Places to Visit in Oregon in Fall

You’ll find a variety of places to visit in Oregon in fall. The leaves change into stunning shades of red, yellow and orange, making it one of the most beautiful times of year.

If you’re looking for Oregon vacation ideas, fall is a great time to plan your trip. There are plenty of places to enjoy the amazing Oregon fall weather: beaches, National Parks, State Parks, hiking trails, and more!

Places to visit in the fall in Oregon

The weather in Oregon in the fall can vary greatly from areas along the coast to areas more inland. Temperatures can be as high as 80 degrees in September and drop to the 60s by November.

The rain can start as early as September or wait until later in the season. You just never know, so watch the forecast so you’re prepared!

To help make your trip planning easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Oregon Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!

Oregon Bucket List Packet optin
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What to Pack for a Trip to Oregon

  • Rain jacket – always be prepared for rain while you’re visiting Oregon, especially near the coast. 
  • Hiking shoes – If you’ll be exploring any hiking trails in Oregon, we recommend hiking shoes instead of sandals. After the umpteenth time of getting rocks out of the sandals, you’ll thank us!
  • Hiking socks – Darn Tough socks help prevent blisters, keep your feet dry, and are guaranteed to last. 
  • Water shoes – You’ll want shoes that are made to get wet AND protect your feet from the rocks. If you’ll be visiting the coastal beaches and tidepools, pack water shoes.
  • Sunscreen 
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Healthy snacks
  • Camera Gear Checklist for Travel Photography

Visiting Oregon in the Fall

When it comes to planning a fall trip to Oregon, it’s important to know the weather to expect. We covered that earlier in the article.

Visitors also want to know about fall foliage and fall wildfires.

Fall Foliage in Oregon

You can see fall colors all around the state of Oregon. Here’s a list of places to find amazing colors from late September through October.

  • Mount Hood
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Washington Park in Portland
  • Hood River Fruit Loop
  • Klamath Falls
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Elkhorn Scenic Byway
  • Steens Mountain

Fall Wildfires in Oregon

In the fall there could be active wildfires in Oregon. Rest assured, it is safe to visit Oregon when there are fires. It’s a big state so fires in one location often have no impact outside a limited area and rarely cause major travel disruptions. 

Visit the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center web page to see if the area you plan to visit is affected by the fire. An interactive map on the page is updated daily during fire season to show perimeters of all fires.

Also, go to TripCheck, overseen by the Oregon Department of Transportation, to check for potential road closures or detours. 

Smoke from the fires in Oregon, or even from Washington, California, or Canada, can affect air quality and impact outdoor recreation. Oregon has a cool air quality blog with health information, air quality forecasts and other details useful for planning activities during your visit.

Map of Oregon Fall Vacation Spots

Here is a map of fall vacation spots in Oregon to help you plan your travel itinerary!

We recommend the Oregon GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the-scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location as you drive through the state!

Places to Visit in Oregon in Fall

You won’t run out of places to visit in Oregon: rugged coastlines, National and State Parks, waterfalls, and more!

We’ve asked our travel friends to share their favorite fall destinations in Oregon!

Astoria Oregon Bridge
Astoria Oregon Bridge

Astoria in the Fall

Located on the Columbia river in northwestern Oregon, Astoria is a wonderful place to visit in the fall. Two things put this quaint riverside town on the map. First, for history buffs, this is Lewis and Clark country. Second, Astoria is where the movie “The Goonies” was filmed. 

Naturally, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and the Goonie Trails are great hikes to see colorful fall foliage. Additionally, you can walk up to Astoria Column for sweeping views.

For the less ambitious, the nice flat River Walk provides beautiful vistas and glimpses of shore birds and sea lions. Admire the Victorian architecture as you weave your way to Astoria-Megler Bridge. 

Of course, Astoria is one of the best Oregon destinations for foodies all year round. Local specialties include clam chowder, smoked salmon and tuna, and fish and chips. Wash it down with one of the local craft beers. (Recommended by Denise, Chef Denise)

Mirror Pond in Bend Oregon
Mirror Pond

Bend in the Fall

Bend is an amazing destination year-round, but there’s nothing like visiting Bend in the fall. The air is crisp and clean, the leaves are turning, and there are unique activities to experience.

Just a short drive from Bend, Smith Rock State Park offers stunning rock formations and fantastic hiking trails. Fall is an excellent time to enjoy cooler temperatures and admire the park’s dramatic scenery.

Bend is known for its craft beer scene and offers an impressive array of breweries. For the ultimate beer experience, explore the Ale Trail. Download the free Ale Trail app and make your way through each of the 30 breweries. 

Oregon is home to several distilleries producing excellent whisky. You can sample whisky from 18 distilleries all in one place at the Oregon Whisky Festival every September. You can also tour a distillery, sample local cuisine, and enjoy live music. 

For a more family-friendly activity, visit the Fall Festival. You’ll find games and activities for everyone. There’s also a harvest market, delicious food, and live music. No matter what you do, Bend is a fall destination not to be missed. (Recommended by Sherry, Digital Nomad and a Dog)

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach
Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach in the Fall

Just 80 miles west of Portland you will find Cannon Beach. It is a great stop on the coastline if you are looking for a beach vacation with resorts, shopping, restaurants and entertainment.

The cool days and mild nights make for perfect weather to explore all that Cannon Beach has to offer – from relaxing on the beach to taking a hike through Ecola State Park.

This is a popular stop on your Oregon Road Trip along the coast to see the 235 foot tall Haystack Rock! (Recommended by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Multnomah Falls in the fall
Multnomah Falls

Columbia River Gorge in the Fall

Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is an incredible spot that becomes even more enchanting when fall arrives. This natural gorge is a favorite Oregon photography location!

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Columbia River Gorge in the fall is its stunning foliage. As the leaves change color, the gorge transforms into a kaleidoscope of bright hues, with fiery red, golden yellow, and rich orange bursting to life across the landscape. The scenic vistas and hiking trails that wind through the gorge become a photographer’s paradise, offering breathtaking views at every turn.

Another reason Columbia River Gorge is such a great place to visit in Oregon in the fall is the iconic waterfalls you can visit. Renowned cascades such as Multnomah Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Wahclella Falls are even more captivating when framed by the spectacular autumn foliage. The juxtaposition of the rushing water against the backdrop of autumn colors creates a truly mesmerizing sight.

The fall season also brings cooler temperatures and thinner crowds, making it an ideal time to explore the gorge. Enjoy peaceful hikes, picnic by the riverside, or take a scenic drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway without worrying about heavy summer traffic. (Recommended by Sydney, Sydney to Anywhere)

Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park in the Fall

Enjoy the breathtaking landscape of Crater Lake with its deep blue waters surrounded by rugged cliffs and dense forests. As the leaves turn colors of red, orange and yellow, the lake takes on a unique beauty that can only be experienced during autumn.

From hiking around the rim of the caldera to exploring nearby Wizard Island or taking a boat tour across its depths – there are plenty of ways to enjoy this National Park during the fall season. (Recommended by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Florence Oregon
Beach near Florence

Florence in the Fall

Florence is one of the best places in Oregon to visit in the fall. There are so many fun things to do in Florence. There are parks to explore, beaches to comb, lighthouses to climb, and trails to explore! 

A visit to Heceta Beach is a true Oregon Coast experience. The surrounding area is lush and green, offering some of the most scenic pacific northwest beach views!

A short hike up from the beach will lead visitors to Heceta Head Lighthouse for some extra fun. South Beach State Park is another great place to visit for a brisk beach day in Florence. 

Whether you spend your time crabbing and tide-pooling, hiking Hobbit Trail and riding the dunes at the national recreation area, or wandering through museums and Old Town Florence, this quaint town is one of the best places in Oregon to visit during the fall! (Recommended by Candice, CS Ginger)

Harris Beach State Park
Harris Beach State Park

Harris Beach State Park in the Fall

Harris Beach State Park is located on Oregon’s southern coast. If you are looking for trails and sandy beaches to explore this is the place for sure to visit in Oregon this fall.

You can camp and stay a few nights or just make it a day trip. Enjoy a picnic on the beach and look at the beautiful views that the sea stacks make along the ocean. 

Nearby you will also find the city of Brookings that offers amazing views and tons of recreational activities like renting a boat to take you to the mouth of the Chetco River. (Recommended by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Hood River Oregon in the fall
Hood River

Hood River in the Fall

Nestled in the stunning Columbia River Gorge and sitting in the shadow of Mount Hood, Hood River is an incredible place to spend fall in Oregon. 

There are plenty of things to do in Hood River to celebrate autumn. For example, it’s home to the Fruit Loop, a 35-mile scenic drive that offers almost 30 fruit stands, cideries, orchards, and breweries. 

In the fall, you can stop in a U-pick apple or pear orchard or at any of the farms with fall festivities, like pumpkin patches, hay rides, and made-to-order apple cider doughnuts. 

Alternatively, consider stopping at the Hood River Valley Harvest Festival at the beginning of October. The festival offers fun for the whole family, from beer tastings and live music to an arts and crafts fair and kid-friendly activities. (Recommended by Jessica, Uprooted Traveler)

Hood River Oregon
Hood River

Mt. Hood in the Fall

Just two hours east of downtown Portland, you can escape the city and explore Oregon’s tallest mountain, Mt Hood. Although it is known for having the longest ski season in North America, a fall visit outside of ski season is equally as exciting. There are many incredible outdoor excursions like hiking, mountain biking and exploring the scenic trails of Mount Hood National Forest. 

If you aren’t fond of hiking, book yourself a scenic train ride on the Mount Hood Railroad or pedal the railroad tracks on motorized tandem bikes. The area’s orchards and fruit farms are another great way to experience the beauty of Mount Hood in the fall.

A trip to Mount Hood is not complete without visiting the iconic Timberline Lodge, which is also made famous through the filming of The Shining. Many of the scenic trails start just outside the Timberline Lodge, so it is the perfect central location to park, eat and relax while exploring the area. 

Timberline Lodge has a cozy and inviting ambiance and a variety of dining options. Ram’s Head Bar & Restaurant sits high above the two-story fireplace with a great view of the lodge and the mountain. For fine dining or an elegant brunch buffet, check out the Cascade Dining Room. 

The drive to and from Mount Hood will also deliver gorgeous views and is a true Oregon fall experience not to be missed! (Recommended by Hannah, Plate & Compass)

Enjoy outdoor adventure at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Oregon Dunes in the Fall

Fall is a terrific time to explore the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area. It’s a fun place to visit in Oregon with kids to keep your whole family entertained. 

Just south of Florence, this area is home to some of the most spectacular sand dunes in the world. It spans nearly 40 miles along the coast!

From sandboarding and off-roading on the dunes to beachcombing and birdwatching along the shoreline, there are plenty of ways to spend an unforgettable day in this unique area.

Nature enthusiasts will also appreciate the variety of wildlife found here such as deer, elk, sea lions and bald eagles. (Recommended by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

voodoo donuts in Portland
Famous Voodoo Donut

Portland in the Fall

No fall trip through Oregon is complete without a stop in Portland. The hip city is well known for its love affair with independent boutiques, coffeehouses, and microbreweries. It’s also surrounded by snowcapped mountains and lush forests — ideal when the seasons change and burst with color!

One of the best places to enjoy the seasonal beauty is a hike on one of the 21 trails through Washington Park. The park should be on your Portland bucket list!

It’s home to the International Rose Test Garden, Japanese Garden, and Hoyt Arboretum, home to over 2,000 unique trees and plant life — the perfect location for leaf peeping! 

After your hike, refuel with one of the city’s iconic treats, donuts! You’ll find a mouthwatering assortment of seasonal flavors, custard and jam-filled, and even vegan options in Portland. (Recommended by Rebecca, Veggies Abroad)

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