Although there are airports with regular commercial service in Redmond, Eugene, and Medford, flying isn't usually a very appropriate way to get around Oregon.
Some large airlines offer transatlantic or transpacific passengers special discount tickets under the name Visit USA, which allows mostly one-way travel from one U.S. destination to another at very low prices. Unavailable in the U.S., these discount tickets must be purchased abroad in conjunction with your international fare. This system is the easiest, fastest, cheapest way to see the country.
A car is by far the best way to see Oregon. There just isn't any other way to get to the more remote natural spectacles or to fully appreciate such regions as the Oregon coast or eastern Oregon.
It takes about 1 1/2 hours to drive from Portland to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast; from Portland to Mount Hood, about 1 hour; and from Portland to Bend, about 3 hours. Portland to Seattle is about a 3 1/2-hour trip, depending on traffic.
Maps are available at most highway tourist information centers and at gas stations throughout the region. For a map of Oregon, contact the Oregon Tourism Commission (tel. 800/547-7842; www.traveloregon.com). Members of AAA can get detailed road maps of Oregon by calling their local AAA office.
You may turn right on a red light after a full stop, and if you are in the far-left lane of a one-way street, you may turn left into the adjacent left lane of a one-way street at a red light after a full stop. Everyone in a moving vehicle is required to wear a seat belt.
Oregon is an anachronism when it comes to gas stations; there are no self-service gas stations in the state. So when you pull into a gas station, just sit back and let the attendant fill your tank. Also, keep in mind that Oregon is a big state, so keep your gas tank as full as possible when traveling in the mountains or on the sparsely populated east side of the Cascades.
In the event of a breakdown, stay with your car, lift the hood, turn on your emergency flashers, and wait for a police patrol car. Do not leave your vehicle.
If you're visiting from abroad and plan to rent a car in the United States, keep in mind that foreign driver's licenses are usually recognized in the U.S., but you may want to consider obtaining an international driver's license.
International visitors can buy a USA Rail Pass, good for 15, 30, or 45 days of unlimited travel on Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; www.amtrak.com). The pass is available online or through many overseas travel agents. Visit Amtrak's website for the cost of travel within the western, eastern, or northwestern United States. Reservations are generally required and should be made as early as possible. Regional rail passes are also available.
Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) is the sole nationwide bus line. International visitors can obtain information about the Greyhound North American Discovery Pass. The pass, which offers unlimited travel and stopovers in the U.S. and Canada, can be obtained from foreign travel agents or through www.discoverypass.com.
By Recreational Vehicle (RV)
An economical way to tour Oregon is with a recreational vehicle. If you're considering renting an RV, look under "Recreational Vehicles -- Rent and Lease" in the Yellow Pages of your local phone book. They can be rented for a weekend, a week, or longer. In Portland you might try Cruise America, 8400 SE 82nd Ave. (tel. 800/671-8042 or 503/777-9833; www.cruiseamerica.com). If you're going to be traveling in the peak season of summer, it's important to make reservations for your RV at least 2 months ahead of time. The rest of the year, a couple of weeks' lead time is usually sufficient.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.