First trip to Oregon...where to start?

Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:28 AM
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First trip to Oregon...where to start?

My DH & I went to Seattle/surrounding area in September 2010. We loved it! Our favorite is the forest scenery. We loved Mt Rainier and the Hoh Rainforest.

Now we would like to see the Oregon cost but I don't know how to put it all together.

When: mid June; 4 or 5 days actually there (not including travel)
flying from Austin, TX to Portland, Oregon

What I am wanting to piece together:
charming, coastal seaside town
charming b&b or cottage
Punch Bowl Falls
Multnomah Falls
Columbia River
HWY 101

Thanks in advance for help/suggestions!
louistraveler5 is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:39 AM
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With only 4 or 5 days, you will be limited, but you can at least get a taste of this area.

As for the coast, Cannon Beach is very nice and is only 90 minutes from Portland. There are other great coastal towns, but with your limited time staying on the north coast (where CB is) makes the most sense. It is a very popular place and hotels book up months in advance and many have at least a 2 night minimum stay, so the first thing I would do is make reservations there and then book the rest of the trip after that is settled. We head over there often and have stayed at a handful of the hotels. Not knowing your budget, here are the places we like. Surfsand Resort, Schooner's Cove, Cannon Beach Hotel and Blue Gull Inn. There are quite a few others than I can comment on location and what other locals think, but these are the ones we have stayed at and so I can personally vouch for.

The gorge is a beautiful area, and is an easy day trip from downtown Portland. If you spent 3 days at the coast, do the other 2 in Portland. You could spend one day in downtown seeing the gardens and exploring the city and then spend the other day in the gorge seeing the various falls and do a loop that includes Mt Hood.

This should get you started for some ideas
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Multnomah Falls is easy to see.
Punchbowl falls is just a bit of a hike on Eagle Creek Trail. If you want a full day continue on past Punchbowl to Tunnel Falls. Punchbowl is good, but I like Tunnel even better.

I would spend a full day at the minimum in Portland. Rose Garden there is great. Maybe spend the night @ Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 02:01 PM
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All good advice above. If it rains (quite likely), remember to visit Powell's Books in downtown Portland. Portland has a central free zone on the streetcars and light rail. The Red line comes in from the airport.
If you come to Oregon for only 4 days, you will come back when you can stay longer and see things farther from Portland such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Crater Lake and Bend.
If you can't get/afford a room at Timberline, try down in the town of Hood River. Depending on the weather, you may get a great look at Mt. Hood as you approach PDX.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 06:05 PM
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In 4-5 days you have time to visit the Oregon coast from Newport to Cannon Beach, the Columbia River Gorge, and Mt. Hood (Timberline Lodge).

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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 02:54 AM
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To really see the beautiful Oregon Coast, I would drive from Astoria (2 hours from Portland) south - to as far as Lincoln City if you can - and this lodge - Surfrider - has a great setting - overlooking scenic Depoe Bay. - just south of Lincoln City.

And my favorite mountain lodge is Timberline at Mt. Hood - which you can easily reach after driving out the Gorge - stopping by some of the great waterfalls (take the frontage road off I-84) - and then turning south at Hood River. A beautiful drive capped off by having dinner at a marvelous restaurant - with a view all the way down the snow peaked Cascades to as far as the 3 Sisters in Bend, Oregon.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 02:56 AM
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This will give you a better idea of the drive from Astoria to Lincoln City - a little over 100 miles, and sheer beauty.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 07:34 AM
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I agree with mms. Unless you prefer sitting in a car to walking on a beach, stick to one area of the coast. Being the nearest to Portland, the north coast makes the most sense, and either Cannon Beach or Manzanita would meet your "charming, coastal seaside town" criterion. With Ecola, Hug Point, Oswald West, and Arcadia State Parks all within a 20 minute drive, you'll have more scenery and beach than you have time.

As for allocating your time, 2 days at the coast, 1 in Portland, and 1+ in the Columbia River gorge (and Mt. Hood) sounds about right. Alternatively, you could easily spend all of your nights in Portland, and do day trips to any/all of the places you're wanting to see.

Tomsd, Most of the "sheer beauty" between Astoria and Lincoln City - at least that which you can see from hwy 101 - is between Cannon Beach and Manzanita. There are no coastal views for most of those 100+ miles, unless you get off the highway.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 07:51 AM
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What - and miss driving through the green fields of Tillamook and sampling some wonderful cheese?

I still love the drive, even as you say - some of it is inland. The area around Depoe Bay is stunning.

And here are some other pages fyi about things to do on/along the Oregon Coast - and seeing the scenery flow by as you drive is one of my favorite things to do, as well as walking along the beach.

Others may prefer plopping in a hotel room or wandering about some touristy town.

Oh yes, don't forget to try the salt water taffy.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:32 AM
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A good alternative to Cannon Beach is Arch Cape, which is about 4 miles south of CB.

In 2006 I actually walked through the arch at low tide.
The arch is 200 yards west of the Rt. 101 tunnel.
If you make it as far as Tillamook. make a stop at the cheese factory and find the time to visit the Cape Meares lighthouse.
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