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Ashland, OR
To Be or Not To Be
Oregon Shakespeare Festival - William Shakespeare (1564-1616) the world renowned playwright whose famous works include "Hamlet", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and "Romeo and Juliet" is not only remembered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), he is brought back to life. From February to October each year, 11 plays are performed across 3 stages in honor of the Stratford-upon-Avon (England) native. During your visit to Ashland, be sure to enjoy some fish and chips at the Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant, stay at any number of fine Victorian B&Bs, and catch a fantastic performance at night.
 
Astoria, OR
Beacon of the Pacific Northwest
Astoria Column - The 125 foot concrete Astoria Column was completed in 1926 and depicts 14 historically significant scenes from the Pacific Northwest. The column is patterned after the Trajan's Column in Rome which uses a spiral sgraffito frieze (sgraffito means etched and frieze means decretive band) - so all together it means an etched band that spirals upward. Wait, TJ just said it could also mean cold spaghetti, but he's a nut-ball. Anyway, it is 164 steps to the top of the column's observation deck, where on a sunny day you can view the icy blue Pacific Ocean to the west and the snow-capped Cascade Mountains to the east.
 
Brookings, OR
Japanese Bombing of the Mainland
Japanese Bomb Site - On September 9 and 29, 1942 a small Japanese airplane piloted by Nobuo Fujita and Okuda Shoji dropped a total of 4 incendiary bombs on the mainland of the US. Their hope was to set the woods of Oregon on fire, which would then sweep through the west coast cities causing mass panic. Fortunately for the US, three of the bombs failed and the one near Brookings only started a small fire. The bomb site is roughly 19 miles southeast of the city and requires some careful driving along a sometimes scary dirt road and then a one mile hike.
 
Cascade Locks, OR
Oregon's Talles Waterfall
Multnomah Falls - Cascading an impressive 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and the second tallest (year-round waterfall) in the nation. Starting at the top of Larch Mountain, this spring-fed waterfall dances over the mountainside in two picturesque stages. A 2/10ths of a mile foot trail reaches a small bridge between the two falls and continues on for a mile to the top of the falls. Multnomah Falls is just one stop along the Historic Columbia River Highway which winds past numerous waterfalls and stunning vistas - including the Vista House at Crown Point.
 
Crater Lake, OR
Did I Mention This Place is Blue?
Crater Lake National Monument - The palette at Crater Lake National Monument is filled with azure, indigo, sapphire, cerulean, baby and teal blue for a minute or two - then as the sun shifts, midnight, royal, cobalt, and steel blue paint the panorama. With the blue sky reflecting off the blue water, it seems like billions of blue molecules are formed to make Crater Lake the bluest place on earth. It is also the deepest lake in the US, at 1,935 feet, and the seventh deepest in the world. The caldera lake formed around 7,700 years ago, when Mount Mazama erupted and then collapsed. Then, all at once, everything turned blue.
 
Eugene, OR
Me and the Storyteller
Downtown Attractions - Eugene is known as "The World's Greatest City of the Arts and Outdoors". The city lives up to its name with Downtown Attractions including the Oregon Festival of American Music, the Oregon Bach Festival, the First Friday ArtWalk, and Eugene Saturday Market. One of Eugene's art favorites is Ken Kesey. Kesey was a journalism major at the University of Oregon in Eugene and most known for penning "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" which was a literary and film success. On the downtown plaza is a bronze statue of Ken Kesey entitled "The Storyteller".
 
Florence, OR
Lighthouse and B&B
Lighthouses - For the lighthouse loving monkeys out there, Oregon boasts eleven lights along its coast. One of the most romantic is the Heceta Lighthouse which was completed in 1894 and is perched atop a 150 foot cliff overlooking the ocean. The lightkeeper's cottages have been turned into a Bed and Breakfast and are a popular location for weddings and honeymoons. Oregon's oldest light is the 1866 Cape Argo Lighthouse, it's most haunted is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and its most mobile is the Lightship Columbia located at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria.
 
Florence, OR
See Some Sea Lions
Sea Lion Caves - One of the best opportunities in the nation to see Steller Sea Lions is at Sea Lion Caves. These enormous creatures (reaching up to 2,000 lbs) spend their days playing in a 25 million year old cavern that is the largest natural sea cave in the world. Take a quick elevator ride down to the sea lion playground and watch them waddle around on the rocks and make faces at each other. The sea lions are here present all year round, but in spring and summer they hangout on the rocks outside the cave and during the fall and winter months they congregate inside the cave.
 
Gold Beach, OR
The Rugged and Sandy Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast - Pristine beaches, dozens of national and state recreation areas, cute ocean-side towns, and panoramic views west as far as the eye can see, are just some of the attractions of the Oregon Coast. Visitors can drive the entire coast along Highway 101 which runs roughly 350 miles from Brookings in the south to Astoria in the north. The highway skirts the rugged and beautiful coastline with plenty of parking areas for whale watching, beach-combing, sun-bathing and inhaling the salty air. The Oregon Beach Bill (a state law) makes the entire coast freely accessible to the public.
 
Grants Pass, OR
Rafting Along the Rogue River
Rogue River - Beginning its 215 mile journey near Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River twists its way westward, eventually emptying into the Pacific Ocean near Gold Beach. The river offers a variety of sports and recreational activities with salmon fishing topping the list. There are two fantastic seasons for catching salmon, spring is the time to catch Chinook Salmon and fall is the perfect time to catch the enormous King Salmon. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are also popular past-times. Like its name implies, the Rogue is sometimes uncontrollable, it has several areas with class 3 rapids.
 
McMinnville, OR
Home of the Hughes' Spruce Goose
Spruce Goose - The Hughes H-4 Flying Boat, better known as the "Spruce Goose" is the feature aircraft at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. The Spruce Goose was the product of eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes and was designed for use by the military during WWII. It has the largest wingspan of any aircraft (just under 320 feet) which supports eight Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engines. The behemoth only flew once, on November 2, 1947 with Howard Hughes at the helm it took off from the waters near Long Beach, CA and remained airborne for 70 feet. The museum is expected to receive one of the space shuttles after they are decommissioned.
 
Mt Hood, OR
Come Play With Us Socko, Forever...
Mount Hood and the Timberline Lodge - Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain rises 11,239 feet above the fruited valley below. This perpetually snow-capped peak is home to six ski areas, twelve glaciers and endless outdoor recreational activities. Mount Hood is part to the Cascade mountain range that runs north and south through the entire state, originating in Canada and ending in California. The Timberline Lodge, located on the south side of Mount Hood, was used for exterior shots for the fictional Overlook Hotel in the 1980 film "The Shining". It is a fantastic ski lodge and attracts nearly 2 million visitors a year.
 
Newport, OR
Former Home of Free Willie Star - Keiko
Oregon Coast Aquarium - One of the most popular coastal attractions in Oregon is the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The 29 acre facility features over 500 animal species including otters, seals, sea lions, octopus, sharks, and turtles. The aquarium was once home to Keiko the Killer Whale (1976-2003) who was the star of the film "Free Willie". His former tank is now the Passages of the Deep exhibit with a walk-through underwater tube where visitors can "swim" with sharks and rays. The aquarium also has a large number of jellyfish including the Crystal Jelly which lights up when agitated.
 
Pendleton, OR
1800s Underground Tour
Pendleton Underground Tour - A series of underground tunnels and secret passageways that connected businesses together (both legal and illegal) over 100 years ago, make up the entertaining and informative Pendleton Underground Tour. Mining and railroad construction drew thousands of Chinese immigrants to eastern Oregon in the 1800s, and after those jobs disappeared they began businesses (primarily laundry and cooking) in town. The 1 1/2 hour tour traverses underground living and working areas, a jail, an opium den, a bordello and a speakeasy.
 
Portland, OR
The Eclectic Saturday Market
Saturday Market - Located along the beautiful Willamette River waterfront is Portland's Saturday Market. The market is a delightful outdoor arts, crafts, tie-died t-shirts, baked-goods, pottery, candle, jewelry, photography, pet, glass and metal-works extravaganza. It's a great place to pick up gifts for your monkey friends or yourself. Don't let the name fool you, the Saturday Market is open both Saturday and Sunday. Also within walking distance are the Maritime Museum Boat Exhibit, Chinatown, Japantown, Skidmore and the Old Town Historic District.
 
Portland, OR
Resting Between Activities
Washington Park - There are an abundance of attractions and things to do in Portland's Washington Park. The park is home to the Oregon Zoo, which in addition to lions, tigers and bears, contains the world's largest number of elephants born in captivity. The 400 acre park also contains the International Rose Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, the Hoyt Arboretum, the World Forestry Center, Portland's Children Museum and several more attractions. Visitor can easily spend the entire day roaming from place-to-place within the park. Oh, try to get there early; the good parking fills up fast.
 
Reedsport, OR
Dune City
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - An area that stretches nearly 45 miles long and up to 3 miles wide along the Oregon Coast makes up the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Shifting sands that have been accumulated for millions of years deposit in to dunes that reach hundreds of feet high. These dunes are a popular destination for ATV owners looking for nearly unlimited riding opportunities along a scenic coast. The area is also a great place for camping, picnicking, hiking, and generally monkeying around.
 
Salem, OR
Turn of the Century Wool Mill
Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Company - The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Company operated from 1889 to 1962 producing wool products including blankets and flannels. The mill you see today is actually Thomas Kay's second factory, the first burned down in 1895. Today the five acre historic site is operated by the Mission Mill Museum and includes the Woolen Mill, Dye House, Water Power Exhibit, Warehouse Building, and several historic homes. Self-guided tours offer an intriguing look at turn-of-the-century manufacturing equipment, furnishings and artifacts.
 
Salem, OR
She Flies With Her Own Wings
State Capitol Building - Although Oregon was the 33rd state admitted to the union, it has one of the newest State Capitol Buildings (the 4th newest to be exact). This "dome-less" Modern Greek structure was completed in 1938 after fires in 1855 and 1935 destroyed the first two statehouses. The grounds contain a circle of all 50 state flags, a replica of the liberty bell and fluted columns artfully strewn on the ground to resemble ancient ruins. The interior includes exhibits and murals from Oregon's history along with the house and senate chambers. And like a cherry on top of an ice-cream sundae, the tower is topped with a 22 foot gold-leaf Oregon Pioneer.
 
Silverton, OR
Let's See a Cat do This
Bobbie the Wonder Dog - Bobbie (1921-1927), a Scotch collie and shepherd mix dog was on vacation with his owners (the Brazier family) in Wolcott, Indiana when they were separated. The Braziers, after searching for weeks, finally went back home to Silverton heart-broken. Exactly six months later, "Bobbie the Wonder Dog", bruised, bloodied, and a lot skinnier showed up in Silverton looking for his long lost family. It is estimated that Bobbie walked nearly 3,000 miles across 7 states, through the high deserts and across the continental divide on his epic journey back home. His travels are recorded on a mural in downtown Silverton next to a statue of Bobbie and his dog house.