What is Oregon Known For? (18 Things It’s Famous For)

Oregon has the title of 33rd state in the U.S.A. Its establishment as a state happened on February 14, 1859. Oregon ranks as the 9th largest and 27th most populous state. As of its 2021 census, there are 4.25 million inhabitants in its sweeping lands. 

Oregon is known for its record-holding gorgeous landscapes and rich natural resources. The result is a state that gets its income from tourism, mining, and lumberjacking. Oregon also has other unique wonders that make it one of the country’s quirky places to be in. 

What’s in a Name? 

There are many possibilities on where the state’s name came from. Most experts believe it came from ‘ouragan’, the French word for hurricane. This might be describing the strong winds from the Columbia River. Some think it originated from ‘oolighan’. It is a Chinook word for a type of fish Native Americans ate. There are also others who speculate it came from ‘ourejon.’ That is a Spanish word that means big ears. Despite the debate on the origin of Oregon’s name, there is no contest to its nickname. The Beaver State got its moniker from the practice of trapping beavers for their fur. 

Raise That Flag

Oregon stands out from the rest of the states with its two-sided flag. The front of the blue and gold flag has three essential details. It has the state’s name, coat of arms, and year of establishment. On the other side is the figure of the beaver. The buck-toothed rodent is also the state animal since 1969.

Abundant in Wood and Stones 

Oregon is one of the primary sources of lumber in the country. The state provides the most softwood lumber, an example of which is the Douglas fir tree. Their vast lands are also rich in beautiful gemstones such as agate, jade, opal, and sunstone. The state prides itself on its geodes, particularly the Thunderegg.

Crater Lake

One of Oregon’s famous natural destinations is the Crater Lake. It is one of the deepest lakes in the world but is the deepest in the United States. Its formation came from the collapse of a volcano thousands of years ago. The lake measures around 1.943 feet or 592 meters. To make it easier to visualize how deep the lake is, you can stack some of the world’s known monuments on it. Imagine the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa upright, and the Eiffel Tower. There’s still a bit of space to reach its bottom.

Hell’s Canyon

Oregon has a penchant for depth, with Hell’s Canyon on its list. The picturesque area is the country’s deepest gorge, at approximately 7,900 feet deep. It runs through the state and Idaho along the Snake River. Some great ideas to do at this majestic location are hiking, kayaking, and rafting.

Mount Hood

The white-tipped mountains of Mount Hood are another popular Oregon destination. It places second as the most explored mountain in the world. The mountain is the highest in the state, with an elevation of 11,249 feet. Aside from alpine lakes and ski trails, the area is also the largest supplier of Christmas trees.

Quirky Attractions

Oregon is well-known in popular culture for its peculiarity. Some eccentric stops are their item-focused museums. The Carousel Museum in Albany has the world’s largest and most extensive collection of carousel goods on display. The Hat Museum in Portland houses unique and crazy hats from the start of the 20th century.

Highest Pole

Adding to Oregon’s wackiness is the tallest barber pole in Forest Grove. It is the tallest at 72 feet, defeating the 40-feet previous Guinness World Record holder in San Antonio. The classic red, white, and blue striped pole has been in the city since 1973. It is found on the west side of the Pacific University’s Hanson Stadium.

Big on Bigfoot

Oregon is one of the possible places Bigfoot has been in. The state is the sixth top state of most Bigfoot sightings in the country. Although they did not top the list, they are the only ones to have a trap for the mythical creature. The small house-like structure is at the Siskiyou National Forest in Jackson. 

Checking the Origins

The creator of Nike’s iconic red check is from Carolyn Davison. The Oregon native submitted the design in 1971. the Portland State University alumna received $35 for her contribution by Nike’s founders. It was first called ‘the strip’ before becoming the ‘swoosh’ as we know it. The company’s current headquarters is in Beaverton, but its birthplace is Eugene.

Mushroom Mania

Oregon has the world’s largest mushroom in the world. The honey mushroom covers almost three miles of its mountains. It has also been around between 2,400 to 8,650 years. Their love for mushrooms continues with the Estacada Festival of the Fungus. Held every November, some activities in the event include tasting, hunting, and identification.

Cheesy Does It

Oregon is the home of the largest cheese factory in the world. The Tillamook Cheese Factory draws in almost a million visitors yearly. Aside from tasting the goods, the process of making cheese attracts tourists. Their gift shop is also notable for having other merchandise than cheese and dairy goods.

Brew It Good

Oregon is heaven for beer lovers as it is one of the best beer towns in the country. Portland has around 70 breweries, making it one of the largest cities in the world to have this business. The state’s known beer is the Northwest IPA. This beer type has a citrus aroma and flavor but balanced with caramel and malt. With many microbreweries, you are sure to taste all kinds and find your favorite beer. 

Bicycle is Life

Oregon is the best place to be for bicyclists, especially Portland. The city has the most bicyclists compared to other cities in America. Since biking has become a way of life for most people here, there are events for enthusiasts. An example is Zoobombing. It is a weekly affair where participants ride small bicycles and race downhill in West Hills.

No Tax Here

Oregon is one of five states in the country with no sales tax. It has no use/transaction or general sales tax. This means they have one of the highest personal income tax rates in the country instead. Currently, the state has an income tax of 9.90%. 

Place of Artists and Geniuses

Oregon is the birthplace of important people in science and arts. For example, American chemist Linus Pauling is born in Portland. He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the nature of the chemical bond in 1954. Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, also hails from Portland. The city of Springfield got its name and inspiration from the same city in the state. Troubled but musically gifted people have a connection to the state as well. Some examples are late actor River Phoenix and grunge queen Courtney Love.

Film-Worthy Locations

Oregon is a beloved location for films due to its lush landscapes. A notable example is the Twilight film series, even if the book setting is in Forks, Washington. Oregon shares the spotlight with Washington as the film franchise’s location. The film setting of The Goonies continues to be a tourist attraction. The backdrop of the 80s film is Astoria, the oldest city in the state. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest featured the Oregon State Hospital in Salem and Depoe Bay in Lincoln.

The Perfect Blend of Nature and City 

Oregon honors the outstanding natural landmarks it has. It also understands the need for change by adapting it to man’s current needs. Great urban planning is evident in Portland because of its bike-favoring policies. The museums and breweries add to its charm of being a state of its own kind. Oregon gives a wonderful experience of living it up in the city and then recharging to the mountains. It is a place to hustle and then get respite after.