Oregon Small Towns- The Places You Have To See
The state of Oregon, often known as the “Beaver State,” is located in the Pacific Northwest and is famous for its natural beauty. The state is recognized for its variety, from woods to beaches, mountains to farms, and volcanoes to dunes.
With three great cities (Bend, Portland, and Eugene), gorgeous surroundings, and many natural attractions vying for your attention. One thing you may not know about Oregon is that it also has a slew of beautiful towns to add to your bucket list.
From charming seaside communities to towns located near some of the state’s most spectacular natural sites, here are the prettiest places in Oregon you can’t miss!
Alright lets cut to it… and provide you our list of the best small towns in Oregon
Cannon Beach, Oregon’s lovely little town on the ocean’s edge, is home to outdoor activities and a warm, welcoming vibe.
The iconic Haystack Rock, beautiful coastline, waterfalls cascading down on the sand at Hug Point, and the nearby Ecola Point State Park are some of the beautiful things surrounding Cannon Beach.
Combine the beautiful outdoor attractions with art galleries, vibey restaurants, and trendy boutiques, and you’ve got the best of all worlds in one space!
As if that weren’t enough to persuade you to add Cannon Beach to your Oregon itinerary, National Geographic named it one of the world’s most beautiful locations in 2013!
You might be wondering what a little town named Joseph with less than 1,000 residents has to offer as a visitor, and the answer is a lot!
Joseph, a tiny mountain town perched in the Wallowa Mountains, is one of Oregon’s most gorgeous gems. Joseph boasts a bustling downtown area with its own distillery and brewery and a variety of charming boutique stores encircled by dozens of life-size bronze sculptures created by local artists. The best way to get a feel for this picturesque mountain town is to stroll around or ride the tram for spectacular views.
Joseph, dubbed “Oregon’s Little Switzerland,” is also an excellent starting point for trips to Wallowa Lake, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and the Hells Canyon Recreation Area.
Brownsville is a tiny town of just 2000 people, and it was largely unknown until it became popular in the 1980s with the movie Stand by Me.
Brownsville is a historic town that has kept much of its old-fashioned charm and architecture from the era.
While you’re in town, take a stroll around the historic downtown and appreciate the historic buildings dating back to the 18th century. The Linn County Museum recounts the tale of the Calapooia tribe and early settlers from both indigenous groups.
The Moyer House, which is just a block from the museum, is another must-see for history enthusiasts. This is a beautiful historic Italian home from the 1800s that was erected by J.M. Moyer, an early pioneer who ran a sash-and-door manufacturing plant. After seeing the ancient sites, visit The Living Rock Museum, a bright and colorful structure made of local agates, crystals, and quartz!
Florence, which is about an hour’s drive from Eugene, is a beautiful little town that has earned the title of Oregon’s coastal playground for locals and tourists alike.
In a nutshell, Florence is described as “the art capital of the world” with stunning coastlines, miles of undulating sand dunes within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, fascinating sea caves, a beautiful lighthouse charming boutique shops, and delectable seafood.
There’s a lot to do in and around Florence, so spend at least two nights here. You can stay in a riverfront hotel, a lakeside cottage, or a woodland campground.
Sisters, located in the Deschutes region near Bend, is another must-see Oregon small town.
Sisters is a lively, creative community with beautiful 1880s facades and small-town charm that also has easy access to numerous natural attractions. It’s named for the trio of towering mountains on the west side, which nicely frames it. Sisters is just a short drive from several natural features, including Deschutes National Forest, Sahalie Falls, and the Koosah Falls, which plunges 100 feet over a natural lava barrier.
Sisters is a year-round destination, with camping and fishing nearby at Suttle Lake and a family-friendly ski resort at Hoodoo Ski. It’s all about the annual Sisters Rodeo and beachside activities during the summer months.
Whether you’re visiting in the winter or summer, Sisters is a great day trip from the Portland area. You can eat at one of the fine restaurants and shop at one of the boutiques or grab a pint at Sisters Brewing Company year-round. If you’re in the mood for some pampering, visit any of the various spas, including America’s first beer spa!
History and wine? Yes, please!
McMinnville, located just 30 miles from Portland, is a great town to visit for history buffs and wine enthusiasts.
The charming Old Town of McMinnville, Oregon, is home to 64 historic turn-of-the-century buildings that have been converted into restaurants, wine bars, and art galleries. A walk through this town is like taking a step back in time!
This area, of course, is popular with wine connoisseurs, with dozens of wine tasting rooms and restaurants where you can try the excellent grapes produced in the surrounding vineyards. The majority of the countryside around McMinnville is filled with vineyards, some of which have beautiful hiking routes that will give you your dose of nature as well.
You can also go to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum to see the world’s largest propeller-driven seaplane, the Spruce Goose. Furthermore, if you’re visiting in May, you can join the annual UFO Festival!
Astoria is a historic waterfront town located in Oregon. It has been on the map for its idyllic location and picturesque scenery. The town is home to a variety of businesses and cultural attractions, making it a popular tourist destination.
It is known for its seafood restaurants, boutiques, and museums. The downtown area has shops, restaurants, and breweries. Breweries are a big deal in Astoria. Buoy Beer Company is one of the most popular breweries in Oregon. It competes neck and neck with Fort George Brewery for the title of the best brewery in Astoria. Both offer tours and tastings, so choosing which one to visit can be tricky.
Yachats is a charming town located in Oregon that is well-known for its beautiful location between the rugged coast and the sprawling Siuslaw National Forest. Visitors to Yachats can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, whale watching, and browsing through local shops and restaurants.
Surrounding the town is a hole called Thor’s Well and an inlet named Devils Churn, which are both popular tourist destinations. Yachats also has a rich history and was once home to the Yachats tribe of Native Americans.
On the central Oregon coast, Newport is a bustling city with a strong commercial fishing fleet history. The vibe of Newport is much more laid back than other coastal towns in Oregon; you’ll find little in the way of high-rise hotels or tourist traps. Instead, you’ll find a thriving fishing industry and a lively art scene centered around the Newport Art Museum.
The city is also known for its attractions like the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is the tallest in Oregon and was first lit in 1873. Newport is also home to various other attractions, including the Yaquina Bay State Park and the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
While visiting Newport, don’t miss out on the local restaurants and a chance to try some of the local seafood. Our favorite place in Newport is Mo’s Seafood and Chowder.
Hood River is a small town located in Oregon that has become a popular tourist destination. The town is situated on the Columbia River Gorge and is known for its waterfalls, windsurfing, and orchards.
Not only is it gorgeous and surrounded by nature, but there are plenty of other outdoor activities in the area, including hiking and skiing. Hood River has been called the “windsurfing capital of the world,” and it’s easy to see why. The winds here are consistent and strong, making it perfect for this type of sport.
With over 30 restaurants in its historic downtown area and orchards surrounding it, Hood River offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether you want to explore the local food scene or take in some stunning natural scenery, Hood River will not disappoint.
Klamath Falls is a small town in Oregon that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors. It is the perfect spot for those looking for a quiet retreat, with plenty of nature to explore and outdoor activities to enjoy.
Hiking and biking trails are plentiful, and the area provides a sense of peace and quiet not often found in today’s world. In addition, Klamath Falls offers a thriving community for those looking to get more involved in their surroundings.
Klamath Falls is the perfect place to visit for those who want a quiet getaway and some activity and excitement.
The town of Klamath Falls is located in southern Oregon, about 100 miles from the California border. The area is surrounded by mountains and forests, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
In particular, Klamath Falls is located near the majestic Mt. Shasta and the world-famous Crater Lake. This makes it an ideal place to live for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Cottage Grove, located only twenty minutes south of Eugene, is home to six covered bridges and a yearly celebration dedicated to them, making the town’s nickname “the covered bridge capital of the west.”
Most of all, Cottage Grove is a charming town with a rich history. The town has numerous historic buildings, magnificent art galleries, boutique businesses, and great coffee shops. Take a trip down memory lane at the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum to learn more about the area’s gold mining history.
What’s on your list of the coolest small towns in Oregon? Have you been to any of these lovely little Oregon towns? Which one was your favorite? In the comments section below, tell me all about your visit there!
The city in Oregon with the best weather for 4 season lovers is Bend. It is located in the high desert and has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. If you’re into coastal beach towns, the best s probably the town of Yachats. It is located on the Oregon coast, so it has a mild climate year-round. The average high temperature in July is about 60 degrees, and in January, it is about 45 degrees.
The city with the least amount of rain is Redmond. It’s located in the high desert and gets less than 7 inches of rain a year. The average temperature is about 55 degrees in the summer and about 35 degrees in the winter.