Looking for a SWEET weekend getaway from Portland, Oregon? Paul and I headed about an hour south east of the city last month and came upon the treasure that is Silver State Falls Park. Oregon seriously brings its A game when it comes to our state parks and this own is often cited as the crown jewel.
Do bring a jacket as a lot of the trails are under tree canopy and it can get chilly. We also encountered a bit of rain on our hike, so waterproof gear is key as well as solid running or hiking shoes as the paths can be slippery and uneven.
Here’s what we got up to on our weekend away!
SILVER STATE FALLS PARK
I’ve had Silver State Falls Park on my Oregon bucket list for a long time and finally got a chance to get out to this gem. I definitely recommend making a whole weekend out of it and taking your time.
Start by heading to the South Falls Day-use Area and park your car. Follow the signs to the majestic South Falls and check out the amazing views from above, below and behind the falls. Parking is $5 and there are flush toilets here as well. The parking machine does accept credit cards as well.
From here, you can take the Canyon Trail to the Lower South Falls for another chance for gorgeous waterfall views. From there, you can follow the Canyon Trail to follow The Trail of Ten Falls.
We chose to cut out at this point to visit The South Falls Nature Store and to grab a quick lunch at The South Falls Lodge & Cafe. It’s nothing fancy – more like a refreshments stand with beer, wine, ice cream, wraps and soups in a quick-serve format. There’s also free WiFi if you need to check-in, there’s not a whole lot of cell service in the park.
After lunch we drove over to The Winter Falls Trailhead to see a couple more waterfalls! From here you can follow The Winter Trail to see Winter Falls, Middle North Falls, Drake Falls, Lower North Falls, Double Falls and Twin Falls.
By the end of our 2-hour hike we had our fill of waterfalls and decided to head to The Oregon Garden to watch the sunset.
THE OREGON GARDEN
The Oregon Garden features 80 stunning acres of beautiful, landscaped gardens with views of the Williamette Valley. We were lucky to be visiting in the fall just as the leaves were starting to turn, but many flowers and plants were still in bloom. There are also lots of decorative fountains, sculptures and art to see on the property.
For those traveling with young children, guests with limited mobility, or if you’re just looking for a leisurely ride – there is a complimentary narrated tram tour from April to October. We thoroughly enjoyed the tram as we learned a lot about the Oregon Garden and it gave us a great overview of the space.
The Oregon Garden is also pet-friendly! There’s even a pet garden featuring plants that are safe for pets. So bring your pup and enjoy a peaceful walk together. There is a cafe on-site and picnics are also welcome in designated areas.
THE OREGON GARDEN RESORT
We stayed at The Oregon Garden Resort which is attached to the garden and includes garden admission with your stay. It’s a great place to walk around in the morning and afternoon for a little bit of zen.
The resort is roughly a 30-minute drive to The Silver Falls State Park and only 15 minutes away to the charming Bavarian town of Mt. Angel. The hotel is located in the town of Silverton, Oregon which has a historic downtown area to explore.
A complimentary breakfast is served daily at the resort from 7-10 AM and there’s also a spa on-site for those looking for a relaxing massage after a weekend of hiking. There’s also a pool, hot tub, restaurant and lounge with live entertainment nightly.
Our room featured a fireplace and balcony overlooking the garden with a cute little bistro set where you could enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or coffee in the AM.
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE
A big surpise for us was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gordon House on the garden’s property. The Gordon House is the only Wright property in Oregon and was moved to its current home from a Wilsonville suburb to be preserved and enjoyed by visitors.
We didn’t book a tour, but we did take a peek in through the windows of this mid-century modern home. Tours are available – just be sure to book ahead.
THE GLOCKENSPIEL RESTAURANT
For dinner, we made the drive over to Mt. Angel for an authentic German fare at The Glockenspiel Restaurant. Don’t forget to set your phone alarm for the daily glockenspiel performances when you stop by.
The restaurant features a solid selection of German beers, wines, and radler. We opted for the beer sampler so we could try a little bit of everything. The sausage sampler was also a great appetizer for us as well.
SANDEE THAI RESTAURANT
One of the best thai meals I’ve had in a very long time is at this gem of family-owned restaurant in Silverton, Oregon. I ordered the Pad See Ew at Sandee Thai Restaurant and it was SO good. The owners and chefs are from Thailand and the food is flavourful and authentic.
If you’re thinking about heading into town for dinner, definitely stop by this Thai place.
Overall we had a really great trip to Silver Falls State Park and would definitely go back again! It was also nice to be able to not rush and stretch it out for over the weekend.
Have you been to Silverton, Oregon or the park? What did you get up to?
Disclosure: My stay at The Oregon Garden Resort was complimentary, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own.