Oregon is doing legalization right. Learning from Colorado and Washington, the Beaver State has implemented cannabis rules that simply make sense, and coupled with the tendency of Oregonians to value tailor-made, eco-friendly, farm-to-consumer products, the oft-used term ‘craft cannabis’ takes on a whole new meaning here. Oregon has already become a cannabis mecca in its own right, and its scene is completely unique from Denver, Seattle, LA, or anywhere else in the world.
Your Oregon summer cannabis road trip kicks off in Portland—the state’s hub for mouthwatering food and bespoke bud alike—and weaves through the smaller yet equally cannabis-savvy cities of Eugene and Bend, detouring for exploration of Oregon’s incredible outdoors (think dunes, caves, and hiking trails).
Day 1: Portland
First thing when you arrive in Portland, check into the Jupiter. This retro-hip boutique hotel was recently renovated from its original status as a motor inn, and today its design harkens back to the mid-century modern vibes of its past. It’s also home to Oregon’s first hotel cannabis experience—book the 420 Package in advance and you’ll arrive to a cannabis magazine, copious munchies, and an Everything but the Weed Kit (hotel tee, hat, vape pen battery, and coupons to multiple dispensaries near the hotel). The hotel isn’t allowed to give you free cannabis, but you’ll remedy that at your first stop in the Rose City.
Once you’ve dropped your bags, head to Serra downtown (a 20-minute walk) for a dispensary visit unlike any you’ve ever had.
At Serra, people frequently walk into the lobby accidentally, thinking they’ve stumbled upon a high-end designer’s showroom or similarly stunning boutique. Beyond the navy-and-gold façade, the airy waiting room is encased in glass and appointed with comfy leather couches; once you’re invited inside you’ll find custom light fixtures, minimalist display cases, a wall of greenery, and a tasteful neon sign proclaiming “Quality Drugs.” Unbelievably beautiful pipes and bongs live in the front room; flower and other consumables are found in the back room.
Buy yourself a Select cartridge to go with your Jupiter vape battery; an outrageously artisanal infused chocolate by hotshot Portland chocolatier Woodblock; a selection of house-made pre-rolls (rolled fresh daily with over 10 strains to choose from); and one of those gorgeous pipes as a souvenir (you deserve to splurge).
Hit the sidewalk with a pre-roll in hand; you’re headed two blocks up to Portland Pedal Bike Tours, where you can launch yourself into the true Portland food scene—widely known as one of the best in the world. Here, food carts are king, and dozens of food cart pods with copious carts apiece dot the city’s landscape.
On this five-mile tour, which departs daily at 1:30 p.m., you’ll hit the OG pod at 12th and Hawthorne, the famous pod at 10th and Alder, and a few fantastic pods that fly under the radar in between. Trust us—no matter how hungry you felt going into this, you won’t be by the time the tour’s three hours are up.
In the evening, hit up the Alberta Arts District for low-key bars, live music, fantastic people-watching, and plenty of Portlandia character. Getting tired? Head back to the Jupiter, where it behooves you to read the fine print on the hotel’s cannabis policy: While the OLCC (cannabis’s state governing board) prohibits smoking in all public places including hotels (and you’ll be charged a cleaning fee for violating that), there’s no express provision against vaping, and “The Jupiter Hotel supports and encourages responsible consumption of all legal substances.”
Day 2: Oregon Coast
In the morning, be sure to grab coffee (nearby Ristretto Roasters offers a crowd-fave Colombia El Paraíso that will pair beautifully with your infused Woodblock chocolate) and wander around your neighborhood’s streets and shops. Once you’ve checked out of the hotel, don’t leave town without a stop at the Grilled Cheese Grill for the munchie of all munchies—The Cheesus, a burger with two gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for buns.
“You won't need to eat again for two days.”
With that heavenly cheese lunch under your (loosened) belt, you’re ready to hit the road. Leave the city on I-5 South before turning off at OR-99W and heading for the ocean. Continue all the way to the Oregon Coast Highway, the state’s most scenic drive. You’ll roll through quaint seaside gems including Lincoln City and Newport (where a stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium is never a bad idea—sea lion and sea otter feeds each provide twice-daily entertainment).
Keep going until you reach the small town of Florence, where the coast is lined with sand dunes for your recreational enjoyment. This is the perfect place to get extremely baked, pretend you’re on another planet, and play for hours. We recommend wandering the sandscape, sliding down the dunes, running through the surf, bringing snacks and drinks, and watching the sun sink ever lower in the sky.
When you’re tired out, make your way into Eugene where you’ll hit up local restaurant darling Party Downtown for a late dinner (expect friendly vibes, creative organic eats, and curious desert-inspired décor) before landing at your AirBnb for the evening (book in advance).Rise and shine for the ultimate post-wake-and-bake breakfast: Off the Waffle. This family-owned Eugene classic serves impossibly fluffy, rich, and sweet liège waffles with every topping option you could possibly imagine, from fruits and syrups to cheese and chocolate.
Afterwards, if it happens to be Saturday, check out the Eugene Saturday Market, the oldest arts and crafts market in the US. You’ll find everything from handmade kaleidoscopes and dreamcatchers to belly-dancing demonstrations and fresh mango-peach popsicles. And before you head out of town for good, stop by TJ’s on Willamette, where you can pick up a gram or two of TJ’s Durban Poison, the perfect active strain for the outdoor activities ahead.
Next up: an adventure in spelunking. The Lava River Cave lies 12 miles south of Bend, and you can follow beautiful OR-58 and US-97N to get there. At a mile in length, the northwestern section of the cavern is the longest continuous lava cave in Oregon (so don’t forget to bring a flashlight).
Assuming you don’t get lost in the cave, carry on to Bend when you’re done and settle in at one of the various affordable lodging options in town, where you can chill, wander around downtown, and wait for the midday heat to cool before strapping on your hiking boots and heading to the Sisters Mirror Lake Loop trailhead.
Heads up: The trail is on national forest land, meaning cannabis is technically illegal based on federal law, so leave your stash back at your hotel room (if you bring anything along, you do so at your own risk). This laid-back loop spans seven miles, so you’ll be back at your car in a couple of hours.
That leaves you plenty of time for a leisurely evening of bud and brews back in Bend, which just so happens to be the craft beer capital of America. Belly up to a table at riverside Bend Brewing Co. to watch the sunset over a hearty brewpub dinner; swing by Boneyard Beer afterward to see what’s brewing there; and end up at Crux Fermentation Project, which specializes in unconventional brewing projects that will keep you tasting and on your toes. A few vape puffs between each stop will have you floating happily along all evening.
Stop in at Bend’s super-friendly Oregrown for some last-minute supplies before you head out of town.
Additional image credits:
Oregon Coast: WestWindGraphics/iStock
Prineville: Igor Zhuravlov/iStock
Note: This road trip itinerary is not intended to encourage unlawful cannabis consumption of any kind. Never drive under the influence of cannabis or consume in violation of any state or local law, and always keep your cannabis sealed and locked away in the trunk while on the road.