The West Coast State welcomes an adventurous spirit, whether that adventure is sought after in the fine art galleries of Portland or the wilderness of Oregon’s many state parks. Students can look all over Oregon to find exciting learning opportunities on everything from Shakespeare to sea life. The Beaver State’s natural beauty and eclectic energy make any experience come to life with entertainment, education and adventure.
Portland: A Powerhouse of Art
There’s no better place to start than Oregon’s state capital, Portland, an utterly unique cultural scene. The City of Roses certainly prides itself on its many art museums and galleries. The one must-see for anyone hoping to get the most for their student group is Portland Art Museum.
The museum’s collections offer visitors a chance to explore and learn about art and culture through the ages, from prehistoric Native American art to high-concept, new-media pieces in the contemporary collection. School group tours can get a great discount for admission prices.
Performing arts are more than present in Portland. Groups such as Portland Center Stage, the city’s premier company, or Oregon Ballet Theatre perform a number of engaging works year round and offer special opportunities to student groups hoping to see a show. Students can tour the theater before a performance, engage in pre-show workshops and a post-show discussion with the performers themselves. These classes and tours are only the beginning of what Oregon can offer to students interested in letting their talent shine.
Raise Your Own Voice
With Oregon working so hard to make its artists and musicians heard, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this place is an excellent spot for students to perform and learn more through their craft. Oregon’s popular festivals, for instance, provide younger people with many opportunities to grow as performers.
Students can learn about and enjoy professional music at the Chamber Music Northwest Festival, where accomplished and celebrated chamber music musicians perform. Students will get the chance to increase their music skills with master classes and coaching sessions offered by many of the featured musicians and groups.
Portland Rose Festival, more than 100 years old, is an excellent opportunity for marching band members to participate in a city-wide festival. The stunning City Fair and assorted traveling exhibits attached to the festival ensure that visiting bands will find ways to be entertained just as much as they are entertaining others.
Embracing Mother Nature
No trip to Oregon could be complete without exploring the state’s natural beauty. Varied sites and parks give students a chance to taste the all-natural Oregon spirit and learn from what Mother Nature provides.
Oregon offers a wide variety of ways to enjoy nature, from the world’s smallest dedicated park—a two-foot wide circular space known as Mill’s End Park in Portland—to the vast state parks known as Oregon’s Seven Wonders: Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, the Wallowas, Smith Rock, the Columbia River Gorge, Painted Hills and the Oregon Coast. Those seven giant locations feature attractions and activities, ranging from Mt. Hood’s winter skiing and mountain trails to Oregon’s dunes and beaches. Each park offers a unique, thrilling vista waiting to be uncovered by visitors, once they finally make up their minds about where to start.
Some towns and cities get rather innovative with the ways tourists can explore their surroundings. For instance, Bike Newport, a biking and bike rental store in Newport, offers fat-bike rentals, which are bikes with unusually large tires typically used for traveling through snow, but in this case used to bike across the sandy beach.
Newport, a coastal town, features scenic beaches and educational encounters with marine wildlife. Oregon Coast Aquarium, for example, offers students the chance not just to see the wildlife on display to the public, but also exciting behind-the-scenes tours and labs. Hatfield Marine Science Center, also in Newport, is associated with Oregon State University, and as such is all about educating the public—especially student groups—with on-site labs, presentations and demonstrations. Discovery Tours takes that experience one step further and goes out onto the ocean itself, giving students one- to two-hour sessions exploring coastal wildlife and learning about the western coastal waters.
No matter where or what you’re looking to explore in Oregon, plenty of exciting destinations await. From the quirky cultural gold mine of Portland to the beauty of Oregon’s coast, there’s plenty to learn about. A positive, adventurous attitude will help you make the most out of your trip to Oregon.