Located under the shadow of Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon is a beautiful city known for its open green spaces, river views and indie vibe. While there are plenty of fun activities to do in Portland, you may be looking for a change of scenery outside the city limits. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best day trips from Portland to take today. From wine tasting to exploring waterfalls, there are countless unique and exciting day trips that are sure to keep you busy.

1. Mount Saint Helens

Estimated Distance: 75 miles
Estimated travel time: two o’clock

Mount Saint Helens is an active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of southwestern Washington. The volcano erupted on May 18, 1980, one of the largest in North American history. Today, Mount St. Helens is a National Volcanic Landmark filled with plenty of activities to do and explore. Some favorites include Johnston Ridge Observatory, Ape Cave, and Spirit Lake.

2. Coast, OR

Ecola State Park

Estimated Distance: 80 miles
Estimated travel time: 1.5 hours

Known for its lively beach atmosphere, Coast, OR offers many exciting activities, such as visiting Ecola State Park, a state park filled with expansive views of the Oregon coastline; stroll the historic 2.5 mile Promenade, or play golf at Gearhart Golf Links. It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Seaside, OR and it’s about 80 miles from Portland, making this the perfect day trip from Portland.

3. Willamette Valley

a vineyard

Estimated Distance: 50 miles
Estimated travel time: 1 hour

Willamette Valley is a wine-producing area about 50 miles from Portland. The area became an ideal place to produce agriculture because of the Missoula floods that carried rich soil from eastern Washington to the area. To get to Willamette Valley from Portland, you need to drive south for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. There are many things to do, such as wine tasting at Beaux Frères, Brooks Vineyard and Winery, or Colene Clemens Vineyards; a visit to the Benedictine brewery, or just take a scenic drive.

4. Tillamook, OR


Estimated Distance: 75 miles
Estimated travel time: 1.5 hours

If you’re looking for some fun and excitement, go to Tillamook, OR. Tillamook, OR, located approximately 1 hour 30 minutes west of Portland, is named after the native Tillamook tribe of the region. It is known for its many beaches and has a strong dairy and fishing industry. Things to do in Tillamook include visiting Cape Lookout State Park where you can camp, visit the Tillamook Creamery where you can try delicious food and ice cream, or grab a drink at the Garde Brewery.

5. Cape Kiwanda Natuur Nature Reserve

Cliffs by the sea

Estimated Distance: 95 miles
Estimated travel time: two o’clock

If the idea of ​​relaxing at Pacific Beach, sand dunes, or grabbing a beer at Pelican Brewery sounds like fun, head to Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. Located approximately 100 miles and 1 hour 50 minutes southwest, this day trip from Portland is a sandstone headland you’ll never tire of exploring. To get to Cape Kiwanda you have to climb a large dune where you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the Oregon coast, winding rocks and crevices.

6. Mount Hood

mount bonnet with a lake in front

Estimated Distance: 70 miles
Estimated travel time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Mount Hood, about 1 hour 30 minutes from Portland, is a wilderness area and serves as a backdrop to Portland. It is a dormant volcano with 11 glaciers at its peak. About 80 miles east of town, many people head to Mount Hood for outdoor pursuits such as skiing at Mount Hood Meadows, Timberline Lodge & Ski Area, or Mount Hood Ski Bowl; hiking trails, including Mirror Lake Loop Trail or Trillium Lake Loop Trail, and mountain bike trails such as the Sandy Ridge Trail System. With easy access to the great outdoors, it’s no wonder Mount Hood is one of the best day trips from Portland.

7. Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park

Estimated Distance: 145 miles
Estimated travel time: 3 hours

Located about 3 hours from Portland in the high desert of central Oregon, Smith Rock State Park is known as the birthplace of modern sport climbing. There are approximately 1,500 routes and several areas for climbers to enjoy, most notably Christian Brothers, The Dihedrals, The Marsupials, and Rope-de-Dope. If climbing isn’t your thing, many people enjoy visiting Smith Rock for a run, hike, or camping trip.

8. Bending, OR

A beautiful waterfall

Estimated Distance: 180 miles
Estimated travel time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Located just 3 hours 20 minutes and 160 miles southeast of Portland bend, OR. Bend, OR is known as a brewing town with many favorites, including Deschutes Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, and Bend Brewing Co. If beer isn’t your thing, try white water rafting, relax at Sunriver Resort or visit the nearby Crater Lake National Park.

9. Waterfall Alley at the Columbia River Gorge

Multnomah Falls

Estimated Distance: 30 miles
Estimated travel time: 40 minutes

Waterfall Alley at the Columbia River Gorge is located nearly 31 miles east of Portland and has more than 90 waterfalls. The Columbia River Gorge is a beautiful river gorge and is the largest National Scenic Area in the United States. Some popular waterfalls include Bridal Veil Falls, Latourell Falls, and Multnomah Falls. If you’re planning on taking this best day trip from Portland, make sure to travel about 40 minutes and get there early, especially on weekends, as the parking lot can fill up.

10. Seattle, WA

pike market

Estimated Distance: 175 miles
Estimated travel time: 3 hours

Known as The Emerald City, Seattle, WA is nearly 180 miles north of Portland. Although both cities are in the Pacific Northwest, there are many differences between Seattle and Portland such as population size, infrastructure, and city atmosphere. However, if you find yourself in Seattle, things to do include a visit to the Space Needle, buy fresh produce at Pike Place Market, or watch a Mariner’s Game.