An Overnight on the Coast from Portland OR.

Mar 8th, 2013, 11:20 AM
  #1  
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An Overnight on the Coast from Portland OR.

A friend from the UK and I are spending a week (Sept. 7-14) in Portland OR. We plan to drive to the coast for an overnight. I've never been there so I'm looking for an interesting location to stay for the general ambiance, either town or coast. The logical options seem to be about 2-2 1/2 hours drive whether to Astoria or to places north and south of there. Does anyone who's been there or lives in the area have a suggestion?
MmePerdu is offline  
Mar 8th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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Astpria is not on the coast but lies on the Columbia River; you have to drive west to Warrenton to get on US-101 and the coast. Across the Megler Bridge into Washington you will find Ilwaco, with a great Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center...a few miles further north is Long Beach, which is a pleasant visit.

If US history is not your thing, take Oregon highway 26 out of Portland to the coast...you will find many interesting little towns.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Thanks Bobmrg. I think Astoria is close enough to the coast for our purposes if it's a pleasant place to be overnight. Is it?

I've just been reading Dukey1's similar topic posted on Feb. 20th and people seem to like Seaside.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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mms
 
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If you are looking for the coast I would not opt for Astoria. As Bob says, just head out on hwy 26 and you head straight for the Cannon Beach/Seaside area. I personally dislike Seaside, but CB is one of our favorites and we go there often. It is only about 90 minutes from downtown Portland, so an easy drive. September is still a popular time for our coast, so I would decide on something soon and get it booked.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Definitely go to Cannon Beach. It is very doable as a day trip (80 miles/1.5 hours). It has a beautiful beach: http://www.cannon-beach.net

Astoria is on the Columbia River, not the Atlantic Ocean.

HTTY
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Mar 8th, 2013, 03:25 PM
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Personal opinions abound - I personally find Cannon Beach to be overly touristy and wannabe twee, but the beach IS nice. I too would recommend Ilwaco as an alternative; the Cape Disappointment area is great - beach, rocky shore, lighthouses...

However there IS more choice in terms of lodging and dining in the Cannon Beach/Seaside area, so if you decide to stay the night there, at least make your return to Portland via Cape Disappointment and the north shore of the Columbia. It's a fascinating and scenic (and historic) area, and just crossing the mouth of the Columbia from Astoria to Megler is pretty impressive.
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 8th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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This is not much driving at all - do both. You can easily get an early start and stop in Astoria for a few hours before continuing on and arriving in Cannon beach before noon for your overnight stay.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 04:25 PM
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Cannon Beach fits the bill for convenience and beauty. To avoid its annoying aspects, pack a lunch, park in the l lot by The Wayfarer Restaurant (Surf 'n Sand) and head for the beach. Then, drive to spectacular nearby Ecola State Park for more views and lunch.

HTTY
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Mar 8th, 2013, 04:57 PM
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Cannon beach is one of my all time favorites. Seaside is a nice town also. I stayed at the inn at cannon beach over the summer and it was beautiful.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 05:35 PM
  #10  
mms
 
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As HTTY mentioned, The Surfsand area is much less congested. That is where we almost always stay. There is a parking lot across the street from the hotel, as well as public bathrooms near the hotel.
mms is offline  
Mar 8th, 2013, 10:47 PM
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Seaside is great for preteens and teenagers with all its carnival games. The actual promenade is classic and old fashioned and a lovely place to walk a dog or push a young one in a stroller. The pizza place is okay, but most of the restaurants in Seaside are pretty bad.

Cannon is more for grown up tourists and food is better. At least stop and see Haystack Rock. It is iconic. The town has its share of driftwood/seagull art for sale. But, I would imagine Martha's Vineyard is touristy too and if I had the money, I'd go.

I like all the little hamlets and small towns along the North Coast, and no single one is the "best." Do you like rocks and capes, or long expansive stretches of straight beach?
5alive is offline  
Mar 9th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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I appreciate the comments and am now wondering if HTTY's suggestion of doing it as a daytrip might be a good one. A circular drive Portland-Tillamook-Astoria and back to Portland which Google maps says is about 5 hours driving time. Sunset mid-Sept. is 7:30. It seems quite doable.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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mms
 
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You can easily do a day trip, and a loop is nice. I prefer the loop of heading out hwy 26 over to Cannon Beach, down through Tillamook and then back over on hwy 6 along the Wilson River. IMO, that is much more scenic.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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I think the day trip is what we'll do then. I passed along your comments to my friend and she agrees, do the coast loop then wineries the second day, returning to the apartment we've rented in Portland overnight.

Thanks so much for the help.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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mms, Thanks for the Highway 6 tip along the Wilson River. That is one east-west route I don't recall driving. (One of our favorite drives in OR is on Highway 38 along the Umpqua River.)

HTTY
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