Aerial view of the coast of Yachats, Oregon.

13 Most Underrated Towns In Oregon To Take A Trip To

In the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America is the state of Oregon, separated from Washington by the Columbia River in the north and from Idaho by the Snake River in the east. This state is the ninth-largest in the United States and is slightly larger than the United Kingdom. The physical terrain of Oregon is quite diverse, from the lush rainforests and fertile valleys to the harsh deserts. This rugged and varied terrain opens the state up to numerous outdoor activity possibilities. Oregon is home to many tourist hotspots, making the state thrive year-round. Some of the best spots to visit are hidden in towns that tourists and locals have often been underrated and overlooked. Here is a highlight of the most underrated towns in Oregon to discover!

Hood River

Landscape view of beautiful Hood River city with mountain and city in the background
Landscape view of beautiful Hood River city.

Hood River is nicknamed the "Windsurfing capital of the world," its gates are always open to art lovers, food lovers, wine enthusiasts, and adventurers. An hour from the famous Portland city, it is easy to underestimate this town. 

The Columbia River runs through Hood River, accounting for the out-of-the-world windsurfing and kiteboarding spots. This town's vast Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows areas provide visitors with skiing opportunities, with Timberline having North America's most extended Ski season. Even when you visit in summer, you can still go skiing.

Food lovers can enjoy the self-guided tour of Hood River Fruit Loop. At the loop, you get to try fruits from several fruit stands, drink the best wine and beer in the region, and enjoy the scents of freshly cut flowers from the flower farm. 

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach Landscape, Oregon USA. Cannon Beach with blue sky in the background. Rocks on a shore on a sunny summer day in Oregon Coast
Cannon Beach, Oregon. 

Named by National Geographic Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Most Beautiful Places in the World" in 2013, Cannon Beach deserves every award! This town is a must-visit, from its pristine beaches to its busy downtown.

Famous for the shoreline rock formation called Haystack Rock, many people might underrate this town as one with few things to do. However, there is so much more to the region. Watch the sunset behind the waves of the Columbia River along the Oregon Coastline at the Ecola State Park. Discover downtown Cannon Beach to enjoy that small-town charm. The downtown area is flooded with boutiques, antique stores, and restaurants. Be part of the 4th of July celebration featuring parade displays by locals!

Baker City

Aerial view of Baker City, Oregon on a hazy Day
Aerial View of Baker City, Oregon, on a hazy Day.

Cuddled between the Elkhorn Mountains on the west and the Wallowa Mountains on the east, Baker City is the perfect destination for tourists looking for an adventure. This town was named in commemoration of Edwin D. Baker, the first US senator and only member of Congress to be killed during the Civil War. 

Famous during the Gold Rush for its mining activities, this town has become a shadow of itself, but there are some fantastic spots to visit in Baker City. Many tourists might have passed through this town on their way to Hells Canyon but did not stop to admire its beautiful scenery.

The Elkhorn mountain ranges found in the town have trails that are perfect for hiking, and at the pinnacle of this mountain is the Rock Creek Butte, which gives you a jaw-dropping view of the town. Visit the Geiser Grand Hotel, which is over a hundred years old but still functioning. 


 A view looking down the main street in downtown, Sisters.
  Main Street in downtown Sisters.

Sisters is a  small, old-fashioned, charming town named after the three volcanic mountain peaks close to it. One can easily miss this town when visiting Bend

This little town has a lot to offer. There are several miles of hiking trails on the Three Sisters Wilderness, which gives a perfect view of the cascade peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and alpine trees. This town is an ideal skiing destination, as it snows all year round, just that it snows only on mountain peaks during summer. 

The highlight of being in Sisters is participating in the town's Festivals. Attend the Sisters Quilt Show, which annually displays over 500 quilts worldwide. 


The town of Yachats on the rough Oregon coast in a beautiful sunset scene
Aerial view of the coast of Yachats.

Yachats is the perfect beach town to relax and unwind. It can be found between the Central Oregon Coast range and the Pacific Ocean. This small town is between two trendy cities in the country, Florence and Newport. One can easily get distracted by the size of these cities and ignore the small town.

However, it is a small town with many hiking trails, biking trails, wildlife, and a bubbling Main Street. You can visit the hiking trails, the most outstanding being the "Amanda Trail" in remembrance of a blind Coos woman who suffered injustice years ago. Enjoy a thrilling bike adventure on the Oregon State University Campus Bike Trail. You will have a great time watching the wildlife activities at Cummins Peak. 

Downtown Yachats is very walkable. You can grab a bite from local restaurants and shop for clothes and antiques to take home as souvenirs.


This is South Silver Falls in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon, which is near Silverton
South Silver Falls in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon.

Silverton is one of the hidden gems in Oregon, seated on the eastern edge of the Willamette Valley. This town is a small, old-fashioned town that has made provisions for visitors from across the world.

Tourists like to see the Alpacas and llamas at Silver Falls Alpaca Farm. The farm owners showcase their animals to visitors and tourists alike. Spend the day enjoying the view of Silver Creek Reservoir. You can go fishing at a lake in this area.

Grab a drink from Silver Falls, the local brewing company, or go wine tasting at local wineries. Either way, try out the locally brewed beverages before leaving town.

Cottage Grove

Centennial covered bridge in downtown Cottage Grove, Oregon with autumn foliage
Covered bridge in Cottage Grove. 

Popularly known as the "Covered Bridge Capital in the West," Cottage Grove is an old but charming town. This town has been a popular shooting location for movies like the 1978 Animal House comedy. 

As the covered bridge capital, this town has six covered bridges, of which five are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For fascinating site history, you can visit places like the Cottage Grove Historical Museum, the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum, and the Oregon Aviation History Center.

Ride down the trail path at Row River National Recreation Trail to Downtown Cottage Grove and admire the beautiful murals. Each mural tells a unique story. Mix up with the locals at the annual Bohemia Mining celebration.


Beautiful bridge with mountains in the background in Mosier
Aerial view of a bridge in Mosier, Oregon. Image credit MelWood via Shutterstock.

Mosier is seated along the banks of the Columbia River. This town has a rich and fertile land. It is known for producing lush cherries, prunes, and apples. More than just another agricultural town, its geographical position opened the city up to outdoor activities, from windsurfing to hiking. 

A popular tourist attraction is the Mosier Twin Tunnels trail. This trail connects the town to the Hood River. This trail provides an astonishing view of the waterfront. Tourists can hike, bike down the track, or ski across. 

As an agricultural town, there are a lot of lush vineyards and local wineries producing world-class wine that keeps your taste buds longing for more. Other places to see in Mosier include the Mosier Creek Falls and Mosier Plateau.

Depoe Bay

Aerial shot of Depoe Bay in Orgeon and its crystal blue waters
Aerial shot of Depoe Bay in Oregon.

Popularly called the "Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast," Depoe Bay is famous for its immense whale activities around this region. This town is home to the smallest navigable harbor in the world.

Boiler Bay Scenic Viewpoint gives you a perfect ocean picture, which is ideal for bird-watching. The most beautiful thing about this viewpoint is how beautiful the sunset looks from where you stand. 

Depoe Bay has only one beach, and it is a fun place to spend the day making friends and playing with the ocean's waves.


The Liberty Theater and downtown Astoria
The Liberty Theater and downtown Astoria. Image credit Bob Pool via Shutterstock.

At the mouth of the Columbia River is the ancient city of Astoria. The town presents visitors with a front-row seat to view the waterfronts. The Buoy Beer Company is built on a pier, with a glass floor allowing customers to watch the sea life below while eating. 

The town has been a shooting location for many famous movies, such as The Goonies. Film enthusiasts can enjoy a visit to the Oregon Film Museum, a museum commemorated to celebrate these award-winning movies. 

The Abandoned Flavel House is believed to be haunted by ghosts. This house has attracted tourists curious about what happened to the Flavel family.


Riverwalk in Siuslaw River in Florence, Oregon
Riverwalk in Siuslaw River in Florence, Oregon.

The town of Florence is also nicknamed the "City of Rhododendrons," It is a small town known for its dunes, beaches, and sumptuous seafood meals. The Sea Lions Cave is a significant tourist attraction. Watching the Sea Lions try to keep themselves warm during the cold winter season is a sight for sore eyes.

Thor's Well is another natural wonder in Florence, leaving you in awe. Watch the ocean waves hit against the rocks and drain into a hole. Be careful not to get sucked into the hole.

Downtown Florence is a walkable and charming place to spend your evenings. The streets are lined with stores, and the smell of delicious pastries from the local bakeries fills the air. Interact with the locals and find out more about this small town!


Buildings in the downtown historic district in Jacksonville, Oregon
Buildings in the downtown historic district in Jacksonville. Image credit Underawesternsky via Shutterstock.

Jacksonville is located west of Medford in the valley of Jackson Creek. It is a small town with so much to offer tourists and locals. Explore this small town and learn more about its mining history when you join the Jackson Trolley tour. 

Downtown Jacksonville is like taking a step back in time, with the well-preserved Victorian-styled buildings and the array of antique shops. This area of Jacksonville showcases a perfect blend of the present and the past.

Attend the most famous festival in Jacksonville, the Britt Music and Arts Festival. The town comes alive with performances by local artists and the display of unique artworks.

Coos Bay

Welcome to Coos Bay sign.
Welcome to Coos Bay sign.

Coos Bay is situated where the Coos River empties into the Coos Bay in the Pacific Ocean. This town is the largest settlement on Oregon's coast. Study the images and objects found at the Coos Bay Museum and Maritime Collection. Each thing and image is a piece of Coos Bay's history puzzle.

Visit the century-old Mingus Park. This park has a place for every activity you can think of, from skateboarding to baseball. Ride an ATV around the giant coastal dunes at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Oregon is a vast land. Hidden in this vast expanse of land are historic towns looking for people to hear their stories. In return, this town offers them a long line of entertainment. These towns have been underrated and overlooked for a long time. It is time to discover the hidden gems in these historic towns. Take a trip to one of these 13 most underrated towns in Oregon today, either solo or with friends and family.


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