Are you ready to take the ultimate Oregon road trip for book lovers?
Oregon is known for its snow-capped mountains, rugged coastlines, and impressive waterfalls. However, it is also known for its appreciation of literature. Oregon’s largest city, Portland, made National Geographic’s Top 10 Literary Cities. Therefore, our journey will begin and end in Portland. Along the way, we will stop in 4 different cities. So let’s grab some Dutch Bros coffee and hit the road!
Stop 1: Portland
First, we will pay a visit to downtown Portland to check out a bookstore and a stay in a nearby luxury hotel. Then, we will hit the arts district to check out some literary events and a former schoolhouse-turned-hotel. Don’t forget to load up on donuts and coffee.
Powell’s is a chain of independent bookstores in and around Portland, Oregon. Its flagship store, Powell’s City of Books, claims to be the largest new and used independent bookstore in the world. It takes up an entire city block, three floors, and requires a map to get around.
Before setting off, I highly recommend grabbing a coffee at the in-store café and looking over the map. The floor plan is laid out with color-coded rooms separated by genre. Looking for a specific book? Every room has an information desk and they will gladly help you. If you are a true book lover, you will end up spending countless hours and precious dollars at Powell’s.
The Heathman Hotel
The Heathman Hotel is a luxury hotel in downtown Portland. It has its own library with 2700 books signed by the authors. As a bonus, the hotel is conveniently located a mere 10-minute walk (0.5 miles) from Powell’s City of Books. If you decide to walk, I recommend bringing a backpack to transport your treasures (aka new books) back to the hotel.
Note: Parking is expensive at the hotel so keep this in mind. There are lower-cost lots and garages nearby.
Disclaimer: This website contains affiliate links.
Alberta Arts District
Alberta Rose Theatre
Alberta Rose Theatre has a history dating back to the 1920’s. Today, the venue features live performances including the literature reading events Back Fence PDX and Mortified. Back Fence PDX features live storytelling based on the night’s theme. Mortified features live storytelling in which adults share their embarrassing childhood writings, musings, and artwork.
For more literary events in Portland, check out the calendar of events.
Kennedy School Hotel
Kennedy School Hotel is an 11-minute walk (0.6 miles) from the Alberta Rose Theatre. Kennedy School Hotel is a former elementary school which has been renovated into a uniquely-themed hotel. Remnants of the past are still present, including chalk boards. Rooms are either former classrooms or author-themed. The hotel also boasts a restaurant, movie theater, brewery, and soaking pool (an amazing oversized hot tub).
Stop 2: The Enchanted Forest
Jump into a virtual storybook at this theme park near Salem, OR. The Enchanted Forest is a theme park with interactive and animatronic storytelling. Stroll down Storybook Lane to see nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters come to life. The park also boasts a wild west town, European village, live shows, haunted house, and rides for all ages. Although I recommend the park for young children, it will enchant book lovers of all ages.
Stop 3: Newport’s Author-Themed Hotel
Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, OR is a destination all on its own. The oceanfront property features 21 uniquely themed rooms. Each room is inspired by an author and transformed into their fictional world. For example, J.K. Rowling’s room depicts the Gryffindor Dormitory; meanwhile, Jules Verne’s nautical room is adorned with its very own giant squid.
Sylvia Beach Hotel even has its own library, complete with board games, puzzles, and (gasp) a fireplace with an ocean view. This is your time to write that best-selling novel…OR read that stack of books you bought at Powell’s.
Stop 4: Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is a nine-month-long repertory theatre production in Ashland, OR. This means that the theatre company works from a repertoire of shows. Repertoires give the company the ability to put on many different shows on a given day. To make this possible, company members have roles in multiple shows. Stop in Ashland to take in a show (or 3). Tickets can be expensive but you will get a better deal buying in advance. In addition, weekly web specials are announced every Thursday. OSF also offers a backstage tour led by a company member.
Note: The festival runs March-November.
Stats for the Ultimate Oregon Road Trip for Book Lovers
Drive Time One Way: 7 Hours
Drive Time Round Trip: 11 Hours, 30 Minutes
Mileage One Way: 400 Miles
Mileage Round Trip: 686 Miles
Recommended Days to Complete: 7-10 Days
Recommended Time to Take Trip: March-November
Pin me for later!