Are you searching for ways to stay local, yet still explore your surroundings in the summer? Here in the Willamette Valley, there are tons of things to do that are right at your doorstep. While wine tasting and wine tours are some of the more popular things to do, there are plenty of fun summer trips to take that are off the beaten path. Here are four summer day trips in the Willamette Valley.


Located under two hours from Dundee, Eugene is the perfect day trip to take in while still staying in the Willamette Valley. Not only is the drive picturesque, with farms and mountains along the way, but the destination is packed with activities. Park your car and then begin walking the University of Oregon campus, stop in some local museums and take in the history, and try some of the local places to eat. This college town should be on your list for when you have the opportunity to explore more of Oregon.

Oregon City

Oregon City is full of history, thanks to being the first permanent Euro-American settlement in the Willamette Valley, as well as the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains. The quaint downtown is the perfect opportunity to enjoy browsing local storefronts. From there, you can take the futuristic-looking municipal elevator up to the viewpoint for expansive views of the entire town. Keep walking the McLoughlin Promenade for about 2 miles to enjoy even more views of the Willamette River from up above.

Lake Oswego

Located about 6 miles south of Portland, Lake Oswego is the perfect summer destination within the Willamette Valley. This city has a variety of things to do for the whole family. Begin your day by taking a hike through Tryon State Park. The various trails are designed for all levels of hiking and is the perfect way to enjoy some exercise as well as scenery. Next, stop in downtown Lake Oswego by Millenium Plaza. If you happen to be there on a Saturday morning, stopping at the Farmer’s Market for a variety of local fare is a must. End the day with a casual lunch by the lake from one of the restaurants located nearby.

Henry Hagg Lake

Henry Hagg Lake is located about 5 miles away from Forest Grove and is a hidden gem of the Willamette Valley. Spend the day at this pristine lake for a relaxing summer activity with family and friends. Since there is nothing nearby, we recommend stopping at Trellis on your trip out to pick up some delicious takeout. What’s better than enjoying some good food, good company, and the naturally beautiful scenery Oregon has to offer?

What are your plans this summer? We hope to be on your list when it comes to restaurants to visit in the Willamette Valley!