Oregon City is at the heart of the urban area of Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory. As the first city west of the Rocky Mountains, Oregon City is known for its history. But there is also an amazing food, drink and activity scene growing. Kathleen Squires recently visited and shared her experience with the Wall Street Journal.
Kathleen's Oregon City adventure starts at Oregon City Brewery Co., where they create Oregon specific beers and host a number of guest taps. The building is also home to Olympia Provisions Public House, a Portland based charcuterie company.
The history runs throughout the entire city and one of the best places to discover the past is at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. From making butter and candles and packing a wagon to learning about what the 2,170-mile journey was like through actual pioneer journals, the museum offers a hands-on approach to history. Downtown Oregon City is filled with boutique shops, which include Designs by THOR, where Nigerian-born clothing designer Tony Iyke specializes in suits for men and women; Denim Salvage, which sells made-to-fit new and recycled jeans; and Grano Bakery, a small batch bakery and market. The city is also home to six breweries that have opened in the last five years.
Another great stop is the Oregon City Municipal Elevator, which is the only outdoor municipal elevator in the U.S. From the top you can see all of downtown, the historic Arch Bridge (a landmark for the city) and Willamette Falls, which is the second largest waterfall by volume in the U.S. To get an up close look at Willamette Falls, take a tour with eNRG Kayaking who offers trips to the base of the falls. Since the river is flat water, it's an easy paddle to get an amazing perspective of the water rushing over the cliff. The tours are also filled with history, but from the perspective of the river. Which has been, and always will be, an important feature for Oregon City.
With this much to do, take a few days and really explore the area. See you in Oregon City!