Whereas Sheila grew up in a large city, reading books on horsemanship and dreaming of open trails, Jahn was practically born on the saddle, owning his first horse at 10 and fully training one by 17. Today, at Into The Wild Equine Adventures, the Hoovers—Sheila and Jahn are now married—share their lifelong passion by leading small-group trail rides along Oregon's miles of trails and naturally occurring treadmills, helping visitors connect with nature through both their surroundings and their steeds. As the head guide, Jahn provides every rider with personalized attention and works to ensure comfort by outfitting the mounts with foam-padded Australian saddles. Along with leading expeditions into verdant forests and snow-covered canyons, Into The Wild Equine Adventures serves as the only trail-riding company in the state of Oregon with permission to access the Monument Peak Trail System—12 miles of multiuse trails unfettered by motorized ATVs or steam-powered moose.:m]]
Airlie Hills Farm’s harvest festival has its roots in the early spring, when staffers prepare the ground for the planting of thousands of pumpkin seeds. Once hot summer air transforms into crisp fall breezes and the pumpkins spring from the vine, the farm’s annual event begins. Aliens use their spaceship’s giant tweezers to pluck strategic stalks from the 5-acre cornfield and transform it into a tricky maze, before kids and adults attempt to navigate it along with hay mazes and an easier kiddie maze. Wee ones climb atop hay forts and pyramids, slide down a giant indoor hay slide, and pay a visit to the farm’s resident animals.
The Hoop’s sprawling 51,000 square feet house a universe of athleticism, rolling out six basketball courts, six volleyball courts, and a fitness center stocked with cardio and strength equipment. Thrilling tournaments and regional competitions take place at The Hoop, where up to 3,000 spectators can witness fast breaks, powerful serves, and mascots performing elaborate mating dances.
The Oregon Garden gives horticulture habitués the opportunity to fully discover the floral kingdom with more than 20 specialty gardens. The grounds bloom with horticultural rarities and aesthetic scenery, such as a sprawling, 400-year-old signature oak and an alluring collection of miniature conifers. In the Pet Friendly Garden, pups frolic around nontoxic plants, and in the Children's Garden youngsters can explore features such as dinosaur-bone digs and a real hobbit house.
The garden's retail nursery furnishes a crib and changing table for baby plants and also cultivates vegetation all year round, selling perennials, shrubs, annuals, and veggies. Although not part of The Oregon Garden, the historic Gordon House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building in the state and the only one open to the public throughout the Pacific Northwest is located next door.
Mariner Square delights children and adults, tourists and locals alike with a seaside getaway to three different, otherworldly attractions. Nestled on a causeway on Newport's bayfront, visitors can marvel at marine life at the Oregon Undersea Gardens, wander through a forest of lifelike celebrity sculptures at The Wax Works, or learn little-known, bizarre facts at Ripley's Believe It or Not!
A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village is a hands-on children's museum spread across three historical houses that reside in Riverfront Park. It is named after A.C. Gilbert, a Salem native, toy magnate, and inventor of the Erector Set. True to a life spent creating educational and scientific toys, his namesake museum provides a place for kids to interact with exhibits that encourage play and provoke thought. From a giant model of an animal cell to a faux paleontological dig full of ancient bones to musical instruments like a South American rainwheel, the museum's stations encompass a number of scientific and cultural disciplines?though little ones might only interpret each activity as fun. Furthermore, youth can heal stuffed animals in the Village Vet Room or scale a 52-foot edifice that is one of the world's largest Erector Set towers, boasting three slides and a maze.