Which State Is Best to Visit: Oregon Or Arizona?

10 minutes read

Both Oregon and Arizona offer unique and captivating experiences, making it difficult to determine which state is best to visit. Oregon is known for its stunning natural beauty, including lush forests, picturesque waterfalls, and expansive coastline. Its vibrant cities such as Portland and Eugene offer a thriving arts and culture scene, renowned restaurants, and breweries. Visitors can explore Crater Lake National Park, Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, and the Oregon Dunes for outdoor adventures.

On the other hand, Arizona is renowned for its breathtaking desert landscapes, most notably the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The state offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, exploring Native American ruins, or taking a scenic drive through Sedona's red rock formations. Arizona also boasts cosmopolitan cities such as Phoenix and Tucson, offering excellent shopping, dining, and a taste of Southwestern culture.

Ultimately, the best state for you to visit would depend on your personal preferences and what you're seeking in a travel experience. Whether you are drawn to lush green scenery and a more laid-back vibe (Oregon) or breathtaking desert landscapes and a blend of natural and urban experiences (Arizona), both states offer plenty to explore and enjoy.

What is the cost of entry fees to attractions in Oregon and Arizona?

The cost of entry fees to attractions in Oregon and Arizona can vary depending on the specific attraction. Here are some examples of popular attractions and their entry fees:


  1. Crater Lake National Park: $30 per vehicle (valid for 7 days)
  2. Oregon Zoo (Portland): $19.95 for adults, $13.95 for children ages 3-11
  3. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area: Most viewpoints and trails are free, but some may require a Northwest Forest Pass ($5 per day or $30 per year)


  1. Grand Canyon National Park: $35 per vehicle (valid for 7 days)
  2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson): $21.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages 3-12
  3. Antelope Canyon (Page): Various tour options ranging from $40 to $80 per person

Please note that these prices are current as of September 2021 and are subject to change. It's always a good idea to check the official websites of the attractions for the most up-to-date information on entry fees.

How to find affordable accommodation in Oregon and Arizona?

Finding affordable accommodation in Oregon and Arizona can be achieved by following these steps:

  1. Determine your budget: First, establish how much you can afford to spend on accommodations. This will help narrow down your options and focus your search on properties within your price range.
  2. Research different areas: Oregon and Arizona have diverse areas, each with varying costs of living. Explore different cities and towns within these states to identify regions that are more affordable.
  3. Utilize online resources: Check popular accommodation websites like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com. These platforms offer a wide range of lodging options, including hotels, motels, hostels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts.
  4. Look for budget-friendly accommodations: Consider staying in budget hotels or motels that offer lower rates. Compare prices and read reviews to ensure that the quality matches your needs.
  5. Consider alternative accommodations: In addition to hotels, explore other options like vacation rentals, which can often be more cost-effective, especially for longer stays. Websites such as VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey can help you find affordable vacation rentals in your desired location.
  6. Check for discounts and deals: Keep an eye out for discounts, promotions, or special offers that may be available for the time of your visit. Many travel websites and hotel booking platforms provide filters to specifically search for discounted rates.
  7. Contact local tourist offices: Some destinations have local tourist offices that can provide information on affordable accommodation options in the area. They may have access to exclusive deals or knowledge of lesser-known establishments.
  8. Consider staying outside major cities: Accommodations in big cities like Portland (Oregon) or Phoenix (Arizona) tend to be more expensive. If you have flexibility, consider staying in smaller towns or suburbs nearby, where prices may be lower.
  9. Off-peak season travel: Traveling during off-peak seasons can often lead to better rates, as demand tends to be lower. Research the seasonal variations in tourism and aim for visits during less busy times.
  10. Seek recommendations: Ask friends, family, or locals for recommendations on affordable places to stay in the areas you plan to visit. Personal referrals can often help you find hidden gems and local establishments that may not be as well-known or advertised.

Remember to compare prices, read reviews, and carefully assess the location, amenities, and proximity to your planned activities when making a decision.

What is the shopping experience like in Oregon or Arizona?

The shopping experience in Oregon and Arizona can vary slightly based on the location and type of shopping destination. However, here is a general overview of what you can expect in both states:


  1. Portland: Known for its unique and diverse shopping scene, Portland offers a mix of trendy boutiques, vintage stores, and local artisans. The city's neighborhoods like Pearl District and Alberta Street are popular shopping destinations.
  2. Tax-free shopping: One notable aspect of shopping in Oregon is that the state does not levy sales tax, making it quite attractive for visitors who can enjoy tax-free shopping.
  3. Outdoor-themed shopping: Being a nature-oriented state, Oregon also offers numerous outdoor-themed shopping experiences, especially in towns near tourist destinations like Bend or Mt. Hood. You can find stores specializing in outdoor gear, activewear, and sporting goods.


  1. Phoenix/Scottsdale: These cities offer a diverse range of shopping experiences, including high-end malls, luxury boutiques, and designer stores. Popular destinations include the Scottsdale Fashion Square and Biltmore Fashion Park.
  2. Southwestern and Native American influences: Arizona is known for its strong southwestern and Native American influences in art, jewelry, and crafts. The state hosts numerous Native American markets and shops where you can purchase unique handcrafted items.
  3. Outlet shopping: Arizona is home to several outlet malls like Arizona Mills in Tempe and Tucson Premium Outlets in Tucson. These malls offer discounted prices on popular brands and attract bargain hunters.
  4. Unique shopping districts: Arizona also features unique shopping districts like Mill Avenue in Tempe, with its mix of independent shops, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

Overall, both Oregon and Arizona offer a wide range of shopping experiences, allowing visitors to find everything from upscale stores to local artisans, with each state providing its own distinct flavor and specialties.

How to choose between Oregon and Arizona for outdoor activities?

Choosing between Oregon and Arizona for outdoor activities ultimately depends on personal preferences and goals. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Climate: Oregon generally has a milder climate with cooler temperatures and more rainfall, making it ideal for people who enjoy lush landscapes and hiking through forests. On the other hand, Arizona has a desert climate with hot summers and cool winters, perfect for those who prefer warm and sunny weather.
  2. Terrain: Oregon boasts diverse terrains, including mountains, forests, coastlines, and lakes, offering opportunities for activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. Arizona, in contrast, is known for its magnificent desert landscapes, canyons, and iconic landmarks like the Grand Canyon, providing activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and exploring unique desert ecosystems.
  3. Water activities: Oregon is renowned for its abundant rivers, lakes, and coastlines, making it an excellent choice for water-related activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, and beach outings. In Arizona, water activities tend to center around reservoirs and water recreation areas rather than coastal experiences, including boating, fishing, and swimming in lakes like Lake Powell or Lake Havasu.
  4. Wildlife and Nature: Oregon is known for its rich biodiversity, with opportunities to witness diverse wildlife, including whales on the coast and various bird species in wetland areas. It also offers breathtaking scenic views such as the Oregon Coastal Range. Arizona, on the other hand, provides a chance to encounter unique desert flora and fauna, like cacti, coyotes, and desert tortoises, as well as incredible stargazing opportunities due to its remote and clear night skies.
  5. Specific Activities: Consider your preferred outdoor activities and which state offers more prominent options. For example, if you're into skiing and snowboarding, Oregon's Mount Hood offers fantastic winter sports destinations. If you love rock climbing, Arizona's iconic granite walls in places like Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon could be ideal.
  6. Accessibility: Consider travel distance and logistics. If you live closer to one state or have limited time for travel, it may be more practical to choose the state that is more accessible for you.

Ultimately, weigh these factors against your personal interests, desired experiences, and the type of environment you find most appealing to make an informed choice between Oregon and Arizona for outdoor activities.

How to explore the national parks in Oregon and Arizona?

Exploring the national parks in Oregon and Arizona can be a thrilling adventure. Here's a general guide to help you plan your trip:


  1. Research the parks: Oregon is known for its breathtaking national parks like Crater Lake, Mount Hood, and the coastline of Oregon Dunes. Gather information about each park, including entry fees, camping options, and popular trails.
  2. Plan your itinerary: Decide which parks you want to visit and how many days you will spend in each. Consider the distance between parks and plan accordingly.
  3. Arrange transportation: Determine if you'll be driving or flying into Oregon. If driving, ensure your vehicle is in good condition for long drives.
  4. Book accommodations: Oregon offers a range of accommodation options, including campgrounds, cabins, and hotels. Reserve your preferred type of lodging in advance, considering availability and location.
  5. Pack appropriately: Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Prepare for varying conditions, including rain, wind, and sun. Don't forget essentials like hiking shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle.
  6. Explore hiking trails: National parks in Oregon have numerous scenic trails suitable for all skill levels. Research and choose hikes that interest you, ensuring they align with your fitness level and time constraints.
  7. Follow park rules and regulations: Respect the parks by following all rules, such as staying on designated trails, packing out trash, and respecting wildlife and vegetation.
  8. Capture the moments: Oregon's national parks are incredibly picturesque. Bring a camera to capture the scenic beauty and create lasting memories.


  1. Research the parks: Arizona is home to iconic national parks like Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Saguaro. Learn about each park, their unique features, activities, and any specific regulations.
  2. Determine your priorities: With limited time, decide which parks you want to explore the most. Arizona parks can be quite spread out, so prioritize based on your interests.
  3. Plan your visit: Check the park websites for visitor information, including entry fees, camping reservations, and opening hours. Note any restrictions or closures that may impact your visit.
  4. Arrange transportation: If flying into Arizona, book a rental car to ensure flexibility during your explorations. If driving, ensure your vehicle is prepared for long distances.
  5. Book accommodation: Depending on your preference, consider camping within the parks or staying in nearby towns. Reserve campsites or hotels in advance, particularly during peak seasons.
  6. Pack wisely: Pack appropriate clothing, considering both hot desert conditions and cooler temperatures in higher elevations. Carry essential gear like hats, sunglasses, water bottles, and sun protection.
  7. Experience hiking trails: Arizona's parks offer remarkable trails, including the rim-to-rim hike at the Grand Canyon, scenic drives at Petrified Forest, or hiking among the giant saguaro cacti in Saguaro National Park. Choose trails suitable for your fitness level and interests.
  8. Respect the surroundings: Follow all park rules to minimize your impact, including respecting wildlife, staying on trails, and avoiding littering.
  9. Enjoy the diverse landscapes: Arizona parks boast diverse landscapes, from breathtaking canyons to striking petrified wood forests. Take time to soak in the natural wonders and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  10. Seek guidance if needed: If you're unsure about navigating the parks or would like more detailed information, consider joining guided tours or hiring an experienced local guide.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and it's essential to research each park's specific information and guidelines before your visit.

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