An oldie but goodie, the Cascade Raptor Center has one of the largest collections of native raptor species in the Pacific Northwest and is a must-see on any visit to Eugene. This year-round volunteer-based nonprofit’s focus is on rehabilitation and education—when possible, they work to reintroduce their majestic inhabitants into the wild. Visitors can view nearly 50 birds of prey— hawks, eagles, owls and vultures, oh my! The center recently purchased four- and-a-half additional acres with the goal of expanding their parking, adding a new visitors center and some additional enclosures in the coming years.
The Albany Carousel—Ride on!
All you need to do is see the Albany Carousel to know how special it is—but then you hear its backstory and you can’t help but fall in love. Half grassroots effort funded by private donations/half labor of love, completing the restoration of the historic 1909 Dentzel Carousel was a project 15-years in the making. Though the framework is all original, each rideable creature— from a giraffe to a mermaid-horse to a giant bunny—is new and hand-carved by (amateur) volunteers from the community. The Carousel has already attracted more than 150,000 visitors since its August 15, 2017 opening.
What’s the buzz?
Though it’s steeped in pioneer history, The Dalles has bright things on the horizon. Opened in 2018, the National Neon Sign Museum promises to be an illuminating attraction that will delight visitors of every age. Housed in the old Elk’s Lodge, the museum will not only display full-scale, one-of-a-kind installations, but will also eventually have collaborative space where museum owner and curator, David Benko, hopes visitors can learn how to bend glass and make their own neon signs.
Gonna be a bright Sunshine-y Mill day
When Molli and James Martin bought the old Sunshine Mill in 2008, they had grand plans to demolish the historic site and build a new place to produce their wine-on-the-go venture: Copa di Vino. We couldn’t be more delighted that the recession halted these plans (don’t worry, James and Molli are too). Working with what they had, they transformed the ground level of the old flour mill into a warm, welcoming and beautiful space with something to discover around every corner.
Flying high in the Central Oregon sky
Sky-high adventure awaits in Bend. Big Mountain Heli Tours is upping the sight-seeing game, giving visitors a bird’s eye view of the lava rock, rivers and waterfalls, rolling sage brush hills and ponderosa pines that make up the scenic high desert. The company offers a variety of tours from wine tasting adventures, and trips over the snow-capped Cascades, to Sasquatch tours. They’ll even help you customize your own high-flying excursion. Any tour you choose will yield epic views of Central Oregon so you can see it in a way you never have before.
Starry nights and IPA delights
Calling all beer-loving space nerds! Where can you sip on a craft brew and gaze into the cosmos? Why, at the “only Hopservatory in the known universe,” of course! Worthy Brewing, on Bend’s east side is a great place for locals and visitors to grab a bite, tour the brewery, wander through the on-site gardens and last but not least, make their way up to the observatory tower. Open daily, you can step up to the mini-Hubble telescope and observe the sun with their UV filter, or better yet, come during the few hours of darkness while the pub is open to behold the starry sky. The Hopservatory is operated by the Worthy Garden Club, a non-profit foundation that supports science literacy programs and initiatives.