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Summer Road Trip: Where to Vacation around Portland

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A Summer Road Trip may be the answer to your vacation dilemma. Does this sound familiar? Your family is wary to fly but the kids are going stir-crazy at home. A family road trip to a nearby city could scratch that itch to travel without putting everyone at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Driving together limits how much contact your family will have with the general public. If you’re playing it safe but still want to get out, you can pick somewhere close so there’s no need to stop for a bathroom break. If you want to go a little further out, you can plan your stops and wear your PPE as soon as you exit the car.

Oregon has a wealth of fun places to go. And with Portland being nestled in the middle of beaches, cities, national forests, and camp grounds, you have a wide range of options to choose from. So pack those snacks, buckle up, and enjoy a little well-deserved family time!

Summer Road Trip Destinations

If you’re looking for somewhere you can drive without having to make stops, consider the following:


Portland is a quick ninety minute drive from plenty of beautiful beaches. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a little sunshine and the sound of the waves, try the Canon or Del Rey beach sites. Experts recommend gathering in the open air as opposed to confined spaces. Just make sure to check ahead to see if the beach is open. Also consider how crowded sites typically are. The ultimate goal is to find a spot with extremely low risk of exposure.

If you want to enjoy the beach but worry about shared restrooms and big crowds, look into hotels and Air BnB’s in the area. You can enjoy a little sea breeze without being around too many people.

National Forests

National Forests are beginning to open daytime activities but so far most campgrounds remain closed. The Deschutes National Forest is just under four hours outside of Portland and will open boat ramps and allow recreational activities.

If you’re intending to make a hefty drive, look into where you might stay so you can enjoy the fresh air for a few days. Officials have not yet cleared campsites for reopening. So you’ll want to look into clean and safe accommodations.

State and Local Parks

For closer options, consider a mini-road trip. Drive out to a state or local park and pack picnic supplies or your favorite frisbees. Larger parks will have plenty of room for families to practice social distancing while still enjoying the sun. Laurelhurst Park is nearby and currently open for picnics.

The Shelter in Place order has taken a physical and mental toll on many. Follow CDC safety practices, stay alert, and avoid exposure by planning ahead. With a little forethought and research, you can still enjoy your summer days.

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