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One Tank Trip for Oregon Camping
Total mileage / average drive time:
85.1 miles – 2 hours, 8 minutes
In 1843, a mass of people loaded up their wagons, said goodbye to their neighbors and hit the Oregon Trail as part of the “Great Vacation,” not the “Great Migration” as all the history books would tell you. These Easterners and Midwesterners heard that the Oregon territory was filled with beautiful coastlines, idyllic forests, and a wealth of outdoor recreation, and that ended the “where will we go on vacation this year” arguments. Not buying it? Take your “Great Vacation” through Oregon and see if you don’t agree with our slightly askew take on history!
Located just seven miles west of Portland is our incredibly beautiful starting point, Beaverton. Breathe deep. Smell that? Ah, fresh clean air! Located in the Tualatin Valley, Beaverton is surrounded by no less than 77 vineyards growing fine Pinot Noir grapes, which tend to be a little picky about where they flourish. The long, warm summer days and cool marine breezes are the perfect combination that allows these grapes to produce world-class wines that are on a par with the Pinot Noirs of Europe. This also means that it’s a good area for you to kick back and tour many of these wineries and sample their wines yourself. What’s good for the grape is definitely good for the adventurer! There’s a park within a half mile of every home in Beaverton and you’ll find a wealth of trails everywhere you turn. One highlight is the Tualatin Hills Nature Park, a 222-acre wildlife preserve located right in the heart of Beaverton. Beautiful evergreens, deciduous forests, creeks, wetlands, and ponds abound, with miles of trails for you to run, bike, or hike on. Head up to Cooper Mountain and you’ll enjoy not only an incredible view of the valley and surrounding mountains, but you’ll also enjoy wandering the gardens and grounds of a beautifully restored log home that dates back to 1912.
19.7 miles – 34 minutes
Head south out of Beaverton for the 20-mile trip to Newberg. You probably felt your pace slow a little at our last stop, and in Newberg, you’ll feel yourself slowing even more as soon as you roll into town. Surrounded by vineyards, this area provides the perfect backdrop for you to take a wine tour, fish, and canoe, or maybe hit some of the biking trails along the Willamette River. If you make your way to Champoeg Park, you’ll find a rare combination of history, nature, and recreation opportunities. There are acres and acres of wetlands, forest, and fields within the park for you to explore at your leisure. Take a guided tour and discover what happened to the bustling pioneer town of Champoeg, wander through the 1860s-style garden, and visit the Pioneer Mothers Log Cabin and the Newell House for a glimpse of life in the area long ago. Also visit the Historic Butteville Store located in nearby Aurora and considered the oldest operating store in Oregon. As you explore Newberg, you’ll find a wealth of interesting history, such as the Hoover-Minthorn House, created from the house of our 31st president, Herbert Hoover. Now a museum, the home contains many original furnishings, including the actual bedroom set President Hoover used as a boy.
14.4 miles – 26 minutes
Your next stop is McMinnville, a short 14.4-mile trip from Newberg. This historic city is located just about midway between Portland and the Pacific coast right in the heart of the Willamette Valley’s wine country. There are plenty of wineries to tour in the area, and the rolling green hills of the area provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway or some well-deserved downtime. Venture to McMinnville’s historic downtown, and you’ll be treated to beautiful historic buildings, shops, galleries, and popular restaurants. The beauty of McMinnville lies in its small-town feel of a bygone era that travelers will fall in love with. Make time to visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum before you head out and you’ll get to see the world’s largest flying boat, Howard Hughes’ famous Spruce Goose. There are many other historic aircraft, spacecraft, and artwork on display, and in the museum are a couple of cafes where you can grab a quick snack before moving on.
24.6 miles – 33 minutes
For an interesting little side trip on the way to Lincoln City, pull your RV into Grand Ronde, just a little over half an hour’s drive from McMinnville. Grand Ronde is a thriving Native American community comprised of several different tribes. Travelers will find that its Spirit Mountain Casino, billed as Oregon’s largest casino and entertainment destination, offers top-notch entertainment, fine dining, and gambling opportunities. But, you’ll find more than just a casino here — the tribes are eager to share with you their rich heritage and culture, making this a fascinating and enlightening “win-win” stop.
26.4 miles – 36 minutes
A short drive from Grand Ronde brings up your last stop, Lincoln City. You may think that California and Florida have the title of “Most Incredible Beaches” locked up, but you may change your mind after visiting Lincoln City. There is something magical here about the combination of clean air, the magnificent Pacific Ocean, the broad sandy beaches, and the evergreen forests that define this area. Popular among retirees as well as RVers, Lincoln City is the perfect place to relax and unwind. One of the most unique attractions in Lincoln City began in 1997 when a local artist came up with an intriguing way to ring in the new millennium by placing glass fishing net floats, just like the ones that used to wash up on the shores from Japanese fishing vessels, along the beaches for lucky beachcombers to find. Some 2,000 of these floats are placed on the beaches of Lincoln City every year for beachcombers and unsuspecting beach strollers to find — what a great memento to remember your trip by if you should be lucky enough to stumble upon one! There is more to do in this one location than should be legal. Hire a charter and hit the waters for some deep sea fishing. Make your way to the Drift Creek Covered Bridge for a few pictures or head out for a nice long hike on one of the several trails found in the area, all of which lead you right into the heart of beautiful natural forests where you might come upon such sights as Drift Creek Falls, which you can view from the 240-foot-high suspension bridge that overlooks the falls.
Other Area Sponsors in Oregon:
Logan Road RV Park
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Oregon
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Oregon
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Oregon