No plans next weekend? The ski season is in full swing on Oregon’s highest mountain, 11,245-foot Mount Hood.

Iconic Timberline Lodge, a national historic landmark built in the 1930s, stands at the 6,000-foot level of the mountain. Two thousand feet downhill, the village of Government Camp is the gateway to Mount Hood SkiBowl, the country’s largest night-skiing area. Skiers also enjoy Mount Hood Meadows on the peak’s eastern slope.

Mount Hood SkiBowl, near Government Camp, promotes itself as the largest night-skiing area in the United States.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

You can be there in less than two hours: Timberline Lodge is 107 miles northwest of Bend via U.S. Highways 97 and 26. Plan to dine with award-winning chef Jason Stoller Smith in the Cascade Room at the lodge, but if its charming rooms are booked, stay at the Collins Lake Resort in Government Camp.

Here are 23 other seasonal ideas to help you plan your Oregon travels in 2015.

Late January: Central Coast

The marvelous Oregon Coast Aquarium is reason enough to make the drive to charming Newport on a rainy winter weekend. Nearby are Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, a tide-pooler’s paradise. An easy drive north on U.S. Highway 101 are Depoe Bay, a tiny harbor town famed as a whale-watching center; the busy resort center of Lincoln City; and Pacific City, a popular surfing location beside prominent Cape Kiwanda.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport features a "Passages of the Deep" exhibit that enables visitors to walk through underwater ecosystems.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Newport is 183 miles west of Bend via U.S. Highway 20. Stay near Newport at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn or 47 miles north at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. Dine with James Beard Award-nominated chef-owner Justin Wills of Restaurant Beck, in Depoe Bay’s Whale Cove Inn.

Early February: Diamond Lake

The rustic Diamond Lake Lodge is the hub of a winter wonderland. From this four-seasons resort center, you can go ice fishing when the lake is frozen over; cross-country skiing into the Mount Thielsen Wilderness; cat skiing from the summit of 8,363-foot Mount Bailey; or snowmobiling 15 miles to the rim of Crater Lake.

Japanese visitors attempt ice fishing on snow-covered Diamond Lake, where Mount Bailey, in the background, attracts backcountry cat skiers.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Diamond Lake is 96 miles south of Bend via U.S. Highway 97 and state Route 138. The full-service lodge provides lodging and dining.

Late February: Baker City

Back in the 1840s, emigrant wagon trains got their first glimpse of Oregon’s potential boundary from the top of Flagstaff Hill. Today the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, open year-round, stands at that site just east of Baker City. It’s but one reason to visit this pioneer-flavored town. Make it a base for side trips to the gold-rush village of Sumter and the modest winter-sports center at Anthony Lakes.

The Geiser Grand Hotel was built in the 1880s when Baker City was known as the "Queen City of the Mines."

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Baker City is 247 miles east of Bend via U.S. Highways 26 and state Route 7. Stay at the Geiser Grand Hotel, built in the 1880s when Baker City was known as the “Queen City of the Mines,” and order great Italian from Paizano’s Pizza.

Early March: North coast

Astoria, the Northwest’s oldest settlement (founded as a fur-trading post in 1811), has a historic flair that predates the city itself: Fort Clatsop, where explorers Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-05, is just out of town. The Columbia River Maritime Museum is outstanding. A short drive south are Seaside, a family resort town with boardwalk-style diversions, and Cannon Beach, a gentile beachfront village noted for its art galleries and studios.

The "Hawaiian Chieftain" tall ship sails in waters off historic Astoria near the mouth of the Columbia River.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Astoria is 255 miles northwest of Bend via U.S. Highway 26 from Portland. In Astoria, stay at the Cannery Pier Hotel and dine at Baked Alaska. In Cannon Beach, overnight at The Ocean Lodge and enjoy dinner at Newman’s 988.

Late March: State Capitol

Salem comes to life when the State Legislature is in session between February and July. Visitors may take a fascinating guided tour of the State Capitol building, explore the monument-adorned grounds and watch their government in action. Also worth a visit is the Mission Mill Museum, a 19th-century woolen mill with exhibits that describe the early use of water power.

A tour guide at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem describes a mural depicting the journey of Lewis and Clark to a party of visitors.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Salem is 131 miles west of Bend via U.S. Highway 20 and state Route 22. The city’s best hotel is the Grand Hotel; grab lunch at the Wild Pear or dine with the politicians at the intimate Crooked House Bistro.

Early April: Hood River

When the apple and cherry trees blossom in the Columbia River Gorge, the Hood River Valley is a rhapsody of color. Its namesake community of 7,000 is world-renowned as a wind-surfing and kite-boarding center. Hood River is a base for driving the Historic Columbia River Highway to Oregon’s highest waterfall, Multnomah Falls, and other scenic attractions.

Snow-covered Mount Hood rises above orchards of blossoming apple and cherry trees near Hood River in early spring.

Courtesy Hood River County Chamber of Commerce / Submitted photo

Hood River is 152 miles north of Bend via U.S. Highway 26 and state Route 35. Find lodging at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel and enjoy a gourmet dinner at either Stonehedge Gardens or the Celilo Restaurant.

Late April: Painted Hills

The three parcels of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument occupy remote corners of north-central Oregon. Two are easily reached off U.S. Highway 26 east of Prineville: The Painted Hills splash stripes of stunning colors above Bridge Creek near Mitchell, while the Sheep Rock unit, outside of Dayville, has an outstanding paleontological museum.

The stunning Painted Hills are the most frequently visited parcel of the three that comprise John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Stay at the Best Western John Day Inn, 153 miles east of Bend, and enjoy a steak at the Snaffle Bit Dinner House. While in John Day, visit the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, once a social and medical center for Chinese immigrants.

Early May: Oregon Caves

Discovered by a young hunter in 1874, the Oregon Caves have been federally preserved as a national monument since 1909. Ninety-minute guided tours descend 220 feet beneath the earth’s surface into the limestone cavern, its remote passages — formed of calcite over the past 2.5 million years — still awaiting exploration.

Calcite draperies are one of many remarkable features that visitors may see on 90-minute tours of Oregon Caves National Monument.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

The Oregon Caves gateway of Cave Junction is 271 miles southwest of Bend on U.S. Highway 199; the national monument is another 18 miles east on state Route 46. Plan to stay and dine at the 23-room Chateau at the Oregon Caves, open since 1934, or look into luxury treehouse lodging at the Out’n’About Treesort in remote Takilna.

Late May: Oregon Dunes

Nowhere on the coast is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area nearer to Bend than at Florence. Honeyman State Park, just south, is a great place to access mountains of sand that extend 40 miles south. An easy drive north are the Sea Lion Caves, its remarkable grottoes home to scores of noisy marine mammals, and Heceta Head, whose renovated lighthouse may be the best known on the entire coast.

Hikers cross the wind-rippled Oregon Dunes, a stretch of seaside sands that extend 40 miles south from Florence to Coos Bay.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Florence is 190 miles west of Bend via state Route 126. Plan to stay at the Best Western Pier Point Inn, overlooking the Siuslaw River, and dine at the excellent Waterfront Depot in the heart of Florence’s Old Town district.

Early June: Portland roses

Oregon’s most acclaimed annual event, the 109-year-old Rose Festival, takes over the state’s largest city for three weeks in late May and early June. The big day in 2015 is June 6, when the Grand Floral Parade winds through the streets of downtown. Throughout, there are concerts, carnivals, fireworks, classic car cruises, boat races and every other type of revelry imaginable.

A popular feature of the annual Portland Rose Festival is CityFair, drawing throngs of people to the banks of the Willamette River in early June.

Courtesy Travel Portland / Submitted photo

Portland is 160 miles northwest of Bend. One of many fine places to stay is the charming Hotel Lucia, with chef Vitaly Paley’s Imperial Restaurant on its ground floor.

Late June: Rogue River

Oregon’s finest whitewater rafting adventure is a three-day wilderness trip down the Rogue River between Galice and Agness. Several companies, including Rogue River Rafting Trips at Morrison’s Lodge, near Merlin, upgrade this journey from traditional camping to lodging in private rooms (with bath) in rustic riverside cabins, complete with home-cooked meals.

Rafters race through a whitewater rapid in the Rogue River Wilderness during a three-day trip between Galice and Agness.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

The regional hub is Grants Pass, 240 miles southwest of Bend where U.S. Highway 199 meets Interstate 5. You can base yourself at Morrison’s, 9 miles farther west, but also plan a dinner in Grants Pass at the charming Twisted Cork restaurant.

Early July: Crater Lake

Oregon’s iconic national park has two faces. There’s one you see from your car as you drive the 33-mile Rim Drive around the spectacular, deep-blue remnant of ancient Mount Mazama, Wizard Island dominating the scene. Then there’s the Crater Lake you see only from water level, reached by descending on foot more than a mile down a steep rock face and staring up at the surrounding 1,000-foot cliffs on a three-hour cruise.

Filling the volcanic caldera of ancient Mount Mazama, Crater Lake is best seen from numerous viewpoints along its 33-mile Rim Drive.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Crater Lake National Park is 90 miles south of Bend via U.S. Highway 97 and state Route 138. Book well in advance to stay at the venerable Crater Lake Lodge, built in 1915, and take meals in its elegant lakeview dining room.

Late July: The Wallowas

You have to make a special effort to reach Oregon’s remote but remarkable northeastern corner. The historic home of Chief Joseph’s Nez Perce tribe, Wallowa County is framed by two wildernesses — Hells Canyon, surrounding the rugged Snake River country on the Idaho border, and Eagle Cap, crowning the mountain wall of the Wallowa Range to the south. The town of Joseph, near glacial Wallowa Lake, is an art community with several bronze foundries.

A horsewoman leads her mount down a trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in northeastern Oregons lofty Wallowa Range.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

The county seat of Enterprise is 336 miles northeast of Bend via U.S. Highway 97, Interstate 84 and state Route 82 from La Grande. Stay at any of several bed-and-breakfast inns in Joseph, but plan at least one meal at the renowned Terminal Gravity brewpub in Enterprise.

Early August: Jacksonville

Founded in 1851 as the hub of a short-lived but lucrative gold rush, Jacksonville is a fully intact national historic district filled with handsome, red-brick commercial buildings and gracious residences. The hub of the burgeoning Applegate Valley wine region, it is home to the annual Britt Festivals, a renowned summer-long concert series held in an open-air amphitheater on adjacent park land.

Its main street dating from a short-lived but lucrative gold rush in the 1850s, the entire town of Jacksonville is a national historic district.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Jacksonville is 217 miles southwest of Bend, 5 miles outside of Medford on state Route 238. Stay in the heart of the action at the lovely Elan Guest Suites and enjoy a dinner in historic surroundings at the Jacksonville Inn.

Late August: Gold Beach

A regional hub from which to explore Oregon’s southern coast — from Cape Blanco and Port Orford to the redwood country of Brookings, near the California border — Gold Beach nestles at the mouth of the Rogue River. From mid-May to mid-October, Jerry’s Rogue Jets run shallow-draft jetboats more than 50 miles upriver to tiny Agness. Wildlife sightings, perhaps including black bears and bald eagles, are guaranteed.

A shallow-draft jetboat carries sightseers up the Rogue River from Gold Beach to remote communities where wildlife is prolific.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Gold Beach is 316 miles southwest of Bend on U.S. Highway 101. There’s no better place to stay and dine than the Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, with luxurious riverside accommodations on the banks of the Rogue, 7 miles east of town.

Early September: Pendleton

Let ‘er buck! The focus of Oregon’s cowboy culture is Pendleton, where the Pendleton Roundup has been staged every year since 1910. This year’s event, scheduled Sept. 16-19, will include parades, a native powwow and plenty of rodeo action. While you’re in town, don’t miss a tour of the historic underground, beneath the downtown streets, or a visit to the internationally famed Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Saddle maker Randy Severe, a former president of the Pendleton Round-Up, stands in the arena where the famed rodeo is held each September.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Pendleton is 240 miles northeast of Bend via U.S. Highway 97 and Interstate 84. You might choose to stay at the Oxford Suites. The Hamley Steakhouse is a Pendleton institution.

Late September: Ashland

In any season, Ashland is a charming town to explore. The renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival begins in February and continues until November, but the best time to visit is after Labor Day, when crowds thin but a full slate of productions continues. Iconic to the festival is the outdoor stage at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, which will stay open this year through the final presentation of “The Count of Monte Cristo” on Oct. 11.

An open-air audience enjoys "A Midsummer Nightís Dream" on stage at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland.

T. Charles Erickson, courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival / Submitted photo

Ashland is 200 miles southwest of Bend, 12 miles southeast of Medford. Two wonderful small hotels are the Winchester Inn and the Peerless Hotel, both of which have their own fine restaurants.

Early October: Wine Country

Fall is grape-harvest season in the heart of the Oregon Wine Country, as truckloads of pinot noir berries are plucked from the vines that cloak the hills near Newberg and Dundee, McMinnville and Carlton. Hundreds of wineries welcome visitors to view the winemaking process and sample the fruits of their labors in tasting rooms.

The October harvest of pinot noir grapes is the high point of the year at the Sokol Blosser Winery and scores of other Willamette Valley wineries.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

The Wine Country is focused along U.S. Highway 99 West about 160 miles northwest of Bend. Kick back at the Allison Inn & Spa on a hillside above Newberg, and enjoy at least one meal at the mushroom-and-truffle-friendly Joel Palmer House in Dayton.

Late October: A birding escape

The Great Basin lands of southeastern Oregon are an important stop for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway in fall and spring. From Summer Lake, midway down state Route 31 in the Oregon Outback, to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge at the foot of Steens Mountain, rarely seen birds like sandhill cranes, snow geese and avocets and are suddenly legion. Visitors are also lured to the alkaline Alvord Desert and to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.

A black-necked stilt wades through marshland at the edge of Summer Lake, a popular destination for birdwatching.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Frenchglen is 190 miles southeast of Bend on state Route 205, via U.S. Highway 20 through Burns. Through October, sleep and eat at the old Frenchglen Hotel, where family-style dining assures that guests have plenty of company at meal time.

Early November: The Dalles

The eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge is guarded by The Dalles, a historic Oregon Trail river town. Fabled Celilo Falls, a native fishing center submerged by later dams, were visited by Lewis and Clark in 1804. Sights include the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum, and 20 miles upstream, the quirky Maryhill Art Museum (closed mid-November to March) and Stonehenge war memorial.

The Baldwin Saloon, built in 1876 and still a restaurant, is one of many historic buildings in The Dalles, largest town in the Columbia River Gorge.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

The Dalles is 130 miles north of Bend via U.S. Highways 97 and 197. The delightful Celilo Inn offers the city’s best lodging overlooking The Dalles Dam on the east end of town. Dine at the historic Baldwin Saloon, built in 1876.

Late November: Eugene

What’s fall without football, and a pilgrimage to the home of the University of Oregon Ducks? But Autzen Stadium is only one attraction in Eugene. Parks and performing-arts centers draw raves, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, on campus, has Oregon’s finest collection of ancient and contemporary Asian art.

The Inn at the 5th offers boutique hotel lodging to Oregon football fans and other visitors in Eugene.

Barb Gonzalez / For The Bulletin

Eugene is 128 miles west of Bend. Plant your bags at the Inn at the 5th, in the Fifth Street Public Market, and enjoy dinner across the courtyard at the award-winning Marché Restaurant.

Early December: Coos Bay

A holiday lighting display gives seasonal flair to Shore Acres State Park, one of the state’s outstanding botanical gardens at picturesque Cape Arago. It’s a short detour from Coos Bay, the largest harbor of the Oregon coast. The twin blue-collar towns of Coos Bay and North Bend are just a few minutes from sand dunes to the north, the fishing port of Charleston to the west and the year-round golfers’ mecca of Bandon to the south.

Commercial fishing boats fill the harbor in Charleston, one of numerous points of interest between Coos Bay and Cape Arago on the Oregon coast.

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Coos Bay is 237 miles southwest of Bend on U.S. Highway 101. Stay at North Bend’s Mill Casino, owned by the Coquille tribe, but dine in Coos Bay at the Fishermen’s Seafood Market, where fresh-from-the-water seafood is grilled atop a barge.

Late December: Portland

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping for last minute, you may have to hightail it to Portland, the state’s only metropolis, and scour stores within a shout of the central Pioneer Courthouse Square. Then head into the neighborhood shopping districts — on streets such as Hawthorne, Alberta and Northwest 23rd — to check out the work of local artisans and designers. Look for the Christmas boats on the Willamette River at night.

A giant Christmas tree stands at the heart of Portland's central Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Courtesy of Travel Portland / Submitted photo

Portland is 160 miles northwest of Bend. One of the city’s finest downtown lodgings is The Heathman, and its acclaimed restaurant specializes in classic French cuisine.

— Reporter: janderson@bendbulletin.com

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