Day Trips

When you’re ready to venture out beyond Portland, there’s a lot to do in every direction. Here are some favorites.

Silver Falls State Park – Learn more.

One of 10 waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park
One of 10 waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park

An hour south of Portland, Silver Falls is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres and it includes more than 24 miles of walking trails, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile bike path. Its 8.7-mile Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls. You walk less than a mile to see several stunning falls.

Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge – Learn more.

About 30 minutes west of Portland, the falls are spectacular. An express bus will take you there from the city for $5 roundtrip. Get trip details.

Multnomah Falls is Oregon's tallest at 611 feet.
Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest at 611 feet.

Oregon Gardens – Learn more.

Art in the Oregon Garden
Art in the Oregon Garden

A stunning, 80-acre botanical garden, featuring more than 20 specialty gardens showcasing the diverse botanical beauty of the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Northwest.



Mt. St Helens – Learn more.

View of Mt. St. Helens from inside Visitor Center
Storyboards tell the mountain’s history of eruptions.
On a trail to the base of Mt. St. Helens – 2018

In 1980, this active volcano erupted, killing 57 people and destroying 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway. Several thousand feet of the mountaintop disintegrated into ash blasted into the atmosphere over several states. Today, the land around the mountain is recovering. A visitor center provides history, a film showing the actual eruption and stunning views of the mountain as it is today. We have hiked below the cauldron, visited the visitor center and explored the area twice in the past couple of years. From Portland, it is an easy 70-mile, 1.5-hour drive. We give it a rating of 10 on a scale of 1-10 for stunning views, interesting history, and ease to get there, with well-maintained roads everywhere.