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Oregon

Oregon has diverse terrain, from the wide expanses of the East to the cold but beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast in the West. The Cascade Mountains are in between, and they offer year-round skiing among other attractions. Windsurfing is one of the attractions of the Columbia River Gorge, as is Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, which has a pub as well as factory tours. In the South, there is the jaw-dropping Crater Lake, an extremely deep, azure-blue caldera surrounded by cliffs. The annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival attracts visitors to Ashland in droves. Silver Falls State Park, a little east of Salem, has ten waterfalls and level trails that wind past highly diverse plant life. Check out Portland's Forest Park, the largest urban forested park in the country, which stretches northwest from the downtown area. Portland has a significant Asian population, and numerous Vietnamese restaurants stretch along Sandy Boulevard heading toward Portland International Airport. McMenamins owns numerous pub and entertainment entities, such as cinemas that serve microbrewed beer and wineries to the east of town where you can take the waters or play disc golf. If the excitement and scenery get to be a bit too much for you, you can drive southeast and out to Boring. Also, if Portland's thrift stores aren't enough for you, you can take your jaded bargain-shopping self out to the Sandy Flea Market in Gresham. Oregon cuisine is often identified with the forest and the sea, and items like mushrooms and salmon. Food purists may really fall in love with Portland. Apparently the first certified sustainable sushi bar is in Southeast, and the flavor doesn't suffer a bit for this distinction. You can get grass-fed steaks or mussels on E. Burnside Street in Portland, or equally pure steroid and hormone-free beef to the east in Burns, halfway between Bend and Boise. Take half a cow to go if you really like it ÔÇö really! Portland is famous for serious cafe culture and eco-consciousness, but you can also hang out and sip a fairly-traded coffee at a wind-powered cafe in the middle of the Oregon Coast. There are great breweries with solid food even in the extreme Northeast of the state, like Enterprise near the Snake River. You can find cuisine made from sustainable ingredients in Hood River; opt for dishes such as fresh tagliatelle, pork shoulder, and quince puree. Eugene has cafes that offer hearty vegetarian and vegan breakfasts, the kind of food hippie college students thrive on. Their sign says make tea not war. Dress to impress with your best tie-dye.