Help! First time in Oregon

Old Mar 16th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Help! First time in Oregon

Will be visiting the Northwest for the first time. Will be in Seattle for 3 days and in Portland for 4. Going in the middle of April. Girls trip. On our way from seatlle to Portland we would like to see more nature and the mountains. Thinking of staying 1 night at Timberline in Mt. Hood. We ( 2 women in our 30's) are not into hiking but like outdoors. Is this feasible??? What is there 2 do. I would also like to see Mt Saint Helen or Mt. Renier on the same drive. Any suggestions of things to do on this route? When in Portland we would like to take side trip to wineries. Any suggestions? Is there any cluster of wineries that we could visit and any car services to take us? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 06:24 PM
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The Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast are two of Oregon's most important attractions.

The rooms at Timberline lodge are mostly very small.

Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier are the two main attractions between Portland and Seattle.

There are loads of wineries in the Willamette Valley and the Columbia River Gorge.

http://willamettewines.com
http://www.winesnw.com/gorgehome.html

One options would be to spend a night in Hood River which you could use as a base to visit the Columbia River Gorge, wineries, and Mt. Hood.

The Oregon Coast is a 1 1/2 hour drive from Portland.

HTTY
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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One short hike to make is up at least as far as the bottom of Multnomah Falls. The parking area is in the median of I-84 about 30 miles east of Portland. I agree with HTTY- stay around Hood River and see the Gorge. When leaving the gorge drive up to the east of Mt. Hood on Rt. 35 to Govt. Camp and then take US 26 back through Portland and all the way to US 101 and Cannon Beach. You will enjoy the view of Haystack Rock.
In April there may still be some late season skiing on Mt. Hood.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 12:44 AM
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Do visit the Columbia River Gorge as mentioned above. But don't see it from I-84 - take the Historic Columbia River Highway and don't limit yourself just to Multnomah Falls; there are several other less-visited but beautiful waterfalls nearby. You can pick up the old highway off of I-84 east at Troutdale or (saving some time, still seeing most scenery) at the Corbett exit; then drive up the hill to the old highway, turn left, and drive past Vista House (breathtaking views of the Gorge) into the woods and past several beautiful waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls. You can see most of the falls either from the road or with just minimal hiking. Note that you can't access the old scenic Highway from the Multnomah Falls exit off I-84; at that exit you can see ONLY Multnomah Falls and then get back on I-84. Use the old highway to see everything - well worth it.

If you want to visit a neat place near the Gorge, try the McMenamins Edgefield, a unique mini-resort with a winery, golfing, and several bars and restaurants:

http://www.mcmenamins.com/54-edgefield-home

You can stay there overnight in European-style hotel rooms (many with shared bath I think) or just drop in and visit the place during the day and/or eat there. Really cool place that is uniquely Oregon.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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I would visit Mt, st.Helens. it is unique in that you can see the results of a recent volcanic eruption. The views from the top are fantastic.The visitor center at the top is first rate. I dont have knowlege of road conditions at this time of year so I will leave that to others or call the uppermost visitor center.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 07:40 AM
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There are many quality wineries close to the porland area
so that is easy.You could also take a day trip from portland to cannon beach. I think it is only an hour and a half away,but you should check that.It is easy to get around Portland on light rail.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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As much as I love the mountains, I would say you will want to give both Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens a pass this time. April is too early considering that you don't plan to get out hiking or snowshoeing. For Mt. St. Helens, the road all the way up to Johnston Ridge usually isn't open yet. If weather isn't clear too, you wouldn't see much, if anything.

Timberline is a beautiful lodge. Even if you don't stay there, go and have a meal and wander around.

As for the gorge, Andrew gave you pretty good info. You can get off I-84 at either Troutdale (exit #17) or Corbett(exit #22). A couple must stops on this old highway before Multnomah Falls are the Portland Women's Forum (odd name, but amazing views) and Crown Point/Vista House. There are a few other places to stop along the way as well, but these 2 are absolute must stops, IMO. When you get to Multnomah Falls, you can walk to the little bridge, but if you want to do more you can walk to the very top. It is only a mile, and about 700 ft elevation gain on a mostly paved path. There are loads of places to stop along the scenic highway as well.

The Edgefield is a great place to stay, IMO. Most rooms have the shared baths, which I will say from staying at quite a few of the McMenamin properties including this one, that they do an amzing job at keeping them spotless. Some rooms have their own private baths though, so if you stay here be sure and call so you can fingure out just what type of room is best for you.

As for the wineries, there are literally a couple hundred in the area SW of Portland. I live right near quite a few, so have not taken a tour. I have met one of the tour guides though and would not hesitate to go with him. His website is www.anoseforwine.com and he doesn't just take people to the usual wineries, he finds the "hidden gems". Pinot noir is king here along with a bit of pinot gris, and a few of my favorites include Brick House, Arbor Brook, Chehalem, Seven of Hearts and Seufert. Seven of Hearts is interesting as the winemaker's wife makes amazing chocolates and so the two have paired up and the tasting room is also a chocolate shop. They do pair them as well, very well I might add!

In downtown Portland there are a few urban wineries as well. Two share a space in NW, on 30th, and that is Grochau Cellars along with Boedecker Cellars. Grochau is another of my favorites.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Thank you so much for your suggestions.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 10:37 PM
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Wonderful suggestion! I agree from what i have read that mt. Rainier and Mt. st. Helen is closed in April. We are hoping to leave Seattle on sunday and take 2 days before goung to Portland. Dying to stay one night at Timberline lodge but feel leaving late on Sunday would be too dangerous driving at night. So your suggestions of places to see off i-84. Is this a good route from seatle on our way to Mt. Hood? I would be great to stay one night half way there and explore.

As far as the wineries. I am going to look into the places mentioned. Is there a cluster or region on or near the Oregon Coast?
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Old Mar 18th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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No, the wineries are clustered in the Newberg/Dundee/Carlton/McMinnville area. The good news is that depending on where on the coast you want to go, this is one of the routes there. This is if you are heading to the central coast towns such as Newport/Lincoln City.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 09:17 AM
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bookmarking, thx
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