You've got a week off, a car, some gas money and hopefully good spring weather. It's time to go exploring!
Remember before hitting the open road to check off our adventure checklist so that you'll be ready for whatever spring weather rolls in and whatever fabulous adventures you encounter. Here are a few road trips to put on your list if you're looking to get outside, see some new places (or hang out somewhere familiar and loved), breathe some fresh air and enjoy the scenery!
Florence on the Oregon Coast
Spring is an excellent time to tour Florence's miles of wide-open beaches in solitude before the summer visitors arrive. The weather may be warm and sunny, or cool and cloudy, but it's always beautiful! Hike, ride horses, fly a kite or take a dune buggy ride. Try sandboarding or windsurfing. Or just enjoy the gentle pastime of beachcombing. Florence has many affordable inns, motels and vacation rentals.
In Historic Old Town Florence, the historic riverfront offers a classic Oregon Coast experience from taffy and clam chowder to t-shirt shops and crab shacks serving up the catch of the day.
Oakridge - Westfir
Not everyone heads to the beaches. If the mountains call to you, drive up to Oakridge - Westfir where a relaxed, uncrowded scene is built on the affinity for the gorgeous forest surrounding it. Spend the week in peaceful quiet, tucked away in a mountain retreat. You're likely to find yourself sipping craft beers on the local pub patio alongside anglers, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts, foragers and botanists.
The shoulder season around Oakridge promises good hotel deals, a warm welcome from the locals, and the first look at the hiking trails re-emerging from snow drifts. Since trails are soft from recent rains and snowmelt, extra good stewardship is required to keep them rut-free and stable, so tread carefully and hold off trail riding until conditions improve. Enjoy the rewards of crisp days, steaming hot springs and flowing rivers and waterfalls. Please note that recent area wildfires may have impacted some trails and recreational destinations in the general vicinity.
Also up in the Cascades is the McKenzie River region known for its rafting, fishing and hot springs. While areas in the community are still recovering from the wildfires of the last few years (please be sensitive), lodging and restaurants are open for business! Hike the famous McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, see waterfalls at their fullest, and enjoy the transition between winter and summer. Be prepared for spring snow and continued cold weather.
Creswell & Cottage Grove
Step back in time along the streets of small towns. Here the lazy days of spring break are filled with cycling, waterfall hiking and touring magnificent murals, historic covered bridges or tracking down the filming sites from beloved movies. Creswell and Cottage Grove focus on the simple pursuits of pleasure, from an afternoon of golf to sitting outside a Main Street cafe with a cup of coffee or a craft beer and a promising good read from the used book store across the street.
These quiet communities border wine country for easy trips to vineyards or artisan farms. Talented locals offered stellar evening entertainment from live music at the bars to amazing community stage productions.