Ask anyone who has lived or visited Oregon; this is a fantastic place to live, work and play. There is a reason why Oregon is a popular U.S. travel destination. We love our mountains, valleys, rivers, lush, rugged coast, arid plains and fertile fields. I think Travel Oregon sums it up best:
Why Oregon? Because Oregonians are wild, adventurous and inquisitive. Oregon is a place where people often find themselves roaming endlessly with no other goal than the next great meal, powdery slope, lighthouse view or salmon run. We encourage you to approach Oregon the way Oregonians do, with a sense of humor and adventure. So giddy-up! You’ve got some Oregon exploring to do…
So here are some facts about our state (compiled by Travel Oregon) that you may know have known:
• Oregon is the 10th largest state in the union, covering 97,073 square miles.
• The population of Oregon is only 3.4 million, with 1.5 million living in the Portland area.
• Oregon has no sales tax.
• Oregon’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1859
• The highest elevation point is Mt. Hood at 11,239 feet, and the lowest is at sea level.
• There are more than 6,000 lakes and 112,000 miles of rivers and streams.
• Oregon contains more than 5,900 registered campsites along with 230 state parks and 13 national forests.
• Nearly half of Oregon’s total area is forested – close to 30 million acres.
• There are 16 known hot springs in Oregon.
• At 1,932 feet, Crater Lake, located in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States.
• Located in the Northeastern corner of the state, Hells Canyon is the deepest river-carved gorge in North America. At 7,900 feet, it’s deeper than the Grand Canyon.
• The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the richest fossil bed sites in the world.
• In the Klamath Forest National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can view more than 1,000 majestic bald eagles – the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the U.S.
• The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest freshwater marsh in the U.S.
• Oregon has 12 commercial downhill ski areas, with 400 trails in three mountain ranges.
• Naturally carved within an outcropping of solid marble, Oregon Caves National Monument is one of southern Oregon’s oldest attractions.
• Oregon has four National Historic Trails and 14 National Historic Districts.
• Oregon has more than 7,000 bridges, including 53 covered bridges.
• There are nine lighthouses and one light ship along the Oregon Coast.
• Oregon is pronounced OR-UH-GUN, never OR-EE-GONE.
• There are currently 17 ghost towns in Oregon.
• The Oregon hazelnut is the state’s official nut, and Oregon grows 99 percent of the entire U.S. commercial crop.
• The pear is Oregon’s state fruit, ranking as the top-selling tree fruit crop.
• There are more than 700 vineyards in Oregon, planted on about 13,700 acres. In the 2004 vintage, there were 19,400 tons of wine grapes harvested, and nearly 1.2 million cases of wine made. Oregon produces more than 40 different varietals of wine grapes.
• Letting an attendant pump your gas is mandatory; you may not pump your own in the state of Oregon.
Sure it is the middle of winter, but that does not mean you can’t plan a fantastic trip to Portland! There is always something to do in Portland; here are just a few fun festivals to check out during your stay:
Fertile Ground Festival through January 29, 2012
This is a 10-day, citywide arts festival presented by Portland Area Theatre Alliance. This event showcases play premieres, art installations and events, all created by local artists.
Chinese New Year January 23-February 6, 2012
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon! This is a two-week celebration at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and includes lion dances, children’s activities, martial arts and cultural and historical demonstrations. The festival culminates with a traditional lantern-viewing ceremony. Events are free with garden admission.
Portland Seafood and Wine Festival February 3-4, 2012
This festival celebrates both the bounty harvested from the Pacific Ocean and the state’s vineyards (and scheduled smack dab in the middle of the Dungeness crab season!). Festival-goers enjoy great food, wine and live music at Oregon Convention Center.
Portland Jazz Festival February 17-26, 2012
Timed to coincide with Black History Month, the Portland Jazz Festival features performances around the city, including ticketed headline concerts, free shows and a range of educational opportunities.
Want more? Visit travelportland.com for a great list of art galleries, museums and other attractions (like Powell’s City of Books) to explore this winter.
The Grand Hotel in Bridgeport would like to say congratulations to the The Washington County Visitors Association! The WCVA and Oregon’s Washington County were recognized by readers of SportsEvents magazine in its 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.
SportsEvents is a trade publication serving the sports event industry, including event organizers, sports commissions, destination marketing organizations and other sporting event-related industries and businesses.
Sports event professionals were asked to name the sports commission, convention and visitors bureaus, or sports events venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the groups they host.
Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on the results from an online system that registered more than 3,000 votes.
2012 Readers’ Choice Award recipients represent destinations and sports venues throughout the United States. Recipients in Oregon include: Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports; Washington County Visitors Association (Beaverton) and Visit Bend
A complete list of award winners is available online, and winners are listed in the January 2012 issue of SportsEvents.