Oregon trip with three boys-- suggestions?

May 18th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Oregon trip with three boys-- suggestions?

We are planning a trip for this summer to Oregon with our three boys aged 9, 15, & 16. We plan to be there for 2 weeks and are in the planning stages. At this point, we are thinking that we will visit Portland, Colombia River Gorges, Mt. Hood, the coast (suggestions where is best), Crater Lake, maybe Bend, and the wine country (are there any wineries that are child friendly?). We love outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, fishing, as well as more adventurous activities such as repelling, ziplining, surfing the dunes, etc.. We would love to hear any suggestions that you all may have. And if there are any hotels or restaurants you would recommend, that would be great as well.
jeanned is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 07:50 PM
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I'm guessing you will be flying into PDX and renting a car.
If I'm wrong, let us know. What month?
Here's my plan: Rent car at PDX or downtown if cheaper. Take I-84 east and stop at Multnomah Falls. Parking is in the median (left exit). Take the path to the base of the falls and go up the paved path/steps to the top for a great view of the Columbia River Gorge. Head east on I-84 and spend a night or 2 in Hood River. The boys will love wind surfing on the river.http://hoodriver.org/windsurfing
Leaving Hood River head south on Rt. 35 until you get to US 26 on the SE flank of Mt. Hood. If you want to see the best of Mt. Hood, take the road off US26 to Timberline (6+miles).
Leaving Timberline, go back to US 26 and go east all the way to Madras. From Madras go south on US 97. A few miles south of Madras make a stop at the Peter Skene Ogden rest area for a great view of the Crooked River Gorge. Continue south on 97 to Bend. Lots of good hotels in Bend.
Leaving Bend make a stop at the High Desert Museum and perhaps at the Lavalands Visitor center.
If it is open you will want to go into Crater Lake by the north entrance off Rt. 138. If you can get the reservation, stay at the Crater Lake lodge. otherwise try at Diamond Lake.
Diamond Lake is your best chance for some good lake fishing.
Leave the Crater Lake region on Rt. 138 west down the Umpqua to Roseburg. Go north on I-5 to take the Rt. 138 exit toward Elkton. Take Rt. 38 west to Reedsport. About 5 miles before Reedsport you will have the chance to see some Roosevelt elk from a viewpoint. Take your pick of great places to stop along the beautiful Oregon coast. Make sure to stop just north of Tillamook at the Tillamook cheese factory for great ice cream and cheese. There are many good wineries in the Willamette Valley on the way back to Portland.
If it rains in the Portland area head for Powell's Books (Burnside & 10th). Otherwise see the zoo, arboretum and the Rose Gardens.
The TriMet transport system (light rail, bus and streetcar) is good enough that you may want to ditch the rental car and ride into the city from PDX on the red line which ends right outside baggage claim at PDX.

tomfuller is online now  
May 19th, 2014, 04:34 AM
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Very good advice. You might consider the cute cabins at Paulina lake - the turnoff is south of Bend - and driving up to the lookout at the flat-top crater - Newberry is it?

And the High Desert Museum - also south of Bend - is very interesting. We enjoyed a Ranger type talk by a guy with a huge Golden Eagle on his arm (she has been injured when young - found by people - and could not return to the wild - broken wing or some such?) - and what a striking/regal bird she was - the biggest of the Raptors in the Northwest.

The stop to look at the Elk is definitely worth it - and a fairly reasonable place - with great views and a park nearby for hiking is the Surfrider Hotel at Depot Bay - just south of Lincoln City.

And you and the boys might enjoy fishing at Diamond Lake. I went with a guide I met at the Pizza Parlor (down by the campground) - and as he was also taking his girl friend fishing - he only charged me $50 and I caught 4 beautiful Rainbow - the smallest being about 20 inches - and the biggest about 24 inches - three pounds.

And the one that got away................... - estimated to be between a six and a half/seven pounder by the guide. That "whale" jumped near the boat - and in the sunlight - flashed it's beautiful red - and then broke off the four pound test - and by the time I changed to six pound text - the biggest ones had stopped biting.

But it was a blast and such tasty trout. Iced them up and headed out right after fishing - and drove to Sun Valley - where my friends grilled it beautifully - gave another couple away to friends in Klamath Falls - and even brought the biggest one back to San Diego with moi, still very good after being iced for about 5 days.
Tomsd is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Thank you both for your wonderful advice! Yes, we are flying into Portland. We will probably spend the first few nights in Portland as it will be late for us when we arrive. We were thinking to not rent a car until we leave Portland as it sounds like the public transportation there is pretty good. We will be there in July.
jeanned is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 06:57 AM
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I like the idea of spending the time in Portland at the end of the trip. If you get in late, there is a good Embassy Suites near the airport entrance. This is the best of the airport area hotels. Hood River really isn't that far east on I-84 if you skip Multnomah Falls if it is late or stormy.
You could also do the outlined trip in the opposite direction with a Willamette Valley winery first and maybe the Evergreen Aviation Museum near Mc Minnville. That is where the "Spruce Goose" is along with many other aircraft.
tomfuller is online now  
May 19th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Don't miss Stumptown Roasters Coffee and VooDoo Donuts(very odd, somewhat disgusting place, but don't miss it). We liked Mothers, Toro Bravo(tapas), Waffle Window.

I would include a trip to Mount St. Helen's too. I would drive "Fruit Loop" too.

A great fantastice hike is Eagle Creek(go all the way to Tunnel Falls). This is a long hike, but very level-not much elevation gain/loss. This is at Columbia River Gorge
Silver Falls State Park is another good place for waterfall hiking.

Right across from the Rose Garden is Japanese or Chinese Garden(can't remember which one it was).

Maybe stop and tour the Tilamook Dairy.

We spent 13 days there. We actually drove the entire coast and spent one day in Redwoods National Park in far Northern California.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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If you are coming through Eugene you could check out our new skateboard park- the largest covered park in the nation


In Florence, there is a sand board park as well.

The part of the coast between Florence and Lincoln City is one of the prettiest parts of the coast with lots of things to keep 3 boys busy.

You might look at the Adobe Motel just north of Yachats- some of the rooms are suites with full kitchens- and there is a restaurant on site as well.

In Oregon you can build fires on the beach which is always a fun thing to do for kids that age'

My favorite beach is at Devils Elbow State Park also know as Heceta Head- its a beautiful little beach, there is a trail up to Heceta Head lighthouse which one of the most photographed in the world- there are tours available for the lighthouse. Behind the lighthouse there is a hiking trail that will take you to a beach only assessable by hiking in.

Also in Florence area is Honeyman State Park where you can climb on the sand dunes.

You can take dune buggy rides at Sandland Adventures just south of the bridge in Florence- that is really fun! Driver takes you just flying over the dunes-

Just north of Florence is a stable where you can take trail rides which go down to the beach -

If you go to Bend you could do a raft trip on the Deschutes- I would see if you can find lodging at Sun River Resort where there are great bike trails, bike rentals, trail rides, huge swimming pool- you can rent homes, condos, lodge rooms - whatever suits your family.

If you stay in the Bend area, you can visit the lava tubes- where you go underground through the tubes or take the gondola up Mt Bachelor-
The area around Bend is an endless playground - you could spend your whole time there and never run out of things to do.

There are a few ideas - enjoy
sunbum1944 is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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WOW!!!! Lots of wonderful ideas! Thanks so much!
jeanned is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 09:05 PM
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We took my nephew to Oregon when he was 11 and we stayed at McMenamins Kennedy School. He loved it, they converted a school into a hotel. He still talks about it. He also enjoyed hiking up Multnomah Falls, the Devil's punch bowl and getting soaked by the waves at Depoe Bay. Pelican Pub and Brewery is a fun place to stop and eat and walk on the beach.
beechbum is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 09:52 PM
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McMenamins also has a hotel converted from a catholic school in Bend- its the Old St Francis School- another fun place to stay- the priest's garage is a great bar with patio and fire pit- there are some separate cabins- the nun's quarters for one.

There is a pool, a movie theatre, restaurant and walking distance to downtown Bend
sunbum1944 is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Having 2 energetic kiddo's myself I'll just post some suggestions that may or may not fit:

McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville (heart of Wine Country)
Wild Life Safari
Wet Coast Game Park Safari
Long Board Lowie's in Bend
Mt. Hood Adventure Park (bungee jumping/ alpine slide/ ect)

Have fun!
KCarter is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 01:44 PM
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I read about McMenamins and thought it might be a good fit for us. Is its location in Portland relatively central?
jeanned is offline  
Jun 5th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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The driving loop tomfuller laid out makes sense. With the boys,I'd just drive through Crater Lake for the view and boat ride if you can get on it, then head down towards Ashland for the night. More to do and Pete's Momentum and other rafting cos. offer great river rafting from there that should be decent though not too scary in August.

Consider a stay in Florence on the coast. This is where the sand dunes are and you can rent vehicles or just walk around them. So beautiful. Drive up the coast, various hikes, long and short. CHeck out Oswald West Park, short hike into a cove with surfers, just N of Manzanita.

I Love Cannon Beach, and all ages love Ecola Park and Indian beach. Ecola Pk is to me one of the most beautiful places in the world.

In Portland, the WIllamette Jet Boat tour is very cool. Sat or SUn the Saturday market under the burnside bridge is nutty and cool and right on the water esplanade to walk around. If it does rain, though Aug it would be rare, OMSI is great for kids/teens.

eroz is offline  
Jun 6th, 2014, 02:50 AM
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The incredible Japanese Tea Garden is just a nice walk up the hill from the wonderful Portland Rose gardens.

And the nearby Portland Zoo is also a fun visit. My wife was amazed at how big the Roosevelt Elk's rack was.
Tomsd is offline  
Jun 6th, 2014, 03:21 PM
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jeanned, there are several McMenamin Brothers locations. Be more specific if you can.
Bobmrg is online now  
Jun 6th, 2014, 05:54 PM
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(tiny tidbit)... look at the website at glaciallakemissoula.org to give yourselves a clear sense of the immensity of just how the Columbia Gorge was formed thousands of years ago.

It might help to better appreciate in advance what you're going to see... (perhaps, as well, for the kids)
NorthwestMale is offline  
Jun 11th, 2014, 04:01 PM
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We have refined our itinerary a bit. This is our plan:

4 nights in Portland (will visit Columbia Gorge and Mt. St. Helens from here)
2 nights in Bend
2 nights in Crater Lake
2 nights in Florence area
2 nights in CAnnon Beach
1 night in Portland

We decided to skip the wine region and Mt. Hood. Does this itinerary look reasonable? Any child friendly hotel recommendations?
Thanks so much for your insights.
jeanned is offline  
Jun 11th, 2014, 04:57 PM
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Crater Lake can easily be done in a day trip from Bend. I would spend the 4 nights in Bend instead of doing 2 there and 2 at Crater Lake. We go to Bend a lot and there is so much to do! I would take a look at Sunriver Resort for lodging. There are oodles of options there, and perfect for families

In Cannon Beach, our favorite spot is the Surfsand Resort. It can be a bit spend, but it is so worth it! We have been going there for years and our kids still love it. Two other places we have had good stays that would work for a family are Schooner's Cove and then Blue Gull Inn if you can get the 2 bedroom cottage. That cottage has a murphy bed as well, so plenty of room.
mms is offline  
Jun 13th, 2014, 08:31 PM
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Thanks mms! We are thinking that we want to do a hike around the rim day 1 (arrive after lunch) and on day 2 go out to wizard island and hike there. I think if we visit Crater Lake from Bend we would only be able to do one of this options. Do you agree?
jeanned is offline  
Jun 13th, 2014, 08:56 PM
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Be prepared to make the hike up the Cleetwood Cove trail after you get off the boat. What you need to know about getting to and hiking up to the crater rim of Wizard Island.
I would plan on leaving Bend (or Sunriver) early and then spending a night somewhere near Crater Lake.
If you can't get a room at the Crater Lake Lodge, try Diamond Lake resort.
tomfuller is online now  

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