Exploring the West Coast – Oregon
Sometimes it’s all too easy to follow the tourists and do what they do. But, there is a lot to be said for going out of your way to find some more unusual activities. These activities can be anything, but they can’t be a regular tourist haunt, must take you slightly off the beaten track and/or give you an experience you couldn’t have found elsewhere. When the whole point of travel is to learn and experience new things, it makes no sense to carry on doing all your regular stuff but in a different location. Spread your wings and find something new – like in Oregon.
Cascade Raptor Centre
If you love birds and you want to learn more about them, this is definitely the place to come. With 50 birds of prey in large outdoor aviaries around the site, you can see them in action all day long. The Cascade Raptor Centre also runs educational sessions for students of all ages and abilities so it is worth looking into if you are the academic type.
The best place to stay would be a hotel in Eugene, Oregon as the city is only 15 minutes away from the birds. The city is also well-placed for a number of lovely nature trails where you are sure to see some wild birds and other animals too.
If hiking is your thing and you are a fan of fantasy film-style waterfalls, the Multnomah Falls are definitely for you. This fabulous waterfall was, according to Native American Folklore, created for a princess looking for somewhere private to bathe. Even with power showers, you can see the appeal here with the mist rising and a pleasant coolness in the air.
The Falls are around 30 minutes outside Portland but are quite easy to get to. But, for the best experience, you shouldn’t stop at the viewing platform but continue to hike up to see the nearby Wahkeena Falls too. Though the drop is not as big, this waterfall makes up for height in beauty and shouldn’t be missed.
Allen Elizabethan Theatre
Shakespeare may never have seen Oregon – or indeed the New World (as he might have called it) – but his spirit is still to be found at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre. This open-air theatre pays tribute by raising a flag just before the performance as they did in Shakespeare’s theatres in London. They also put on lots of Shakespeare plays, as you might expect from the host of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Though the theatre has been remodeled and rebuilt after a fire, there is still something magical about seeing the Tudor dollhouse-style façade and cuddling up in a fleece bought from a kiosk just outside. This is certainly the way that Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed in London and the design is indeed modeled after London’s 1599 Fortune Theatre.
Whatever you are looking for, Oregon has so much to offer beyond the usual tourist traps. In this state, the landscape tempts you out, the wildlife is mesmerizing and the arts are flourishing. Let yourself go – see everything.