Spring break travels take students all over the world. Major cities like Las Vegas and Miami capitalize on the break by planning large events that allow students to party the week away. But, endless drinking and pool time are not how all students want to spend their vacation. If you are staying local in Eugene or want to venture somewhere new in the state, here are some ideas for a way to spend spring break in Oregon.
You do not have to go far to get a sighting of wild birds. The Cascades Raptor Center is a sanctuary for hunting birds and is located in Eugene. The center houses eagles, owls, falcons, hawks and more. The Cascade Raptor Wildlife Hospital takes in the injured birds and nurses them back to health, all while teaching visitors the history and importance of the raptors in the earth's ecosystem. The center is a fun place to check out rarely sighted wildlife.
Just two hours up the road, Portland’s hidden past awaits. The Shanghai Tunnels are a series of linked restaurant and hotel basements located near Chinatown in Portland. Between 1850 and 1941, the tunnels were used for all sorts of illegal activity, including the selling of men to crew ships and the prostitution of women. The abandoned tunnels are still in place and open for public tours.
A glimpse of Africa awaits just one hour south in Winston, Oregon. The city is home to the Wildlife Safari conservation park — a wildlife park that is dedicated to protecting endangered species. Visitors can purchase a ticket that allows them to take a safari through the park and see hippos, cranes, tigers, zebras, giraffes and more. The park also has rotating daily activities such as meeting elephants and lions. The Wildlife Safari is a great way to experience endangered African animals without leaving Oregon.
Hot Tub relaxation can be taken to a new level over this spring break. The Bagby Hot Springs are located in the Mount Hood National Forest of Clackamas, Oregon; to get to the spring, guests must go on a 1.4 mile hike. The springs consist of large cedar tubs and large group baths with water around 100 degrees fahrenheit. Guests are allowed to relax in the tub 24 hours a day, seven days a week — bathing suits are optional.
The “Peter Iredale” was an English ship that crashed off the coast of Portland on Nov. 13, 1936. All 27 crewmembers were safely rescued after a gust of wind caused the ship to hit the shore. The “Peter Iredale” is one of the few shipwrecked boats that is still in its exact place. Visitors can tour the ship and hear more about the history behind the crash.
A beach getaway is always a good idea. Cannon Beach, Oregon is home to tidepools, birdlife and the famous Haystack Rock. The rock is 235 feet tall and has been featured in productions like “The Goonies” and “1941.” Not only will visitors get to experience diverse marine life, but they will also see the geologic feature that makes the beach famous.