Gorging on the Scenic View from Vista House in Corbett, Oregon
The competition is stiff, but some of Oregon’s best scenery is just an hour’s drive from downtown Portland. From I-84, take the twisty, narrow Historic Columbia River Highway up to Crown Point State Park for a bird's eye view of the lay of the land. The recently renovated octagonal stone structure at the top, Vista House, was originally built in 1916 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers and as a comfort station for travelers. Today, it’s the most photographed icon of the Columbia River Gorge. It goes without saying that the sweeping panoramas of the river (the natural border between Oregon and Washington) are impressive from this 733-foot vantage point—especially in the fall when the leaves are turning. Don’t put your camera away yet, though, you’ll want to make a day of it by stopping at several dramatic waterfalls as you wind your way back down from Crown Point.