Explore The Best Activities In Ontario, Oregon – 2024 Guide

Things To Do In Ontario Oregon

Planning a trip to Ontario, Oregon, but feeling a bit lost on what to do? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Ontario, a charming little city tucked away in Malheur County, is brimming with activities that often fly under the radar.

We’ve rolled up our sleeves and done some digging to uncover the best experiences this hidden gem has to offer. Our guide will take you on a journey through top attractions, outdoor adventures, and nearby excursions for 2024.

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and get ready to discover Ontario’s treasures. Trust us, you’re in for a treat!

Key Takeaways

  • Ontario, Oregon offers a mix of cultural and outdoor attractions, including the Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum, Snake River rafting, and nearby state parks.
  • Top activities include visiting The House That Art Built, exploring the Ontario State Recreation Site, and taking guided rafting tours on the Boise and Snake Rivers.
  • Nearby attractions worth visiting are Farewell Bend State Recreation Area, Lake Owyhee State Park, and Jordan Craters, which offer camping, hiking, and unique geological features.
  • Ontario has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters, making May to September the best time to visit for outdoor activities.
  • The city is improving transportation options through its Active Transportation Plan, making it easier for visitors to walk, bike, and use public transit to explore the area.

Top Things To Do In Ontario Oregon

Things To Do In Ontario Oregon - A photo of the rugged Owyhee Canyonlands in Ontario, Oregon, showcasing its natural beauty.

Ontario, Oregon offers a mix of cultural and natural attractions. Visitors can explore the area’s rich history and enjoy outdoor activities along the Snake River.

Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum

We love exploring the Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum in Ontario, Oregon. It’s a gem that showcases the rich history and diverse cultures of the area. Open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, this place offers a deep dive into the stories of Native Americans, Basques, Hispanics, and Japanese Americans who shaped the region.

One of the museum’s standout features is the Hikaru Mizu Japanese Garden. It’s the only one of its kind within 400 miles, making it a must-see for visitors. For families planning a summer trip, the center hosts a Missoula Children’s Theatre Summer Camp in July 2024 – a great opportunity for kids to engage with the arts.

The House That Art Built

The House That Art Built stands as a testament to Ontario’s creative spirit. This unique attraction showcases 81 photos of local art, offering visitors a glimpse into the town’s artistic soul.

We’ve found it to be a hidden gem, perfect for those seeking a quiet escape from bustling city life. The building itself is a work of art, featuring locally made items that reflect the region’s culture and history.

Inside, we’re treated to a diverse collection of artwork. From paintings to sculptures, each piece tells a story about Ontario and its people. The House That Art Built has earned a stellar 5.0 rating based on 4 reviews, suggesting that visitors consistently enjoy their experience here.

It’s located at 443 SW 1st St, making it easily accessible for anyone exploring downtown Ontario. This spot is ideal for art lovers and those curious about the local culture in this charming corner of Oregon.

Ontario State Recreation Site

We love Ontario State Recreation Site for its peaceful charm and outdoor fun. This gem sits right on the Snake River, offering a perfect spot for a quiet getaway. Here, we can launch our boats, enjoy a picnic, or simply watch the birds go by.

The walking trails give us a chance to stretch our legs and soak in the natural beauty.

Getting to this recreation site is a breeze – it’s just off I-84. We appreciate how easy it is to access, making it ideal for a quick stop or a full day of relaxation. Whether we’re in the mood for fishing, hiking, or just sitting by the water, this spot has us covered.

It’s a great place to experience the quieter side of Oregon’s Treasure Valley region.

Outdoor Activities in Ontario

Ontario offers plenty of outdoor adventures for nature lovers. From rafting on the Snake River to exploring the rugged landscapes of Hells Canyon, there’s no shortage of thrills.

Boise River Guided Rafting, Swimming and Wildlife Tour

We offer a thrilling Boise River guided rafting, swimming, and wildlife tour that’s perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This 3-hour excursion starts at 7661 W Riverside Dr suite 104, Garden City, ID, and takes you on an unforgettable journey down the picturesque Boise River.

Our expert guides ensure your safety while pointing out local flora and fauna along the way.

Our small group size (maximum 7 travelers) allows for a personalized experience. We provide all necessary equipment, including life jackets for participants weighing at least 33 pounds.

Don’t worry about last-minute changes – we offer a full refund if you cancel 24 hours in advance. Join us for a refreshing dip in the river, spot wildlife, and create lasting memories in the heart of Idaho’s natural beauty.

Half Day Whitewater Rafting Trip near Boise, ID

We love the Half Day Whitewater Rafting Trip near Boise, ID. It’s a perfect escape for those seeking adventure just 40 minutes from the city. This three-hour journey suits all skill levels, making it ideal for families and groups.

The river’s rapids offer thrills, while calm stretches let us soak in the scenery.

Safety comes first on this trip. Guides provide gear and instructions before we hit the water. They’re experts at navigating the currents and pointing out local wildlife. The weight limit is 300 lbs, and kids must be at least 5 years old to join.

We appreciate the free cancellation policy with 24-hour notice, giving us peace of mind when planning our Ontario, Oregon getaway.

Hells Canyon Kirkwood Jet Boat Tour near Boise, ID

The Hells Canyon Kirkwood Jet Boat Tour offers a thrilling adventure near Boise, ID. We glide through North America’s deepest river gorge, taking in breathtaking views of towering cliffs and diverse wildlife.

This 5-hour journey costs $218.36 per adult and accommodates up to four travelers. It’s wheelchair accessible, making it an inclusive option for exploring the Snake River’s rugged beauty.

Our tour guide, Brandie L, shares fascinating stories about the area’s history and geology. We spot bighorn sheep on rocky outcrops and eagles soaring overhead. The powerful jet boat navigates rapids with ease, providing an exhilarating ride through this natural wonder.

It’s a perfect blend of excitement and scenic beauty for those seeking to explore Oregon’s quieter corners.

Snake River Rafting

We love Snake River rafting for its thrilling rapids and stunning scenery. Our trips offer 3, 4, or 5-day adventures, perfect for those seeking a quieter escape. Prices start at $1499, with special wine trips from $2099.

We paddle through Class III and some Class IV rapids, making it an exciting yet manageable experience for most adults and kids over 7 (12 during high water).

Our days on the river are filled with more than just paddling. We hike scenic trails, camp on sandy beaches, and spot wildlife along the shores. It’s a great way to unplug and connect with nature.

Plus, our guides share interesting facts about the area’s history and ecology, adding depth to the journey.

Things To Do In Ontario Oregon – Nearby Attractions and Excursions

Ontario, Oregon offers more than just city attractions. We’ve found some great spots nearby that are worth a day trip or short excursion.

Farewell Bend State Recreation Area

We love Farewell Bend State Recreation Area for its year-round camping and stunning river views. This quiet spot offers three loops: Brownlee, Catfish, and Antelope, each with its own charm.

Even in winter, you’ll find hot showers – a rare treat for off-season campers. Dog owners, rejoice! The fenced exercise area lets Fido run free while you relax.

Visitors rave about the clean facilities and helpful staff. Whether you’re into fishing, hiking, or just soaking in the peace, Farewell Bend has something for everyone. It’s a perfect base to explore the Snake River and nearby attractions.

Pro tip: book early for summer stays, as this hidden gem fills up fast.

Lake Owyhee State Park

Lake Owyhee State Park offers a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This hidden gem boasts a 53-mile-long reservoir, perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming.

We’ve found the park’s two campgrounds, McCormack and Indian Creek, provide excellent amenities for visitors. McCormack Campground features 29 electrical sites with hot showers and flush toilets, while Indian Creek Campground offers 22 electrical sites, two cozy cabins, and a convenient boat ramp.

Wildlife spotting is a highlight at Lake Owyhee State Park. Golden eagles soar overhead, pronghorn antelope graze in the distance, and bighorn sheep navigate the rocky terrain. The park’s desert landscape, dotted with unique geological features, creates a stunning backdrop for hiking and photography.

Whether you’re casting a line for fish or simply soaking in the tranquil atmosphere, Lake Owyhee State Park promises a memorable escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Jordan Craters

We love exploring Jordan Craters, a hidden gem near Ontario, Oregon. This volcanic wonderland spans 27 square miles and offers a unique landscape of pahoehoe lava flows and spatter cones.

The main crater features a hiking trail that circles its rim and descends into its depths, covering about a mile in total. It’s a great spot for geology buffs and nature lovers alike.

Our visits to Jordan Craters are best planned for spring or fall. Summer temperatures can soar above 120 degrees, making exploration challenging. We always recommend a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the rough access road.

Despite its remote location, the site’s raw beauty and scientific importance make it a must-see for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures in Oregon.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Oregon

Oregon’s small towns offer a delightful escape from bustling city life. These charming communities, with populations ranging from 1,200 to 34,600 residents, provide a slower pace and unique attractions.

We’ve explored these hidden gems and found they’re perfect for those seeking a quieter getaway. From the cultural hub of Ashland, home to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, to the coastal beauty of Cannon Beach, each town has its own distinct character.

These small Oregon towns boast a mix of natural wonders and cultural experiences. In Jacksonville, we enjoyed the Britt Music & Arts Festival, set against a backdrop of historic buildings and lush vineyards.

The median home prices in these towns vary widely, from $245,000 to $835,000, reflecting their diverse appeal. Some towns, like Hood River, offer stunning mountain views and outdoor activities, while others, such as Yachats, charm visitors with their rugged coastlines and cozy atmosphere.

The average age of residents in these communities spans from 36.6 to 59.6 years, creating a blend of youthful energy and seasoned wisdom.

Planning Your Trip to Ontario

Planning your trip to Ontario is easy with our handy guide. We’ve got the scoop on where to stay, what to eat, and how to get around. Want to know more? Keep reading for all the details you need for a great visit to this charming Oregon town.

Essential information

We’ve got the essential info you need for your Ontario, Oregon adventure. This small town, nestled along Interstate 84, offers a blend of cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

The Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum stands as a hub for learning about the area’s Shoshone peoples and agricultural heritage. With a population of about 11,000, Ontario provides a quieter escape from bustling city life.

Ontario’s climate is semi-arid, with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is between May and September when temperatures are mild and perfect for outdoor explorations.

Don’t miss the Snake River and Owyhee River areas for stunning natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Our 88-page guide, priced at $4.99, offers comprehensive details on local attractions, accommodations, and dining options to make your trip planning a breeze.

Things To Do In Ontario Oregon – Places to stay

Ontario, Oregon offers a range of accommodations to suit different tastes and budgets. We recommend checking out the Red Lion Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Ontario, or Motel 6 Ontario, OR for comfortable stays.

These hotels provide various amenities and are conveniently located near local attractions. Most lodgings in the area offer fully refundable rates, giving visitors flexibility in their travel plans.

To get the best deal, we suggest comparing room rates and reading hotel reviews before booking. This helps ensure you find the perfect spot that balances comfort, location, and value.

Ontario’s smaller-town charm means you’ll likely enjoy a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere compared to bigger cities – perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

Places to eat and drink

We’ve got some tasty spots for you to try in Ontario. Romio’s Pizza & Pasta is a local favorite, boasting a 4.5 out of 5 rating from nearly 200 reviews. They’ve kept up great service and food, even during tough times.

For a mix of American and Irish flavors, Mackey’s Steakhouse & Pub offers a mid-range dining experience that’s sure to satisfy.

Ontario’s food scene may be small, but it packs a flavorful punch. From comfort food to international cuisine, you’ll find options to suit your taste buds. We recommend trying local specialties that showcase the region’s agricultural roots.

Don’t forget to pair your meal with a local brew or wine for the full Ontario experience.

Transportation options

We’ve got plenty of ways to get around Ontario, Oregon. Our city’s Active Transportation Plan is making it easier for folks to walk, bike, and use public transit. This means you’ll have more options to explore our charming town without always needing a car.

The East Idaho Avenue Refinement Plan is also in the works, focusing on creating better connections for all types of travel. These plans are currently under review by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, with the city council set to adopt them soon.

For those who prefer driving, Ontario’s compact size makes it a breeze to navigate by car. Renting a vehicle gives you the freedom to venture out to nearby attractions like Farewell Bend State Recreation Area or Lake Owyhee State Park.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider booking a guided rafting trip on the Boise or Snake River – they’ll often provide transportation from Ontario. Remember, our small-town charm means less traffic and more time to enjoy the sights!

Things To Do In Ontario Oregon Conclusion

Ontario, Oregon offers a wealth of experiences for visitors in 2024. From cultural attractions to outdoor adventures, this small town packs a big punch. Nature lovers will find plenty to explore in nearby parks and rivers.

History buffs can delve into the area’s rich past at museums and historic sites. With charming accommodations and tasty local eateries, Ontario makes an ideal base for discovering eastern Oregon’s hidden gems.

Things To Do In Ontario Oregon FAQs

1. What are the top tourist attractions in Ontario, Oregon?

Ontario, Oregon offers several beautiful spots. The Cultural Center Museum stands out. It showcases local history and art. The Oregon Trail also runs nearby. Visitors can explore agriculture and crop production sites too.

2. Is there a zoo in Ontario, Oregon?

Ontario doesn’t have its own zoo. But Zoo Boise is not far away. It’s a great day trip for animal lovers. The zoo features diverse wildlife and educational programs.

3. Can I learn about the Oregon Trail in Ontario?

Yes! Ontario sits near the historic Oregon Trail. The Cultural Center Museum has exhibits about it. You can see artifacts and learn about pioneer life. It’s a must-visit for history buffs.

4. Are there any Instagram-worthy spots in Ontario, Oregon?

Ontario has many picturesque locations. The Snake River offers stunning views. Local farms provide colorful backdrops during harvest. The downtown area has charming, photo-worthy corners too.

5. What unique experiences can I find in Ontario, Oregon?

Ontario boasts unique experiences tied to its heritage. You can visit farms to see crop production. The area’s volcanic past left interesting molten rock formations. Nearby Gowen Field offers aviation history. Local retail shops showcase regional products.

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