The other day a customer came up to me with three Italian travel books for her upcoming trip and wanted me to tell her which one was “the best.” Not having any idea what type of traveler she was, I suggested she browse each series for an area with which she was familiar. Did the book direct her to places she’d want to go, restaurants, lodgings and activities she’d enjoy (and can afford) and so on? Then, I took my own advice and checked out a new book by Oregon author Kim Cooper Findling.
I had met Kim last year when she read her winning essay, “The Friday’s Trilogy,” which won the Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest in 2011. (The essay is also a chapter in her book, “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir”). Her travel book is part of the Day Trips series, Day Trips from Portland, Oregon. I flipped to the Eugene section and was happy to find my favorite restaurants and all the places I frequently take out of town guests. But I was also surprised to find places I had never heard of. Maybe I just don’t get out much, but I was excited to discover Eugene has its very own olive oil tasting bar (Olive Grand). Also, I had never before heard of the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute—they guide tree climbing expeditions (which can include overnight trips, slumbering in tree canopies—I know my in-laws will love this).
I then read on about other cities and now have a list of places I am longing to visit…all within a few hours drive or less!
Check out some Oregon travel guides below and start planning your next outing, staycation or adventure!
By: Kim Cooper Findling
Rediscover the simple pleasures of a day trip with Day Trips from Portland, OR. This guide is packed with hundreds of exciting things for locals and vacationers to do, see and discover within a two-hour drive of the Portland metro area. With full trip-planning information, Day Trips from Portland, OR helps makes the most of a brief getaway. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Judy Jewell and WC McRae
Moon Spotlight Eugene, Salem & the Willamette Valley is a 70-page compact guide covering the best of Oregon’s largely rural region, including wine country, Champoeg State Park, and Corvallis. Travel writers Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae offer their firsthand advice on what sights are must-sees, and sightseeing highlight maps make planning your time easy. This lightweight guide is packed with recommendations on sights, entertainment, shopping, recreation, accommodations, food, and transportation. Helpful maps guide travelers through these popular Oregon towns. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Tyler Burgess
Walk, run, bike through charming neighborhoods, along the river, up and down forest trails, and the UO campus with these 32 maps in a unique and charming book. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: William L. Sullivan
Richly illustrated with more than 800 full-color photographs and maps, this travel guide features Oregon’s most beautiful 65 hiking trails as well as the state’s car trips, hot springs, bed & breakfasts, towns and museums. Whether you’re planning a trip to Oregon’s coast, mountains or high desert, you’ll find the best things to do and places to stay. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Seabury Blair, Jr.
The Creaky Knees Guide: Oregon is a day-hiking guidebook filled with kinder, gentler trails. Written in a style that will appeal to aging boomers and anyone who, regardless of age, can’t or doesn’t want to walk as far as they once could or would like to, the book covers 100 of the best easy-to-walk hikes throughout the state. Trails are divided into regions, including a section on urban hikes and walks. In addition, a chart at the front of the book compiles the hikes per effort level required, overall hike rating, and best season(s) to hit the trail. Written in a wry but informative tone by outdoor expert and Day Hike! author Seabury Blair Jr., The Creaky Knees Guide is an accessible resource anyone can use to explore the beauty of the Northwest, without breaking too much of a sweat. (Publisher’s Marketing)
Editors: Eric B. Wechter and Molly Moker
Covering Oregon, Washington and Vancouver, this Fodor’s Gold Guide to the Pacific Northwest offers vibrant graphic tools that make planning a trip easy. The full-color guide provides comprehensive planning information on sights, dining and lodging. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Ellen Morris Bishop
For this fully revised and updated 2nd edition with 15 brand new hikes, Ellen Bishop and her dogs, Meesha (border collie mix), Dundee (Australian shepherd), and Kyla (also a border collie mix) covered mile after fun-filled, slobbery mile in Oregon to find the best rolling hills and open meadows for pups and their hiking companions—now they present the best, most dog-friendly trails found throughout the state. These trails do not require leashes (except in parks as designated), and host few hikers and even fewer children. They are free of cliffs, paw-damaging terrain, poison oak, nearby roads, off road vehicle traffic, and other hazards of particular danger for dogs. All of them offer shade and lakes or streams for Fido to play in or enjoy a drink. Many hikes are easily accessible from urban areas including Portland, Eugene-Springfield, Roseburg, and the Medford-Grants Pass area. There are also hikes along the Oregon Coast and in northeast Oregon, in areas including the Wallowa Mountains. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club
Editor: Pete Giordano
Kayakers, canoers, and rafters: rejoice! The classic guide to running Oregon whitewater has been completely updated. 236 runs (35 new to this edition) make this the most comprehensive guide available. Includes new quick-reference index of all runs. Expanded section of exploratory runs for those craving adventure/little-known routes. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Bonnie Henderson
Between 80 and 100 hikes suitable for families, accessible from urban areas with special emphasis on trail highlights with child appeal. Search for frogs and turtles in a pond, stay in a cabin, visit a nature centre, see waterfalls, or discover abundant wildlife. These are just a few of the new hikes families (and anyone looking for an easy outing) will enjoy in these completely redone guidebooks. Each outing highlights points of interest and opportunities for learning about nature on the trail. The hikes range in length from 1 to more than 5 miles round-trip, are rated easy to difficult for children, and feature optional turn-around points for tired feet. (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Katie Wellman and Jon Hart
Sleekly designed and focusing exclusively on locally owned restaurants and stores, these modern city-guides are unique in both form and content. Each featured business is handpicked by the author to represent the crème de la crème of cities beloved by both locals and tourists. The overall selection presents a fresh and unexpected look at each city, highlighting an exciting array of neighborhoods. The convenient size is ideal for bags and purses, while the eye-popping layouts of luscious photographs, efficient maps, and brief hotel recommendations will help make planning an excursion almost as fun as eating and shopping. (Publisher’s Marketing)