Hood River, Oregon
Oregon is blessed with spectacular scenery around every bend, from the snowcapped peak of Mount Hood to the electric blue waters of Crater Lake National Park. Start your tour of the state in Hood River, an hour’s drive from Portland and best known by kiteboarders for the wind tunnel on the Columbia River Gorge. Another 90-minute drive and you’ll reach Maupin and the chance to raft down the Deschutes River. Then it’s on to the outdoors hub of Bend to go on smooth singletrack rides, like Phil’s Trail in Phil’s Canyon. The big finale is a hike around the rim of Crater Lake National Park, where hopefully you booked a room at the Crater Lake Lodge. You’ve never seen a lake such a shade of vibrant blue, the result of sunlight pouring down on the deepest lake in America. California deserves the hype, but if you want to take your family out West, consider Oregon, a state with far less traffic at much more affordable prices.