While Oregon doesn't have a major amusement park to attract families, it does have lots of great children-oriented museums in Portland, and there are several other children's attractions in nearby Salem. Plus, the state has loads of the great outdoors, including wild ocean beaches, a dormant volcano with snow-skiing all summer, and an extinct volcano that really blew its top.

Days 1 & 2: Portland

Start your Oregon family vacation in Portland, where you and the kids have lots of options for fun activities. For example, you can spend a whole day in Washington Park. Here you'll find the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, and the Portland Children's Museum. The next day, head to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, where you can watch an OMNIMAX movie, see a planetarium show, and explore a submarine. Afterward you can head out on the Willamette River on a high-speed jet-boat ride.


Days 3, 4 & 5: The Northern Oregon Coast

From Portland, head west to the coast. Although the waters on the Oregon coast are too cold for most adults, children don't seem to mind the chilly temperatures at all. However, you'll be better off buying some kites and spending your time on the beach rather than in the water. Seaside is the north coast's premier family beach town and is full of arcades, saltwater-taffy stores, and places where you can rent unusual cycles (beach trikes, four-wheel surreys, tandems). However, I recommend staying in Cannon Beach, a much prettier town. In Cannon Beach, you can explore the tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock, fly kites, and, as in Seaside, rent beach bikes. There are also several nearby state parks.

Day 6: Salem


After you've built enough sand castles, head back inland to the state capital of Salem, which has a great waterfront park that's home to Salem's Riverfront Carousel, the fun A. C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and the Willamette Queen paddle wheeler. A few miles south of town, you'll find Enchanted Forest, another great children's attraction.

Day 7: Crater Lake National Park

Although it's a long drive from Salem to Crater Lake National Park, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit this amazing natural attraction that was created when a large volcano blew its top. If your kids can hike a mile downhill (and back up), or if you don't mind carrying the little ones, be sure to take the boat ride around the lake.


Days 8 & 9: Bend & Sunriver

Next, head north to central Oregon, which is the state's favorite sunshine destination. Here, near Bend and Sunriver, you'll find several resorts that are geared toward keeping families entertained. There are big swimming pools, bikes, and lots of scheduled activities for kids of all ages. The short white-water-rafting trips on the Deschutes River just outside Bend are always a big hit with kids. The other must-visit attraction in the area is the High Desert Museum, which is as much a zoo as it is a museum. You can also stop at Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the Lava Lands Visitor Center.

Day 10: Mount Hood


Finally, head up to Mount Hood and try to stay at the historic Timberline Lodge, where you just might bump into the lodge's Saint Bernard mascot. In winter this is a popular family ski area; in summer you can do a little summer skiing or snowboarding at Timberline Ski Area, or check out all the fun rides and activities at the Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl in Government Camp. The trail to Mirror Lake is an easy hike that's popular with families.

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.