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Oregon is a wonderful state to be in at any time of the year because of the changing seasons and incredible natural scenery. But while springtime in some parts of Oregon is often rainy, this is still a particularly fun time to visit because of the flowing waterfalls, festivals, and stunning flowers all around.
To help you plan your next trip or give you something to look forward to, here are some of our favorite things to do in Oregon in the spring.
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What Is It? One of the top waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Falls is the highest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and a truly impressive sight to see in the spring. It is 620 feet tall and the most-visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest. Over two million people come here for the views each year.
Why Do It? The water flow is strong in the spring after the snowmelt and very beautiful. The flow is usually less at other times of the year.
Good to Know: There’s a lodge run by a concessionaire here that has bathrooms, a visitor center, a restaurant, and a snack bar. There is no fee to visit the falls.
What Is It? Although many people think of the Netherlands for tulip farms, there are some stunning ones right here in Oregon. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn is a very popular destination in the spring.
Why Do It? Tulips have vibrant colors in the springtime and help visitors get in the mood for the season after a long winter.
Good to Know: Tulips are very weather-sensitive and rise after the ground has thawed out. Mid-April is usually a great time to see tulips in Oregon that are in different stages of blooming. Depending on the weather, any time between early March and late April can work well too.
What Is It? Haystack Rock is a very recognizable landmark in Cannon Beach that rises 235 feet near the shoreline. You can walk up to it at low tide or photograph it from the shore at high tide.
Why Do It? In the spring, you can see Tufted Puffins at Haystack Rock, which is the best viewing area for the birds in the Northwest. They start nesting here in April.
Good to Know: There are some great restaurants and cafes near Haystack Rock that you can visit after you’ve soaked up the scenery. A few local options are Castaways, Insomnia Coffee Co., Cannon Beach Chocolate Café, and Crepe Neptune.
What Is It? Brewery bike tours are available in Portland through local guide companies, such as BrewCycle Portland and Pedal Bike Tours. Bike tours take you to a few different breweries and learn about beer on a tasting experience.
Why Do It? Portland is well-known for its amazing brewery scene and bike-friendly culture, so there’s no better way to experience the city than by combining the two activities!
Good to Know: Brewery bike tours often last for about three hours and visit multiple breweries. Local guides can point out hotspots around the city as you pedal along so that you can go back to check them out later.
What Is It? Wildflowers pop up all over Oregon in the springtime, which is good to know if you enjoy hiking and picnicking in beautiful areas. Some of the best wildflower hikes are at Rowena Plateau, Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Camassia Natural Area, and Tyron Creek.
Why Do It? Nature comes alive in various parts of the state when the wildflowers begin to bloom and really showcase Oregon’s beauty.
Good to Know: If you love wildflowers, delay your spring Oregon trip until May because more wildflowers reach their peak then rather than in March and April.
What Is It? Even with flowers starting to bloom and the temperatures warming up in many parts of the state, skiing is still a big deal in the early spring in Oregon. There is some great spring skiing between late April and Memorial Day at Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Bachelor, and the Timberline Lodge & Ski Area.
Why Do It? Spring skiing in Oregon offers warmer days where you can literally wear just a t-shirt on some days and plenty of sunshine. Ski conditions are also good in the spring, and the slopes tend to be less crowded than in the winter.
Good to Know: Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon has one of the longest ski seasons on the continent, while the Mt. Hood area offers the tallest peak in the state and usually sells discounted spring season passes.
What Is It? Oregon has a wonderful wine region that specializes in pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, and riesling. You can visit many vineyards by dropping by, making an appointment, or joining a tour group.
Why Do It? Oregon-made wines are delicious and a must-try for any wine lover. Visiting vineyards is also a great way to see the stunning countryside.
Good to Know: A couple of the most popular vineyards in the area include Willamette Valley Vineyards and Yamhill Valley Vineyards. Many wine tasting tours leave from Portland and last for a half-day.
What Is It? Oregon enjoys a lovely waterfront location, which you can experience by taking a boat ride. Whether you rent a boat yourself, join a tour, or get on a dinner cruise, every trip along the Oregon coast needs some time on the water.
Why Do It? Portland cruises give you a unique view of the city skyline and landmarks, while other types of cruises get you out into nature to find some peace and solitude.
Good to Know: Some dinner cruises feature local ingredients in the dishes served and offer live entertainment onboard the boat.
What Is It? Whales can be viewed from the Oregon coast, and whale-watching tours are available to help you spot the migrating whales moving between here, Mexico, and Alaska.
Why Do It? The whale activity really picks up in the months of March, April, and May because this is when the gray whales are migrating back from Baja Mexico where they’ve been breeding to their feeding destination in the Arctic.
Good to Know: Depoe Bay is the best place to watch whales in Oregon and home to the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center. Other good spots are Ecola State Park and Cape Lookout State Park.
What Is It? There are many farmers’ markets in Oregon that really pick up their operations in the spring and invite locals and visitors to try locally grown foods that are healthy and delicious.
Why Do It? Oregon farmers’ markets offer opportunities to learn about foods that are grown in the region, support local businesses, and attend fun events that are held in market spaces.
Good to Know: Some of the best local farmers’ markets are the Oregon City Farmers’ Market, the Portland Farmers’ Market at PSU, and the Beaverton Farmer’s Market.
What Is It? There are many different festivals that typically take place in Oregon in the spring, including the beloved Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival that has wagon rides and a vineyard tasting room. The Northwest Crossing Bend Spring Festival usually occurs in April, the POW Film Fest is a Portland event in March, and various bird festivals are scheduled for April and May.
Why Do It? Springtime festivals are a great way to get out into local Oregon communities and connect with residents and visitors who enjoy the same things you do.
Good to Know: Due to changing travel guidelines, check local listings to make sure festivals are still taking place and if there are any special protocols in place before your trip.
What Is It? The Portland International Rose Test Garden is a popular attraction in Portland and features over 10,000 roses. There’s also the Portland Japanese Garden across the street.
Why Do It? This is one of the most stunning rose gardens in the world. It is free to visit the rose garden and to also take a tour led by a trained volunteer.
Good to Know: May is a nice time to visit the rose garden, so plan your Oregon for late spring to get the best rose views in addition to the city views.
What Is It? There are many ways to get adventurous in Oregon in the spring, including whitewater rating on an exciting river. Good rivers for rafting are the Upper Klamath, Rogue, and Owyhee.
Why Do It? Oregon rafting is best in the spring because of the water flow and rapid conditions.
Good to Know: There are some great local guide companies that will take you out onto the rivers to raft safely for a full-day or half-day experience. Rafting trips often include a riverside lunch, all the equipment you’ll need, and transportation.