OREGON ITINERARY HELP PLEASE

Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:09 PM
  #1  
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OREGON ITINERARY HELP PLEASE

We're Seniors wanting to browse in Oregon -- our first visit-- this fall, probably mid-late September for a couple of weeks. Not able to do very much walking, so we're looking to craft a trip that will take us to a variety of great landscapes where we can admire the heck out of the views without having to hike to get there. We'd prefer to base ourselves in a few key places, rather than change accommodations nightly, but we don't really know where it would be best to try to do that. My husband's first crack at an intinerary below has us staying in a different town nearly every night, something we actually want to avoid. We haven't got any particular reasons to go to these particular places except that they seemed interesting, or convenient to stop at because we don't want to drive more than 200 miles a day-- preferably plenty less than that.

Would you folks please be kind enough to make suggestions about how best to revise this? Thanks!

Day 1: Arrive in Portland from Philadelphia.

Days 2&3: Tour in and around Portland.

Day 4: Leave Portland, take Rt. 26 east to Rt. 35 north and drive around Mt. Hood, then continue on Rt. 35 north to the Columbia River and go east on Rt. 84/30 to The Dalles and stay over in/near The Dalles.

Day 5: Leave The Dalles, take Rt.84/30 west along the Columbia River visiting Hood River Dam, Cascade Locks and Bonneville Dam returning to Portland, staying over in/near Portland.

Day 6: Leave Portland, take Rt. 5 south visiting Salem and Eugene, viewing the Williamette Valley, and stay over in/near Eugene.

Day 7: Leave Eugene, take Rt. 126 west to Florence on the Pacific Coast, then south on Rt. 101 to Coos Bay, visiting Dunes National Park, and stay over in/near Coos Bay.

Day 8: Leave Coos Bay, take Rt. 101 north to Newport, viewing the Pacific Coast [110 miles], and stay over in/near Newport.

Day 9: Leave Newport, take 101 north to Otis, still viewing the Pacific Coast, then take Rt. 18 east into Rt. 5 north back to Portland, and stay over in/near Portland.

Day 10: Leave Portland, take Rt. 30 west along the Columbia River to Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, and stay over in/near Astoria.

Day 11: Leave Astoria, take Rt. 101 south along the Pacific Coast to Tillamook [65 miles[, then Rt. 6 east to Rt. 26 east back to Portland, and stay over in/near Portland.

Day 12: Rest up in Portland.

Day 13: Fly back to Philadelphia.
ckwald is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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we did a similar trip last year at end of August;yours sounds very complete, however you are doubling back thru Portland a second time which seems unnecessary; we did a circle loop starting in Portland to Mt. Hood/Hood River circle Loop (easy in a day, basing our stay in P'land), then out to Astoria, staying at Cannon Beach where we day-tripped for a couple of days north and south, then continued all the way down the coast to Bandon Dunes (awesome!) and then back to Portland via Eugene. You are also going to be checking in and out of a lot of hotels (which perhaps you don't mind) so it might be better to consolidate some of the stays. Just a suggestion.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:31 PM
  #3  
pdx
 
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Too much! I'm exhausted just reading it. I'm not sure what to subtract, so I'm voting what to leave in. #1 is Multnomah Falls and Crown Point, both absolutely gorgeous, and #2 is the Marine museum in Astoria. It has a fascinating display about the retired Coast Guard boat that you will truly regret if you miss it. Plus, Astoria is charming, just charming.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Agree with pdx on both points.
Also, the best guidebook we found for this area is called "Best Places Northwest" by Sally Farhat. Worth a look for its accuracy of description of all the little towns on the coast.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 06:39 PM
  #5  
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Thanks so much, you guys. Sounded pretty exhausting to me too! We'll do some consolidating and come back here to see what you think of the revision.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Don't stay in Coos Bay if you have an alternate choice; it's convenient but not necessarily quaint or near the coast (it's 20 minutes inland). I'd pick a place that is basically walking distance to the ocean if it were me, and Coos Bay isn't. You could consider Reedsport or Florence since you are heading up that way, but Bandon to the south is really nice and would be my recommendation.

The scenery near Coos Bay you can drive to is great, though. Charleston is a tiny fishing port town (no hotels probably) and near there is a beautiful park/photo location, Sunset Bay State Park; easy drive from Coos Bay. Drive out the Cape Arago Highway too from there for more great scenery, etc.

(Bring Tastykakes with you!!! You can't buy them in Portland anymore. I bought two boxes with me when I was home last week and am just now running out of butterscotch krimpets...)
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 07:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Hi CKWALD,
I am also recently retired so I know where you're coming from when you don't want to do a lot of walking. My family and I have been traveling to Portland and the Oregon coast from Scottsdale, AZ, for 15 years usually in September. Excellent month to go, the weather is beautiful.

I love Portland and because we "love books" one of our 1st stops in Portland is Powell's City of Books (www.powells.com) (it's huge and lots of fun with a cafe to "rest in"!! We usually also eat at Jakes Famous Crawfish (Seafood) it's a Portland institution! (www.jakesfamouscrawfish.com). Most of the time we will head out to the ocean to start our vacation. If we do stay in Portland we usually stay at the airport at the Embassy Suites, but there is also a wonderful Embassy Suites downtown. We've also stayed at The Benson. It is a wonderful old (beautifully and completely renovated) hotel. I would also recommend the Silver Cloud Inn Downtown, haven't stayed there but have used the one in Seattle many times. It is a locally owned hotel chain and not so pricy as the other two. (www.silvercloud.com)Free Breakfast, too!
We then head out to Cannon Beach and use that as our base. We always stay at the Hallmark Inn and get a room right on the beach. The only drawback is that it is on a bluff so there are steps to the beach but if I can do it, you can do it!!
We always go up to Astoria (north) for a day and always drive over the "bridge" that spans the Columbia River, it's an awesome drive into Washington. There is a Maritime Museum that my daughter said was great. This whole area is "Lewis and Clark" territory. In Washington there is the new Lewis and Clark National Park. There are several VERY worthwhile site if you're interested in that kind of history. We all enjoyed the encampment and the Lewis and Clark Interpretative Center.
Back over the bridge and back to Cannon Beach. There are lots of hotels there and great "small town" shopping and good restaurants which is why we keep coming back to Cannon Beach. We've been all the way down the Coast once but do love Cannon Beach so seem to end up there each year!! Lincoln City has a couple of really good restaurants and a big Outlet Mall!! Traveling on down the coast be sure to see the Seal Caves..that's really fun. I also like Newport, their aquarium is where Keiko the whale was brought although they have now released him back into the ocean.

If you will go to www.visittheoregoncoast.com to the Official Coast wesite and ask them to send the visitor guide, which is a wonderful"mile by mile" guide to Highway 1! Even if you have to pay for it, it is really worthwhile. It goes from milepost to milepost so you can see exactly what is in between the mileposts...lots of info and it will really help you. Please feel free to e-mail me if I can be of any further help [email protected]. I have LOTS more info but must make a phone call this evening for my daughter! Have a wonderful trip and FLY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! I worked for them for 18 years!!!
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 07:45 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Hi CKWALD,
I am also recently retired so I know where you're coming from when you don't want to do a lot of walking. My family and I have been traveling to Portland and the Oregon coast from Scottsdale, AZ, for 15 years usually in September. Excellent month to go, the weather is beautiful.

I love Portland and because we "love books" one of our 1st stops in Portland is Powell's City of Books (www.powells.com) (it's huge and lots of fun with a cafe to "rest in"!! We usually also eat at Jakes Famous Crawfish (Seafood) it's a Portland institution! (www.jakesfamouscrawfish.com). Most of the time we will head out to the ocean to start our vacation. If we do stay in Portland we usually stay at the airport at the Embassy Suites, but there is also a wonderful Embassy Suites downtown. We've also stayed at The Benson. It is a wonderful old (beautifully and completely renovated) hotel. I would also recommend the Silver Cloud Inn Downtown, haven't stayed there but have used the one in Seattle many times. It is a locally owned hotel chain and not so pricy as the other two. (www.silvercloud.com)Free Breakfast, too!
We then head out to Cannon Beach and use that as our base. We always stay at the Hallmark Inn and get a room right on the beach. The only drawback is that it is on a bluff so there are steps to the beach but if I can do it, you can do it!!
We always go up to Astoria (north) for a day and always drive over the "bridge" that spans the Columbia River, it's an awesome drive into Washington. There is a Maritime Museum that my daughter said was great. This whole area is "Lewis and Clark" territory. In Washington there is the new Lewis and Clark National Park. There are several VERY worthwhile site if you're interested in that kind of history. We all enjoyed the encampment and the Lewis and Clark Interpretative Center.
Back over the bridge and back to Cannon Beach. There are lots of hotels there and great "small town" shopping and good restaurants which is why we keep coming back to Cannon Beach. We've been all the way down the Coast once but do love Cannon Beach so seem to end up there each year!! Lincoln City has a couple of really good restaurants and a big Outlet Mall!! Traveling on down the coast be sure to see the Seal Caves..that's really fun. I also like Newport, their aquarium is where Keiko the whale was brought although they have now released him back into the ocean.

If you will go to www.visittheoregoncoast.com to the Official Coast wesite and ask them to send the visitor guide, which is a wonderful"mile by mile" guide to Highway 1! Even if you have to pay for it, it is really worthwhile. It goes from milepost to milepost so you can see exactly what is in between the mileposts...lots of info and it will really help you. Please feel free to e-mail me if I can be of any further help [email protected]. I have LOTS more info but must make a phone call this evening for my daughter! Have a wonderful trip and FLY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! I worked for them for 18 years!!! PS. Always drive the Coast from North to South then you don't have to cross traffic to get to the MANY lookouts, lighthouses, etc! Just a little tip!!
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 07:01 AM
  #9  
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Yo Andrew! To be without Tastykakes is to be without the elixir of life itself. Did you know you can shop for them online at tastycake.com?

Thanks so much to you and Marcia 100 for your detailed comments and suggestions. They're exactly what I was hoping for and I'll be busy the next few days reconstructing our itinerary, and then back here again for your comments.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Nice itinerary, ckwald, but.....

Day 4 - Unless you're planning to visit Maryhill and/or Stonehenge, no reason to go as far east in the gorge as The Dalles. Which means you could maybe save a night by doing the Portland - Mt. Hood - Gorge - Portland loop in a day.

Day 6 - Why? Anything particular in Salem and/or Eugene you want to see? If you want to spend a day in the valley, I'd suggest Silver Falls State Park, wine tasting, and/or a visit to the Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville.

Day 7 - Head to the coast on OR 38. It's much more scenic than OR 126, plus it passes by Dean Creek Elk Reserve, and you wouldn't have to back-track as much. And I agree w/ Andrew; the best reason to go as far south as Coos Bay is for the state parks on the coast west of the town.

Day 9, 10 & 11 - Why not continue north to Astoria instead of inland to Portland, then back out to the coast? I expect the coast will be the highlight of the trip, and you'll want as much time as you can get there, even if it's just to sit on a beach for a day.
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