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The Outdoors in Oregon: a Breakdown of the Best

Oregon towns are likely to fulfill even the most idyllic of outdoor lifestyle fantasies, whether your passions would come alive among the mountains, on the ocean, alongside a river, amidst forests, or simply in the fresh air. Oftentimes an exciting combination of these different settings are hallmarks of single Oregon towns. Outdoor living opportunities are so abundant in Oregon that the sheer multitude can be overwhelming; this article aims to indicate the towns with the best that a particular aspect of nature has to offer. The prime outdoor towns in Oregon will be categorized as:

1. Ocean town: The most relevant part of nature in these communities will be their proximity to the shore. Therefore, their best outdoor opportunities will involve swimming, fishing, boating, beach-going, water skiing, and other water sports.


2. Mountain town: Here, the mountains are an integral part of the outdoor offerings. Nature lovers in these towns will primarily enjoy the abilities to hike, mountain bike, ski, and simply enjoy the breathtaking beauty of mountainous scenery.

3. Lakeside or riverside town: Bearing the identities of riverside or lakeside living oriented, these freshwater towns are homes to residents who can fish, boat, swim, raft and recline to their hearts’ content.

Oregon Ocean Town

Bandon: Often referred to as Bandon-by-the-sea, this small town delight of a community is located on the southern third of Oregon’s coast. The high cliffs ringing the lovely shoreline are a fantastic backdrop for a long stretch of beaches. With just under 3,000 residents, Bandon exudes small-town charm. Additionally, Bandon is home to world-class golf courses similar in scene and style to the famed Ireland courses, which offer stunning views of the Pacific.

Oregon Mountain Towns

Eugene: This town enjoys the presence of the beautiful Cascade Mountains; opportunities to ski, hike, and mountain climb are almost unlimited here. Given the nickname “The World’s Greatest City for the Arts and the Outdoors”, Eugene makes all the Best Places to Live lists.

Bend: Located on the eastern edge of the Cascades, Bend is a picturesque mountain town. With a strong economy, two college campuses, a rapidly growing population and a particularly scenic beauty, Bend is definitely an outdoor community to consider.

Oregon Freshwater Towns

Grants Pass: The very definition of a river town, Grants Pass is nestled in the Rogue River Valley of southern Oregon. The Rogue River runs straight through the middle of town! This friendly community offers every river recreation imaginable.

Klamath Falls: With Upper Klamath lake, the largest natural lake in the Pacific northwest, Klamath Falls is decidedly a lakeside town. Crater Lake is 30 miles to the north, and is the only National Park in Oregon. Klamath Falls is for those who cannot get enough of lake living.

Salem: Salem is located right on the Willamette River in northwest Oregon. Salem’s outdoor living appeal is bolstered by a 46-park system that spans over 1800 acres.

Other Things to Note about the Outdoors in Oregon

While this guide will be helpful if you have your heart set on a house by the mountains, or a five minute’s walk from the ocean, these Oregon towns – along with many others – offer plenty more than their main natural highlights. For example, the river town of Salem is close to the Cascades, the mountain town of Eugene is just an hour from the Pacific, and Medford, Oregon offers a whole hodge-podge of outdoor opportunities in equal measure, from kayaking to hunting to hiking.

For Further Reference

Oregon Outdoor Living listings

Oregon Outdoors and Recreation

Travel Oregon

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Posted by admin on March 19th, 2011

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