rocking sandboarding at age 7.

During your stay, visit and learn about the history of the Heceta Head Lighthouse while hopefully getting a chance to spot migrating whales and various seabirds.

Afterward, be sure to hit the shops, art galleries, and restaurants in the Historic Old Town of Florence.      

3. Portland, Oregon Vacation

The city of Portland, Oregon especially has a lot to offer for vacationing families, as well as for coffee lovers and craft beer enthusiasts.

There you’ll find city art murals, galleries, museums, and historic sites like the Pittock Mansion, along with a number of outdoor recreational activities the whole family will enjoy.

If you are visiting with young children, be sure to plan a visit to the OMSI. This hands-on museum of science is one of the best children’s museums in the Western United States.

Things to do in Portland Oregon with Kids

At some point, be sure to stop in at the Portland Zoo and then hike or bike the trails at Washington Park. 

Not only does it boast some of the most beautiful gardens in the entire state, but it also has picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis courts, a soccer field, and plenty of other amenities for your family to spend a fun and relaxing afternoon.         

4. Crater Lake National Park, Best Central Oregon Vacation

Just to forewarn you ahead of time, Crater Lake is a marvelous sight to see, no matter what time of the year you plan on visiting.

But I’ll also fill you in on another secret.

Crater Lake isn’t actually a crater at all, but a collapsed volcano that holds a breathtaking lake with an island at its center. And what’s even cooler, Lake Majesty is considered to be the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest in the world. 

The mountain terrain, lush green forests, and surrounding adventurous landscape make it an ideal location for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and swimming. Crater Lake National Forest is situated in Central Southern Oregon in the Cascade Mountains.  

5. Ecola State Park, Historical Oregon Coast Location

Believed to be part of the same trail that Lewis and Clark took, Ecola State Park has not only a lot of history but also plenty of epic places to explore. The park features two main attractions that you won’t want to skip out on, Indian Beach and Ecola Point. 

At both of these viewpoints, you’ll find picnic tables, and nearby hiking trails, one of which will take you to a view of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

Birdwatching and whale-watching are particularly popular there, but if you’re lucky you might also spot herds of Roosevelt Elk and flying Bald Eagles as well.  

6. Cannon Beach, Oregon Beach Town Vacation Spot

For those of you that have seen awe-inspiring pictures of the Oregon Northwest Coast before, there’s a good chance your eyes were set on Cannon Beach without even realizing it.

This gorgeous four-mile stretch of sandy shoreline has several stunning features including sand dunes and tide pools. 

The most recognized of these beach attractions is Haystack Rock, a 235-foot tall rock that juts magnificently straight up out of the Pacific. Cannon Beach is a popular tourist beach town that has plenty of shops, beauty boutiques, and fabulous restaurants to choose from and it’s one of the most beautiful places in this area to visit!

7. Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Vacation Spot in Oregon For Amazing Coastal Views

Wonder where you can find the highest vantage point along the Oregon Coast that you can visit by car? If so, drive over to Siuslaw National Forest and make your way to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, a 2,700-acre preserved habitat.

I promise that the views are something you won’t want to miss. 

Visitors from all over come to this area for hiking, tide-pooling, whale watching, and capturing a magnificent sunset.

If you’ve made time for hiking, Captain Hook’s Trail, Saint Perpetua Trail, and Thor’s Well are excellent scenic trails to explore that aren’t too long or too difficult. This means your younger children shouldn’t have a problem. This is a popular tourist destination for families.

8. Multnomah Falls And The Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, Vacation spot in Oregon

As legend has it, Multnomah Falls was once a private and tranquil place for a Native American princess to bathe. But as of today, the 611-foot majestic cascade is seen by nearly 2 million visitors every single year. 

The impressive two-tier waterfall can be found within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area as you make your way along the Historic Columbia River Highway. There you’ll also stumble upon other roadside attractions along with several hiking and biking trails to explore.

Multnomah Falls is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to visit with great views.

9. Oregon Coast Lighthouses, Road Trip Vacation in Oregon 

Want to visit the Oregon Coast Lighthouses? While Maine may be known as the country’s “Lighthouse State”, there still remain 11 historic lighthouses that tower above Oregon’s rugged coastline that is equally as impressive.

Entrenched in American history, each beacon has its own fascinating story to tell, while saving countless ships and sailors from a cruel fate that awaited them on the jagged rocks in the dead of night. 

But let me also mention that each of these lighthouse locations provides visitors with spectacular panoramic views and chances for seeing wildlife as well.

Today, 7 remain open to the public but you can still snatch a glimpse of the others from a distance. If you can’t decide where to take a family vacation, the Oregon Coast Lighthouses is a must-see, with so much beautiful scenery.

10. Tamolitch Blue Pool

One of the best things about Oregon is the Tamolitch Blue Pool. Located at the base of the Tamolitch Falls, the frigid waters of Blue Pool offer strikingly turquoise blue colors for those lucky enough to see it.

The water may look rather inviting but not too many visitors dare to swim there due to the fact that the water temperature remains around 40 degrees year-round. 

To enjoy this natural beauty, you’ll need to hike the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail which can be found in Willamette National Forest.

If this is a destination that you’re thinking about visiting, be sure to also stop by the Bigelow Hot Springs, along with the Koosah and Sahalie Falls which are just minutes away.

Just keep in mind that there are no restrooms and garbage bins available at Blue Pool so be sure that whatever you pack in is what you pack out.   

11. Oregon Coast Hiking Trails

The elevated rocky landscapes and the sandy beaches that run along the Oregon Coast can only be truly appreciated when approached on foot.

Fortunately, the entire coastline of the state of Oregon is available to the public, which means there are hundreds and hundreds of miles of hiking trail opportunities for you, and you’ll have the best time with your family.

For starters, the Oregon Coast Trail is a continuous hiking trail that runs parallel to Highway 101, stretching up and down the coast for 362 miles!

A few of the other coastline trails definitely worth mentioning include the Arch Rock, China Beach Trail, Three Capes Scenic Loop, “God’s Thumb”, and Humbug Mountain.  

I fell in love with Oregon Coast hikes back in 2018 and have returned many times over to do new trails and revisit old favorites.

What can you do at these must-see destinations?

One of the best ways to have a great time in this area is to find the perfect place for your family. Oregon is a popular destination, but there are many hidden gems that you can see for yourself with your family. There is almost always a gift shop to check out, wine tastings, and ski areas to explore.

Oregon is a wonderful state to visit, offering not only amazing scenic views but also exciting attractions and activities that are perfect for families.

Whether you’re hoping to do a bit of hiking while catching just a small glimpse of heaven, heading to the zoo or aquarium, or maybe even window shopping, there’s something for everyone. Which of these vacation spots in Oregon do you plan on visiting soon?

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