Crater Lake has to be one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen, it’s absolutely awe-inspiring. Located in southern Oregon, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United Sates at nearly 2000 feet. Interestingly, there are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake, which is probably a contributing factor for it’s brilliant blue color and clarity. I visited Crater Lake National Park during a beautiful Fall day, but after seeing pictures of the area covered in snow, I cannot wait to go in the winter someday…it’s a place of immeasurable beauty. Fees: $10 for car and $5 for motorcycle (7 day pass)
Powell's City of Books
Next, I headed to another famous city landmark, Powell’s City of Books. Located in Pearl District, it claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Housed within four different floors, the multi-level store is a maze of new and used books and other little knick-knacks.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
We next went to Old Town Chinatown in the same area, which has some interesting Chinese shops and restaurants. It also houses the beautiful Lan Su Chinese Garden. One of Portland’s greatest treasures, it is like a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. It is also the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. The garden has its very own teahouse called The Tao of Tea, where we gorged on a variety of soothing teas and snacks while gazing at the magical garden.
Ecola State Park
For hikers, there are many trails to the water through the thick conifer forests of Ecola State Park. Ecola Point, near Ecola State Park, has a viewpoint and picnic area where you can see the panorama of Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and the coastal range. This spectacular view is one of the most photographed on the Oregon coast. A two mile trail connects Ecola Point to the horseshoe-shaped Indian Beach, and a six mile trail leads to Tillamook Head (and yes, “Tillamook” is the name of the well known cheese…the factory is about an hour south of Cannon Beach).
McMenamins Kennedy School
In the evening, my friends took me out for what turned out to be another interesting experience in the city, a movie brewpub. The one we went to was called McMenamins Kennedy School. Situated in the Northeast neighborhood, it is essentially an old school building complete with heritage décor and former classrooms, library, auditorium, and gymnasium. Almost a century later, the rooms have now all been converted into restaurants, bars with pool tables, a movie theatre, brewery and heated swimming pool. It serves as a unique backdrop for an evening out with family or friends. The building also offers rooms for lodging, and guests can check in and rent rooms for days.
The next morning, we ventured out to explore the heritage of the city. The first place we went to was the French Renaissance-style château called Pittock Mansion. Belonging to the family that owned The Oregonian newspaper, the house which was built in 1914 creatively incorporates English, French and Turkish designs. It also features several progressive inventions such as a central vacuum system, intercoms, an elevator and indirect lighting that were in use almost a century ago.