7 of the Best Day Trips from Portland

by Allie d'Almo  |  Published July 25, 2022

Looking for a change of scenery? There are now hundreds of day trips from Portland OR, from wine tasting tours to mountain hikes. 

Best Columbia River Gorge Tours from Portland

Columbia River Gorge is one of Oregon’s blockbuster sights (Photo: GetYourGuide.com)

Portland boasts a prime geographic location in the northwest of Oregon. In just two hours, you could be scaling a snow-capped mountain, sipping fine pinot noir wines in a terraced vineyard or stretching out on a sandy shoreline. While you could rent a car, one of the easiest and most affordable ways to explore the surrounding region is on a day trip. These range from affordable group tours in a mini-bus or coach to pricier private tours in a car or bike. With so many to choose from, we’ve scoured the internet to find the best day trips from Portland, Oregon based on value for money, customer reviews and itinerary. 

Group Tour of Portland and Columbia George 

This cheap and cheerful day trip combines a sightseeing tour around Portland with the chance to get up close to the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. Starting in the city centre, the itinerary roughly follows the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, with stops at Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Fish Hatchery and Bonneville Dam, before reaching Columbia River Gorge. Carved some 15,000 years ago by glaciers and floods, the gorge offers up epic vistas, jaw-dropping waterfalls and miles of hiking trails. After lunch, you’ll get to enjoy a whistlestop tour of the city’s famous sights, including Waterfront Park and Washington Park. From £71.04. 

Book at GetYourGuide.com 

Portland: Cannon Beach, Trails and Forests Oregon Coast Tour 

best day trips from Portland Oregon

Canon Beach is one of Oregon’s loveliest beaches (Photo: GetYourGuide.com)

California’s sun-baked shoreline gets all the attention when it comes to America’s Pacific coast, but Oregon’s 300-mile coastline boasts some beautiful beaches. This full-day trip hits some of the best of them, including Indian Beach and Neahkahnie Overlook. Best of all is Cannon Beach, miles of sugar-white sands, tumbling waterfalls and the hulking Haystack Rock, the third-largest intertidal structure in the world. The trip culminates in a short hike through Oswald West State Park, Short Sand Creek and driftwood-stacked coastline Smugglers Cove. From £117.55 per person. 

Book at GetYourGuide.com 

Portland: Willamette Valley Character Wineries 

The New World’s version of Chianti, Willamette Valley is a 150-mile stretch of terraced vineyards, wineries and gourmet restaurants. This small group tour gives visitors the chance to taste their way around a handful of the region’s best boutique wineries and tasting rooms. The tour price includes a knowledgeable tour guide, return transportation from your hotel and a delicious lunch platter, served with sparkling views over the rolling hills. From £135.31 per person. 

Book at GetYourGuide.com 

Silver Falls Hike and Wine Tour 

Silver Falls State Park is the crown jewel of Oregon’s state parks (Photo: GetYourGuide.com)

Possibly Oregon’s most spectacular natural reserve, Silver Falls State Park encompasses winding creeks, breathtaking waterfalls and a rocky canyon teeming with wildlife. This day trip begins with a hike along the “crown jewel” Trail of Ten Falls, a 7.2-mile trail along a basalt canyon, through thick forest and past the unforgettable cascading falls. Then, after a picnic lunch, guests get to explore the rolling hills of Willamette Valley, with stops at two boutique wineries.  From £152.22 per person. 

Book at GetYourGuide.com

Plein Air Painting, e-biking and wine tasting tour 

For something a little different to your average coach trip, try this small-group tour in Red Rocks. Led by local artist Carolyn Kollegger, the itinerary includes opportunities for landscape painting, hiking and wine tastings. Participants can enjoy tuition on compositional motifs for painting en plein air in the desert landscape, treks tailored to their fitness and ability and a delicious gourmet picnic lunch. The tour includes trips to celebrated wineries for tastings too. 

Book now at Viator.com

The Mount St. Helens Adventure Tour 

Soaring mountainscapes in Oregon (Photo:GetYourGuide.com)

This action-packed day is an excellent option for outdoor enthusiasts looking to get a flavour of the state’s most dramatic natural landscapes. Travelling north of Portland, the itinerary involves crawling through a lava tree mould, hiking into one of the longest continuous lava tubes in North America and picnicking with views of the crater of a volcano. You’ll also get to climb up a 437-step staircase for photos and panoramic views at the top of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens, which first erupted some 40,000 years ago. From £249.48

Book at GetYourGuide.com

Willamette Wood Fired Pizza Pairing – Private Tour 

This half-day or full-day experience is ideal for those looking to explore the Willamette Valley on their own without the hassle of renting a car. The trip includes stops at two to four wineries, each renowned for their wines, architecture and spectacular views. Your tour guide will select the wineries based on your wine preferences too, depending on whether you prefer traditional pinot noirs, rose, chardonnay or even Methode champenoise bubbles. The day also includes a gourmet wood fired pizza lunch in an idyllic vineyard setting. From £248.29 per person. 

Book at Viator.com