Encircle Oregon

Encircle Oregon: The best way to experience Oregon is by starting along the Pacific Coast at Cannon Beach. After visiting Portland, travel straight south along Interstate 5. Your 300 mile journey to the California border takes you by some delightful cities you are bound to enjoy.

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1 Barefoot in Pacific Ocean next to Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

On Oregon’s Pacific coast is the fascinating Haystack Rock. The giant monolith rises 235 feet from the sands of Cannon Beach. It is accessible from shore during low tide. At high tide, however, be careful: many people have been stranded by fast rising water and had to be rescued. Next to it are two smaller yet impressive rock towers called the Needles. This sandy beach and shallow, warm water are perfect for a barefoot stroll with your best friend.

1766 S Hemlock St, Tolovana Park, OR 97145

2 Allow Me Umbrella Man Statue in Portland, Oregon

The locals in Portland, Oregon, call the Pioneer Courthouse Square their living room. It is adorned by a life-size statue of a businessman wearing a three-piece suit, carrying a blue umbrella and hailing a taxi. The sculpture by Seward Johnson is named “Allow Me.” The locals refer to it as, “Umbrella Man.” The adjoining federal building that lends its name to the plaza is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The Pioneer Courthouse was built in 1875, over one hundred years before the square opened.

701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

3 Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem, Oregon

Oregon’s first two capitol buildings were destroyed by fire. The second one, used from 1876 to 1935, had a traditional appearance. This third version, constructed in Salem in 1938, has a distinctive Art Deco design. Crowing the stark, marble façade is a ribbed, cylinder dome. At the very top is an 8.5 ton, gold-leaf statue representing the Oregon Pioneer. The sculpture is reachable by climbing the tower’s 121 spiraling steps to an observation deck.

900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301

4 Oregon State Capitol Rotunda Dome in Salem, Oregon

In the floor of Oregon’s State Capitol is a bronze replica of the state seal. Between it and the dome’s 106 foot ceiling are four large murals portraying key historic events such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The interior also features a ring of eagles, slender rectangular windows and eight medallions representing the state seal. The 33 stars signify Oregon’s admission as the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.

900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301

5 Chaplin, W.C. Fields and Theda Bara Mural on Elsinore Theater Wall in Salem, Oregon

Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp, Theda Bara as a femme fatale nicknamed The Vamp, and William Claude Dukenfield as W.C. Fields the “The Eccentric Juggler” are three vaudeville and movie stars featured in this mural in Salem, Oregon. Jim Mattingly painted the 68 by 64.5 foot mural on the wall of the historic Elsinore Theater in 1984. Mattingly died of ALS in 2005. In 2013, a fundraiser generated money to commission Dan Cohen to restore the work of art.

170 High St SE, Salem, OR 97301

6 Red Wine Grapes on Vine in Roseburg, Oregon

Mention west coast vineyards and the immediate association is California. The Golden State produces 90% of American wine. However, its neighbor to the north has over 300 vineyards. Most of Oregon’s vintages are delicious and reasonably priced. The vineyards are famous for their Pinot Noir. Clusters of black grapes like these are responsible for the delectable wine.

Delfino Vineyards, 3829 Colonial Rd, Roseburg, OR 97471

7 Hotel Josephine Mural Left Side Detail by John Michener in Grants Pass, Oregon

The Hotel Josephine in Grants Pass, Oregon, was built in 1893. Each room of the luxury accommodations featured electricity, gas for cooking and a wood burning stove for heat. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1975. This mural painted on the 1925 expansion shows the hotel in its early 20th century glory. This is the left detail of the wonderful mural painted by John Michener.

310 NW 6th St, Grants Pass, OR 97526

8 Hotel Josephine Mural Right Side Detail by John Michener in Grants Pass, Oregon

On the corner of E and Sixth Streets in Grants Pass is a mural recreating the Hotel Josephine constructed in 1893. In 1925, it was renamed the Redwoods Hotel. Fifty years later, the historic property was torn down. This is the right detail of an almost three-dimensional painting by John Michener on the old Redwoods Hotel’s six-floor, concrete addition. The building, which is now mostly an office complex, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

310 NW 6th St, Grants Pass, OR 97526

Cottage For Sale Mural in Grants Pass, Oregon

“First Friday Art Night” is a monthly event in Grants Pass when residences stroll through downtown and enjoy the visual, literary and performing arts. Yet there are plenty of artworks to enjoy every day with so many wall murals around, including this one called, “Cottage for Sale.” The pedestrian traffic light on the left is real.

9 Victorian Mural of First National Bank of Southern Oregon in Grants Pass, Oregon

When entering Grants Pass, Oregon, you drive under a sign reading, “It’s the Climate.” This has welcomed visitors since 1920. Then you start noticing the marvelous downtown buildings. They have been carefully maintained and refurbished. During its history, Grants Pass was a major stop for stagecoaches, the Oregon-California Railroad and travelers along the Rouge River. This wall mural by R. E. Colton is called, “On the Road of a Thousand Wonders.” The Victorian building was the First National Bank of Southern Oregon when it was built in 1890. Now it is the Old Town Marketplace.

208 NW 6th St H, Grants Pass, OR 97526

10 Bear Holding Pig Statue from BearFest in Grants Pass, Oregon

For three years, a community art project in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon, commissioned local artists to create and paint bears of all shapes, sizes and personalities. Previous years they decorated eagles and other indigenous animals. In the summers of 2010 and 2014, the BearFest returned and graced the street corners with these adorable creatures before they were auctioned. This example is of a bear holding a piglet. If you like bears, check out the Bear Hotel owned by Evergreen Bank. Inside the 23,000 square foot warehouse are countless bears on display.

Bear Hotel, 2101 NE Spalding Avenue, Grants Pass, OR 97526