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Academic Trips

If your personal interests run to art or the environment, be sure to check the calendar for seminars and classes offered by the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, P.O. Box 65, Otis, OR 97368 (tel. 541/994-5485; www.sitkacenter.org), which is located on the northern Oregon coast on the slopes of rugged Cascade Head. The center runs classes and workshops on writing, painting, ecology, ceramics, and other topics.

Wellness Trips

If you're looking for someplace in Oregon to do a spiritual retreat, check the calendar at Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center (tel. 503/854-3320; www.breitenbush.com), a new-age center in the Oregon Cascades. Programs in meditation, Native American drumming, and tai chi are also offered on the southern Oregon coast at WildSpring Guest Habitat (tel. 866/333-WILD [9453]; www.wildspring.com).

Food & Wine Trips

Several small tour companies lead tours through the Oregon wine country.

Want to turn a trip to the beach into an opportunity to learn some new cooking techniques? You can take cooking classes in Cannon Beach at EVOO, 188 S. Hemlock St. (tel. 877/436-3866 or 503/436-8555; www.evoo.biz), which offers half-day and evening classes; and in Lincoln City, at The Culinary Center, 801 SW U.S. 101, Ste. 401 (tel. 541/557-1125; www.oregoncoast.org/culinary), which has regularly scheduled half-day classes.

Volunteer & Working Trips

Want to turn your vacation into an educational experience or give a little back by volunteering? Check out the trips and classes offered by the organizations listed here.

The Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the global preservation of natural diversity, and to this end it operates educational field trips and work parties to its own nature preserves. For information about field trips in Oregon, contact The Nature Conservancy, 821 SE 14th Ave., Portland, OR 97214 (tel. 503/230-1221; www.nature.org).

If you'd like to help keep Oregon beautiful and green, consider spending a day of your vacation volunteering for SOLV, 5193 NE Elam Young Pkwy., Hillsboro, OR 97124 (tel. 800/333-SOLV [7658] or 503/844-9571; www.solv.org), which sponsors a variety of tree-planting and litter-removal programs across the state. The beach cleanups, held in both spring and fall, are among this organization's biggest events.

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.