Oregon is one of the most popular states in America and it is not difficult to see why. Affectionately known as the Beaver State, Oregon has a lot to offer both its residents as well as visitors to the area. Oregon stands out among its fellow states for its diverse geography, temperate climate, and a tendency towards distinctiveness. It also boasts a thriving economy, creating a better quality of life for all. Let’s take a closer look at this lovely state.
The state of Oregon is made up of 98,386 square miles. This incredible area makes the state the ninth largest state in America. While 96,003 square miles of Oregon consists of land area, the rest is covered by water. The mean elevation of the state is 3,300 miles above sea level.
Oregon finds itself in a rather interesting position, where its boundaries are considered. To the North, you will find Oregon sharing a border with Washington. In the South, however, the state is flanked by Nevada and California. Idaho is Oregon’s neighbor to the East. The West boundary of Oregon overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
An official census was conducted in the middle of 2016. This gave rise to the estimation that 4,093,465 people resided in Oregon at the time. With this calculation, Oregon holds the title for being the twenty-seventh most populous state in the United States.
Oregon has experienced a sharp increase in the population over the last two years. As a result, it is ahead of the National average as well as the rates established in most other states. This influx of individuals was determined to be individuals moving in from out of state rather than a rise in the state birth rate.
An improved economy and a rise in the employment rate is one of the reasons that there is a greater number of people moving into Oregon. This is compounded by the largely temperate weather as well as the abundance of activities taking place in the state.
The capital of Oregon is Salem, which is the second largest city in terms of population. Oregon encompasses 36 counties. However, geographically speaking, the state can be divided into seven main regions. These are:
Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge
The Willamette Lowlands is actually quite narrow, just east of the Coast Range. This area is best known for the Willamette River which joins up with the Columbia River. The most notable things about this region is the mild climate and rich soils.
The Coast Range can be found alongside the Pacific Ocean. The main features here are the low, green covered mountain ranges, the high cliffs, and coastal lakes scattered around the area.
The Cascade Mountains offer up not just the highest points in the state but also some of the highest regions in the entire country. The most notable peak here is Mount Hood. The other notable mountains are the Klamath Mountains which are known for their thick forests.
The Columbia Plateau boasts some of the more rugged terrain in the state, complete with mountains and gorges. On the other hand, the Basin and Range is largely desert, with some mountains and high basins.
Of all of the cities in Oregon, Portland is perhaps the most popular. The overt quirkiness of this city makes it a big draw to both tourists as well as residents.
The climate in Oregon is quite varied due to its rather unique positioning. For the most part, however, the weather is mild in many of the regions. Typically, the summers are quite hot and dry, especially the Eastern, Western, and Southwestern parts.
With the exception of the Willamette portion of the state, most of the areas will experience a certain amount of snowfall. In Willamette, there is a greater tendency towards rainfall and higher temperatures.
Mass Transportation System
If you don’t have your own car, you can still use the bus, train, or light rail to move around. If you want to travel around Central Oregon, Corvallis, Eugene, Southern Oregon, and Eastern Oregon, then the bus is one of your best options. Central Oregon offers up the Cascades East Transit while Corvallis uses the Corvallis Transit System. LTD works for Eugene and you can use the Basin Transit Service for many regions in Southern Oregon.
With Portland, you have even more choices. In addition to the bus, the TriMet, commuter rail and light rail services too. The Amtrak here even gives you the choice of travelling all the way to Vancouver.
The Highlights of Oregon
One thing that many people discover upon visiting Oregon is that there simply isn’t a lack of things to do. Regardless of what your interests are, this state is simply brimming with activities. If you love nature, there are plenty of natural landscapes to appreciate, rugged terrain to master, and sightseeing to do. For those who are inspired by food, there are numerous eateries, food stalls, and microbreweries to enjoy. There is plenty for those interested in the arts as well, as Oregon boasts an impressive art scene.
For anyone touring the United States, you shouldn’t give Oregon a miss. You will get to experience so much within a very short period of time. It will certainly be a trip you will not be forgetting any time soon.