The Seven Wonders of Oregon

July 8, 2015
Kayla Bernardino
3 min read

One of our bloggers, Kayla, is a traveler at heart. Always excited for new sights, sounds, and adventures, she has traveled to many different places, from Hawaii to Costa Rica. To inspire you and your trips, Kayla is sharing her experiences, travels, and all that she’s learned along the way.

Image source: Kayla Bernardino

Oftentimes, it seems that a lot of my peers want to “get out” and experience the beauty of exotic, far-off lands. I’m no exception and have a pretty bad case of the travel bug, but I have also acknowledged just how much there is to see and do within our very own country.

Oregon was one of those places I often overlooked, as it was simply the “state above my state.” I never looked into traveling there, nor did I know just how beautiful it really is! I should have known better. Truly, each state has its own merits (props to Mother Nature).

Fortunately, in late May, I was able to go on a road trip to explore part of the Pacific Northwest. For those of you who aren’t aware, Travel Oregon launched a campaign called Oregon’s Seven Wonders in order to help strengthen the state’s tourism industry. These “seven wonders” consist of the Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge, Painted Hills, Mount Hood, Smith Rock, Crater Lake, and the Wallowas. With a little travel and trip planning help from some online guides, I was able to see half of them.

Image source:
Image source: Kayla Bernardino

The Painted Hills, one of three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, were my favorite, showcasing spectacular golds and reds. Cape Perpetua was a beaut too. The fog over the trees was quite a sight to see. But be forewarned: one of the things on my must-see list was Thor’s Well. Anyone with similar aspirations should know that the photograph circulating the Internet is somewhat misleading.

I asked a local Oregonian where Thor’s Well was located, and she talked about how everyone has been asking about it recently. To her, it was really nothing special. She suggested that it be skipped. In reality, as I found out later, I had actually walked past it. The tide was low, so it was mostly just a hole. Still cool, but nothing like the photo.

Image source: Kayla Bernardino
Image source: Kayla Bernardino

Now, camping in Cape Perpetua is a must. There’s nothing quite like a campfire at night, and again, it helps you save on accommodation costs. The tent I purchased at Target for $25 held up against the moisture of the rain; though the inside of the tent was a little wet in the morning. If you’re interested in these kinds of sleeping arrangements, make sure you look at the availability of campsites ahead of time, as camping in the ‘ol PNW is pretty popular.

Since I only saw half of Oregon’s wonders and barely had the chance to explore Portland, it looks like another trip is in order!

Image source: Kayla Bernardino
Image source: Kayla Bernardino

Featured Image Source: Kayla Bernardino