For extremely popular destinations, such as Cannon Beach  and other coastal towns, plan to reserve well in advance during peak times, such as summer weekends and holidays. “Off-season” specials are a way to beat the crowds and the costs. For example, before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, room rates on the coast can drop by 25 percent or so, and in winter even by 50 percent.
While there’s no sales tax in Oregon, note that a local lodging tax—ranging 6–12 percent, depending on the locale—will be added to your bill. In addition, a recently implemented 1 percent statewide “transient lodging” tax, dedicated to tourism-promotion efforts, also applies.
Oregon  has become known for its excellent restaurants, the most notable of which focus on using locally grown, raised, or gathered foods. Oregon’s abundance of fresh produce, seafood, and other indigenous ingredients prompted the country’s apostle of haute cuisine, James Beard, to extol the restaurants and cooking of his home state. In his autobiography, Delights and Prejudices, he implies that Oregon strawberries, Seaside peas, Dungeness crab, and other local fare are the standards by which he judges culinary staples around the world. This cornucopia is the basis of a regional cuisine emphasizing fresh natural foods cooked lightly to preserve flavor, color, and texture.
One food that seems to be unique to Oregon is the marionberry, a purple berry whose tarter-than-blackberry taste and small seeds make it ideal for dessert fare, especially marionberry ice cream. Oregon lamb and the seasonally available excellent fresh sturgeon, venison, and game birds are other taste treasures. Oregon specialties can be complemented with a world-class pinot noir, gourmet coffee, or microbrew.
Nonetheless, it is possible to have a bad meal in this state. In fact, the quality of the cuisine in some remote Oregon towns is a source of self-deprecating humor for the locals. And as many will tell you, there is no shortage of bland, starchy clam chowder on the Oregon coast.
Note Oregon’s liquor laws: Liquor is sold by the bottle only in state-sanctioned liquor stores, open Monday–Saturday. Beer and wine are also sold in grocery stores and retail outlets. Liquor is sold by the drink in licensed establishments 7 a.m.–2:30 a.m. The minimum drinking age is 21.
Oregon has nearly 100 craft breweries making beer without preservatives or chemical additives to enhance head or color. Instead of the rice or corn used by the big outfits, the micros just use barley, malt, hops, yeast, and water. The end result is a more full-bodied, tastier brew with a distinct personality.
The reason Oregon is awash in gourmet suds owes much to the availability of topnotch ingredients—hops, barley, and clear water. Almost one-third of the world’s hops are produced here in the Northwest. The Willamette Valley  alone cultivates more than a dozen varieties. Add Cascade mountain water, malted barley from the Klamath basin, and Hood River –grown yeast cultures and you can see why there are more breweries and brewpubs per capita in Oregon than anywhere else in the United States.