Portland area - how much time for city?

Old Jan 29th, 2012, 12:06 AM
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Portland area - how much time for city?

My husband and I are looking to take a trip to Portland, OR in June. We'll have a week, and I'm wondering how long to budget for use in the city as opposed to outlying areas. I am also interested in seeing both the coast and Columbia River Gorge areas if possible.

We're both into art, shopping for antiques, Asian cultures (so looking forward to Chinatown, Chinese & Japanese gardens, outdoor activities like hiking and possibly biking. We would be renting a car for day trips, as it doesn't seem like there is public transportation that would fit our needs.

Also, in your opinion would Portland make a good base for day trips or should we try to get out of town in order to make the most of our time out of the city? I know that there's a lot of attractions within driving distance but didn't know if perhaps it might be nice to get out to a more secluded area for part of the time as well.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:44 AM
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While the Japanese Tea Gardens and the nearby Rose Garden in Portland, as well as the Zoo - are great - I like to get outside of the city and explore quite a bit.

Suggest you consider spending a day or two up at Mt. Hood - at the classic Timberline Lodge - about an hour from Portland - or a bit longer if you first go out the Gorge and see the 7 waterfalls (be sure to check out the glass roofed restaurant/coffee shop at Multnoma Falls - very dramatic)and then turn south from Hood River to get to Mt. Hood. A beautiful drive for sure. http://www.timberlinelodge.com/

You might also enjoy spending a day or two over at the coast - driving to Victorian themed Astoria (a little over an hour) - and then down to say Cannon Beach, or even further.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:46 AM
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There are also some wineries within an hour or so's drive of Portland. For a general idea - see: http://www.travelportland.com/food-a...ravel-portland
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:57 AM
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There are more like hundreds of waterfalls in Columbia River Gorge.

I do like Toms suggestions. Since you have a week probably 2 days in Portland. Rose Garden, Powells Bookstore, and Stumptown Roasters Coffee were our favorites. We did the Japanese and Chinese Gardens and they are nice too. Had a little snack and tea at the Chinese Gardens in their Teahouse that was nice.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Portland is a pleasant city, but we prefer the scenic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and the coast.

When we spend a night in the gorge, we stay at the Best Western in Hood River (a delightful town) because it is the only hotel with rooms right on the river.

Our favorite drives in the gorge are the Historic Highway and WA-14 from Maryhill to Washougal, which offers spectacular unobstructed views the the river and Mt. Hood.

If we visit Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge, we prefer to do so as a day trip from Hood River, driving back and forth on beautiful Highway 35.

Our favorite places to stay on the northern stretch of the coast are Cannon Beach, Newport, and Yachats.

Enjoy, HTTY
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 08:48 AM
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I'd vote for spending one night on the coast (probably in Cannon Beach) and one night in the gorge somewhere (Skamania Lodge on the Washington side is lovely), with the rest of the time in Portland. If you like antiques, you might make a stop in the Sellwood neighborhood, which is easy to get to on Tri-Met. And nosing around in the Pearl district for art is a nice way to spend an afternoon. I think you'll feel rushed if you only spend 2 days in Portland itself, but it's hard to pass up time on the coast or in the gorge.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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I'd probably divide up the week evenly with 2 nights each, in the city, the Gorge, and out to the coast. The coast is too far imo to be a practical 'day trip' although certainly it can be done.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Cannon Beach is 80 miles from Portland--a 1 1/2 hour drive.


HTTY
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Portland makes a nice roundtrip itinerary: spend the arrival day and maybe one or 2 more in Portland for city, Gorge and Mt Hood. Then travel along the mighty Columbia river to Astoria (longest bridge across a river 4 miles) great MAritime Museum & pizza in town.
Then down the coast to Fort Stevens Park (great hiking, Lewis and Clark history) Cape Lookout usally has volunters with high powered camera scopes to look for the rare birds on the cliffs and Cape Mears Lighthouse is fun to explore.

Stephanie Inn is on the ocean in Cannon Beach, my rec for a town to stay in, if you can afford it or there are other afordable options on the ocean as well...

http://www.stephanieinn.com/

http://www.theoceanlodge.com/lodge.php

http://www.oregonstateparks.org/searchpark.php

On for a day trip while on the coast or on the way back to Portland, drive by wineries..

http://explorer.oregonwine.org/winery/search/intro
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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Here is your guide to public trasportation in the Portland area: http://trimet.org/
If you don't want to rent a car at the airport, ride into the city on the Red Line. The end of the line is just outside baggage claim.
To see more than just Multnomah (with an h) Falls, take the old Route 30 out of Fruitdale. I-84 has a left exit parking area in the median with a pedestrian underpass to get to the base of the falls. If you have the time and energy there is a paved path and many steps up to the top of Multnomah Falls.
If you can't afford Cannon Beach, I like lodging near the Prommenade in Seaside.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Previous ideas are all good, but also in the Gorge go to Cascade Lockes and take the paddlewheel cruise on the Columbia River and at the Bonneville Dam, stop and see the Fish Hatchery. I promise this is the only fish hatchery I would ever recommend, but it is really scenic with lovely gardens and neat fish ponds.
Try to avoid Canon Beach on the weekend. It can be a zoo.
Also no one mentioned the beer! If you are a micrbrew fan you will be at ground zero in Portland, especially if you like hops.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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The good news is you have lots of options, but that is the bad news too, lol. Narrowing it down will be hard

It is only about 90 minutes from downtown Portland over to Cannon Beach, so very easy to do a day trip. We do it often. If you decide you want more time though and want to stay over, be aware that most places in high season require a 2 or even 3 night minimum. That said, you can find one night stays if you call and can book inbetween other reservations. I personally much prefer Cannon Beach over Seaside, but that is just a personal preference.

The gorge is wonderful as well, and again can be done either as a day trip or overnight or two. You could head out on the old historic highway and stop at a couple of the biggies including Portland Woman's Forum (odd name, fantastic views), Crown Vista House, and Multnomah Falls. Then continue to Hood River and from there you can do a couple different loops. One is to continue on I-84 out to Biggs Junction and cross the bridge. Stop at Stonehenge, Maryhill Museum, and Maryhill Winery as you come back on hwy 14 along the WA side, back to Portland. Or at Hood River, cut down on hwy 35 along the back side of Mt Hood and see some of the fruit loop and then Timberline, then back to Portland. It is all good, just depends on what you want to see and how much time you want to allot.

At the beginning of the gorge area is The Edgefield. It is a McMenamin property which they are unique to OR and WA. The brothers take old historic places and turn them into hotels, breweries, etc. The Edgefield has outdoor concerts as well. It is a fun place even for a short stop.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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Tomsd..had no idea even tho I am from the PNW and have been to Falls a million times! Always learn something new from Foderites

(be sure to check out the glass roofed restaurant/coffee shop at Multnoma Falls - very dramatic
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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I understand the direct drive time to the coast. If I lived in Portland I'd run over for a day.

As a tourist visiting the area I just thought they might enjoy more time there, to be able to go to more than one town, do some of the great hikes (all levels), scenic outlooks, etc. From Cannon Beach heading south to Newport, Yachats. It's an incredibly beautiful area.

Maybe it's because I live in Seattle, for me a couple days spent in the city to see Portland would be enough. I'd focus more on the natural beauty in the region.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for the replies. We have a lot to think about. I really love the outdoors, so I think a mix of both places is going to be the best. Usually we do about 3 days city and 3 days outlying areas (or country/rural). I definitely think we'll be a little spoiled with all the vegan friendly places, as we're from the Midwest, and "vegan" is a foreign dialect (although "spoken" in some places here, too). ;-) I'm also big on quirky, local shopping, so I will probably spend a good amount of time just exploring.

We did go to Seattle and the Washington coastal areas a couple of years ago. I'm interested to see the similarities and differences between the two.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 11:36 AM
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The Oregon coast is much more developed than the Washington coast. It has many more towns, hotels, and restaurants--and much more access to the ocean.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 03:31 PM
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Amen - lots of choices. Staying at the Ocean, along the Columbia - or our favorite - up at the classic Timberline Lodge - looking up at the Glacier while swimming in their warm pool or taking a jacuzzi. And from Timberline - you get a great view looking down the Cascades - seeing as far as 3 sisters in Bend, and the Norweigan chef at the Lodge has won many awards, and even looking out the big glass window at the bar is fun - where you can also get soups or sandwiches.

It's all good - and easy to do - either direction - from Portland.

And IJAR - it is fun learning from other bloggers, eh? Tally-Ho.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Here's a little more info on dining at Timberline - and the little hideaway - the Blue Ox is it (for Paul Bunyan) is also fun. During the summer - the various ski teams train the Glacier on Mt. Hood - and they give it a festive atmosphere.

http://www.timberlinelodge.com/winem...dinner-series/
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 03:42 PM
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I'm also big on quirky, local shopping, so I will probably spend a good amount of time just exploring.

That might be a reason to spend a few days in Portland, but otherwise, if it's just seeing the sights, I don't think you'd need more than two. Neighborhoods where you'll find quirky are Hawthorne Blvd, Mississippi Ave, and NE Alberta St.
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Don't miss the Gorge. We have taken so many gorgeous hikes there. the last was at EAgle Creek. Just awesome, but parts are narrow and high up...not great if you have fear of heights. There is a cable attached to the cliff for those who need the extra confidence. We stayed in Hood River at the Inn at the Gorge and liked it. Nice breweries there if you're into beer. If you're a reader, DON'T MISS POWELL'S BOOKS! Largest bookstore I've ever seen.
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