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The state of Oregon lies on the Pacific coastline in the far west of the nation, with Salem its capital and Portland its largest city. It’s a land of forests, deserts, mountain ranges with extinct volcanoes and crater lakes, prairies, waterfalls, shrublands, gorges and rolling steppes, perfect for a self-drive holiday. For more sophisticated city pleasures, Portland provides culture, fine dining, nightlife and history in a pleasurably laid-back manner.
Car hire in Oregon is provided by eight international companies, including Avis, Hertz, Budget, Dollar and Enterprise. The handiest pick-up point for arrivals from Europe is Portland International Airport, and most firms have drop-off points and offices in the state’s main towns and cities, including Eugene and Bend. For the best deals, compare car hire before your trip.
Portland International Airport is the primary aviation hub, providing flights to Tokyo and Amsterdam as well as to major US international hubs and a good selection of regional routes. The state’s two Interstate highways, I-5 and I-84, run north to south and east from Portland respectively and there are a number of federal highways linking Oregon’s regions in a grid pattern.
Due to the state’s generally friendly weather patterns and the overall standard of its roads, driving here is unlikely to present any challenges. The well-marked speed limits vary according to roads and locations, and are slightly lower than the USA average on the highways at between 88kph (55mph) and 104kmh (65mph).
Local drivers here are considerate and traffic is moderate, except in major cities during rush hours.
Car rental in Oregon comes into its own in this geographically diverse state, with the towering peaks of the Cascade Mountains home to waterfalls and dense forests. For stunning high desert scenery, central Oregon has it all and for windy wilderness beauty, Columbia Gorge is a must-visit. For wine, fishing and Crater Lakes, head for southern Oregon, and for romance and sheer beauty, the hundreds of miles of coastline and beaches are perfect.
Oregon is closer to an all-year-round visitor destination than many US states, as its climate is benignly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Even so, extremely high and low temperatures can occasionally surprise even its inhabitants. Western areas are mainly moist and mild, with the deserts of the central and eastern regions much drier. July and August are the hottest months, with occasional peaks of over 28ËC and a few heatwaves inland, and January daytime lows average around 5ËC with occasional snowy periods.