Oregon for a Week (or so); Include Portland?

Old Jan 20th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Oregon for a Week (or so); Include Portland?

The plan is for a trip this coming August; spending a week and perhaps a couple extra days. The main idea is to experience the Oregon coast. Will have a rental car and fly in and out of Portland.

Cannon Beach is definitely on the agenda; am wondering about at least one other "beach town" or experience. No children involved.

Will also spend an overnight in Corvallis where we will visit a relative who teaches at Oregon State.

Am wondering if Portland is worth a couple of days. Yes, I know it is a nice city according to many but trying to decide if some other internal location might afford some spectacular views, etc.

I can be Portland-convinced I am sure so any thoughts are welcome and thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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For beach towns, how far are you thinking of driving down the coast? Did you want something near CB or further down?

As for Corvallis, I lived there for four years and go there often. If you like beer at all, Block 15 is a must. Your relative will surely know about it

Yes, Portland is definitely worthy of a few days. Pittock Mansion, the Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden, Pearl District and NW areas for shopping and dining. Portland Art Museum is very good as well.

If you like wine, take hwy 99w up to Portland from Corvallis. In this area alone, we have over 200 wineries and our pinot noir is some of the best in the world.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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I think Portland is definitely worth at least one day. We always enjoy visiting Powell Books and walking through the Pearl District and the Nob Hill Neighborhood. Portland is also a great base for visiting the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

The best views of the ocean from Highway 101 are just south of Cannon Beach, between Yachats and Florence, and from Port Orford to Brookings.

Cannon Beach used to be (but is no longer) our favorite town on the coast. It has gone from being pleasingly touristy to annoyingly so. We prefer to spend nights in Newport, Yachats, Brookings, and even Florence were there is a Best Western with water views near Old Town with its good dining options at sensible prices. (If you go to Florence, have the oysters at Restobar 1285.)
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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Yes, yes, yes - include Portland.

We went for 8 nights and did a few day trips including the Coast and the Columbia River Gorge. I highly recommend the apt we stayed in - http://www.vrbo.com/214290 It was only two of us and we didn't need all that room, but I would return there even with all the extra room. The location - a few blocks from Powell Books, Whole Foods and a zillion restaurants yet on a VERY quiet dead end street was PERFECT - as was the house itself and the furnishings. All for less than any hotel in the neighborhood.

Especially if you add a couple extra days to your week in OR, you should not miss this wonderful city, it's fantastic neighborhoods, and all it has to offer.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Cannon Beach used to be (but is no longer) our favorite town on the coast. It has gone from being pleasingly touristy to annoyingly so.

Personally it was never my favorite town on the coast, but I certainly agree with the "annoyingly touristy" viewpoint. I guess the market for carved seagulls and bad "art" is way bigger than I surmised.

With a week plus, I'd definitely head south; in fact IMO the most scenic parts of the coast are at the southern end, conveniently close to the northenmost groves of Redwoods near Crescent City.

I just drove down the coast from Seattle to California earlier this week, and here are some examples of the scenery between Port Orford and Gold Beach:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/58865367@N06/8399429046
http://www.flickr.com/photos/58865367@N06/8398344641

Over the California line, you're in redwood groves like these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58865367@N06/8398336093

(Here's a picture with my car so you can see the scale of the trees - www.flickr.com/photos/58865367@N06/8398336163 )

If it were me with your timetable, I'd start with the Columbia Gorge, which is very conveniently visited from Portland airport (around 15 min. from the airport to the west end of the Gorge) and I'd include a day trip up the Hood River Valley to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.

Then I'd roar down I-5 to Grants Pass, then out to the coast at Crescent City, passing through Jedidiah Smith State Park (stunning redwood groves.) It's a day's drive from Portland, but not particularly grueling at all.

Then over a couple of days I'd make my way back up the coast as far as Newport - Bandon and Yachats being my favorite spots for beaches, scenery, cute towns and decent restaurants/accommodations, not as touristy as Cannon Beach. Then from Newport it's a quick trip through the Coast Range to Corvallis, then back to Portland, done.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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After all these years,folks are starting to agree with me about Cannon Beach.
GardyLoo's plan is a good one. I'm always the Ashland advocate, if you like food, wine, and theatre.
And Crater Lake is worth consideration, if only for a day.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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For a town to spend the night in, I like Seaside more than Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is worth a stop for an hour or so to see Haystack Rock.
Make the stop at the Tillamook Cheese factory for cheese and or ice cream. Drive as far as Reedsport and go over Rt. 38 back toward I-5. About 5 miles east of Reedsport you have a good chance of seeing Roosevelt Elk from the Dean Creek viewing area.
In August I would go south on I-5 to Roseburg and then east on 138 to get to the north entrance of Crater Lake.
To get to Corvallis, you could go by way of Bend to Sisters and over the McKenzie Pass (242) then north on 126 to get back on US 20 west through Albany to Corvallis.
You could go into Portland as a day trip from the town of Hood River along I-84.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Thank you very much for all the responses. They say a great deal.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Some good ideas and think the Rose Garden, and nearby Japanese Tea Garden in Portland's Washington Park are worth a visit - as is the zoo if you have time. Love the Elk there - and they used to have a huge Brown bear also.

Would modify Gardyloo's plan - and assuming you spent a night at Timberline Lodge - one of our favorites - and from Timberline - drive down 97 - through Bend (great views of Mt. Jefferson, the 3 Sisters, etc) and spend the night at Crater Lake - or Diamond Lake - or even visit Crater Lake and spend the night in Ashland.

Then head over to the Coast and eventually - back to Portland.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 02:27 AM
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Thanks again for the helpful replies.

I have this feeling I can overlook the supposed "non-art" at Cannon beach along WITH the other travelers like myself and concentrate on the scenery. I realize that is harder for some folks to do than others.

Particularly appreciate the recs for inside Portland itself as well as the other non-beach areas. Makes decisions much easier.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 05:03 AM
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The last time I spent more than 30 minutes in Cannon Beach, I found a geocache in the woods on the east edge of town. On my walk down the muddy path, I saw some elk tracks.
I found several geocaches not far off the Prommenade in Seaside.
I also saw the spot just off the Prom where Lewis & Clark's "Corps of Discovery" boiled seawater to make salt to cure the meat for their long trip back east.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:38 AM
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To clarify, we never tire of walking to Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach or visiting nearby beautiful Ecola State Park, but we prefer to stay elsewhere.

HTtY
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:29 AM
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We spent the better part of two weeks split between Seattle and Portland last October. It was a return visit in a year to Seattle but the first to Portland in forever.

Our holiday was an urban one with scenic day trips out and yours has a different focus but I'd still recommend Portland for a day or two at least. Great city with amazing food, a wonderful arts scene and Powell Books. Powell Books is worth a day on its own.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Powell's is a must-see, IMO. They don't call it the City of Books for nothing! Nearby, Deschuttes Brewery is really good for lunch--way above pub grub--and has delicious beer, too. Portland is also home to several excellent distilleries. Clear Creek is near the airport and therefore makes a perfect just-off-the-plane pause that refreshes. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Hi, Dukey,

As people have laid out this trip for you, you have a fair bit of driving. Not sure what your threshold is. It's 318 miles from Portland to the Redwoods. The way down would is quick on I-5. Much slower if you return up 101 as you go through many small coastal towns and hamlets. I really, really would not add Bend and Diamond Lake if you do the loop Gardyloo suggests. Bend is somewhere you should stay at least 3-4 days to enjoy it, and you are only here 7-9 total. And it adds miles.

I would include Ashland for you (perhaps omitting the Redwoods if needed for time). Based on your trip reports, I think you would really like the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the best in the country. It is not, however, just Shakespeare; check last year's mix. And the Shakespeare productions themselves take risks. Neopatrick sometimes posts about OSF.

Crater Lake is spectacular. The boat ride on the lake is gorgeous that time of year. The most beautiful blues you will see outside of Chartres.

Even still, if you add up your mileage and number of hotel moves and decide the lure of Southern Oregon isn't for you, I do think you could have a great trip staying north and central coast, and there are many good options. Near Cannon, while I love Ecola, the parking can fill up for that beach, especially on weekends if you sleep in. So I would add Hug Point and Oswald West parks to the south of town as alternatives.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Oh, I forgot the reason I originally decided to post:
Hwy 20 may be under construction while you are here. Check closer to your travel dates.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-no...n_for_str.html
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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We are planning a trip to Oregon in September. Thanks for all this information!
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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I just read your question and the replies that you got. I live in Corvallis and have always liked the Central Oregon Coast better than the north coast. Not as crowded and have nice beaches for walking.

I also agree that a trip to the redwoods is long and wouldn't go that far south. We do like going across to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We usually go down the coast to the Crescent City area and then come back on US 199 to Grants Pass.

I would include Crater Lake in my plans if possible.

Don't worry about the Hwy 20 construction. If they are working on it at all the work is not on the existing roadway and won't affect travel.
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 04:57 PM
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I would definately spend a few days in Portland, it is such an amazing city. Many others have mentioned all the things to do and see there. I'll just add, I especially love Mt. Washington park with the Japanese Gardens and the rose gardens. I love the Pearl District and if you love small independent art galleries and antique shops it is so much fun to browse.

Another great area for art galleries and great restaurants in on Alberta Street in NE Portland.

It will probably be hot in Portland in August though, make sure you get an A/C hotel room.
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 01:22 AM
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I remain the only voice on this board who was under-whelmed with Portland - and my reasons seem to be confirmed by the comments above. It is a lovely city and a place that would likely be great to live, but as a place to visit (we did for 2 nights), I could not find enough to do. Restaurants were nice, but not unique. After visiting Japanese Gardens, other than just walking around, we were at a loss. If you read the comments above, they speak of where you can get to from Portland, rather than in Portland.

While it does not fit in your plans, I much prefer Seattle - and between there and Portland a stop at Mt. St. Helens was amazing - they have allowed it to become a living laboratory of the ability of nature to restore itself.
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