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Portland, Cannon Beach, Willamette Valley & Seattle: look at our Itinerary!

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Portland, Cannon Beach, Willamette Valley & Seattle: look at our Itinerary!

Old Sep 11th, 2010, 05:36 AM
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Portland, Cannon Beach, Willamette Valley & Seattle: look at our Itinerary!

My husband & I are ready to leave for Portland this Wed. We are from South Florida and are so excited about our first trip to the Oregon/Pac. NW area!! We are in our late 40's, like good local food, esp. seafood, without pretention. Like to get around and explore. Pls. review our itinerary and comment:

Wed: arrive in Portland late. Rent car and go to Portland Hilton.

Thurs: Explore Portland by foot. Take Streetcar to NW 23rd area, Pearl District. Do River Walk. Consider a bike ride?
Places to eat for consideration are: Fenouil, Caffe Mingo, Toro Bravo, Castagna, Le Pigeon, Ned Ludd, Belly, Pok Pok, Tanuki, Clyde Common, SouthPark Seafood ?

Friday: Columbia River Gorge day trip. Dinner w/ friends who live in Portland.

Saturday: leave Portland after a good breakfast. Drive to Cannon Beach.
Explore Cannon Beach. Staying at Surfsand.
Need recommendation of places to eat!

Sunday: Drive up to Astoria. Places to eat? Seafood?

Monday: Leave Cannon Beach for the Willamette Valley. Plan to drive down the coast. Stop at Tillamook. Need to be in the Valley by 2 pm. Is this too aggressive?
Arrive in McMinnville - staying at Youngberg HIll Inn for 2 nights.
Dinner at Farm to Fork.

Tuesday: we have a few winery appointments set up. Do wine tastings.

Wed: Leave the Valley by noon for Seattle. Would like to arrive Seattle by 4 or 5 pm, we are counting on a 4 hour drive. Is this about right? We plan to return the car at a downtown location. Hotel : Hilton.
Explore Seattle then dinner at ? Long's Provincial sounds neat? or Seafood? or Brewery type place?

Thursday: Space Needle, whether permitting.
Go to Pike's Market.
Eat at: Ettas, Steelhead or Macchiavelli's ?

Friday: leave by 11 am for 2 pm flight.

Thanks alot!
Patty
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 07:22 AM
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You should definitely do the Space Needle...weather does't really matter, although on a clear day, the view is obviously better. It's still worth doing even if the day isn't perfectly clear. So far our September has been fallish...so anyone from South Florida, should plan to bring and dress in layers. Our friends from Florida are always freezing here, and we're always too hot there. Etta's is good and close to the market, but I know the other restaurants have followers too. If you aren't inspired by the menu at Etta's, check out one of Tom Douglas' other restaurants, Dahlia Lounge or Lola. For consistent quality, I think his restaurants are hard to beat, but they are a bit spendy.

If the day is nice on Wednesday or Thursday, a walk-on ferry ride to Bainbridge Island would be very pleasant.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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I have done an Epicurian Walking tour of the Pearl district in Portland.- thought it was fun and lots of local foods to taste- might check it out
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 07:56 AM
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No one in Seattle named Pike has a market, to the best of my knowledge. However, there is a wonderful market located on Pike Place.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Overall, your trip looks good. Be aware though that the streetcar will be out of commission for 2 weeks, but there will be shuttles so you can use those. Just don't be looking for the streetcar or you will be waiting for a long time

Just to add to your restaurant list, Serratto up on NW 21st is very good, and Piazza Italia. Actually there are loads more really good places, which is good. You don't need much of a list here as you can practically stumble from one good place to another.

Surfsand has been a favorite of ours for years. As for meals in Cannon Beach it sort of depends on if you want more fine dining or more casual. Mo's is an ultra casual place, food is just ok, but it is an OR institution pretty much. Go for chowder and look out at Haystack Rock. Ecola Seafood market is also a restaurant and is good, but no views. Bill's Tavern is good, again no views. Lazy Susan great for breakfast, no views and cash only. Wayfarer, part of Surfsand, is very good and great views of Haystack Rock. Lumberyard is good too, no views. On the higher end is Newmans and Stephanie Inn. Stephanie Inn looks out to the parking lot though. Waves of Grain bakery down near Mo's for great coffee.

Driving over here to the wineries is easy. I assume you mean you will drive down to Tillamook and then cut over on hwy 6 back this direction? That is what we do and it is a very nice drive and easy. We take backroads, but since you are not familiar and it is easy to get lost, be sure to stick with the main routes. Hwy 6 to hwy 26, then exit at Murray and take that to Scholls Ferry and that will take you right into the heart of our wine country. Murray is stop light h*ll, but it is the easiest route.

From Youngberg Hill up to Seattle, plan on closer to 5 hours, especially since you will be getting into the Seattle areas rush hour. To save a bit of time, cut over from hwy99w on the south end of Sherwood over to I-5 at north Wilsonville. Much better than the other routes!!! We live in this area and don't even consider the other routes.

One thing you have not mentioned is stopping at Mt. St. Helens. It is right on the way to Seattle, but of course a detour from I-5. Well worth the time (as long as the weather is good)!!! IMO, of course

As for the drive to Seattle, one word of caution. There have been quite a few incidents of rocks being tossed from overpasses in the Tacoma area. I was one of the victims just a week or so ago. Not that you can prevent it, but just stay alert. With that in mind, decide if you need any extra insurance on your rental car.

Etta's is very good. Definitely go up to the Space Needle.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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This is a good plan into which you have obviously put a lot of thought.

However, on Sunday, rather than drive to Astoria, I would explore the coast south of Cannon Beach for great ocean views and cozy little towns.

On the Friday daytrip to the Gorge we would take I-84 to Corbett to access the Historic Columbia River Highway and drive that road as far as Moltnomah Falls (there are great views and several waterfalls along the way).

Returning to I-84 we would drive as far as the delightful town of Hood River, walk around town, and have lunch at Celilo.

From Hood River we would take the first two or three miles of the Fruit Loop for great views of Mt. Hood with orchards in the foreground: (http://www.hoodriverfruitloop.com/index.html

After that we would take the bridge to Washington and drive back to Portland on WA-14—the river views from the Washington side always delight us.

(If we had time, we would drive on I-84 and cross the Columbia to Maryhill where there is an intriguing museum. Also, for those interested in wineries, the Columbia River Gorge has much to offer: http://www.columbiagorgewine.com).

HTTY
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Yes i think 4 hours is about correct for that drive. Portland to Seattle is usuallly 3 hours, almost exactly.

I think Etta's or Steelhead would be good choices, or somewhere down on the waterfront with a view (Anthony's?). Machiavelli's is a fabulous little neighborhood italian restaurant and bar, but I'm not sure would be my pick with only 2 meals in Seattle. Long's gets great comments but is fairly new and I haven't eaten there myself yet to comment. My overall favorite restaurant experience is Dahlia Lounge.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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if you want an even better view than Space Needle in Seattle, check out Columbia Tower on the corner of 5th and Columbia Avenue. They have a view deck on 74 or 75th floor that is open to public during weekdays 8-5 pm. It offers a different perspective and a beautiful view of Elliot Bay.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 09:05 AM
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HTTY mentions some good details about the gorge. The Corbett exit is #22. You can also catch the scenic highway a bit before that at the Troutdale exit #17 if you want. A few must stops along that old scenic highway include the Portland Women's Forum (odd name, great views), Vista House and of course Multnomah Falls. Lots of other great places to stop and check out, but those are the usual spots.

There are wineries in the gorge area, but they are different varieties than in the valley, and even with that said, they are not in the same league at all, IMO. If you want great wine, head to the valley, if you want to just check out some wineries then stop at wherever is most convenient.

Suze--Youngberg Hill is a good bit south of Portland. No way can you make it in 4 hours to Seattle. DH makes this drive every week, so we have it down to the minute almost
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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You've picked almost every one of my favorite Portland restaurants, so I don't have much to add there. Well... maybe Noble Rot and Metrovino. ;-)

It'll probably be obvious to you that Portland is best seen by foot and streetcar rather than by bicycle. Consider extending your "river walk" to include the Eastbank Esplanade, crossing both the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges.

To mms's list of Cannon Beach eateries, if it fits into your schedule, you'd enjoy the Dinner Show at EVOO: http://www.evoo.biz/. The chef/owner there is as good as any in town, I think. If you end up in Astoria, Clemente's would be my pick for fine dining. But I'd just as much enjoy fish & chips paired with Chipotle Ale at Rogue Ales Public House on Pier 39.

And one last dining rec: Thistle in McMinnville.

Hope your planning proves to be worth the obvious effort. Looks like a great trip!
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 10:35 AM
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I stand corrected. I didn't pay attention to exactly WHERE in Willamette Valley you were starting. I drive to my family in Corvallis from Seattle and that is 5 to 5-1/2 hours.
Sorry.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 10:58 AM
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If you're in Seattle you MUST stop by Dahlia (on 4th Ave) for coconut cream pie. They also have a bakery next door, so you needn't go there for dinner. Absolutely the best.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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A couple of unconnected ideas...

On Sunday you could head south as HTTY suggests - at least as far as Yachats IMO; or you could head north through Astoria and over the (impressive) bridge at the mouth of the Columbia up to the Long Beach peninsula. There are a couple of excellent lighthouses and great rocky scenery near Ilwaco, and the the Willapa Bay area (up to Oysterville) is gorgeous. You might try Jimella's Seafood Market Cafe in Ocean Park (next to Long Beach) - Jimella and her partner were the original owners of the (now gone) Ark restaurant, which was for many years a real "destination" restaurant in the Pacific NW; apparently they haven't lost the touch with their chowders, and maybe some wonderful local Oysters if you're there after enough of the first R month has elapsed.

Or, restaurant-wise, we haven't been yet, but the operators of the former Shoalwater Cafe (another now-closed destination place) from Long Beach have opened the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria, to generally excellent reviews. http://www.bridgewaterbistro.com/

In Seattle, you might think about keeping the car through dinner time, and use it to go over to West Seattle for dinner at Salty's on Alki. The food is good, but the view is nothing short of stunning. By the week after next the crowds won't be a problem, and it's a super place for a first night in our fair city. You could even head straight there at the end of your drive, then head downtown to the Hilton once the rush hour people have split.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Wow, you guys are the best, thanks! So how is the weather there this weekend? Is it rainy and cool? I'm definitely packing the layers and the wet weather gear.

Some q's: Cannon Beach leg: how far is the drive up to Astoria? Is it better to go up to Astoria and explore there, or go South instead? I think my DH may prefer going south and eating at some great seafood joint.... he is a big fishing / fresh fish guy! HTTY: what little cozy towns would you recommend?

Seattle: Dahlia's sounds like it's a top pick.

mms: How much time should we allow from Cannon Beach to the Valley? Yes,I was planning to take Hwy 6. Could we stop in Tillamook on the way down?

So excited! but man, I can't believe about those rocks in Seattle. That was happening in Miami sometime back. Stinks.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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weather is great this weekend ( in Eugene) beautiful and sunny
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Old Sep 12th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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lucky you sunbum(!) because yes it's freezin here in Seattle, Sunday morning 9am - "rainy and cool" is accurate, unfortunately.
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Old Sep 12th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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oh no!!! we are tired of the heat and humidity but don't want any rain! Rain, rain go away in the Pac NW!!
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Old Sep 12th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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<Rain, rain go away in the Pac NW!!>

Oh that's funny Sorry there pattytravel, But that's what happens here this time of year. Hardly unexpected -lol!
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Old Sep 12th, 2010, 09:39 AM
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We much prefer the drive south from Cannon Beach to the drive to Astoria.

Towns of interest include Manzanita, Garibaldi, and Oceanside on the Three Capes Scenic Drive. There are beautiful beaches off 101 along the way and other small towns of the kind you won't find between Cannon Beach and Astoria.

If you are determined to go to Astoria, take the bridge to Washington and drive 401 east for as far as it skirts the Columbia River, then turn around and drive to Ilwaco and Cape Disappointment State Park.

HTTY
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Old Sep 12th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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From Cannon Beach down to Tillamook and back over to the valley, allow about 3 hours. In Tillamook, some people stop at the cheese factory or at Blue Heron, but honestly I would not waste my time. Out of curiosity, we stopped at both of those recently since we hadn't been in a while, and we all agreed that neither was worth the stop. That said, if you do stop at one, even if just for a break, stop at the cheese factory since you can at least see them in production.

It is beautiful here in Portland, but I know DH had the top up for his drive up to Seattle today since their forecast wasn't the same.
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