Out on the highway exploring the surrounding community? Want to get off the beaten track? “Places to Stop” spotlights local businesses along busy interstate corridors. Our goal is to shine the spotlight on places you’ll want to pull off and explore.
All of the businesses featured on this page are Oregon Travel Experience highway business sign, travel kiosk, or Travel Plaza customers.
High atop the pinnacle of a giant fir tree is a place usually reserved for nesting birds or licensed arborists. Most people don’t scamper along suspension walkways or zip across the treetops 30-feet above ground—unless you’ve found your way to Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston, Oregon.
Tree to Tree (or T2T as it’s called by co-owner Julie Beres) is an aerial paradise that encourages people to step outside their comfort zone in a safe and certified, outdoor environmental “classroom.”
“The course is designed to meet our guest’s challenge,” said Beres. Beres’ family started the business in 2010 following a visit to a friend’s tree adventure park in the Adirondacks. Read the full article.
Oregon visitors and motorists are truly lucky—in fact, one might pose the following question: Where on the planet is there a more scenic place for a drive than Oregon? Heading east from Portland on I- 84, the scenery transitions quickly from urban jumble to the first sightings of Rooster Rock, Multnomah Falls, and the awe inspiring Columbia River.
If you happen to make the journey to Eastern Oregon and beyond, Hood River is a great stopping point. The town is a favorite recreational destination for boaters and windsurfers. Four miles past downtown on the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, the Gorge White House has stood as a landmark for more than a century.
“We are a 103-year old ‘house-wine-tasting-room,’” said Camille Hukari, whose family has owned the working farm and National Historic Register home since 1947. Read the full story.
Brian Olson is the general manager at Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals, an OTE highway business sign customer who promotes his community with gusto. “I think Cannon Beach has to be one of the best beaches on the Oregon Coast, and that’s saying something since I grew up in another coast town north of here,” said Olson. “Cannon Beach is the kind of place where you can find the perfect quiet spot or be right in the middle of the downtown action. And it’s only a day trip to many other destinations along the Oregon Coast like Tillamook, Astoria, and Seaside.”
Olson’s agency is owned by Linda Beck Sweeney and has been open for 14 years. Olson and his wife run the day-today operations. “We manage about 70 properties,” said Olson. We handle everything from studio-sized condos to six bedroom houses. Our business is very much family based, which is apparent by the types of people who return year after year. Read the full story.
Owners Jim and Debbie Blodgett have owned and operated Fish Lake Resort for 10 years. At an altitude of 4,600 feet and nestled near Mount McLaughlin’s base, the resort is accessible and open year-round via Highway 140. The drive from Medford, Oregon to Fish Lake and old growth forest can be made in under an hour.
Fish Lake Resort features 11 rental cabins—from rustic studios to fully equipped, two and three bedroom lakeside cottages, completely stocked with linens and kitchen tools. If cabins are not your thing, 45 recreational vehicle sites (with electricity) are available. Tent sites for backpackers, hunters, and cyclists accommodate more adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. Amenities include shower and laundry facilities, and boat rental and moorage. Read the full story.
Creative minds often do their best work when the space around them empowers dreams. Oregon landscape artist Michael Gibbons and his wife Judy carried this premise one step further when they created an environment which not only sustains them creatively, but also enriches the community in which they live.
Gallery Michael Gibbons is located in Toledo, Oregon—an historic hamlet established in 1866. As the local timber industry unraveled, the Gibbons’ experimented with a new paradigm—and ended up reshaping the center of their town into an artist-driven and supported destination. Their gallery and museum now attracts visitors from around the globe. Read the full article.
The Iverson family has been in the tulip business for almost 40 years. Much of the product grown at the Woodburn farm is sold locally at Fred Meyer and Trader Joes. Locally produced products mean fresher flowers for the consumer as well as strength for the local economic infrastructure.
Susie Schriever, the farm’s event coordinator, explained to OTE how the tulips are hand cut in the fields, transported back to the sheds, and then washed, bundled, and packaged. Wooden Shoe keeps a close eye on the quality of their tulips from the time they leave the farm’s refrigerated packing house until they reach the retail venue. The farm also means local jobs for local people; Wooden Shoe employs both seasonal and year-round staff. Read the full story or watch the video slide show below.
Imagine barreling down white water rapids on the Rogue River, screaming with joy all the way. From the numerous customer videos on You Tube, it’s evident this popular attraction in Grants Pass is just the kind of fun people of all ages enjoy.
Hellgate Jetboat Excursions is a family owned business with a unique sense of paying their success forward, and in many ways could be identified as one of Oregon’s “heroes.” The Hamlyn family relocated to Grants Pass in the 1980s and fell in love with the river. From designing and manufacturing boats locally, to employing area residents, the Hamlyns evolved into dedicated stewards with a mantra to give back. Read the full story.
Oregon Travel Experience’s Director of Sales Harry Falisec spends an enormous amount of time thinking—and a great deal of his brain workout occurs while driving down I-5 and I-84. A few months ago, Harry was behind the wheel in the Portland Metro region and realized he wasn’t seeing a well-known pizza company’s logo on OTE’s highway business signs.
Pizza Schmizza is a local company whose roots connect to numerous stores near interstate exits. Since part of Harry’s work includes promoting local economic development, he figured Pizza Schmizza was an ideal candidate for a highway business sign. Harry decided to visit the franchises in person and see if their owners knew how to “sign up.” Read the full story.