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Help Refining a Portland-Seattle Itinerary

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My husband and I have a trip to Portland Seattle from the 18th to the 26th with meetings the first and last day. I am having some difficulties with planning and would love input/suggestions. When we first booked I thought we would have time to do much more than what I now think is reasonable. Because we have meetings in both Cities, I am bookending PDX for 3 nights and SEA for 2. Flying in and out of PDX. Here’s what I have so far:
Wed 18th – Fly into Portland. Check in for 3 nights.
Thurs 19th – Explore Portland.
Fri 20th – Pick up rental car. Day trip to North Willamette Valley.
Sat 21st – Check out of hotel. Travel to Mt. Hood. Short hiking trip (3-4 mi)
Sun. 22nd – Drive the Columbia River Gorge Route
Mon 23rd ?
Tues 24th - Thurs 26th Seattle. Visit Mt. Ranier on the way back to PDX as I have a red-eye flight and my meeting is for the morning only.

Get Stuck here. Spending Tue and Wed nights in Seattle, so I have Sun and Mon nights. Originally thought I would drive to ONP but I think that may be pushing it given how large the area is and my husband has now expressed an interest in a half day white water rafting trip.

As an alternative, I am considering pushing the Willamette Valley to Saturday. Spend Saturday night in that area, possibly the coast and then go to Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge on Sunday and spend 2 nights there instead of one. If I do add the night in the Valley, can anyone recommend where to stay there or the coast ?
I would appreciate feedback from the forum. Thanks for the help!

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    IF I am putting this together in my mind/understanding correctly, the first thing I'd rearrange is making Mount Rainier something you do before Seattle.

    With that in mind you could perhaps drive east along the Columbia Gorge and then perhaps from The Dalles, Oregon to Lyle, WA... to Goldendale, WA... then on to Toppenish, and then Yakima... before taking Highway #12 and/or #410 west toward Mount Rainier, and only then into Seattle.

    This at least checks-off one of the important sights to see while pushing your empty time period further toward where you might want the flexibility to take a leisurely path from Seattle to Portland on the way back.

    PERHAPS, given the scenario I just described, you then drive due south on Interstate #5, to exit #49... and IF the weather is as clear as a bell, only then do you take highway #504 for an up-close view of Mount St. Helens.

    (if it's cloudy - don't even think about going)


    And I have no idea what you mean by "North Willamette Valley" http://willamettevalleyproperties.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/willamettevalleymap1.gif?w=640.


    By the way, IF ANYBODY in your entire circles is a fan of the Twilight movie series, some of the Twilight sets are so near to Portland that you should make the small effort that would be, say, having your photo taken in front of Bella Swan's original house, which sits in the town of St. Helens, Oregon. (many scenes from the first movie were shot in St. Helens, OR)

    As for the Oregon coast in June... I think you should let the weather be your guide as to whether to go there.

    And maybe THAT, rather than Mount St. Helens, might be your alternate plan for your last day.

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    If you haven't been to the Oregon coast, you should definitely include it in your itinerary. Cannon Beach is just 1 1/2 hours from Portland, and Ecola State Park, just north of Cannon Beach, is one of the most beautiful spots on the coast. Since Cannon Beach is so close to Portland, rooms are often scarce and expensive in the summer. Plan ahead.

    In the Columbia River Gorge, we enjoy spending a night or two in Hood River--a delightful town. The Best Western is the only hotel with rooms right on the river. That's where we stay.

    Mt. Rainier is beautiful from a distance, and amazing close up.

    You don't have to see everything on the Olympic Peninsula to have a good time there. Take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and drive through charming Port Gable to historic Port Townsend. Continue on to Port Angeles. Get a room with water view at the Red Lion Inn. Visit Hurricane Ridge and the next day drive along the shore of beautiful Lake Crescent. Go to Lake Crescent Lodge for lunch, and after lunch take the easy hike to Marymere Falls. Return to Seattle on the Bainbridge ferry for great views of the Seattle skyline and, if it is clear, the Cascades and the Olympics.

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