Please review our proposed Oregon itinerary

Mar 30th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Please review our proposed Oregon itinerary

My husband and I are planning a trip to Oregon this summer and would love your thoughts on our general plan and a few specific questions. Here's what we're thinking now...

Arrive Portland on a Wednesday, drive to Willamette.

Spend Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun in Willamette Valley. We'll make some specific winery appointments as well as check out some of the collective tasting spots, and of course, eat and relax. We selected these days to hit most of the wineries open or at least available for appt. Is that correct?

Spend Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs driving back up the coast. We could also drive further south and come back up. Would like some idea of the appeal of Central Coast vs. North Coast so we can best allocate our time. We are looking for the spectacular views, maybe some hiking, picnic spots, scenic driving, good food - always. Very interested in great local seafood. Probably will end up in Cannon Beach so we're close to Portland, but where else should we consider on the Central Coast?

Friday and Saturday back to Portland for the weekend and fly home Sunday.

I know we could spend the entire trip in any one of these locations, but we are really interested in experiencing each of these areas.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!
magicone is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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I am not sure what you mean by arrive in Portland and drive to Willamette, you mean the wine area? This would be about half and hour to 45 minutes out of downtown Portland, I cannot imagine finding anything to do there for 4 days. It is really a day trip or maybe at most an overnight.

90 minutes from downtown Portland is Cannon Beach, another day trip or as you wish, a leisurely drive along the coast. I would choose the Cannon Beach and then South on 101 route, stopping in Arch Cape and along those small wonderful scenic towns, you can come back to Cannon Beach and return to town by 26 or take the highway that runs through the wine area, which I am blank on right now.

Seafood in CB- Ecola Seafood and Gower Street Bistro and Newmans. Mo's for a cup of clam chowder and also have a cup or bowl at Gower St.
I would spend more time in Portland and less in the wine area. is good for calendar of events in town, specials hotels might be running etc.

Hope this helps
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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Scarlett gave great advice.

As far as the wineries go, Beachbum is definitely the person to ask. There are so many great small places, so don't just follow the blue tourist signs on the side of the road. One thing to take into consideration is the driving in this area. Will you have a designated driver? Please do. If not, then please hire a driver or one of the tour companies. The police have a very heavy presence in this area, and I cannot tell you how many people I see pulled over each day.

The highway that Scarlett referred to is HWY 18 that comes from the coast over to the wineries, and meets up with hwy 99w which comes through McMinnville on north to Dundee. McMinnville has several tasting rooms, so you could do that as well.

Cannon Beach is our favorite area close to Portland. Very nice little town, and Ecola State Park is on the north edge of it and is fantastic for views, photos and easy hiking.

Have you thought about the Columbia River Gorge? I mention it because there is fantastic hiking there, and loads of waterfalls and views. It is an easy day trip from Portland.
mms is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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I'm also confused as to what you mean by "Willamette". As Scarlett says, the heart of wine country is only about 45 minutes SW of Portland. You might choose to spend a night or two there (Black Walnut Inn or Youngberg Hill), but much more would be overkill. You've picked the right days, though, as many/most wineries are closed Mon and Tue. The best - IMO anyway - taste by appointment only, but there are a lot of good ones with regular tasting hours, usually between 11:00am - 5:00pm. If you'd like some recommendations, ask.

Central and north coast are both nice, but for different reasons. I like the central coast for sightseeing and activities - Oregon Coast Aquarium, Depoe Bay, Newport, dune buggy rides, Haceta Head Lighthouse, etc. - and enjoy the north coast more for just hanging on the beach amidst the spectacular scenery. With the time you've got, especially if you borrow some from your planned wine country stay, you could see a good part of both north and central coast.
beachbum is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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Thanks to all for your replies. They will be very helpful. Maybe we don't need 4 days in the wine country, but we would like to visit a number of smaller producers by appointment and sometimes it takes a few days to work that in. (Maybe I'm basing timing too much on Napa or Sonoma, but it looks like there are several appellations to explore.) We're very excited about many of the Oregon wines we've tasted so this is a big research/buying trip for us. BTW, are most smaller producers set up to ship direct, now that we've come out of the dark ages and our state finally allows it?

Beachbum, would love your recommendations on specific wineries to visit.

We will definitely explore the Cannon Beach area and probably base there for at least a few days. Thanks for your recommendations, Scarlett.

I think we'll definitely want to see both the Central and North Coast. I don't want to overextend where all we do is drive, however beautiful the drive. Must get out and soak up Oregon. And thanks, mms, we'll look into the Gorge area. I have always wanted to go there, but didn't want to spread the time too thin.

We really appreciate all of your thoughts and any more are certainly welcome.

Happy weekend!
magicone is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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Erase Napa or Sonoma from your mind

and remember, I moved here (Portland) a year and a half ago with no clue as to how to get anywhere and with daily guidance from mms and beachbum as well as other locals, I hardly get lost more than once a day now!! lol

Coast recommendation:
Inn at Arch Cape
They have fireplaces and are about a blocks walk to the ocean.
Manzanita-eat at Bread & Ocean, walk the neighborhood and look at the houses and views. Stop at every spot along 101 that provides a look-out to take photos of that coastline, it is stunning, regardless of weather.

I will miss Oregon ~
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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howdy Scarlett~ That's just what I was thinking.

for Magicone~ I really enjoy the Willamette Valley (have relatives living there)... but Napa it ain't!!!!!!!
suze is online now  
Mar 30th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I would extend the north coast to Seaside. To walk the promenade in the summer is great. Views of the ocean and Tillamook Head are great.

As far as eats on the coast, Doogers in Seaside and Cannon Beach, Blackfish and Kyllo's in Lincoln City and Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay. All are great for dinners or lunch. Have fun.
golpher is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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I see Larry, Curley and Moe are here...where's ***shemp***? :-"
Kal is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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howdy suze ~
I think we will have to leave the heat and humidity of BsAs now and then and come back here to some soft misty coolness .. and that way mms and I can continue our ladies who lunch tradition
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Agree with golpher, spend some time in Seaside, it is only about 10 minutes from Cannon Beach. We like a little place in CB called Bistro, they make a really nice Greek Lemon Soup there.

About 5 minutes from Seaside is Gearhart where the Pacific Way Bakery and Cafe is located, we just enjoyed some yummy pasteries from there this morning. It is misty here in Seaside today but still beautiful!

Ecola State Park is gorgeous for those spectacular views you are looking for. We like to surf in the summer at Indian Beach there. Oswald West State Park is also very pretty.

You will the Oregon Coast, have fun! ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:13 PM
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so kimamom, welcome back to Oregon!
Beachbum is at the Coast right now, maybe you two will run into each other.

Is Seaside considered Central Coast?
You know me, I get lost every time we leave the city limits lol but I think from Portland to Cannon Beach then South would be the way to go, then back on that highway 18..

magicone, when beachbum gets back from the beach he will no doubt give you tons of great info on the wineries..he is IMO an Expert in that area.
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:05 PM
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I am always amazed that a General Contractor in CA can take time to take so many trips. People are begging for good General Contractors as they are so in demand. There was quite an article about this in the SF Chronical a couple of weeks ago. Well actually it was about homeowners trying to line up a good General Contractor.
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Perhaps with the housing market slowing down, some contractors are out of work? Building is still booming in Portland though
If we had stayed here, a beach house would have probably been on the list of Things To Do !
magicone, there are all sorts of festivals in the summer, keep an eye on that site, you can plan your days out accordingly.
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Thanks to all for your ideas. Will definitely check out We seem to have the most fun when we locate ourselves well and then just try to soak up as much of the local culture as possible.

We know that the Willamette Valley won't be like Napa...and in fact, don't want it to be. We've done that many times and would love a more casual experience. In that vein, can anyone give some pointers on the level of dress for dinner in the fine dining spots? Mainly wondering about wine country and the coast as I'm sure Portland would be like any urban dining.

Thanks again, and beachbum, please do get back to me on the wineries when you have time. Trip won't be until July so no hurry.
magicone is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Restaurants in the wine area and at the coast are still casual. Even the nicer places are more casual. Jeans paired with a nice blouse, sweater, etc will get you anywhere without feeling out of place.

Beachbum is in Cannon Beach right now, but I am sure he would love to give you some suggestions when he gets back.
mms is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:06 PM
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I'm a Calironian and was very unimpressed by "MO's" clam chowder. Newport Oregon has a good fresh Seafood place just south of the Yaquina bridge (no atmosphere). Newport has the Aquarium but the Hatfield science center is free (or donation) and pretty good. Yaquina Head interpretive center got good reviews from the adults who brought our girl scouts there.

4 days in the Willamette valley is a long time. Hike Multnomah falls, go to the Bonneville dam and count salmon and go up to the top of Mt. Hood and have lunch at Timberline Lodge (go skiing too, if it's not late August or early September).

Go to Powells City of Books in downtown Portland, Ride the Ariel Tram and go to Saturday market (public transit connects all of these).
collins149 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:06 PM
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visit too -- they have cool dinner theaters and neat lodging options.
collins149 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:20 PM
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lol, collin, where is Calironia? just kidding!

the aerial tram will bring up discussion for sure.
magicone, the tram was built for people who work at the OHSU hospital , patients and visitors. In order to help with the cost, when they opened, all visitors were able to ride free .. if you decide to take the tram, remember that the other riders are most likely patients and family of patients at a large hospital.
IMO, there are other ways to see the view without taking the tram.
One would be have drinks at the Portland City Grill, much more festive atmosphere .. just avoid Happy Hour ( meat market) and don't eat there, just drink lol.

Other opportunities for views:
From the Pittock Mansion
from the Japanese Gardens
From Forest Park...all of these more in keeping with a pleasant day out.

There might be better chowders than Mo's ( Gower St Bistro is one) but on a windy chilly or wet day, Mo's is right on the beach, best view.
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:08 AM
bbqboy is offline  

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