Oregon "first timers"

Jun 4th, 2009, 04:44 AM
  #1  
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Oregon "first timers"

Several new "empty nesters" are going to Oregon to escape the oppressive summer heat in the south. We would like to be there at least a week to ten days. We are thinking 2-3 days in Portland, 2-3 day on the coast, and 2-3 days in the wine country. We are looking for advice for hotels, restaurants, etc. We are not opposed to spending a little extra in order to do it right. Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks.
LibbyP is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 04:57 AM
  #2  
 
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Portland is one of my favorite cities! But occasionally, in the summer, it can be very hot and uncomfortable. Check the forecasts carefully for the areas and date you will be traveling.

One year we visited the second week of July and it was uncomfortably hot & humid and nothing much was airconditioned.

But the weather never stops me from enjoying Portland!
nanabee is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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My DD and I had a wonderful time in Portland last Labor Day weekend - it was our first time as well. We stayed at the Hotel Monaco, which was terrific. Highlights for us were:

- Powell's Bookstore - we could have spent a day there
- The Chinese Garden
- The Japanese Garden
- The Saturday Market
- The Zoo
- The Ghost Walk Tour

Meals were good - we had brunch at Mother's, pub food at the Kells (?), and a meal at the "floating" restaurant whose name I can't recall.

We spent two and a half days there, and we'd love to go back - there were a lot of things we didn't get to see. It's a lovely city with a really great vibe.
seasweetie is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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nanabee: One year we visited the second week of July and it was uncomfortably hot & humid and nothing much was airconditioned.

True, it can get hot in Portland in the summer, sometimes up to and even over 100 degrees (that's rare but not impossible). However, to someone from the south, Portland really isn't humid when it's hot - nothing at all like the miserable humidity on the east coast and in the south, anyway. Believe me, 90 degrees in Portland is nothing like 90 in high humidity...

LibbyP, to add to seasweetie's list: do see the incredible Columbia River Gorge east of Portland - some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole country. There's an old highway with several waterfalls as part of it - really grand. Less than an hour's drive from Portland.

For food/drink, I recommend a stop at a McMenamins pub. That's a local chain of pubs unique to the area. Some of them are just family-friendly pubs (all are smoke free in Oregon now), but some have movie theaters attached and even whole complexes like the Kennedy School in NE Portland (restaurants, bars, theater, etc.) and the Edgefield in Troutdale east of Portland (edge of the Gorge). While I wouldn't say McMenamins is not known for its fine cuisine - pub fare, basically - it's very decent and a part of the local culture.

Powell's Books is a whole city block of just books. They offer maps when you enter the place, it's so big. It's a world-renowned independent book store.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 4th, 2009, 09:16 AM
  #5  
 
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LibbyP, I notice that you have not been very active on the boards, so maybe you don't know that there are archives. Click on Oregon at the top where it says view by state and you will find lots of informative posts on Portland and the rest Oregon. We're from Texas and love Oregon, especially the wine country and the beaches! Have a great trip.
saige is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 03:40 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for the advice on Portland. Any advice on places to stay on the coast? We would prefer something north, I think.
LibbyP is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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In Cannon Beach look into the SurfSand Resort, on the beach .. www.surfsand.com
In Arch Cape.. look into the Inn at Arch Cape ( fireplace in the room , kitchenette, great big comfy bed and lavender growing outside the window, a walk down to the beach)
www.innatarchcape.com
or
the B&B .. Arch Cape Inn www.archcapeinn.com

They all require a 2 night minimum, at least it was 2 when we were there.. in the summer months.

I will add my list of Must Sees and forgive my repeating what the others have already said..

I second the advice to go to the Gardens.. the Japanese are breathtaking, the Chinese are just wonderful, the Rose Gardens too.
See Pittock Mansion, you don't have to go inside, you can wander the grounds and appreciate the view of Portland and beyond from there.
Wander around Washington Park , cool green forests.
The Pearl District is fun for galleries, boutiques and good good restaurants.. Powells books is located there as is the Pearl Bakery which is a Must for you to visit.
Ride the Streetcar to get around, saves your feet and it is fun.
Go to NW23rd street ... NW 21st to see an art house film at Cinema 21 and have dinner at Cafe Mingo or Serratto across the street.


Believe me, the wine area would be good for one full day or maybe two. It is nothing like Napa .. really.

The Gorge is a must... the Falls and the Historic Highway ..
Hope this helps ..
Hi Andrew !!
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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My favorite hotel is the Monaco but there is the Lucia, the Westin and the Embassy Suites downtown.. the Inn at Northrup Station too.
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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A few years ago we did three days in Seaside, 3 days at a B&B in Sandy (near Mt. Hood)and then one night in Portland. We stopped at a couple of wineries as we traveled between the first two locations.

Knowing what I do now, I would have stayed in Cannon Beach rather than Seaside and added a few more days in Portland.

We got lost one day and ended up at Lost Lake. One of my favorite vacation days ever.

Loved, loved, loved Oregon, can't wait to return someday. Enjoy your trip!
sferguso is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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Hi, we have been on the Oregon Coast in Seaside at our beach cottage for several days, loving our time here. The Rivertide Suites is a very nice place to stay in Seaside, it is fairly new and the rooms are all-suites. There are also several nice places to stay on the Promenade in Seaside, Inn of the Four Winds is nice. We have been loving our time in the morning surfing at The Cove, this is a gorgeous area to stay in, Lanai @ the Cove is there and there is also the Tides by the Sea where we enjoeyed a nice stay.

Let me know if you any questions on the norther coast, I know the area very well. Astoria is another wonderful area to explore, we spent the day there today walking the waterfront, had appetizers at Bridgewater Bistro and picked up some goodies at Peter Pan Market to take back to the beach cottage.

I hope you have a great trip! ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 08:30 PM
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sferguso: "Knowing what I do now, I would have stayed in Cannon Beach rather than Seaside"

Smart guy/girl, sferguso... You learned something in one trip that others haven't yet learned in over 20 years of visiting the Oregon coast.

Libby, consider limiting wine country to 2 days (1 night), adding the extra day to the coast. Also, think about the central coast as a possibility over the north, especially if you're more the active types. (Think Yachats!) If you do end up deciding on the north coast, Cannon Beach or Manzanita would, I think, suit you best. Seaside is more known for its carnival-like appeal to the younger crowd. The beach there is fine, but comparatively nondescript. And Astoria isn't even on the coast. Though I love Arch Cape, the argument against it is that it's mostly residential, which means you'll be driving to restaurants and shopping.

I second Scarlett's recommendation for SurfSand Resort; we've been taking our family there for years (actually decades). Another great choice would be Ocean Lodge, but it's a hike from there into town. If you've got lots of room on the credit card, Stephanie Inn.

Wine country is only 45 minutes southwest of Portland, so could easily be done as day trips. But if you want to spend a night or 2, either Black Walnut Inn or Youngberg Hill would be a good choice.

Looks like you've already got good advice for Portland hotels, but I'll throw out Hotel De Luxe just to complicate things. Not much has been said yet about restaurants; for that we'll need a second wind. ;-) We got a million of good ones around here..
beachbum is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 04:14 AM
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kimamom, on your visits once a year to Seaside , I don't remember you ever saying you stayed in a hotel. .I understand your promoting Seaside since that is where your vacation rental is located but for a first time visitor to the Oregon Coast, who has not voiced interest in Seaside or Astoria ( your other fave place to visit from Ca.) I would never suggest Seaside.. unless children or budget is mentioned.

Personally, Cannon Beach and South are the Best examples of the Beauty of the Oregon Coast and its beach towns.. but that might just be a matter of taste. Might all depend on what you are accustomed to.

I do like Beachbums recommendation of the Black Walnut Inn .. I never was impressed with the wine area as a place to stay overnight, except for the Black Walnut Inn lol... who cares about the wine ? I just love that Inn
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 04:30 PM
  #13  
 
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Thanks kimamom for reminding me where we did stay in Seaside - it was the Inn of the Four Winds (I couldn't think of it for the life of me last night!) And although I would still choose Cannon Beach over Seaside, I did think Inn of the Four Winds was very nice -- at the end of the boardwalk, so a bit quieter. A killer beach view!

But I agree Seaside seemed more oriented to families with kids, Canon Beach a bit more upscale. If you go to Canon Beach be sure to check out the place where you get to watch them blow glass. Fascinating!
sferguso is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:55 AM
  #14  
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You guys have been so helpful, we're on it! Many thanks to you all.
LibbyP is offline  

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