Situated at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette Rivers, Oregon City is a small metropolis 13 miles South of Portland that is home to a variety of historical and cultural attractions, several interpretive centers and museums that focus on the Pioneers of America, and plenty of recreational opportunities. Once the beating heart of the region’s lumber, flour, wool, and paper mill industries, Oregon City is famous for being the was the first State Capitol and the end of the Oregon Trail. Take a trip back in time with a visit to this quintessential little American town.
1.Oregon City Municipal Elevator
The Oregon City Municipal Elevator is a 130-foot outdoor municipal elevator that was built to link two neighborhoods in Oregon City. Only one of four in the world, the original outdoor elevator, was built in 1915 and connected two neighborhoods that had a dramatic 90-foot difference in elevation. The elevator was rebuilt in 1954 and still stands today with an observation deck that looks like a flying saucer and boasts beautiful views of the Abernethy Bridge, the Oregon City Bridge, and the Willamette Falls. Surrounded by murals of the history of the Oregon Territory, the Oregon City Elevator is free to ride, and visitors can take a lifetime free pass home as a souvenir.
6 Railroad Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-496-1197
2.End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
© End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is an interpretive center that documents the heritage and the history of Oregon City, the Oregon Territory, and the Western Terminus of the Oregon Trail. The center features self-guided interactive exhibits, hands-on arts and craft demonstrations, feature films, outdoor guided tours, and educational activities such as frontier camping, wagon packing, and looking for prairie wildlife. The center also offers exclusive history talks twice daily that provides in-depth insight into a variety of rotating topics, ranging from the history of the region to the local fauna and flora.
1726 Washington St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-657-9336
The Willamette Falls is the second largest waterfall in the United States after Niagara Falls, fed by the Willamette River, which flows north through some of the most fertile lands in the Pacific Northwest. Located about 15 miles south of Portland between Oregon City and West Linn, the horse-shoe shaped falls are 40 feet high and 1,500 feet wide, plummeting straight down the height of a four-story building on reaching Oregon City and offering spectacular views. The Willamette Falls can be viewed from viewpoints on the bluffs above Oregon City, from the Oregon City Bridge, or boats on the river.
Oregon City and West Linn
4.Museum of the Oregon Territory
© Museum of the Oregon Territory
The Museum of the Oregon Territory is a regional museum that explores the history of the region how Willamette Falls transformed the area’s industry. Located on the second floor of a building overlooking Willamette Falls, the self-guided museum features a range of interactive exhibits, including displays of Native American petroglyphs and artifacts, a piece of the Willamette Meteorite, the early 1900s Kaegi Pharmacy, and 1851 San Francisco plat maps. Seasonally changing exhibits in the Murdock Gallery feature thousands of artifacts, photographs, and documents that reflect the culture and history of Clackamas County.
211 Tumwater Dr, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-655-5574
© McLoughlin House
The McLoughlin House in Oregon City is a grand house museum that was once home to Dr. John McLoughlin, who was known in Oregon City as the ‘Doctor’ and the ‘Father of Oregon' was renowned for being a trained physician who assisted exhausted American emigrants arriving into the region via the Oregon Trail. John McLoughlin later served as the mayor of Oregon City, and his home has been beautifully restored to honor his accomplishments and life. The two-story wood-frame house features significant architectural elements such as a hipped roof, symmetrical double-hung windows, and flanking interior end-wall chimneys, and interiors boasting a symmetrical Georgian central-hall plan. Visitors can explore the museum on self-guided tours or docent-led guided tours.
713 Center St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-656-5151
Winding along Singer Hill Bluff on the southeast bank of the Willamette River, the McLoughlin Promenade is a scenic pathway with lovely views of the Willamette River, Willamette Falls, and downtown Oregon City. Constructed in the mid-1930s, the promenade forms part of a 7.8-acre linear park located on the bluff above downtown and provides a connection to the Oregon City Municipal Elevator. The Promenade features a concrete walkway lined with several low stone and metal walls in various sections and follows the bluff overlooking the Willamette River, taking walkers on a stroll through history beginning at the 20th century Municipal Elevator.
McLoughlin Promenade, Oregon City, OR 97045
7.Oregon City Arch Bridge
The Oregon City Bridge, also known as the Arch Bridge, is a 745-foot steel arch bridge across the Willamette River and connecting Oregon City and West Linn. Designed by Conde McCullough and built in 1922, the bridge is 28 feet wide with a long main span of 360 feet and is the only bridge in Oregon to be encased in gunite to protect from the corrosive sulfur dioxide emissions from the nearby paper mills. The Oregon City Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hwy Bridge, West Linn, OR 97068
Built in 1907, the Stevens-Crawford Museum is a house museum that was once the home of pioneering family and prominent citizens of Oregon, Harley Stevens, and Mary Elizabeth Crawford. Also known as the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House (SCHH), the museum is an excellent example of an American Foursquare home and has retained much of its original Edwardian splendor with many pieces of original furniture, fixings, and other elements. Visitors can enjoy guided and self-guided tours of the home and learn more about Progressive Era inventions and innovations, the history of Oregon City, and how historical events shaped the community.
603 6th St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-655-2866
9.Clackamas Repertory Theater
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Located in the Clackamas Community College, the Clackamas Repertory Theatre is a professional equity theater company that produces and presents high-quality productions for students, families, and youth in Clackamas County. The theater was established to provide entertaining, educational, and thoughtful theatrical experiences and, in addition to presenting a variety of performances each season, provides Clackamas Community College students with a knowledge base for a career in the performing arts. The Clackamas Repertory Theatre also offers workshops, classes, and summer internships.
Clackamas Repertory Theatre, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-594-6047
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10.Hopkins Demonstration Forest
© Hopkins Demonstration Forest
Hopkins Demonstration Forest is a 140-acre privately-owned forest that features well-maintained landscapes of riparian forest, young conifer plantations, upland conifer, brushy areas, and mixed stands. The forest features over five miles of hiking trails, including the mile-long Watershed Interpretive Trail, which runs along Little Buckner Creek and has marked posts along the way. The forest has an amphitheater for gatherings, the Cedar Grove Picnic Shelter is perfect for family picnics, and there is an information kiosk near the main parking area.
16750 S Brockway Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-632-2150
11.Villa Catalana Cellars
© Villa Catalana Cellars
Inspired by a magnificent 12th century stone church in Spain’s Catalonia district, Villa Catalana Cellars is a beautiful wine estate that produces award-winning wines and boasts stunning gardens and grounds for picnicking. Built by husband and wife team, Cindy and Burl Mostul, the estate produces a range of varietals, ranging from Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Cabernet Sauvignon to Chardonnay, Grenache Rose, and Cascade Berry Fortified wine liquor. The tasting room is open on Saturdays for visitors to sample the winery’s finest wines and wood-fired pizza is available for snacking on, and there is a bocce court on the lower dam for relaxing fun.
11900 S Criteser Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-780-6200
12.Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Estate Vineyard
© Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Estate Vineyard
Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Estate Vineyard is a family-owned and operated wine estate that focuses on climate varietals grown in the Willamette Valley region, such as Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Owned and managed by the Carlberg family since 1998, the 80-acre farm has been transformed from farming beef cattle and blackcaps to producing award-winning wines. The newly named Satori Springs Vineyard provides all the fruit for Christopher Bridge, which are vinified on-site under the direction of Chris Carlberg, and visitors can sample some of the estate’s fine wines in their modern tasting room by appointment only.
12770 S Casto Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-263-6267
13.Baker Cabin Historical Site
© Baker Cabin Historical Site
Situated near the small town of Carver, just outside of Oregon City, the Baker Cabin Historic Site offers visitors an insight into life in the 1800s and the settlement of Oregon. Managed by the all-volunteer Baker Cabin Historical Society, the 1.5-acre site preserves protects and documents the history of the Baker family and the Carver area through the historical cabin and an 1895 Pioneer Church. The 20 by 30-foot Baker Cabin was occupied for around 50 years before being abandoned in 1901 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site has several large informative panels telling the story of the family that settled the area and operated a quarry, and there are plenty of lovely shady spots with large trees for picnicking.
18005 S Gronlund Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-631-8274
14.Coin Toss Brewing Company
© Coin Toss Brewing Company
Located in the Fir Street Business Park, Coin Toss Brewing Company produces and serves a range of traditional handcrafted beer and a unique Heritage Series brewed from historical recipes. Founded with a nod to the region’s rich history and its pioneering spirit, Coin Toss Brewing Company offers a variety of signature brews available by the crowler, growler, pint, or keg, ranging from lagers, pale ales, and hazy IPAs to porters, stouts and malts. Signature brews include Anniversary Double IPA, Vienna Lagere, Orange Creamsicle, Half Penny Lager, Coasters IPA, Heat Exchanger Winter Warmer, Das Muzwurf Festbier, and Temohta Baltic Porter.
14214 Fir St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-305-6220
15.Trail Distilling and Tasting Room
© Trail Distilling and Tasting Room
Trail Distilling and Tasting Room is a certified farm distillery at the end of the Oregon Trail that produces the finest in premium spirits. Home of the “First Distillery in the First City West of the Mississippi River,” the distillery produces handcrafted, award-winning products made with clear Cascadian glacial water and naturally-harvested grains. Signature spirits include Trillium Gin, Trillium Barrel Reserved Gin, First City Whiskey, First City Vodka, First City Rum, and Trillium Pink Pinot Gin, all of which can be tasted during guided tours of the distillery on Fridays and Saturdays.
21553 S. Hwy 213, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-479-0003
© Barclay House
Located in the McLoughlin House, the Barclay House is a house museum that showcases the life of an arctic explorer, educator, physician, philanthropist, and mayor of Oregon City, Dr. Barclay, and his family. Built in 1849, the house was moved to its present location adjacent to the McLoughlin House in 2003 and forms part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The building houses offices for the McLoughlin Memorial Association and the National Park Service, as well as a gift shop selling rare books on northwest history and its pioneers, handcrafted goods, and traditional toys.
719 Center St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-656-5151
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17.Clackamas County Family History Society
© Clackamas County Family History Society
The Clackamas County Family History Society documents the history of Oregon City and the surrounding region. Established in 1952, the Society houses its vast collection of books, photographs, documents, historical objects, and other materials at the Wilmer Gardner Research Library at the Museum of the Oregon Territory. The archives contain books, maps, land claim records, and biographical records, as well as Clackamas County hospital records, records of births, marriages, deaths, and burials in Clackamas County, newspaper clippings of local obituaries, and family histories.
211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City OR 97045, Phone: 503-655-5574
18.Francis Ermatinger House
© oregon city
The Francis Ermatinger House is a house museum and the oldest house in Clackamas County. Built near the Willamette River by Francis Ermatinger in 1845, the house been moved twice since and currently rests at the corner of 6th and John Adams streets next to the Stevens Crawford House museum. The house is built in the Greek Revival style and is renowned for being the place where the famous coin toss between Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove occurred, resulting in the city of Portland being named. The Francis Ermatinger House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and guided tours are available Fridays and Saturdays.
619 6th St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 971-219-4881
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19.Stone Cliff Inn
© Stone Cliff Inn
The Stone Cliff Inn is a cozy log cabin-style restaurant on a cliff with a lovely outdoor deck boasting beautiful views of the Clackamas River and the Carver Bridge. Offering unique dining experience, the restaurant serves a range of Pacific Northwest cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients such as fresh seafood, prime meats, organic salads and vegetarian dishes, handmade pasta, and decadent desserts. The cuisine is accompanied by a range of fine wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, handcrafted cocktails, and premium spirits, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.
17900 S Clackamas River Dr, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-631-7900
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20.Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria
© Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria
Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria is a family-friendly restaurant and pizzeria with simple décor and occasional live music. The casual eatery serves a menu of traditional Italian fare such as platters of antipasti, fresh soups and salads, homemade pasta and sauces made with generational family recipes, hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas, and entrées of fresh seafood, delicious meats, and vegetarian options. Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
701 Main St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-594-0601
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21.Nebbiolo Restaurant & Wine Bar
© Nebbiolo Restaurant & Wine Bar
Nebbiolo Restaurant & Wine Bar is a stylish restaurant that serves European-inspired, sophisticated comfort food in an elegant and intimate ambiance. The restaurant features exposed brick walls, ample tables and chairs, large windows with street view, and live music in classy surroundings, and serves a menu of classic European fare with Italian accents and flavors. The menu features a variety of small plates and appetizers, fresh, local seafood, premium grass-fed meats and chicken, and organic salads and vegetarian options, and the food is accompanied by a selection of fine wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, handcrafted cocktails and premium spirits. Nebbiolo Restaurant & Wine Bar is open for dinner, nightly.
800 Main St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-344-6090
22.Tacho's Mexican Restaurant
© George Dolgikh/stock.adobe.com
Tacho’s Mexican Restaurant is a family-friendly restaurant that serves an array of authentic and traditional Mexican food. Located on Molalla Avenue in Oregon City, Tacho’s boasts a warm and welcoming ambiance and host karaoke and video lottery evenings. The menu features delicious homemade Mexican fare including nachos, a variety of soft tacos, , and quesadillas, handmade tortillas, fajitas and burritos, as well as exclusive specials such as Camarones al Mojo de Ajo, Chili Verde, Pollo ala Crema, and Camarones ala Crema. The bar menu boasts inventive cocktails, selective spirits, and a range of craft and draft beers, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
515 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-655-5562
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23.Trail's End Saloon
Trail's End Saloon is a laid-back saloon and nightclub that offers excellent food, drinks, and live music in a casual atmosphere. Occupying a historic building built in the 1880s that once housed Freytag's Grocery, Trails End Saloon boasts nostalgic charm with a dimly lit dark wood bar serving a wide variety of libations, original wagon wheels, and swirling ceiling fans. Trails End Saloon serves a selection of popular dishes using the finest quality ingredients highlighting locally sourced products such as steaks, burgers, salads, and signature pulled pork smokes in a Traeger barbeque. The bar taps feature Northwest craft brews and popular beers and wines from around the world. Trail's End Saloon is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily.
1320 Main St, Oregon City, OR 97045, Phone: 503-656-3031
23 Best Things to Do in Oregon City, OR
- Oregon City Municipal Elevator, Photo: Sean/stock.adobe.com
- End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Photo: End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
- Willamette Falls, Photo: Kathryn/stock.adobe.com
- Museum of the Oregon Territory, Photo: Museum of the Oregon Territory
- McLoughlin House, Photo: McLoughlin House
- McLoughlin Promenade, Photo: Rawpixel.com/stock.adobe.com
- Oregon City Arch Bridge, Photo: Kirk/stock.adobe.com
- Stevens-Crawford Museum, Photo: evannovostro/stock.adobe.com
- Clackamas Repertory Theater, Photo: Barselona Dreams/stock.adobe.com
- Hopkins Demonstration Forest, Photo: Hopkins Demonstration Forest
- Villa Catalana Cellars, Photo: Villa Catalana Cellars
- Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Estate Vineyard, Photo: Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Estate Vineyard
- Baker Cabin Historical Site, Photo: Baker Cabin Historical Site
- Coin Toss Brewing Company, Photo: Coin Toss Brewing Company
- Trail Distilling and Tasting Room, Photo: Trail Distilling and Tasting Room
- Barclay House, Photo: Barclay House
- Clackamas County Family History Society, Photo: Clackamas County Family History Society
- Francis Ermatinger House, Photo: oregon city
- Stone Cliff Inn, Photo: Stone Cliff Inn
- Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria, Photo: Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria
- Nebbiolo Restaurant & Wine Bar, Photo: Nebbiolo Restaurant & Wine Bar
- Tacho's Mexican Restaurant, Photo: George Dolgikh/stock.adobe.com
- Trail's End Saloon, Photo: bernardbodo/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Brad Nixon/stock.adobe.com