Oregon City is a city of 37,000 people (2019) in the Portland Metropolitan Area. The seat of suburban Clackamas County, it is best known as being the end of the Oregon Trail. Several tourist attractions in the city commemorate this history.
Although Portland is the main attraction in modern-day Oregon, those making the trek from the Midwest to Oregon along the Oregon Trail in the 1840s and 1850s came to their journey's end in Oregon City, near a camp called Abernethy Green. It was here that newly arrived settlers would camp while filing their land claims.
Dr. John McLoughlin founded Oregon City in 1829 as an outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company to take advantage of the power provided by nearby Willamette Falls. It became the capital of the Oregon Territory for its early years (1848 to 1851), and at the time competed with nearby Portland for influence.
Today, its downtown area retains the historic character thanks to preservation of the historic houses and buildings.
TriMet has buses connecting Portland's city center to Oregon City. Bus 33 goes along the east side of the Willamette River (while it does cross the Hawthorne Bridge, it mostly has views of car dealerships) and bus 35 goes along the west side (lots of trees).
I-205 runs through Oregon City. From PDX airport, take 205 south to Oregon City. 205 also branches off of I-5.
- See also: Rail travel in the US
- 1 John McLoughlin House, 713 Center St, ☏ . F Sa 10AM-4PM. John McLoughlin was the head of the British Hudson's Bay Company in the Oregon Country. His house has been preserved as a museum of the fur trade and settlement of Oregon. Free tours at 15 min past the hour.
- 2 Willamette Falls (Hwy 99E near S 2nd St). Natural horseshoe-shaped waterfall, 2nd largest by volume in the United States after Niagara Falls. A former paper mill overlooking the falls is being redeveloped. As of 2017, the best views of the falls are from a public viewpoint below the Museum of the Oregon Territory, or by taking the Municipal Elevator to the McLoughlin Promenade.
- 3 Oregon City Elevator, 605 High St (Lower terminus at 7th and Railroad), ☏ . Only municipal elevator in the United States. Observation deck has a view of city and the Willamette River. If you want a souvenir, ask the elevator operator (yes, it has one) for a "lifetime pass". Free.
- 4 End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, 1726 Washington St (exit 10 from I-205 south, right on Washington St), ☏ . M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su 10:30AM-5PM. Located at the actual end of the Oregon Trail, the museum features costumed historical interpreters. Adults $13, Seniors (60+) and Youth (13-18) $9, Children (4-12) $8. Kids under 3 and active military are free.
- 5 Museum of the Oregon Territory (Clackamas County Historical Society), 211 Tumwater Dr, ☏ . W-Sa 10:30AM-4:30PM. Adults $5; Ages 5-17 $3; Under 5 free.
- 6 Stevens-Crawford Heritage House, 603 6th St.. Th-Sa noon-4PM (last tour at 3:30). This historic house has been mostly restored and furnished with items from 1908 to 1920. Adults $5; ages 5-17 $3; under 5 free.
- 7 Francis Ermatinger House, 619 6th St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. F Sa 10AM-4PM.
- Hopkins Demonstration Forest, 16750 S. Brockway Rd., ☏ . Daily, daylight hours.
- Tony's Fish Market, 1316 Washington St (Across the street from Oregon City Brewing and Spicer Brothers Produce on Washington and 14th), ☏ . Fish market that's been around for 50+ years.
- Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria, 701 Main St, ☏ .
- The Highland Stillhouse, 201 S 2nd St, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Sa 11AM-10PM. Scottish pub with an impressive whiskey list and good views of the Willamette River.
- Oregon City Brewing Company, 1401 Washington St. More than 40 beers on tap, a few are their own. Light snacks are available but you can bring your own food or order in. All vinyl on the stereo.
- Arch Bridge Taphouse, 207 7th St, ☏ .
- The Growler Run, 19502 Molalla Ave Ste 117 (In O.C. Point shopping center next to Hawaiian Time and across from Five Guys Burgers), ☏ . More than 20 rotating taps of craft beer, specializing in local Northwest beers. Wine, hard cider, and kombucha are also offered. TVs, shuffle board and board games. No food. Dog-friendly.
- Midway Historic Public House, 1003 7th St, ☏ . Good place to play pool. Bar food.
- 1 McMenamins Oregon City, 102 9th St, ☏ . A church turned pub. Patio overlooks the Willamette River.
- 2 Nebbiolo Wine Bar and Market, 800 Main St, ☏ . Italian food made with local ingredients.
- Portland Cider Company, 275 S Beavercreek Rd Ste 149. Cider in the English tradition. Free snacks (popcorn and pretzels) with your drinks. You can bring your own food.
- Feckin Brewery (Feckin Irish Brewing Co.), 415 S Mcloughlin Blvd, ☏ . Traditional Irish beers with northwest influences. Taproom open on weekends. Live music.
- The Oregon City Ice House, 1200 Main St. Sports bar.
- 1 Best Western Plus Rivershore Hotel, 1900 Clackamette Drive (On McLoughlin Blvd. at I-205 Exit 9), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 2 Oregon City Library, 606 John Adams St. (at 7th St.), ☏ . A historic 1913 Carnegie Library Building remodeled and expanded in 2016. It offers free WiFi and public use computers (ask staff for a guest pass to use computers if you do not have a library card).
|Routes through Oregon City|
|East Portland ← Gladstone ←||N S||→ West Linn → =Ends at N S|
|Portland ← Lake Oswego ← West Linn ←||N S||→ END|
|Portland ← Milwaukie ← Gladstone ←||N S||→ Canby → Aurora → Woodburn → Salem|
|Portland ← Gladstone ←||N S||→ Silverton → Salem|
|Seattle ← Portland ←||N S||→ Salem → Albany → Eugene|