Monmouth and Independence are heavy on charm, but if you’re ready for a day trip outside the area, we’ve got some excursion suggestions for you.
It only takes about an hour to reach Lincoln City, the coastal city due west from Monmouth/Independence. Once you’ve reached Highway 101, you can choose whether to head north to Neskowin/Pacific City, go south to Newport or Florence or stay and enjoy Lincoln City and Depoe Bay. The beautiful Oregon Coast is enticing on its own, but visitors often supplement time on the sand with hours spent dining, shopping, hiking and biking.
The Oregon Coast Visitors Association has suggestions for activities of all kinds, no matter which beach-side city you choose to enjoy.
Directly north on Highway 99W from Monmouth is the quaint city of McMinnville, known for its Historic 3rd Street District and copious wine tasting rooms. The city is in the heart of Oregon wine country but also offers plenty of fine-dining opportunities, brewpubs and dog-friendly parks and paths. It’s also the site of the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, home of the Spruce Goose wooden airplane and a huge indoor water park.
VisitMcMinnville.com has everything you need to know before exploring charming McMinnville.
Going south on Highway 99W, a 25-minute drive will put you in the larger college town of Corvallis, home of Oregon State University. The city is known for its collection of high-end restaurants in an eclectic range of styles, quirks and global cuisines, but there are other opportunities for adventure as well. Golf courses, cycling routes and bird-watching hotspots abound for visitors to Corvallis.
Learn more about what awaits you at VisitCorvallis.com.
The capital of Oregon routinely vies with Eugene for the title of “second-largest city” in the state. The Capitol Mall offers both a beautiful park to explore and a lesson in stately architecture. Salem boasts a thriving Saturday market, a historical waterfront carousel and even a home-grown amusement park called “The Enchanted Forest.” A path along the Willamette River joins three city parks, making it an ideal destination for walkers and bike riders of all ages. Downtown Salem features cinemas, shopping opportunities, a children’s museum and fine-dining galore, so plan to spend an entire day exploring Oregon’s capital city. It’s just 20 minutes east of Monmouth on Highway 22.
Get a list of fun activity options at TravelSalem.com.
As Oregon’s biggest metropolitan area, Portland can take days or weeks to fully discover. But if you only have one day, we suggest you start with Powell’s City of Books, which claims to be the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore. Other popular spots are OMSI, the Oregon Zoo and Tom McCall Waterfront Park, but plenty of people carve out an hour or two to score some treats at Voodoo Donuts. The Moda Center hosts sports competitions, events and concerts all year round, or try a scary ride at Oaks Amusement Park. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to just sit back and people-watch at a locally owned café – you won’t be disappointed.
Plan your itinerary in advance with help from TravelPortland.com.
The city in the middle of Oregon is a bit of a haul from Monmouth, but if you are willing to drive the 150 miles, you’ll certainly be rewarded. Bend is a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, with skiing, hiking, white-water rafting, rock climbing and multiple other pursuits within easy reach. There’s also quite a shopping scene and some amazing bakeries and restaurants. If you’d had your fill of wine, Bend is the place to explore microbreweries along the Bend Ale Trail.
Learn more about the adventures the city has in store for you at VisitBend.com.