Oregon beckons adventurous souls to explore its volcanic mountains, painted hills, stunning coastline and high deserts. Here a range of climates afford visitors and residents alike the chance to experience wintery pursuits such as skiing at Mount Hood, then warm their bellies with a glass of wine made from grapes grown in the fertile soils of the valleys that lie below. The volcanic runoff from Mount Hood has enriched the lands surrounding it, creating a prime region for growing apricots, apples, blueberries and pears in addition to grapes. The city of Portland is one of the nation’s most livable metropolitan areas, with a vibrant arts community, efficient public transportation and dozens of parks within city limits. On the west coast of Oregon, 363 miles of public coastline provides an everchanging range of landscapes from rocky cliffs to sandy beaches. There’s no sales tax in Oregon, and shoppers can stock up on local treats like Oregonzola blue cheese or Oregon smoked salmon, or scour the Portland Sunday Market for handcrafted jewelry, pottery and fine art. The Oregon Health & Science University in Portland traces its origins back to 1887, when the first students of the University of Oregon Medical School were taught in a tiny converted grocery store. It now features world-class schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy.