Autumn is a perfect season to explore our state’s gorgeous fall colors and sample from its many unique restaurants. So grab your fluffiest sweater, that pumpkin spice latte and let’s hit the road!
Oregon can be divided into seven regions — with breathtaking landscapes ranging from mountains to beaches to the high desert. Some stops are a quick jaunt from Corvallis, while others would make the ultimate weekend getaway.
A haven for ducks, herons, raptors, shorebirds and more, Ankeny Wildlife Refuge is a peaceful getaway for a brisk, fall walk. Take a stroll through the middle of the wetland on a long wooden bridge that leads to a lookout where you can view wildlife on the water — you might even see a beaver or a Pacific tree frog pop up.
If all that exploring makes you hungry, head into downtown Salem and grab some lunch or an appetizer at Archive. They offer lots of shareable items, a full coffee menu and more.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 30 miles, 35 minutes
Pittock Mansion combines history with unbeatable views. The mansion was built in 1912 by Henry Pittock, then owner of The Oregonian newspaper. From its location, take in sweeping vistas of fall foliage, the city and the Cascade Range.
Afterward, stop by Papa Haydn for decadent pasta, gourmet entrees or a pumpkin pastry.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 86 miles, 1 hour, 35 minutes
Cape Perpetua is the ultimate spot for admiring the wonders of Oregon — where the rocky coastline meets the Pacific Northwest rain forest. Here, you can see the swirling waters of Devil’s Churn or the ocean geysers of Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 74 miles, 1 hour, 34 minutes
Columbia River Gorge
If you’re looking for breathtaking views, the Columbia Gorge has plenty of them. Multnomah Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, and for good reason. Wind through the trees and lush, green landscape, peer up at Oregon’s tallest waterfall and explore the adjacent historic lodge.
The lodge also includes a restaurant where you can treat yourself to a hot bowl of soup, grilled sandwich or slice of chocolate hazelnut cake. After you’re done, stop by the lodge’s gift shop to stock up on souvenirs.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 113 miles, 2 hours, 5 minutes
Bend is known for its gorgeous mountain views. Pair that with some fall ambiance and you’ve got a picture-perfect adventure. Drake Park is an iconic stop — and it’s located right on the edge of downtown. View willow, maple and cherry trees as their colors transform, enjoy a hot tea by the Mirror Pond or even pet a dog (or two).
Just around the corner from the park, you’ll discover a plethora of shops, restaurants like Zydeco and Pine Tavern (known for hot scones with honey butter), and the never-to-be-missed dessert mecca, Goody’s.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 128 miles, 2 hours, 45 minutes
Located right beside the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival stage sits Ashland’s Lithia Park. Among its dogwood, monkey puzzle and coast redwood trees, you’ll find nearly 100 acres of trails, a Japanese garden and a pond often visited by deer.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 223 miles, 3 hours, 37 minutes
The Eagle Cap Excursion Train in Elgin gives you an exciting way to view fall colors up close. It travels through the historic Joseph Branch rail line along the Grande Ronde and Wallowa rivers. Passengers have seen bears, eagles, deer, elk and other wildlife, so make sure to have your camera ready.
After your ride ends, stop by Elgin Station Grill and Bar for a juicy burger and a milkshake.
Estimated distance from Corvallis: 363 miles, 6 hours, 27 minutes