Washington Bucket List ~ Peninsulas and Coast Region

Well guys, I slacked. I forgot to come on here yesterday and make a post! To make it up to you I’ll do a bonus one on Saturday since I normally take weekends off from writing. But let’s be honest, what even is a weekend anymore?

Today we head into the state of Washington. I was surprised that I’m finding less to do in Washington than Oregon, but Washington is also home to a lot larger National Parks that take up more time to explore. It could also be that they maybe just aren’t as specific in their travel guide. Either way, here’s a much shorter list than I anticipated in our first region of the Peninsulas and Coast.


  • Rialto Beach: Located adjacent to part of Olympic National Park, this beach is renowned for its top notch tide pools.


  • Cape Disappointment: Located in the very southwestern corner of the state, this is one of the foggiest places in the United States.

Port Angeles

  • Olympic National Parks: This national park is one of the top parks I want to visit in my lifetime. It has a little bit of everything, from rain forests to the coast to hot springs.
  • Shipwreck Point: Explore a rocky nature reserve.

All attractions found in the 2019 Washington Visitor’s Guide.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Portland Region

Today we reach the end of the Oregon Bucket List series, which works out perfectly to take a brief break during Holy Week/Easter online and in home activities and kick off strong again with the state of Washington next Monday. Today, time to explore the Portland area!


  • Hogan Butte Nature Park: Climb to the summit for panoramic views of the town.

Lake Oswego

  • George Rogers Park: Explore walking trails along the river and the historic “Iron Furnace.”

Oregon City

  • Canemah Bluff Nature Park: Try out this circuit of hiking trails.
  • End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center: Honors the journey of trail pioneers.
  • McLoughlin Promenade: This linear park gives a great overlook of Willamette Falls.
  • Museum of the Oregon Territory: This museum just further adds to the history of the area.
  • Willamette Falls: Check out the nation’s second largest falls in volume.


  • Hoyt Arboretum: Contains 2000 species of trees and 12 miles of trails.
  • Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for the Holocaust Education: Check out these introspective and thought provoking exhibits.
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry: Check out these hands on exhibits including a retired Navy submarine.
  • Pioneer Courthouse Square: Honors the pioneers who settled in the area.
  • Powell Butte Nature Park: Family friendly nature area with stunning viewpoints.
  • Powell’s City of Books: World’s largest independent bookstore.
  • Portland Japanese Garden: Offers eight distinct Japanese gardens.
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park: Offers a path for walkers along the Willamette River.

All attractions found in the 2019 Oregon and Travel Portland Visitor Guides.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Willamette Valley Region

Today we explore the region that Oregon Trail pioneers longed to reach, the Willamette Valley. This is also the region that hosts the state’s capitol.


  • Albany Historic Carousel and Museum: View a collection of hand carved and painted creatures.


  • Sahalie, Koosah, and Tamolitch Falls: Utilize the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail to view these three wonders in the Willamette National Forest.


  • Molalla River State Park: This park sits at the confluence of three waterways.


  • Alsea Falls Recreation Site: Access two rumbling cascades.


  • Proxy and Salt Creek Falls: Two more waterfalls located within the Willamette National Forest.


  • Oregon State Capitol: Another capitol building to check off our list.
  • Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge: Connects three urban parks.


  • Oregon Garden: Botanical garden featuring the diversity of the Pacific Northwest.


  • Silver Falls State Park: Walk behind falls on the Trail of Ten Falls.

Sweet Home

  • Sankey Park: Visit the relocated Weddle Covered Bridge.


  • Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site: Preserves the state’s last remaining water powered mill.


  • Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm: Iconic spot along an agricultural route.

All attractions found in the 2019 Oregon and Willamette Valley Visitor Guides.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Region

Headed into a gorgeous region filled with mountains and waterfalls today! Lots of outdoor areas to explore!

Bridal Veil

  • Bridal Veil Falls: Beautiful waterfall to explore.

Cascade Locks

  • Bridge of the Gods: Famed bridge over the Columbia.
  • Dry Creek Falls Trail: Hike to this brisk falls.


  • Multnomah Falls: Oregon’s top tourist attractions.
  • Women’s Forum State Park: Offers breathtaking views of the Columbia Gorge.

The Dalles

  • Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum: Tells the tale of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Fort Dalles Museum: Preserves the stories of trail pioneers.
  • National Neon Sign Museum: Explore the nostalgia of a bygone era.


  • Pup Creek Falls: Moderate hike to a two tiered waterfall.


  • Blue Lake Regional Park: Beautiful wetlands park.
  • Salish Ponds: Explore a wetland park nature trail.


  • White River Falls State Park: Offers hiking trails with views of the falls.


  • Mosier Twin Tunnels: Tunnel located at the end of the Columbia River Highway.

Mt. Hood Village

  • Ramona Falls: Stair stepping waterfall.
  • Umbrella and Sahalie Falls: Accessed from Mt. Hood Meadows Ski and Snowboard Resort.


  • Tom McCall Nature Preserve: Provides breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge.


  • Jonsrud Viewpoint: Expansive views of Devil’s Backbone, the final obstacle on the Oregon Trail.


  • Cottonwood Canyon State Park: Perfect park for stargazing.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 Oregon and Columbia Gorge to Mt. Hood Visitor Guides.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Central Region

Today’s Oregon region brings us to the center of the state and focuses on the city of Bend and the surrounding area.


  • Deschutes National Forest: Check out the Todd Lake Loop Trail.
  • Deschutes River Trail: Explore Benham and Dillon Falls along this walking path.
  • High Desert Museum: Exhibits display the birds and wildlife that live in the lava landscape.
  • Newberry National Volcanic Monument: Learn about the area’s volcanic past and enjoy a nice vista of Paulina Peak.
  • Pilot Butte: Old volcano you can climb within city limits.

Fort Rock

  • Fort Rock Homestead Village Museum: Explore abandoned homesteads at this outdoor museum.


  • Crooked River National Grassland: Offers several hiking trails and standout landmarks of the Peninsula and the Island.


  • Sherars Falls: Watch some of the local tribe fish for salmon on platforms below the falls.


  • Smith Rock State Park: Beautiful rock park that is a favorite for rock climbers.
  • Steelhead Falls: Another set of falls to explore.

Warm Springs

  • Museum at Warm Springs: First tribal museum in the state of Oregon.

All attractions found in the 2019 Oregon and Central Oregon Visitor Guides.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Eastern Region

Today as it is miserably snowing outside my window, I write of future explorations through Eastern Oregon.


  • Lake Owyhee State Park: Visit this beautiful lake nestled in a canyon.


  • Steens Mountain: Hike the largest fault block in North America.


  • ¬†National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center: Explore original wagon ruts!


  • SAGE Center: Explore the region’s agricultural and technological heritage that helped shaped its future.


  • Hat Rock State Park: Explore this unique geological wonder.

Jordan Valley

  • Pillars of Rome: Another geological wonder to explore.


  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument: Learn about the fossils found in the area and also explore Sheep Rock and Painted Hills.


  • Tamastslikt Cultural Center: Explore the history of the tribes in the area and the devastation that came to them during westward expansion.


  • Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge: Home to antelope, bighorn sheep, and elk.


  • Hells Canyon: Explore the deepest river gorge in America.


  • Catherine Creek State Park: Hike and camp along a crystal clear creek in this more secluded state park.


  • Cottonwood Canyon State Park: Great park for hiking and camping.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 Oregon and Eastern Oregon Travel Guides.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Southern Region

Hey there everybody! I’m finally back at the bucket list posts! I had to take a week or so to mourn the fact that we weren’t actually getting to do our March travels that would have allowed for some more personal posts about our travels, and the fact that our May trip is looking pretty grim as well! Hoping we can reschedule some trips later in the year!¬† But for now I’m back at the lists, and we will see how long I can keep it going before I run out of travel guides that haven’t made it to our house yet! As of right now, (with a break for Easter even though Easter is far from normal this year), we will have content out for Oregon, Washington, and Alaska that will take us through the start of May!

Today as we continue into the second region of Oregon, we will focus on the Southern Region.

Cave Junction

  • Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve: Take a fun tour to explore this cave.

Fort Rock

  • Fort Rock State Park: Explore the tuft ring that is all that remains of this old volcano.


  • Colliding Rivers Viewpoint: Enjoy a stunning natural site.

Klamath Falls

  • Crater Lake National Park: Explore the beauty of this stunning lake.


  • Summer Lake Hot Springs: Enjoy a hot soak in the 1920s bathhouse.


  • Wildlife Safari: Enjoy a wildlife safari in this drive thru park.

All attractions found in the 2019 Oregon and Southern Oregon Visitor Guides.

Oregon Bucket List ~ Oregon Coast Region

Today we move into a new state in our Bucket List series: Oregon. Oregon is split into 7 distinct tourism regions. My research for future Oregon bucket list posts is still a work in progress, but I think it’s safe to say that this coastal region may very likely be the longest list of the regions! There are just so many state parks and lighthouses worth stopping to visit along this stretch of highway!

Arch Cape

  • Hug Point State Park: Visit to see the seasonal waterfall.


  • Astoria Column: Climb to the top for a birds eye view.
  • Columbia River Maritime Museum: Explore the story of one of the busiest ports on the West coast.
  • Hanthorn Cannery Museum: Explore the history of what it was like to work in the cannery.
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park: Explore Fort Clatsop and the Columbia River Estuary.


  • Cape Blanco Lighthouse State Park: Oregon’s coast is dotted with lighthouses and we love to visit lighthouses of all kinds.
  • Coquille River Lighthouse: Another charming lighthouse located nearby.
  • Face Rock Creamery: Watch cheese makers at work and sample some unique varieties.
  • Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint: See if you can find the face on the rock.
  • Washed Ashore Sculptures: These sculptures are created from all sorts of plastic and trash that washes up on the coast.


  • Chetco Point Park: Provides 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean. View St. George Reef Lighthouse in the distance.
  • Pelican Bay Lighthouse: Another cute lighthouse located along the coast.
  • Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor: Narrow park along the coast.

Cannon Beach

  • Haystack Rock: One of Oregon’s most photographed spots.
  • Tillamook Rock Lighthouse: “Haunted” lighthouse located offshore.

Coos Bay

  • Cape Arago Lighthouse: Lighthouse located along the coast.
  • Cape Arago State Park: Park with hiking trails just south of the shared name lighthouse.
  • Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area: Hike to both waterfalls.
  • Shores Acres State Park: One of the many state parks to explore in the area.
  • Sunset Bay State Park: Part of the trio of state parks to be explored in this area.

Depoe Bay

  • Blow Hole: Check out this fun geological oddity.
  • Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area: Features a large “bowl” carved into rock.
  • Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Center: Visit to learn all about whales and view their migration.


  • Darlingtonia State Natural Site: Dedicated to the rare species of cobra lily.
  • Haceta Head Lighthouse: View from an easy stroll up the gravel path.
  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America.
  • Sea Lion Caves: Take an elevator down into North America’s largest sea cave and home to sea lions.


  • Garibaldi Maritime Museum: Hands-ons exhibits about sailing.

Gold Beach

  • Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor: Offers jaw-dropping views of the coastline.
  • Myrtle Tree Trail: Hike to Oregon’s largest known Myrtle tree.
  • Pistol River State Park: Enjoy coastal views.


  • Fort Stevens State Park: This military area was built to guard the mouth of the Columbia River.

Lincoln City

  • Drift Creek Falls: Popular trail through a canyon, includes a suspension bridge and ends at the waterfall.


  • Oswald West State Park: Easy hiking trails through the rain forest.


  • Hatfield Marine Science Center: Exhibits all about marine animals.
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium: Explore the underwater wonders.
  • Yaquina Bay Bridge: Stairways on each end lead to observation areas.
  • Yaquina Bay Lighthouse: Tallest lighthouse on the coast.
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area: Visit to tour the lighthouse.

North Bend

  • Bluebill Trail: Stroll boardwalks around Bluebill Lake.

Pacific City

  • Bob Straub State Park: Check out the hiking trails.
  • Cape Kiwanda Marine Gardens: Explore the tidal pools.

Port Orford

  • Prehistoric Gardens: One of Oregon’s beloved roadside attractions.


  • Umpqua Discovery Center: Features exhibits on the Lower Umpqua Tribe and the Chinese immigrants who arrived to work in canneries.


  • Ecola State Park: Explore this beautiful area.
  • Promenade: Explore this 1.5 mile bath with beautiful views of the ocean.
  • Seaside Aquarium: Lots of fun touch tanks to explore.
  • Tillamook Head: A WWII bunker is tucked into this jagged cliff.


  • Blue Heron French Cheese Company: Explore the world of French cheeses.
  • Cape Lookout State Park: Offers easy beach access.
  • Cape Meares Lighthouse: Another lighthouse to explore.
  • Tillamook Air Museum: Explore this WWII blimp hanger.
  • Tillamook Creamery: Come explore this cheese shop known for its cheddar.
  • Tillamook Forest Center: Learn about the Tillamook burn and climb to the top of a replica forest-fire lookout.


  • Big Stump Beach: Named for the 14 foot redwood stump.

Winchester Bay

  • Umpqua Aquaculture: Displays on oyster farming.
  • Umpqua Lighthouse State Park: Another lighthouse to visit within a park.


  • Hobbit Trail: Short easy trail through gnarled trees.
  • Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint: Great area for tide-pooling.

All attractions found in the 2019 Oregon Visitor Guide and 2019 Oregon Coast Visitor Guide.

Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ Hawai’i

Today we reach the end of our Hawaiian Island bucket list series by dreaming up plans for the Big Island: Hawai’i.


  • World Botanical Gardens: Self guided tour of gardens and waterfalls.


  • Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: While this park isn’t exactly in Hilo, it was the closest big city. From time to time, eruptions are still happening in this park!
  • Wailuku River State Park: Visit to explore Boiling Pots and Rainbow Falls.


  • Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: Wander this sacred, historic place of safety for early Hawaiian lawbreakers.


  • ‘Akaka Falls State Park: One hike will take you to viewpoints for two different waterfalls.


  • Ahu’ena Heiau: Reconstructed temple and final home of Kamehameha I.
  • Kaloko-Honokohau National Hisotrical Park: Hike to see four different ahupua’a (traditional mountain to sea land divisions.)
  • NELHA: Tour the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai’i Authority to learn about renewable energy and sustainability on the island.

Ocean View

  • Manuka State Wayside Park: Explore lava flows from different eruptions.


  • Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Black Sand beach formed from lava flow.


  • Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Gardens: Pass streams and waterfalls while touring this garden.


  • Lapakahi State Historical Park: Take a self-guided tour through the remains of this ancient coastal settlement.
  • Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site: Visit this temple built by King Kamehameha I.
  • Waipi’o Valley Overlook: Take in the majesty of the valley.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Island of Hawai’i Travel Guides.

Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ Maui

Today we take on the popular island of Maui.


  • Road to Hana: One of the most popular tours of the island is traveling the Road to Hana from Kahului
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park: located at the end of the Road to Hana, this park features black sand beaches.


  • Ali’i Kula Lavender: Take a tour of this lavender plantation.
  • Surfing Goat Dairy: Tour a working goat dairy farm.


  • Baldwin Home: See how families lived in the 1800s.
  • Lahaina Historic Trail: Explore the area’s whaling and plantation history.
  • Lahaina Jodo Mission: Visit a replica of an authentic Japanese Buddhist Temple.
  • Molokini: Snorkel in this old volcanic crater by leaving from a boat tour in the harbor.


  • Haleakala National Park: Explore this dormant volcano and hike to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o and Waimoku Falls.


  • ‘Iao Valley State Park: This park offers rich foilage and mountain views.
  • Maui Ocean Center: Fun aquarium filled with reef creatures.
  • Maui Tropical Plantation: Tour this sugarcane and pineapple plantation.

All attractions found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Maui Travel Guides.