Oregon trip planning for 2008

Old Oct 21st, 2007, 05:08 PM
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Oregon trip planning for 2008

My daughter and I are planning our first trip to Oregon in 2008. First, what month is the best time to visit?

We will fly to Portland. We definitely want to visit the Columbia River gorge and take a cruise through the gorge. A travel guide I have recommends a scenic drive on the Columbia River Highway from Portland through the gorge, to the base of Mt Hood and back to Portland. How long should I plan for this part of the trip and where to spend the night?

We then want to drive to Astoria to visit Ft Clatsop. From there we will drive down the coast and then back to Portland to fly home.

We have 7-8 days for this trip. How for south should we drive along the coast before returning to Portland?

Any suggestions for places to spend time and stop for the night would be appreciated.
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Best months would be August or September..or the end of July.

You can base yourself in Portland and do the Gorge as a day trip.
The drive on the scenic highway to the/past the waterfalls is about 35 minutes from downtown..the drive itself on the Historic Hwy is slow, being one lane and so many things to look at..stopping at the waterfalls etc. Figure from late morning until later in the afternoon..drive home on 84..takes about 35 minutes without traffic.
I never did it to Mt Hood..but you don't have to stay overnight..you can do it as a day trip.

The Coast is a 90 minute drive from downtown , you can also do this as a day trip..but if you are going to Astoria, it will be longer.
You can still do it all in a day.
Drive on 26 from Portland to 101..stop and look at the largest Sitka Spruce in the country (world?)..

We only went as far as Manzanita and that was amazing..there are more people here that know better about that. We lived in Portland but didn't get to see as much of the Coast as we should have ..

Remember that most of the places out along the Coast have minimums..in the summer, it can be 2 or 3 nights..
We stayed at the Inn at Arch Cape..

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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for your advice Scarlett. I am presently doing more research on your suggestions. Not sure how many days to stay in Portland. Need to find out more about what there is to do.

I planned to drive to Astoria and spend the night and then begin a drive down the coast. I love the Pacific coast. I have only seen it once and was driving north. I'm sure driving south could be a bit nerve racking. Again, not sure how far to drive south before heading back to Portland and where to stay along the way.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:11 PM
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This is strictly personal but I would skip Astoria and Seaside and go to Cannon Beach and South along 101. The towns are charming and beautiful, the views are fantastic and you can get back to Portland on a different highway farther south. I have to send this to my Portland friends to get them to tell you the highways and good routes..they always helped us when we ventured out of Portland ( we got lost all the time lol- they always helped us get back home )

According to what I know and what we did..
You can stay in Portland, do a destination a day- leaving you in town with many choices for dining, sightseeing (there is always something going on ) ..
We were there for 2 weeks on our first visit and that is the way we did it. There is a lot of stuff to do and see when you are in Portland..the Japanese Gardens, Forest Park or Washington Park..the Saturday Mkt, the Farmers Mkts , Art Museum, and then there is the Eastside! So much to do and see..Powells! don't forget Powells.

If you wish to stay a night or 2 on the Coast ( they have minimum stays most of the year) I do suggest either Cannon Beach or where we loved staying a couple of nights in the fall..the Inn at Arch Cape. The rooms have tiny kitchens and a huge fireplace and decks and you can walk to the beach..whatever time of year or weather, it is fun to stay there..and you are about 2 hours drive from downtown Portland..
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:06 PM
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I can comment on the weather out here and agree with Scarlett. Late spring, summer or early fall are your best bets for good weather.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:41 AM
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I'll do the Gorge part! The best way to roundtrip it is by taking Hwy 14 on the Wa. side (better views) and crossing the at Bridge of the Gods and Hwy 84 back to Portland. I tried to get Scarlett to stay at the Columbia Gorge Hotel near Hood Canal but noooooooo! Best time to travel here is Mid to late July thru early Sept. Multnomah Falls will be packed but just expect it.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Okay, I'm a little confused about your wanting to both "take a cruise" and drive through the Gorge. If it's just the drive, it's only 60 miles from Portland to Hood River - essentially at the base of Mt. Hood. As has already been said, most visitors do that trip in a day or less.

If you can swing it, plan 2 nights on the north coast, and 2-3 on the central coast, choosing just one lodging in each area. And I agree with Scarlett; pick somwhere besides Astoria for your north coast stay. Drive through, climb the Astor Column, visit Fort Clatsop, okay..... But, you'd much prefer something like Cannon Beach for your north coast nights.

I'd recommend Newport or Yachats for the central coast nights. Both are uuhhhh.... centrally located to the more popular activities and sights, and both have good lodging choices.

Return back to Portland via hwy 20 from Newport, or 126 from Florence. Once you've firmed up your itinerary, we can help fill in the holes.

Hi Scarlett!

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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 04:45 PM
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Thanks again for all of the suggestions. I shall do more research on the areas you have suggested for lodging.

I have seen pictures of the paddlewheeler that cruises through the gorge and thought that would be interesting. Perhaps just viewing the gorge would be enough.

We wanted to go to Astoria because we are history buffs, particularly Lewis & Clark. We have visited many of the historic sites from Indiana westward and wanted to visit Ft Clatsop. Spending the night there isn 't necessary. We could drive there to see Ft Clatsop and then head south.

We will probably plan this trip for late July or early August since we have other plans for September.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Hi, we were in Astoria today, when you go, check out the new Bridgewater Bistro and the Flying Dutchman Wine Tasting room. Both of these places are excellent additions to the Astoria food and wine scene, only opened 5 weeks ago. It is right by the Cannery Pier Hotel.

Fort Clatsop is really cool, there is a shuttle bus that will take you to the Fort in the summer months. We had a beautiful day on the coast today, over 70 degree weather. ***kim***
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Then you'd also enjoy a visit to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Cape Disappointment State Park, just outside of Ilwaco, Washington, 15 miles from Astoria. Besides Lewis & Clark, the Center has a number of maritime history exhibits. And a bonus is that it's situated on a cliff, with a spectacular panoramic view of the mouth of the Columbia River.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Thank you kimamom and beachbum for your suggestions.

I have not heard of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. I will check it out. Since it is so close to Astoria we will definitely want to go there.

I haven't done much research yet on Astoria. I will check out the restaurants you mentioned.

Again, thanks for all of your help.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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I would wait and eat in Cannon Beach. More choices and most of them nice..just a cup of chowder sitting at Mo's by the windows with Haystack Rock out the window , is great - watching the birds, the intrepid beach walkers and perhaps some (foolish/crazy lol) out-of-towner dipping their feet in the water and watching them turn blue

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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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There are two great lighthouses at Cape Disappointment also--LH and the L&C Center are well worth the drive. We also enjoyed Astoria and then it's not far to Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park, both not to be missed. In CB, we like to stay at Schooner's Cove right in town and for a good steak and salmon enjoyed The Driftwood. Many breathtaking spots between CB and Florence--try to go at least that far. Not sure about returning to Portland as we drove on down all the way to San Francisco. Problem driving the Oregon coast will be stopping at every turnout for those gorgeous views!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 10:17 PM
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You may also want to visit the Maritime Museum in Astoria, we just returned from a great dinner at the Bridgewater Bistro, very nice! ***kim***
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Texasjo - Thanks so much for the information on the lighthouses. My daughter is an amateur photographer and one of her favorite subjects is lighthouses. She has several pictures from previous trips so she would love to photograph those you mentioned.

As I have been planning this trip, it was my thought to drive to Florence, then to Eugene, and back to Portland. I see what you mean about all of the places to stop along the coast. The map I am looking at shows multiple state parks, viewpoints, beaches and recreation areas.

I am leaning toward one night in Astoria. It seems there are several places we would want to visit there, as well as traveling north to Cape Disappointment. We can then begin our descent down the coast. Now I just need to decide how far I want to drive each day since it seems that a person could spend many days at all of the parks and beaches.

Thanks again to all of you who have been so helpful.
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