Spring Break. Remember the anticipation and excitement around these two words when you were a kid in school? Spring break meant fun, possible adventure, and no homework! Well whether you’ve got kiddos of your own or not, we still think spring break is the perfect time for a little adventure and, at the very least, a break from the norm. So, we’ve rounded up a few of the more off-beat attractions our very own state has to offer – all within driving distance!
Thor’s Well – Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Oregon Coast
Ok, just the name alone is pretty awesome, but to see this natural wonder up close and in person is something else. Also known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, Thor’s Well is a gaping and seemingly bottomless sinkhole perpetually swallowing up the seawater around it. Of course, it’s not really bottomless – it’s only around twenty feet deep – but it is awe-inspiring to witness. The best “show” is high tide, or during storms, but be careful of this natural wonder and keep a safe distance. Driving Distance: 161 miles from Portland, depending on the route.
Before you go… It’s always a good idea to check your tires before heading out on a road trip. Make sure air pressure is optimal and the treads are in good condition. Contact Sherwood Auto Repair for a quick safety check!
Octopus Tree – Cape Mears State Park, Tillamook
This unique Oregon oddity has been described as one of the modern wonders of the world, but is reportedly somewhere between 2-300 years old! The Octopus Tree, a Sitka Spruce, is aptly named as it has no central trunk and is shaped like an inverted octopus with tentacle-like branches growing around its 50-foot base. Cape Mears State Park offers spectacular ocean views and is also home to the Cape Mears Lighthouse, so this day trip offers plenty to see! Driving Distance: 62.8 miles from Portland.
Prehistoric Gardens – Port Orford, Oregon Coast
Imagine running into a giant T-Rex while on a nature hike along the Pacific Coast! With giant ferns, dripping moss and towering trees, and more than a few dinosaurs, Oregon’s Prehistoric Gardens offer just this possibility. A rain forest 180 million years in the making, the area just outside of Port Orford is home to a classic roadside attraction established in 1953. Today 23 different prehistoric creatures spanning the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras roam the forest. Driving Distance: 284 miles, from Portland.
Before you go… We all know spring in Oregon can be on the rainy side, so it’s best to make sure your wiper blades are in good shape. While you’re at it, check your lights too – the days are still on the short side and a long road trip can have you headed home in the dark.
Quilt Barn Trail of Washington County
Now this road trip is a bit closer to home, and best enjoyed on a sunny day, but you just can’t beat the nostalgia and heritage of the “quilts” on display throughout the Tualatin Valley along the Quilt Barn Trail. If you’re imagining quilts hanging outside barns, you’re not too far off. Scattered throughout the Dundee Hills and wine country, the “quilts” on display are actually large wood blocks that have been hand-painted in traditional quilt patterns that hold some significance to the farm or area. We recommend packing a picknick and enjoying a leisurely drive through the valley. Driving Distance: Varies – Depends on how many of the 50+ barns you seek out and how many wineries you just might visit along the way!
Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens – McKenzie River, Central Oregon
Talk about a hidden gem! If you have never driven along the McKenzie River, east of Eugene, you are in for a real treat. This beautiful pass is home to a number of quaint “resorts”, covered bridges a crystal-clear river and world-class golf. The historic Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens offer a unique experience with a natural hot spring swimming pool, meandering hiking trails, and a secret renaissance garden. Driving Distance: 148 Miles from Portland.
Before you go… Wherever adventure takes you this spring break, if you are planning a road trip, we recommend your regular car maintenance be up to date and an overall safety inspection is always a good idea!
Sherwood Auto Repair – Your Preferred Garage