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sailingmargo Jun 13th, 2020 03:04 PM

Help, ....Quick Oregon Coast Trip.
Hello, we are going to be visiting family in Etna, California. We will fly home via Portland. I have 3 days to do a quick tour of Oregon Coast and possibly a quick look at Columbia Gorge. I know, I will miss out on a lot. But, thatís the way it is. Could somebody help me figure out distance in tthis trip, as to where to stay ? Very confused right now., Thx u for any help or suggestions.

janisj Jun 13th, 2020 04:26 PM

When? Now or later in the year? And are you interested in the Redwoods/very far northern CA coast too or only want to get to Oregon?

. . . I was shocked to see Etna in a post -- not a lot of 'Etna activity' :) I was born in Siskiyou county and am probably one of 2 or 3 Fodorites who have ever been to Etna - and went there on Purpose :D

Weirdly, I was in the V&A in London and by chance struck up a conversation with two ladies - one from Etna and one for Hornbrook of all places (which is less than half the size of Etna) ??

sailingmargo Jun 14th, 2020 02:06 AM

Help, Quick Trip Oregon Coast
Thx u for reply. Sometimes indeed it is a small world. We will be there mid Sept . Have a family function. The idea was to drive Coast and possible see Gorge quickly over a 3 day period. Leave on 4th day. Realize we can not do justice to the area, but figured a few highlights. But even getting to Coast, looks crazy with roads 😞

mms Jun 14th, 2020 05:01 AM

Three days is a very short time for this. Plus, with Covid, right now things are still really up in the air as to what is open. Your trip is mid September, so who knows what the situation will be then. With 3 days you will not have time for the gorge at all. Figure one day from Etna to Bandon, then perhaps the second night in Newport and the third night in Cannon Beach. Going from Bandon to Cannon Beach is physically possibly if you don't stop and see anything, but otherwise it just isn't doable. Then from CB to Portland it is still 2 hours to the airport, and depending on what time your flight is, you may want to stay that 3rd night in Portland. I would not try to go from CB to the airport if the flight was not until very late afternoon at the earliest since the road from CB to Portland is mostly a 2 lane, windy rural road, so if there is any sort of accident or delay, you are stuck. I think with this you can see the issues you are up against. All of this is assuming Covid doesn't play into it at all either. The towns along the coast right now are asking for people to stay away and come at a later time. Your trip is later, but like I said, who knows what the situation will be like then.

Gardyloo Jun 14th, 2020 06:37 AM

While I normally would recommend the southern Oregon coast over parts farther north, in this case I'd probably suggest a route like this - (Bing map.) This would let you get north quickly on I-5, then out to the coast on (very scenic) OR 38, then north through the central coast towns of Florence, Yachats ("ya-hots") and Depoe Bay, then across the Willamette Valley through the wine country to Mount Hood and down the Hood River Valley, which in September will be in full harvest mode with wineries and orchards going full tilt. Finish with a drive westbound through the Gorge to a few waterfalls, then end at PDX.

This will avoid a lot of very tedious driving through the Humboldt and Del Norte hills (sadly, you'll miss the redwoods, too) but you don't have time for everything. Of course everything hinges on accessibility given current circumstances.

Bobmrg Jun 14th, 2020 08:12 AM

janisj Jun 14th, 2020 09:11 AM

With your very short time frame I'd lean towards something like Gardyloo's suggestion. Get as far north as you can on I-5 before cutting over to the coast to avoid the very slow travel. I don't think you have time for the southern OR coast (just Etna to Bandon would take about 5 hours with no stops) and even Cannon Beach to the north will be problematic. The Gorge would be totally out of the question IMO. I'd start the coastal leg at either Coos Bay or Florence and cut inland from Depoe Bay as Gardyloo suggests.

Sept will likely be hot and dry in Etna and absolutely glorious on the coast.

sailingmargo Jun 15th, 2020 04:22 AM

In this turbulent, devisive times we live in, I am so greatful to you all, for going out of your way to give me such good advice. Thank you. This is an improtu trip, and I should have thought longer in regards to #days, prior to doing airfare 😝. Live and learn. Going to investigate map today. Thanks for going to extra effort .

sailingmargo Jun 15th, 2020 04:24 AM


suze Jun 15th, 2020 03:31 PM

Are you sure your "family function" will be happening? Mid-September is not that far off as far as covid-related openings/closures.

janisj Jun 15th, 2020 05:13 PM

Originally Posted by suze (Post 17116749)
Are you sure your "family function" will be happening? Mid-September is not that far off as far as covid-related openings/closures.

suze: Northern CA is nothing like Seattle. Down here we are pretty much open for business. Parties, gatherings, restaurants, bars, museums, hair dressers, shopping malls, you name it, are all up and running. And even IF there were to be future shut downs -- It ain't gonna happen in Etna ;)

sailingmargo Jun 16th, 2020 03:24 AM


sailingmargo Jun 16th, 2020 03:55 AM

Gardyloo .... How would u divide this up ? We do enjoy wine and that’s sounds fun, but we are here to see scenery. We have 3 nites, , where I have to figure where to stop. Any suggestions ? Thx u.

mms Jun 16th, 2020 05:42 AM

sailingmargo--If you enjoy wine, definitely hit the Willamette Valley for that, but do not waste your time at the wineries in the gorge. The quality just does not compare at all. Oregon is known for Pinot Noir, but there are other excellent varietals as well, but PN is what put OR on the worldwide map for wine. We lived right smack in that region for many years and we have a lot of winemaker friends there still, so if you want suggestions, just let me know. One night in the WV is ample. As for how many nights where, it depends, do you want to see the gorge or the coast? It would be tough to do both unless you headed straight up I-5 and cut over around Salem towards McMinnville (the heart of the WV and where most restaurants/lodging is). Stay a night there, then cut over to the coast and drive north towards Cannon Beach, stay a night, then head back towards Portland and keep going to the gorge and stay there, then fly home the next day. There is no one ideal route since you will be missing lots of good stuff no matter what with only 3 nights, so you just have to decide what is your priority.

Gardyloo Jun 16th, 2020 05:46 AM

Originally Posted by sailingmargo (Post 17116879)
Gardyloo .... How would u divide this up ? We do enjoy wine and that’s sounds fun, but we are here to see scenery. We have 3 nites, , where I have to figure where to stop. Any suggestions ? Thx u.

I would get on I-5 early on the first morning and beam up to Oregon, then out to the coast on OR 138/38, and spend the night in Yachats, probably at the Fireside Motel (assuming it, like everything, is open.)

I'd actually spend two nights in Yachats, taking the afternoon of the first day, and all of the second day, to explore the central coast - from Florence and Heceta Head to the south, Newport, Depoe Bay and various state parks along the coast to the north. Then on the third day, travel to Timberline Lodge on the side of Mount Hood, arriving in time for a late lunch, then drive all or part of the Hood River Valley "fruit loop" - - in the afternoon (orchards, wineries, etc.) and spend the third night in Hood River. I'd suggest the Hood River Inn - Best Western Plus Hood River Inn | Waterfront hotel Hood River, Oregon - if possible. Try some of the wineries or craft breweries in Hood River, then on the final day, take the old Historic Columbia Gorge Highway past Multnomah and Latourell Falls, the Crown Point and Chanticleer Point viewing stops (Chanticleer Point is called the "Portland Women's Forum" viewpoint) and on to PDX.

The drive from Etna to Yachats will be the longest, probably six or seven hours all in, but it will be fairly easy and quite scenic in parts.

Edited to add - I just saw MMS' post and I'd probably agree that if wine is really important, then one night on the coast and one in the valley, probably around McMinnville, would be okay. It depends on your priorities; I'm a big fan of the Hood River Valley, not so much for the wine, but for everything else. By coming down the valley from Mount Hood, it makes for a fairly straightforward and compact route, compared to a more spread-out situation for the Willamette Valley wineries.

CaliNurse Jun 17th, 2020 03:36 PM

Gardyloo, apologies for this belated "thank you." When planning an Oregon trip last Fall, I noted your recommendation of the BW Hood River Inn. We stayed there, in a river view room with patio overlooking the bridge (the west wing), and loved it. The Italian restaurant at the hotel was fantastic for both the included hotel breakfast, and for dinner. Sailingmargo, if you go/stay that way, treat yourself to their delicious food in a lovely riverside setting.

JanisJ, we started that road trip with a three night stay in Mt Shasta (City) which we also loved and which, iirc, you've previously mentioned on Fodors.

Sailingmargo, have a great time! Even your short trip will be worthwhile. I'm envious (-: and look forward to another Oregon trip one of these days/months! Just had a "we're open--welcome" from the place we stayed in Cannon Beach. Very tempting!

tomfuller Jun 17th, 2020 08:50 PM

I do like Gardyloo's route. About 5 miles east of Reedsport on 38, be sure to stop at the Dean's Creek Elk Viewing area. you may see anywhere from 3 to 20+ Roosevelt elk. If you do travel through the McMinnville area, stop to see the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum-it is open. They have a couple of rare planes and helicopters including a Mig trainer (2 seats) and the Spruce Goose. There are many vineyards in the McMinnville area.
Where do you intend to rent the car to go to Etna? I don't like one way car rentals that start in 1 state and end in another. Would you consider flying into and out of PDX?

janisj Jun 17th, 2020 09:59 PM

You need to understand our tom . . . He apparently was traumatized by rental rates sometime in the past ;) ( you know I love ya' tom) so he does tend to recommend some convoluted itineraries. IF you already plan on flying in/out of PDX, fine. It will be a dash down I-5 to Yreka and SW to Etna then over to the coast and back up to PDX. But if you were to fly into SMF you will be more than 2 hours closer to Etna.

annhig Jun 18th, 2020 03:12 AM

just another vote for the Hood River area - I had 3 nights there last September and really loved it. loads to do and see - you won't have enough time.

It would be worth checking out in advance what is going to be open though and whether they have any special arrangements in place so you don't waste your time going to places that are shut.

mms Jun 18th, 2020 06:32 AM

Here is a map that shows closures etc. Just remember, things are changing daily.

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