Hotel at a Glance: McKenzie River Inn
Tucked amid towering pine trees on the banks of the McKenzie River, this family-owned bed and breakfast has welcomed guests since the late 1970s. Hiking trails weave through the secluded 3-acre patch of wilderness. Hammocks are slung between trees, and waterfront fire pits host marshmallow roasts.
- Homemade breakfast: Salmon omelets, Southern-style eggs benedict, and fresh fruit plucked from the family’s orchard are among the tasty morsels on offer. Breakfast is included with stays in rooms and suites; guests staying in the cabin or cottage may purchase breakfast for $8.50.
- Fly-fishing: Cast out for rainbow trout and chinook salmon on the McKenzie River.
- River rafting: With this deal, you get a 30% discount on rafting trips.
- Special events: The inn hosts murder-mystery shows and wine tastings on occasion. Check the website for the latest events.
- Willamette National Forest: just a scenic drive from the inn
Vida, Oregon: Riverside Town near Willamette National Forest
Travelers come to Vida—a little town set on the banks of the McKenzie River—to take in the breathtaking wilderness of western Oregon. Vida sits near the western edge of the Willamette National Forest, more than 1 million acres of unspoiled territory. Here, dense patches of western hemlock and douglas fir give way to seven of Oregon’s loftiest mountain peaks. Navigate the trails on foot, horse, or mountain bike for close-up views of ospreys, elk, bald eagles, and other wildlife.
For a change of pace, drive about a half hour west to the artsy city of Eugene, home to the University of Oregon. You can peruse art galleries downtown and browse boutiques housed in the Fifth Street Public Market, a former mill. Buskers provide live background music, and the smell of freshly brewed organic coffee wafts from the streetside cafés. At the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute, you can shimmy up a douglas fir that looms at more than 300 feet tall and recharge on a treetop air mattress.