10 Best Sightseeing Tours in Oregon
From its dense forests to its pristine coastlines to its vibrant cities, Oregon has much to offer both its locals and its guests. If you’d like to get to know the state a little bit better, opt for a sightseeing tour. Whether you’re looking to learn more about the historic Fort Stevens or go on a fascinating cave adventure, you’ll find it all on the best sightseeing tours in the state!
During this full day trip out of Portland, you’ll discover many Oregon coastal towns while admiring the views of “dramatic cliffs, beaches, lighthouses, and forests on a relaxing drive.” Enjoy lots of antique shops and art galleries while you explore.
Do you like river boats? Do you like drinking? Then you’re going to love the Rogue River Boat Tour. Sign up for either the afternoon or sunset float, depending on your fancy. You’ll see the gorgeous Rogue River while relaxing with a cold brew and light snacks.
Take in the historic downtown section of Jacksonville, Oregon with a trolley tour. Named “One of America’s Top 10 Coolest Small Towns” by Frommers, Tour-goers will enjoy a narrated history of the town. Consider signing up for a private rental.
Once a primary military defense installation, Fort Stevens is now part of a 4,300-acre park with trails, camping, and history. Summer tours of the underground rare gun battery command center add an extra layer of awesome to this already beautiful park
Tours of the Portland Underground, also known as the Shanghai Tunnels, are held every Friday and Saturday night. Once used to steal able-bodied men and sell them to sea captains, the tunnels became prohibition-era saloons in the early 20th century. Today, they’re a fantastic spot to take a tour and learn about some of the more unsavory parts of Portland history.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Oregon’s oldest, stands one mile into the Pacific Ocean and has been in operation since 1873. Tours are available throughout the light house, but enthusiasts should plan to spend most of the day in the Interpretive Center to “discover thousands of years of natural history and more than 140 years of lighthouse history.”
Situated in the Willamette national Forest, the Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours “offer incredible opportunities to learn about the plants, animals, geology and cultural history of the Sweet Home Area.” The fees are reasonable at only $10 a person ($5 for seniors). The specific hike site changes weekly, so make sure to call ahead or check their website for up to date information.
The Willamette Valley is home to award-winning Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rieslings and more—it would be a shame not to enjoy all they have to offer. For $99, tour-goers can experience a full-day winery tour that starts at 10 a.m. You’ll see four beautiful vineyards and taste great wines.
This day-long tour starts out in Portland, Oregon, before heading into neighboring Washington State to visit the gorgeous Mount Saint Helen volcano. Home of the “largest avalanche ever recorded by man,” visitors will take in the sites of where the avalanche happened and the debris that still remains. The tour culminates at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, giving visitors “the most amazing views of an active volcano anywhere in the world.”
Oregon has a wide variety of spots to explore underground. Take a discovery or candlelight cave tour to better see the stalactites and stalagmites, the River Styx, known for being “the first and only underground river in the National System,” and more. Make sure to come between March and November, as tours stop for the winter months.