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Please comment on Hood River/Portland OR Itinerary

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Oct 4th, 2006, 02:10 PM
  #1
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Please comment on Hood River/Portland OR Itinerary

Hi Everyone!

DH and I will arrive at PDX around 1:00pm on Oct. 17th for a 5 night getaway without the kids (first time in 2 years we've been away). We love good food/wine, nature/outdoors, hiking, scenery, culture, history, architecture and more. We are not big shoppers, but I always like to pick up something from places we visit so recs on a crafty gallery or something would be welcome.

Tuesday, Oct. 17th
Arrive PDX and pick up rental car - hopefully on road by 2:00pm. Drive to Hood River with stops at Vista House and Multnomah Falls. Stay for 2 nights at Inn at the Gorge.

Wednesday, Oct. 18th
Mt. Hood and Timberline area. Would love hiking recommendations. Maybe in the 5-6 mile range timewise, but willing to go up to 7 or 8.

Thursday, Oct. 19th
Drive back towards Portland along the Washington side crossing back over to Oregon via Bridge of Gods. Visit Gorge Interpretive Center and do Beacon Rock. Stop at Dam/Locks on Oregon side? Perhaps stop for late lunch at McMenamins?
Into Portland and check into Vintage Plaza for 3 nights. Dinner at clarklewis.

Friday, Oct. 20th
Explore around the Pearl/Old Town/Chinatown. Vist Classical Chinese Garden, Powell's City of Books. Dinner at Fenouil.

Saturday, Oct. 21st
Explore Nob Hill/NW23rd area and go to Washington Park - Rose Test Garden, Japanese Garden. Maybe Pittock Mansion?
Dinner at BlueHour

Sunday, Oct. 22
Early flight back to Dulles

Any casual/light lunch suggestions? Dinner recs in Hood River? Do the areas I plan to explore around Portland make sense location- wise and time-wise?

Thanks for any suggestions or tips!
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Oct 4th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Looks like you have done your research and this should prove to be a stellar trip for you!

As for hikes in the Gorge, I highly recommend both Hamilton Mt. and Dog Mt. on the Washington side. Dog Mt is just east of Bridge of the Gods. Hamilton is just across the street from Beacon Rock.

On Mt. Hood you can hike the Paradise Park trail right from Timberline lodge but there may be snow on the ground. There is also a nice hike up Cooper Spur but that may have snow as well.

There are a few fun places to go wine tasting right in Hood River although the wine isn't as good as many of the wines in Yamhill County.

The Mary Hill Museum on the Washington side of the Gorge is a fabulous museum with lots of art work. The view from the amphitheater is breathtaking!

Lunch at Edgefield is one of my favorite things to do after a good hike. There is also a place called Walking Man Brewery on the Washington side that has one of the best IPA beers in Oregon!

I don't have much time now but as I think of more things I will add to this post.

Cheers!
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Oct 4th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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Oh what a nice trip you have planned!
It sounds good to me ... the Portland part sounds great, you have the neighborhoods together nicely for sightseeing and eating.
Keeping in mind that it might be wet, you can go to the Art Museum or just remember, the Streetcar runs a big loop through town and it rarely rains so hard that you cannot walk in it..
Light lunches in Portland :
West Cafe, SW Jefferson & 12th ( fireplace)
Everett St Bistro, NW Everett & 12th, a block away from Bluehour
Miso Happy, NW 23rd, right by the streetcar stop on 23rd & Marshall, great noodles and soups
Piazza Italia NW Hoyt & 12th in the Pearl..
I think you chose a couple of very nice restaurants, Fenouil is my current favorite in Portland. ( they have 2 double sided fireplaces-sit by the window if you can)
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Oct 4th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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Thanks so much - just the kind of input I was hoping for!

Yes, I meant to add that the Art Museum was a possibility. We also plan to look around Pioneer Square on Thursday when we arrive. We understand it could be drizzly, but we will bring raingear - as long as it is not pouring, we will just go on with our plans.

Also, if anyone (Scarlett, mms, ???) might be interested in a quick meetup for a cup of coffee or something on Friday or Saturday morning, feel free to email me.
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Oct 4th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Ditto for lunch at the Edgefield ( or also spending a night there)
I have enjoyed the hike at Eagle Creek -
you can hike to a couple of waterfalls-
Punchbowl and Tunnel Falls- and I think its a pretty easy hike- a couple of places the trail is very narrow with steep walls on either side.

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Oct 4th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Sounds like it will be a nice trip.

The Paradise Park portion of the Timberline Trail that was mentioned is a great hike, but I think it is better in the summer when the flowers are around. Just my opinion though. It is just over 12 miles r/t, so a bit more than what you were looking for.

The ones mentioned for the gorge are great. You might also do the Multnomah Falls combined with Wahkeena Falls for a nice 5 1/2 mile hike. Or Eagle Creek or Triple Falls. There are a ton of hikes in this area, and I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.

When you stop along the way, don't forget to stop at the Portland Women's Forum (before the Vista House) for great views.

If you want to do some hiking in town, you can park near the Zoo and take the trail up to Pittock Mansion.

I might be able to meet up for coffee. Gotta check the families schedule though. Remind me closer, ok?
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Oct 4th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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I suggest you be flexible in your trip plans based on the weather. It's possible that it could be quite rainy for part or all of your trip. If by chance you can tell shortly before you arrive that it will be rainy for the first part but may clear at the end, would it be possible to reverse your trip plans on the fly? The Gorge is worth checking out in any weather, but the views are not particuarly nice in rainy weather. I've been to Vista House where you could not even see the river it was so rainy...

FYI, there is no "Pioneer Square" in Portland (that's Seattle). We have Pioneer COURTHOUSE Square, which is a one-block brick "living room" which, when it has no events going on, is both a MAX stop and a mecca for homeless people seeking out spare change (i.e. not a place you want to spend much time for the most part). Perhaps you meant Pioneer PLACE, the 2-block urban mall downtown? Just checking so you don't get confused when you arrive.

One suggestion: it would be quite possible to explore the Pearl, the Chinese Garden, NW Portland and Washington Park, with a few hours at Powells too, very easily in a single day. NW and the Pearl aren't huge areas to explore. It might be easiest to get on and off the street car in both areas (it's technically not free into NW Portland, buy a ticket when you get on), then take the car from your hotel up to the Japense Garden and Washington Park.

So if you combined your Fri/Sat itinerary into a single day, I would suggest a day trip out to Cannon Beach and/or Astoria on the coast. It's 2 hrs each way at most and a fairly easy drive. If you have never been to the Oregon Coast, I'd say at least a brief visit is essential.

Andrew
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Oct 4th, 2006, 10:48 PM
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Be careful of which trails you go on if it is wet. We went on the Eagle Creek Trail some years ago and it was darn scary at points. It was slick and narrow, with a steep drop off to one side. The path may have been improved, but get a book and read about the trails before you go.
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Oct 5th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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An answer to your question of resturants in Hood River. Three River Grill is the best. The name teases you, as it is NOT a greasy spoon grill. Go for a casual meal or white table cloth dinner. They do both-- wonderful. Not only is the food great, the view over the Columbia River is breath taking. Also if you have time, Stonehedge is awesome. Tucked away in Hood River, but worth the find-- our favorite is to do just dessert-- and do the Carmel Bread Pudding-- which is not your ordinary bread pudding-- but a new invention of a great dessert.
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Oct 5th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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Thanks again, everyone, for the informative replies.

sunburn, mms and orcas - I really appreciate the hiking/trail info.

Andrew- Sorry...yes, I meant Pioneer Place - thanks for the clarification. I was in Seattle in July and it got crossed in my mind.
As for flexibility, we can certainly adjust our daily plans some, but cannot switch our hotel stays. So, for example, if the weather looks better for the Gardens on Friday, we could swap that with Saturday. Or, we could try Vista House on the way back instead of to the Gorge, but we need to keep our overnight accommodations fixed. We'll just go with the flow the best we can as we understood when we chose this time that the weather could be iffy. No matter to us - we always find fun stuff to do and have a good time.

jjaonhen- Thanks for the yummy dining suggestions for Hood River. Carmel Bread Pudding sounds scrumptious.
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Oct 5th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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Bluehours, clarklewis, Fenouil all favorites of mine. Don't miss the desserts at Fenouil. The profiteroles and creme brulee are excellent.

If you can swing it, I love Andrew's idea of the coast and Astoria for a visit. ***kim***
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Oct 5th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Oh, kimamom, how will I decide as profiteroles and creme brulee are 2 of my favorites?!

You and Andrew have both made great suggestions/points about the coast, but I just don't know how we can do the Gorge, Coast and Portland without rushing around more than I want to. We thought about this a lot when planning our trip and decided on Gorge over Coast. While we have not been to the Oregon coast, we have been to the coast of Northern California and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. If we feel like a daytrip from Portland, we will keep it in mind. As always, there is so much more to see and do than is possible in one trip.

Thanks again to everyone! Happy travels!
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Oct 5th, 2006, 04:08 PM
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It is called Bluehour.
Ask for a Blood Orange Margarita, we got them to make it for us recently and now they have them on the menu
Fenouil does dessert very well, last time we ate there, we had a chocolate thingee where they give you 3 different forms of chocolates to try. If it is chocolate, I am there...
Maybe mms and I can meet you, as she said, let us know closer to the time you are here, I am leaving for Buenos Aires close to that time so who knows how crazed I will be ~
But I will try
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Oct 5th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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Heading to the coast is easy enough that you could decide at noon to head out there for the rest of the day if you think you've seen enough of NW and the Pearl. All I'd do ahead of time is do a tiny bit of contingency research just in case you head out there on a whim. But you don't really need directions. Head 26 west from Portland until you get to the ocean and go south on 101 to Cannon Beach.

Andrew
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Oct 5th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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Yes, Andrews directions are the ones we were given, it is really easy, even we don't get lost going to the Coast..and go LEFT when you get to 101...you want Cannon Beach and South..
It takes us 90 minutes each way so it is a nice day out of town. We did it on our first visit here..But if you are a shopper and a looker and an eater lol you might be content in the NW & Pearl for a day
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Oct 5th, 2006, 06:50 PM
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OK, great! Thanks - we will definitely keep the Coast as an option.

Got it...Blood Orange Margarita

And, I am a complete Chocoholic so I'm so there on the "chocolate thingee!"

Will touch base again as we get close.
Thanks again.
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Oct 15th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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HI Everyone!

Any last thoughts or suggestions?

The weather prediction is absolutely gorgeous with lows around 40 and highs in the lower 60's. We are so excited for our Tuesday morning departure.

Scarlett and mms....topping to see if coffee might be an option. You can email me or post here.

Thanks for all the great suggestions and help.
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