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3 Days in Portland, OR area

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Mar 21st, 2012, 05:14 PM
  #1
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3 Days in Portland, OR area

Over memorial day, we're arriving PDX at 11PM and have all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday (leaving 10 PM sunday). It's a quick trip, but we got a great fare from the east coast--too good to say no too! And it's our anniversay to boot! We'll probably have to stay on arrival somewhere near PDX or Portland (or no?), but after that....rent a car and go somewhere....

I'm looking for that "wow" place to visit and stay to make up for many (many, many) lame anniversay gifts. I'm a huge runner and looking forward to that. My wife would love to visit a vinyard or five. I'd love to hike and enjoy scenery. We like to eat, but don't need shopping, or even "high-class" restaurants.

Any suggestions?
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Mar 21st, 2012, 05:26 PM
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mms
 
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You are in luck, Memorial Day Weekend is one of two times during the year that the wineries put on special events. Many that are only by appt only open to the public and it is a big deal here. It is a great opportunity to taste and buy ones that you will not find anywhere else. You can easily do the wineries as a day trip from Portland (only about 45 minutes from downtown) or you could stay in the Dundee area.

Definitely hit the gorge for a day too. The old scenic highway is beautiful and some must see's include Portland Woman's Forum (odd name but great views), Crown Point Vista House, and Multnomah Falls. There are many more great places to stop, but those are the biggies.

A day in downtown itself is good too as the International Rose Test Garden will be in bloom, and the Japanese and Chinese gardens are really nice too. You can hike right in town too. Go up to the zoo and then hike up to Pittock Mansion, which if it is a nice day has great views of Mt Hood.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Since you are getting in so late, the closest nice hotel is the Embassy Suites just outside the entrance to the airport. They have a free shuttle. http://embassysuites1.hilton.com/en_...ommodations.do
In the morning take the shuttle back into the airport and head over to rent your car.
If you wanted to ride the lightrail into the city, the end of the line is right outside baggage claim at PDX.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 07:01 PM
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Multnomah falls is beautiful and a nice hike up to the top. There is a very nice little restaurant at the base with glass windows to look at the falls while you dine. Your wife can have a nice glass of oregon wine afterwards!
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Mar 21st, 2012, 07:27 PM
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(Broken record time.)

Have a look at McMenamins Edgefield - http://www.mcmenamins.com/54-edgefield-home

It's very close to the airport, but also close to the Gorge. On-site winery, brewery, distillery, movie, spa, numerous pubs, restaurants, funky art. NOT fancy, but very fun.

With just 3 days I'd stay put somewhere around there, and do day excursions into Portland, along the Columbia Gorge, the Hood River Valley, maybe out to the Maryhill museum (in old west/sagebrush country just up the river from the Gorge) - www.maryhillmuseum.org - also close to some wineries... like that. It's a great and very diverse area.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Good advice above. Love the Edgefield- they have a winery and a brew pub and its a fun place to stay- but be warned that most rooms do not have a private bath. They provide you with a robe and you have to toddle down the hallway with all the other people. Have done it, and it was not a problem for me. Also have a movie theatre at the Edgefield and frequently live entertainment.

Lots of short hikes along the Gorge to a variety of waterfalls- love the Eagle Creek Hike.

My favorite hike is closer to Salem- Silver Falls- 10 waterfalls in about a 7 mile hike. That time of year there should be lots of water coming over all the falls. Memorial Day weekend you still still risk cool and rainy weather so be prepared.

Maryhill Winery is a good choice as its along the Gorge too- fabulous views from there.
A fun Portland thing to do is the Epicurian Walking tour- you get a tour of the city while trying a variety of local foods and sometimes brews.

If the weather is not great for hiking, Portland has a great paved walk along the river in downtown area- you can walk down one side, cross over a bridge and do the other side, cross another bridge and walk back to starting point. you can also rent bikes to do the same route.

you have so little time, I think I would stick to the Gorge area.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 04:50 AM
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Thank you for the suggestions. Since we're getting in late, would it make sense to take the light rail into the city and stay downtown, see downtown the next day, then rent a car to go outside of the city?

I like the idea of McMenamins, but not without facilities en suite, at least not on this trip.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:22 AM
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There are numerous rooms at the Edgefield with en-suite facilities.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:41 AM
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If you want a Wow place - especially when it comes to nature - get thee up to Timberline Lodge, and get a window table for dinner at their great restaurant, where you can see all the way down the Cascade range to the Three Sisters in Bend. And looking up at the glacier from their pool/jacuzzi is also one of our favorite "treats" - as is having lunch in their bar also looking up at through the big picture window at the skiers, or sneaking down to the somewhat hidden Paul Bunyan room for a few beverages.

http://www.timberlinelodge.com/
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:49 AM
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Actually, it's the Ram's Head bar with the big picture window looking up the mountain - on the second floor - and the Blue Ox room is tucked away in the craftsmen made resort. Righto - it was built during the Depression - by Old World craftsmen - supposedly without using nails. And the Resort was featured in movies such as The Shining, which starred Jack Nicholson: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/


http://www.timberlinelodge.com/visit...rams-head-bar/

http://www.timberlinelodge.com/visit...s/blue-ox-bar/
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:50 AM
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If you are arriving at 11PM or later just stay at one of the hotels within 2 miles of the airport with free shuttle service.
A late night trip into the city on the Trimet http://trimet.org/max/ is dangerous. If you really wanted to ride into the city in the morning, It would be safe in the daylight.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:09 AM
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To amp up the WOW factor - rather than stay by the airport - I would suggest you hop in the rental car and head out I 84 - and in about 30 minutes you would be at Multnomah Falls Resort - http://www.multnomahfallslodge.com/ where in the morning - you could have coffee/breakfast looking up through the glass ceiling in the restaurant and your hubby could jog up the trial by the falls while you go for a hike, take catnap, whatever.

Or he could run along the frontage road, where there are other waterfalls.

From there, I would continue on out 84 - along the Gorge to Hood River and turn south to Timberline Lodge for the 2nd night - and there is a beautiful lake near Timberline - just below hiway 26 - where he can go for another run - or do that the next day. http://www.distancebetweencities.net...river_or/route

On day 3 - I would head back to Portland along 26 - through Sandy and Gresham and stop at some of the wineries you can find there. There is also a beautiful nature walk by the Salmon River - just after you hit the one light (they may have added a 2nd) on the road at Welches.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:16 AM
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Oops - it's the husband/writer who asked the Q's - so please adjust my suggestions accordingly, and from Multnomah Falls, you could also stop at a winery on the way to Timberline.

And here is the great nature walk by Welches: http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/oldsalmon_6442.asp
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:19 AM
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And my bad if the Multnomah Falls Lodge doesn't have accommodations, but here are some nearby:

http://www.multnomahfallslodge.com/accommodations.html
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Just to clarify, the wineries in the Columbia River gorge area are not those that produce the pinot noir that Oregon is best known for. Gorge area wineries generally source their fruit from areas where warmer weather varietals are grown. To taste the better pinot noirs, you'd need to visit wineries in the Willamette Valley, south/southwest of Portland, as mms mentions.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:44 AM
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My main concern with staying at Timberline is that this is a very snowy winter/spring, and by Memorial Day it's likely there will still be several feet of snow on the ground around the lodge, and probably still a lot around Government Camp. Fine if that's what the OP wants. Often a lot of snow on the ground can mean there's a lot of fog/mist as well, making the experience less than ideal.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 09:13 AM
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I did not realize that the Edgefield had rooms with private baths as I have only stayed in the ones without - but since apparently they do, I am still recommending the Edgefield- maybe spend first night at airport as you say.

If you want WOW factor- you could check into the Columbia Gorge Hotel which is a beautiful historic hotel with beautiful views of the river. It was closed for awhile but believe it is open again.

Have never stayed at the Skamania Lodge- but the reviews are pretty good.

Or- stay in Portland and do day trips from there- the Gorge one day, wine country the next day-
If you decide to stay in Portland check the Travel Portland website- they offer hotel packages that include parking and usually breakfast as well as a coupon book for some dining/shopping opportunities.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 11:42 AM
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If you check Travel Zoo - a website with travel specials- you will see today they have a special for Skamania Lodge - maybe work for you?
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 02:56 PM
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So how long does it usually take before any possible mist/fog burns off? And here is a snow report: http://www.onthesnow.com/oregon/timb...skireport.html

If they don't want to visit a spring version of winter wonderland - no problemo.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 03:06 PM
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So how long does it usually take before any possible mist/fog burns off?

Snide answer - August.

Real answer - some days it doesn't. I'd deal with Mt. Hood in real time - look at the forecast and if it's okay, jump.
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