Big mountains, fast-flowing rivers, exhilarating waterfalls, rugged coastline: for pure outdoor adventure, you can't beat Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, often referred to simply as "The Territory". Boasting the state's highest peak, it's easy to fall in love with this spectacular outdoor Mecca—here's a few reasons why. —Michelle Hopkins
stay. The Resort at The Mountain is nestled in the western highlands of the Willamette Valley. It is primarily known as a golf retreat, but don’t be fooled by that. This hideaway features 147 guest rooms and 10 suites, a 27-hole golf course, spa, 18-hole putting course, two restaurants and a pool. A little rustic and out of the way, it offers a serene getaway. For a completely different stay, the Lakeshore Inn in Lake Oswego boasts rooms overlooking Lakewood Bay and an outdoor pool - the perfect antidote for city slickers who need to de-stress.
wine + dine. If you're one of those people who will trek miles for a fish taco, you're in luck. A few yards from your resort room is Mallard's Cafe, offering mouthwatering seafood tacos to rival any five-star resto. Breakfast-wise, Tollgate Inn Bakery is the perfect pit stop to grab a home-baked-like-grandma-used-to-make bite on your way to, say, whitewater rafting, while Holy Taco, situated in Lake Oswego, features traditional southern Mexican fare with authentic taqueria-style flair. Ready for happy hour? Most of the vineyards in the Hood River Valley boast stunning views of the mountain itself. One such winery, Villa Catalana Cellars in Oregon City, includes incredible grounds (complete with some of the world’s rarest plants) and a tasting room-slash-conservatory where you can sip on award-winning wines.
sweat. Put on a pair of authentic cowboy boots and saddle up with Dream Ridge Stables for a trek through old-growth trees and flowing streams, with spectacular views of the Viola Valley, lower Cascades and Mt. Hood. For those craving an adrenaline rush, there’s nothing better than charging head on into Hole-in-the-Wall—a category 4 rapid on the Upper Clackamas River with Northwest Whitewater Adventures. Not only will guide/owner Chris Lessick point out stunning scenery, you can choose (or not) to venture into such heart-pumping rapids as the Toilet Bowl or Bob’s Hole.
don't miss. For foodies, a cooking class at The Kitchen at Middleground Farms is a must (one such class will set you on a culinary journey from Venezuela to Patagonia, with glass of wine in one hand and chopping knife in the other). Also, the Lake Oswego Farmers' Market doesn’t consistently rate five-star for nothing. Besides the fresh local produce, artisan baked goods, cheeses and live music, what makes this market stand out is the amazing array of ethnic cuisine available for breakfast or lunch.