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First time 8 day Oregon coast and wine country adventure.......

First time 8 day Oregon coast and wine country adventure.......

Old Mar 24th, 2012, 08:35 PM
  #1  
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First time 8 day Oregon coast and wine country adventure.......

Hey Fodorites:
We are a 60 and 59 y.o. Orlando couple heading to Oregon for the first time in July. We have 8 days and want to visit the coast for 3-4 days and a wine region for the rest of the time. We must be back in Portland on the eve of the 8th day. We were thinking the Williamette valley, but not absolutely set on that area. We would really like ocean view lodging while on the coast, but are not inthralled with $200 plus a nite lodging, unless that is all that is avaiilable.

Flying into Portland the middle of July. Can you suggest towns for coastal stays for 3-4 days , and a wine region for a 3-4 day stay? I have done some initial research but nothing is jumping out at me for lodging. We don't prefer to move our lodging daiily. Rather a central location to day trip. Also, Is Mt. Hood worth the side trip?

Thank you,so much for your input. The Fodorites have always steered me in the right direction, all over the world. Cheers to all of you, everywhere!
vanman628 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2012, 05:26 AM
  #2  
 
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There have been a number of posts in here lately on much of what you ask about so you can read those for a lot more info and viewpoints.

I personally think driving out the Gorge (I-84 from Portland) and seeing the waterfalls (Multnomah Falls Lodge has a restaurant with a glass roof looking up at the waterfall http://www.multnomahfallslodge.com/ ) - then from Hood River south to Mt. Hood is worth the trip. We love staying at the Timberline Lodge and there are some wineries between Hood River and Mt. Hood - about 45? minutes from Timberline. http://www.timberlinelodge.com/

But the bulk of the Oregon wineries are located in the long Willamette Valley (from Portland to south of Eugene) - but further south - you also have the Umpqua Valley - with wineries from Southerlin to Roseburg.

As for the Oregon Coast - you could drive down from say Astoria and find someplace to stay and then use that as a base for seeing the coast for a couple of days - such as just south of Lincoln City - at Depoe Bay - which I think is very scenic. You can walk down the stairs to the beach from this place - the Surfrider resort: http://surfriderresort.com/ .

You could then go a bit further down the coast - and drive inland, from say Florence to around Eugene for example, and visit 3 of my favorite wineries: The King Estate, Sweet Cheeks and Hinman. http://tinyurl.com/7efy4lc

Or as mentioned - the Umpqua Valley wineries can be reached by driving inland from Reedsport, further south of Florence. http://www.umpquavalleywineries.org/


If you are golf fans - driving as far as Bandon Dunes might be worth it - as they have 4 world renowned links courses there. http://www.bandondunesgolf.com/

Here is a map of the Oregon Coast to help you better plan. BTW - you might also like trying the salt water taffy during your drive. http://www.gonorthwest.com/Oregon/co..._coast_map.htm
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2012, 07:47 AM
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A link to the southern Oregon wineries. http://www.southernoregon.com/wineries/index.html
Try to make time for a day at Crater Lake.
If you come once, you will come back again to see a large part of Oregon east of the Willamette Valley.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Sorry, vanman, I can't help you (unless you'd like restaurant recs in Portland). But such a trip sounds wonderful and hope you'll post a trip review! Best of luck.

Also tomsd, your first rec, Multnomah Falls Lodge restaurant, sounds very cool. I will be in Portland in April and am putting it on our must do list with the grandkids! Will let you know
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 09:10 AM
  #5  
mms
 
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Your trip sounds like a good start for here.

As for the coast, much depends on where you want to go. The area around Cannon Beach (north end of the coast) is busier than the rest since it is so nice, and also closer to the Portland metro area. Hotels there are pricier and fill up faster, but don't let that deter you. I absolutely love CB and that is always our first choice when we head over. Two places that we have stayed there that do come in within your budget include Blue Gull Inn and Cannon Beach Hotel. Both are about a 30 second walk to the beach. CBH is a boutique style hotel with only a few rooms, and BGI is an older motel that has been redone quite nicely. A bit further south is the town of Manzanita which is nice. I have not stayed there so can't comment on lodging. It is a quiet town, sort of a mini CB. Even further down would be Newport which is large for a coastal town but has quite a few things to see and do. The place we stay in Newport is Elizabeth Street Inn (comes in close to your budget), near Nye Beach. I would definitely book any coastal lodging asap though.

As for the Willamette Valley, there are over 200 wineries in the Newberg/Dundee area. Pinot Noir is king here, and this area is known world wide for it. You will also find some pretty good pinot gris as well. I live just a few minutes from many of these wineries, so we go often and know quite a few of the winemakers. That said, my suggestion is to hit the smaller production places instead of the big names. You will most likely meet the winemaker and learn so much more about what you are tasting and buying. Check out Chehalem Ridge B&B for lodging here. They are on Chehalem Mountain and have stunning views of the valley. Their deck makes it all worth it, but don't look down or you will get dizzy They are reasonably priced and only have a few rooms. Their location is good for getting around to the nearby wineries. Another option for lodging would be in McMinnville at the Hotel Oregon, which also comes in within your budget. It is a McMenamin property and is lots of fun! The McMenamin brothers buy old buildings and turn them into hotels/bars/breweries, etc. Anyway, HO is a fun hotel with a rooftop bar which is wonderful in the summer. It is right in the heart of downtown Mac, so you are within walking distance of some great restaurants and tasting rooms.

I personally think Mt Hood is definitely worth a day trip. Do a loop and include the gorge. Head out from Portland on I-84 and get off at exit #22 for Corbett. Go up the hill, take a left at the stop sign and that will put you on the old scenic highway. There are lots of great places to stop along here, but the 3 absolute musts include Portland Woman's Forum (odd name, amazing views), Crown Point Vista House, and Multnomah Falls. At MF if walking is not an issue, go to the very top of the falls. It is only a mile, and at the very top is a small platform where you stand over the falls. If you eat in the lodge, say hi to my niece After MF you can keep driving and head for Hood River. Watch the wind surfers there, stop at one of the breweries (good lunch options here) and then get on hwy 35 around the back side of Mt. Hood. Gorgeous views of the mountain back here. Lost Lake is a nice sidetrip here, again with fantastic views. Then catch hwy 26 and head up to Timberline Lodge. After that you can head back towards Portland. It makes a really nice day trip and you see quite a bit.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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as you know mms, I've been flying up to Portland (2-3 times per year to stay with my adorable grandkids!) and your trip advice (and tomsd's as well) sound absolutely wonderful. i hope the OP has a great trip. I'm keeping this info as well!
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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And for me - driving the Oregon Coast also provides a great look back in time - such as when you come across/pass by some of the old/historic Lighthouses. One of my favorites is the one by Tilamook, nicknamed "Terrible Tilly" for all the big waves crashing about at times.

Also somewhere around there (to the north?) - the forest still comes all the way down to the sea - and it's either the coast road - or a smaller/shorter parallel road that passes through a grove of trees, somewhat like the drive down to Poipu on Kauai used to be like ("Tunnel of Trees") - before the Hurricane game them a real topping.

Here are a couple of pages with more info on the lighthouses and then a page including other attractions on the Coast.

http://web.oregon.com/trips/lighthouses.cfm

http://visittheoregoncoast.com/lighthouses/

http://web.oregon.com/attractions/coast.cfm
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:05 AM
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And mms: Thanks for the great info and reminding me of Lost Lake, which is just pristine. There is also another lake just below hiway 26 at Timberline - and I can't remember the name - but it was also a jewel.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Uno Mas: It might even Ecola State park that I was thinking of where the forest/trees still come down by the sea, and it's just north of Cannon Beach:

http://tinyurl.com/7bstmmj
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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South of Government Camp (US 26) is Trillium Lake.
The access is FS 2656.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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We live in Portland but visit the coast yearly as a family. We have found vacation rentals to be less expensive than hotels sometimes, and you can save money by cooking at least some of your own meals. A good company in Lincoln City, on the central coast, is Pacific Retreats: www.pacificretreats.com. If there are just 2 of you, my daughter and I love house #123. It is high on a cliff, with a fantastic view of the ocean. From Lincoln City, you can take day trips to Newport (check out the free Hatfield Marine Science Center) or Cannon Beach (a/k/a Heaven). The coast is my favorite place in the world. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Thank you all for your much appreciated and timely responses. Seeing all the love for the Col. River Gorge and Mt. Hood, has me thinking we really need to reconsider our itinerary. I mean, really, how much pinot noir can we sample? ;-) Seriously,our memories will be of majestic views, and meeting interesting people, not wine tastings. So, we can stand to lose a day or so in the wine region.

Although we would really like to, I don't know if we will make Crater Lake on this trip. It looks like a 2-3 hour drive from the Williamette Valley.

So, now back to my maps and my Fodors tour book. Need to get a working route that my spousal unit and I will agree on. Then get some lodging lined up. Will probably check in again next month.

Cheers!
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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mms
 
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tumfuller--We have camped near Trillium a few times, but my favorite time for that is winter for snowshoeing.

Ecola State Park entrance is right in Cannon Beach. The park sits on the north edge of town and it is beautiful has some great hiking as well.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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mms
 
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Unfortunately, Crater Lake is much further than that from here. Allow about 5 hours. That said, it IS worth it, IMO. If you can allow the time, definitely go. There is a boat ride that is a must do, IMO. Tickets sell out early each day, so you would want to be at the kiosk early. Not sure if they sell them online beforehand or not, but you could check.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Hey - thanks Tomf. Trillium lake is the little jewel I was thinking of - and it's great for a hike/walk, fishing, whatever.

And mms: If one left from Timberline Lodge and took 97 south - I think you could be in Crater Lake in about 4? hours. It's of course special to moi - having grown up in Klamath - and was trekking up there with family and Boy Scouts since the early 50's. http://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

I also like nearby Diamond Lake (they have a resort if Cratre Lake is already booked) - and other lakes you find in Sourthern Oregon, including Lake of the Woods, between Klamath and Medford, Crescent (our Boy Scout lake) and Odell -(off 58 - west of 97) and also Pualine and her twin - just east of Bend toward the Newberry Volcano, and close to the historic Obsidian flow.

Actually - you can drive a whole ring of lakes west and to the south of Bend, called Cascade Lakes in the last webpage.

Oregon, like Wisconsin and Minnesota - has so many beautiful lakes - to go along with the magnificent Cascade Mountains, and the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

Here are some of the pages:

http://www.diamondlake.net/

http://www.lakeofthewoodsresort.com/...a=view&image=7

http://www.crescentlakeresort.com/

http://www.odelllakeresort.com/

http://www.paulinalakelodge.com/summer.html

http://www.bendbulletin.com/article/...M05/906049996/
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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mms
 
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Tomsd--That is still pretty tight. When we all gather to roadtrip to Bend, we gather not far from Timberline. We plan on a good 3 hours at least from there to Bend, then it is another good 90 minutes from Bend to Crater Lake. That is all figuring no stops and no delays anywhere. I am not a fan of Diamond Lake. Used to camp there as a kid. I know many people like it, but my style is just different. I much prefer to backpack and get away from the masses.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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mms - I usually make pretty good time (not shy about passing cars) but even if it took an hour longer - you have a great view from the eastern side of the cascades of some very pretty cinder cones. One that most people don't know about is Mt. Jefferson about half way to Bend. This page gives a better idea of that:

http://tinyurl.com/7a734hq
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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mms
 
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Tomsd--I love Jeff Park! Backpacked up there, as well as the Three Sisters. The South Sister was my first summit There is so much to do and see here in OR, the problem is most people don't have enough time. So few people even realize how much is in eastern OR. Steens, Wallowas, etc.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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Forgot to add/ask: Did you ever stay at the campground toward the southern end of Diamond Lake? Much less busy than up by the resort. I had never been to Diamond Lake until a couple of years ago - and caught 4 beautiful Rainbow trout - all over 20 inches, with the biggest (24") weighing over 3 pounds.

Of course, there is the one that got away story - with this bruiser being some six to seven pounds. Played him nicely- but he just turned sideways as he was about to be landed (flashing his magnificent red side in the morning sunlight) - and broke my light - 4 pound line. I changed to six pound test after that - but sadly - no more Mr. Bruisers were interested.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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BTW - very impressive - your mountain climbing. Perhaps in my next life I will get that bug.

Was very proud of my niece - who as a girl scout about 9 years ago - trained for week at Lake of the Woods (where her mother and our other sister also spent BlueBird camp, etc)- and then in one day they summited 10,000 foot Mt. McLaughlin. Only three of the 10? girls made it - but she was one. http://www.summitpost.org/mount-mcloughlin/150504
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