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Gay Travel Guide Oregon: Portland, Crater Lake & Pacific Coast

Gay Travel Guide Oregon: Portland, Crater Lake & Pacific Coast

Gay Travel Guide Oregon: Portland & beyond

Beer, Bears, and Bearded men – Known as the hipster metropolis of the USA, Portland and the US-American state of Oregon have been a must-do on our gay travels to the United States of America. ‘The City of Roses’ is one of Portland’s nicknames located in the Northwest of the USA, not far from the Pacific coast. Embedded between the Columbia and Willamette River, the biggest city of Oregon is known for its environmental friendliness due to a high percentage of bikers, for example. But it is also known for its parks, the close connection to nature, its high number of microbreweries and cafés. We spent almost a week in Portland attending Portland Pride before starting our road trip south to Crater Lake National Park with its stunning waterfalls and the huge volcano crater lake. From there, we made our way west towards the Pacific, where we spent our last relaxing days in nature close to the beach. This Oregon guide should give you an orientation of what you can explore. We will add new blog articles to our Gay Travel Guide Oregon with further information in the next months. So enjoy Oregon through a Couple of Men‘s eyes.

– in partnership with Oregon Tourism –  

Gay kiss in the Rose Test Garden in Portland ©
Gay kiss in the Rose Test Garden in Portland ©

Gay Travel Guide Portland

The City of Roses, that’s how Portland is commonly referred to. But why is that? The story of roses in Portland goes back to the year 1888 when the pink variety of hybrid tea rose-bred Madame Caroline Testout was introduced to Portland for the first time. The climatic conditions with a try, warm summers, and wet but mild winters making Portland a great location for roses. And the story continues until today when thousands of rose lovers celebrate the annual Rose Festival taking place every June with a carnival and parades. Additional to that, Portland has the oldest International Rose Test Garden, which visited right after spending some relaxing hours in the Japanese Garden. Another great opportunity to see Portland is from the water. We did a kayak tour on the Willamette River with the Portland Kayak Company. Just outside Portland, we went to another nature highlight, the spectacular Multnomah Falls. Book lovers have to visit Powell’s City of Books in the center of Portland.

Such a wonderful atmosphere in Portland's Japanese Garden ©
Such a wonderful atmosphere in Portland’s Japanese Garden ©

Crater Lake National Park

The days in Portland really seemed to fly by. After some wonderful summer days in Oregon’s biggest city, we started our road trip through the US American state with a 3.5 hours drive south to Crater Lake National Park. We visited as many waterfalls as possible, starting from our hotel by the Umpqua River. Hiking fans should consider at least a day (or two) to see them all. Lucky us, the road around the crater lake just opened two days before our visit. That allowed us to explore and hike around the stunning nature with spectacular views. Don’t forget to buy your National Park entrance ticket to pay with a credit card or cash. Unfortunately, due to the height of the volcano crater, you might not be able to reach the crater lake and visit the Rim Village even in summer because of snow and ice.

Panorama photo of the deep blue Crater Lake in Oregon in June with summer weather and blue sky ©
Panorama photo of the Crater Lake in Oregon in June ©

Pacific North West Coast

From the deepest woods in Oregon to the windy and rough but magnificent Pacific coast. It was a four-hour drive from the Umpqua River valley along the impressive coast all the way north to Lincoln Beach. Our hotel was the perfect base to go for long walks along the beach, enjoy the handsome surfer boys at the Pacific City Beach, and sit down for a spectacular sunset at the Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint. The view over the seaboard, the palm trees, and the whales was definitely one of our highlights. So make sure to plan some extra days in your itinerary for Oregon’s Pacific coast.

Happy to be in Oregon and enjoying the Pacific beach together ©
Happy to be in Oregon and enjoying the Pacific beach together ©

Gay Oregon Travel Guide on a Map

How to get to Oregon and the North-Western USA?

How to get to Oregon and Portland? We found some great flight opportunities with flights from Europe and Amsterdam with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with some pretty good deals starting from 837 Euro* return to Portland and from 574 Euro* return to Seattle. There are plenty of direct connections from Amsterdam to Portland including KLM partner airline DELTA. Click here for Amsterdam- Portland – Amsterdam > with KLM and Delta. *subject to availability / last check: October 2019

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Gay-friendly Hotels in Oregon

During our first trip to Oregon, we stayed in three entirely different accommodations that had one thing in common: They all offered excellent service and can be considered LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly. Unfortunately, we did not have the chance to test any gay-couple-owned or operated hotels. But let us start with our gay-friendly hotel in Portland, the Jupiter NEXT. The boutique hotel rooms offer great city views in a modern and hip design. Our second hotel was located in the middle of the forest in the Umpqua River Valley. The Steamboat Inn is a great base to explore the southwestern part of Oregon. Before we went back to Portland, we spend a couple of nights at the Pacific Seashore at the Salishan Resort & Spa where we enjoyed a zip line tour and access to the Spa. There are even more LGBTQ+ friendly hotels across Oregon which we have to test for you the next time we are there!

How gay-friendly is Oregon and the USA?

Generally speaking, the United States of America is considered to be frankly LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly including equal marriage since 2015. Especially in the bigger cities such as Portland or the LGBTQ+ getaways along the Pacific Coast, are places in the US and Oregon that can be considered safe and secure for lesbian, gay, and queer travelers in general. Nevertheless, we genuinely hope that the current US administration will continue supporting lesbian, gay, trans, and queer people and see LGBTQ+ rights as what they really are, human rights. If you are traveling to Portland, don’t forget to read about our Portland Pride experience!

Spartacus Gay Travel Guide: Rank 47 for the USA (in 2019)
Wikipedia Gay USA: LGBT rights in the United States of America
Highlights Pride Events: Portland Pride Northwest 2019

Portland Pride 2019: Best of the LGBTQ+ Rainbow Celebration in Oregon
Portland Pride 2019: Best of the Rainbow Celebration in Oregon ©

Plan your Oregon Trip with Couple of Men:

Gay Travel Guide Oregon: Please consider our tips as suggestions with no guarantee that it still will be like that when you are traveling there. Though we did our research and all our opinions written in this article are honest, authentic, and true. We would like to thank Portland Tourism and Oregon Tourism for their invitation, support, and the possibility to experience the gay-friendly side of Oregon and Portland in a special way.

For any clarifications about your plans for traveling to Oregon and the USA, follow us and email us or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. See you around the world and the next time in Portland, the Crater Lake Area, the Pacific North West Coast, Oregon, and the United States of America!

 Karl & Daan.

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