Medford, Ore. — Don’t feel like staying at home, and lacking ideas? Well you are in luck. We are recapping some of our favorite spots from this year’s tank of gas getaways.
We start in the tree tops of Northern California. 18 miles south of Crescent City sits the Trees of Mystery, a popular roadside attraction with nearly two miles of trails passing some of the most miraculous trees on the planet.
One of the highlights includes the Sky Trail. Eight gondolas travel a third of a mile at 11 miles-per-hour. At the top, you’ll be dropped off at the observation deck, 742 feet above sea level. It provides spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, nearby mountains, and so much wildlife.
And you can’t go to the coast without making a stop at the beach. Near Coos Bay, you’ll find Bastendorf Beach.
If you want More of a relaxing spot, then further south, Sunset Bay is just that. As you head further south, the beach gives way to the Seaside Cliffs. The first lookout spot is Simpson Reef, and that’s a great spot to see the sea lions lounging on a later afternoon.
In Eugene, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is nestled in the heart of the University of Oregon. Debbie Williamson-Smith said, “If you’re an artist, or someone who’s just curious about art, we have photography, sculpture, painting — something for everyone.” The museum is host to one-of-a-kind collections from all over the world.
If you want to see animals from all over the world, you don’t have to look any further than Wildlife Safari in Winston, a drive-thru zoo that features nearly 550 animals. “Our mission here is for people to have a great experience with animals so they have a heart for animals, and they want to give to animal conservation efforts out in the wild,” said Education Director Kit Lacy.
In the Umpqua Valley there are more than two dozen waterfalls, most easily accessible by a simple hike.
Umpqua National Forest Field Ranger Emily Veale said, “Hikes in the Umpqua National Forest and are waterfalls are really family friendly, there are hikes that are really short where you can just pop out of your car and hike to the falls or there are ones that are more arduous so there are waterfalls that span the whole gamut of age groups and everyone can enjoy the Umpqua”
Looking to go underground? Look no further than the Lava Beds National Monument. Nearly 2 dozen of the 800 caves at the monument are developed specifically to the public. But you’ll want to be prepared. Acting Superintendent Larry Whalon said, “They want to bring water, and of course they want to bring sturdy shoes. They’re going hiking, this ground is uneven – and it’s very rocky.” And dress in layers — the average temperatures inside the caves is 55 degrees.
From below ground to right back where we started above the trees, the brand new Crater Lake Zipline is a rush. Zipliner Hiram Kinney said, “Yes, I was scared. The free falls, the rappels, are especially exciting – you’re just stepping off into thin air.”
The specially trained rangers provide safety lessons to help ease those fears. There are 9 ziplines that take visitors on a flight through about a mile and a half of tree canopy. The trip includes two sky bridges, and two controlled descent rappels.
And those are just some of the many spots you can get to on a Tank of Gas Getaway.