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7 Unique Places to Visit in Oregon You May Not Know Exist

7 Unique Places to Visit in Oregon You May Not Know Exist

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Are you looking for something quirky to do in the Pacific Northwest? Check out these 7 unique places to visit in Oregon that are fascinating!
This post about unique places to visit in Oregon was written by PNW family travel expert Marcie Cheung and may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

If you’re looking for a unique Oregon travel experience, look no further!

This beautiful state is home to some of the most unique and off-the-beaten-path locations in the country. Whether you’re a fan of outdoor activities or just want to explore some charming small towns, we’ve got something for everyone.

There’s a lot to love about Oregon. It boasts a stunning rugged coast, breathtaking natural landscapes ranging from gorgeous mountain views to verdant storybook-like forests and high desert plains.

One of the best things about traveling The Beaver State is the array of off-the-beaten-path locations it has to offer. If you’re the type of traveler who prefers staying away from the crowds and visiting hidden gems instead, you’re in for a real treat.

Keep scrolling for the ultimate list of unique places in Oregon you’ve got to add to your itinerary.

Best Places to Visit in Oregon FAQs

What is the prettiest part of Oregon?

This is actually a really difficult question to answer because this state has SO many different landscapes. It’s pretty hard to beat the views around Crater Lake or seeing Mt. Hood from Lost Lake. And the Oregon Coast is simply breathtaking. But, there are also a lot of unique places in Eastern Oregon.

What should I know before traveling to Oregon?

As with typical PNW weather, there’s often a chance of rain so dress accordingly. The coast is definitely chilly and it’s very common to wear a sweatshirt to the beach. A few perks include the fact that there’s no sales tax and a plethora of good beer, boutiques, and amazing food!

What are the most popular Oregon tourist attractions?

Not surprisingly, most of the top attractions in Oregon are national parks or other outdoor wonders. Most of the best things to do in Oregon are outside. Crater Lake tops most lists.

Unique Places to Visit in Oregon You May Not Know Exist

1. Thor’s Well in Oregon

Where is Thor’s Well in Oregon? It’s located in Yachats, which is a town along the Oregon Coast. The name Yachats comes from the Siletz language and means “dark water at the foot of the mountain”. I wanted to point that out because it adds to the quirkiness of this Oregon attraction.

Image of an ocean sinkhole in Oregon called Thor's Well.
Thor’s Well in Oregon

Thor’s Wells’s hidden gem status remains a mystery to us because the sight is simply out of this world. Also called the “Drainpipe of the Pacific”, Thor’s Well is a humongous Oregon sinkhole on the edge of the Oregon Coast that seems to swallow the ocean water around it.

Seeing it in action is definitely one of the most unique things to do on the Oregon Coast.

The pit is said to be around 20 feet deep, but regardless of its size, Thor’s Well looks straight out of an apocalyptic movie, especially during high tides and stormy days!

We think it’s one of the best vacation spots in Oregon for people who love sitting and gazing at the ocean.

Where to Stay Near Thor’s Well

While a lot of people make Thor’s Well a stop on their Oregon Coast road trip, you can definitely spend the night in Yachats. A few popular options include Deane’s Oceanfront Lodge, the Dublin House Motel, and Fireside Motel.

2. The Big Foot Trap

Oregon’s forests are said to be some of the places where Big Foot has been spotted, especially during the 19th century. There have been tons of bigfoot sightings in Oregon since then.

When a miner reported seeing a humongous footprint in 1974 at the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the North American Wildlife Research Team set out to create a huge trap in order to finally catch the infamous legendary creature.

Today, the wooden box filled with bait can still be seen. While it never actually managed to trap Big Foot, it did catch a few bears and a few hunters. Eeek! Going Big Foot watching is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Oregon.

You can visit the Big Foot Trap in Oregon by hiking the Collings Mountain Trail near Ruch. It’s definitely one of the top cool places to visit in Oregon for Big Foot enthusiasts!

Where to Stay at Rogue River-Siskiyou National Park

If you want to try your luck at spotting this Oregon Big Foot, you’ll probably want to spend the night nearby. There are several campgrounds and cabins available in the park.

3. Lost Lake

Sitting just over an hour away from Portland, Lost Lake is one of the most beautiful places in Oregon guaranteed to make you feel as though you’re inside a fairytale.

Image of Mount Hood from Lost Lake in Oregon surrounded by green trees.
View of Mt. Hood from Lost Lake in Oregon.

Lost Lake is surrounded by the alluring Mount Hood National Forest and towered by Oregon’s tallest peak. Plus, it provides some of the most awe-inspiring views of one of Oregon’s most iconic natural landmarks: Mount Hood.

You can spot Mount Hood from many other locations, but the dream-like sight of its reflection in Lost Lake’s shimmering waters is a must-see Oregon sight. It’s one of the reasons we think it’s one of the best places to vacation in Oregon.

This gorgeous location also offers plenty for recreational water activities including canoeing and kayaking. And there are fabulous hiking trails in the forest. Or you can just take in all that nature has to offer while camping out under starry skies!

Lost Lake is also considered one of the best spots in the USA for stargazing thanks to the lack of light pollution nearby, making it a great place to spend the night in Oregon’s nature.

Where to Stay Near Lost Lake in Oregon

You’ll find lots of Lost Lake campgrounds here. But if you’d rather sleep in comfort, you’ll also find cozy cabins and yurts available!

4. Pillars of Rome

The Pillars of Rome are a set of the most intricate rock formations and pillars made from fossil-laden clay, some of which reach heights up to 100 feet! These Oregon rock formations are actually about 5 miles long and two miles wide.

Image of a white rock formation that resembles columns in Roman architecture.
Part of the Pillars of Rome in the Oregon desert.

Located just outside town in southeastern Oregon’s high desert landscape they’re close enough for you can see what it would feel like if you were walking on Mars without ever leaving your backyard. And it’s just one of the many weird places in Oregon.

Of course, this natural wonder has been around for ages. In fact, it was a landmark for pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail near the Owyhee crossing.

It’s definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Oregon and it’s totally Insta-worthy.

Where to Stay Near Pillars of Rome

Because this area is so remote, your best bet is to camp at Slocum Creek Campground.

5. Terwilliger Hot Springs

Terwilliger Hot Springs (also called Cougar Hot Springs) is a hidden treasure in the middle of Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, where you can enjoy natural hot springs and an idyllic setting.

It’s a perfect place to relax after exploring nearby attractions or taking scenic drives around this state!

P.S. Clothing is absolutely optional here! Just pointing it out in case you’re bringing kids and that affects whether or not you want to stop.

Where to Stay Near Terwilliger Hot Springs

Eagle Rock Lodge is a great option for families who want to stay just a few miles from Cougar Hot Springs in Oregon.

6. Harts Cove

Hiking on the coast of Oregon is a breathtaking experience. The Harts Cove trail offers some amazing views, especially during sunset when you can take in all those gorgeous colors from the sea and sky!

This 5.4 miles out and back hike will have you breezing through a verdant forest filled with centuries-old trees, open meadows dotted by wildflowers, or gawk-worthy ocean views!

Once reaching the end of this trail in Harts Cove Oregon there is some serious eye candy when it comes to seeing all that nature has provided for us here at such an incredible place.

It’s no wonder why vacationers come from near and far just so they can enjoy these breathtaking sights too.

Where to Stay Near Harts Cove

The nearest town to Harts Cove is Lincoln City. I recommend booking a night at the Inn at Spanish Head Resort Hotel.

7. Crack-In-The-Ground

The geological crack in the ground that stretches over two miles long in Oregon is called “Crack-In The Ground.”

Image of a huge crack in the ground as seen from the bottom of the crack.
Crack-in-the-Ground Oregon

This fissure was formed thousands of years ago because it’s located near an extremely dry region, but visitors can still enjoy hiking through this magical spot.

t measures up to 70 feet deep and you might be surprised at how similar your surroundings look when viewed from its bottom!

The magical thing about visiting is that you can actually get to hike through the bottom of the fissure.

This 2-mile long trail isn’t too difficult to complete if you’ve got some previous hiking experience and don’t mind low temperatures, but it surely provides one of the most unique hiking experiences in the entire world!

Where to Stay Near Crack-in-the-Ground

The Best Western Skyline Motor Lodge in Lakeview is a great option for families.

Most Interesting Places in Oregon Wrap Up

So there you have it, some of the most unique places to visit in Oregon. If you’re looking for a road trip idea or simply want to explore more of Oregon, these spots should be at the top of your list.

As always, we have plenty more Oregon content waiting for you on our website. Be sure to check it out and happy exploring!

Looking for more things to do in Oregon? Check out our review of the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, the top Oregon Coast towns, scenic drives in Oregon, Oregon photography spots, and guide to the Tillamook Creamery.

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