Portland Itinerary Help

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Sep 15th, 2018, 12:15 AM
  #1
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Portland Itinerary Help

My 30 year old daughter and I will be traveling to Portland, OR October 10. We will have 5 full days to explore the area. I am looking for itinerary and hotel suggestions.
Some of the things we would like to incorporate on this trip as time allows. Wine country. Hiking. Waterfalls and gorge. Exploring city. Coast.
Neither of us have been to Oregon and would love to see and do as much as we can. We are open to driving and changing hotels or staying in one hotel as home base.
Not sure which makes more sense.
Thanks in advance for suggestions.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 05:31 AM
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mms
 
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With 5 days, you will be on the move quite a bit, just so you know.

The gorge is easily done in a day. Most of the hiking and waterfalls on the OR side are closed due to a massive fire a year ago. The OR side still has great spots to see though such as Portland Woman's Forum, Crown Point Vista House, Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls etc. For hiking though, you will want the WA side. A great waterfall hike is near Carson, WA at Falls Creek Falls.

Another idea for a great waterfall hike is east of Salem at Silver Falls State Park. The Trail of Ten Falls is 7 miles long and really nice.

As for wine tasting, near Portland there are two areas, one being the gorge and the other being the Willamette Valley. The WV beats the gorge hands down in quality, and is also the area for Pinot Noir that OR is known world wide for. If the is not your liking, don't worry, there are many other varietals found there as well.

You could stay in Portland the entire time, or do one night stays in the various areas. In Troutdale, which is pretty much the start of the gorge, the Edgefield is great and unique to OR. In the WV check out places such as Chehalem Ridge B&B, The Allison (great spa and restaurant onsite as well), Inn at Red Hills in Dundee, or the handful of great places in/around McMinnville.

For the coast, with limited time you will want to stick to the north coast, or at the most the central coast on up. So basically no further south than Newport area. Cannon Beach is our personal favorite and has been since I was a child. It is only 90 minutes from Portland, so is easily doable as a long day trip, or a nice overnighter without being on the road for too long. Loads of great places to stay there. Our favorite has been the Surfsand Resort, again for many decades.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 06:44 AM
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In early October you're likely to be in the middle of the harvest season in the Hood River Valley on the east edge of the "main" Columbia River Gorge. This is one of my all-time favorite areas in the US as there's so much variety all in a very compact region. To the west you've got all the main Gorge highlights mms mentions - waterfalls, vista points, etc. - but in the Valley itself are miles of orchards full of apples and pears, numerous vineyards (and tasting rooms in Hood River) and Mount Hood looming over everything. There will be fall color in the valley, and you can take a day trip up to Timberline Lodge on the side of Mount Hood, even ride the chairlift up to the permanent icefield on the mountain.

Autumn in the Hood River Valley -



You can explore the Hood Forest area that surrounds Mount Hood, e.g. Trillium Lake -



... or across the Columbia is another valley, running from White Salmon north to Trout Lake, with impressive views of Mt. Adams -



A little farther east from Hood River, among more vineyards, is the Maryhill Museum, an eclectic and quirky place featuring some remarkable collections, like Rodin's plaster studies for his big pieces, a terrific collection of Native American arts, a fascinating collection of postwar Parisian fashion mannequins (intended to help the fashion houses recover from WW II)... all in an impressive building set in the sagebrush at the top of the cliffs over the river. Then just down the road is a replica of Stonehenge (or what was thought to be what Stonehenge looked like when it was built) that serves as a WW I memorial -



So just sayin', the Gorge and Hood River Valley has a helluva lot going for it at that time of year, worthy of at least two, and maybe three days.

If I wanted to visit the coast I'd limit it to a day trip at that time of year, maybe following a route like this: https://goo.gl/maps/ejoZk6frcCF2

This would include Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park, historic Astoria, and impressive Cape Disappointment with its lighthouses, terrific Lewis and Clark interpretive center, and even Waikiki Beach (the other one.)



Return to the Portland area on the north shore of the Columbia, through some fascinating and historic towns, and lovely scenery.

You sure you can only spend five days?
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Sep 15th, 2018, 08:52 AM
  #4
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So many wonderful suggestions. I can see this is going to require a return visit! Thanks for the lovely photos too. The coastal map was very helpful since I am a visual learner. Any chance you have something similar for the gorge, wineries etc?
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Sep 15th, 2018, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kdj3206 View Post
So many wonderful suggestions. I can see this is going to require a return visit! Thanks for the lovely photos too. The coastal map was very helpful since I am a visual learner. Any chance you have something similar for the gorge, wineries etc?
Sure, here's an outline map: https://goo.gl/maps/M78SH91NK1x . Note Google only allows up to 10 points on their maps, so you'll need to look for places like Trout Lake etc., and do NOT trust Google's time estimates - notoriously optimistic.

You might want to look at the Hood River "Fruit Loop" which includes numerous wineries, fruit stands, etc. Hood River County Fruit Loop, Hood River, Oregon

Again, google some of the places shown on the map.

A couple of photos to illustrate -

View from Portland Women's Forum viewpoint -



Latourell Falls -



Hood River Valley (in the spring but you get the idea) -


Last edited by Gardyloo; Sep 15th, 2018 at 09:34 AM.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 04:48 PM
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MMS and Gardyloo have done a pretty thorough job of covering your options outside the city. Truthfully you could spend all of your time in the Gorge, at the Coast or in wine country.

But there is also Portland. Do you want to stay in the city, part/all of the time? How much do you want to do there? If you could give some sort of pricepoints, we could give you ideas of hotels.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 05:55 PM
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Yes they did a very nice job covering the area. We would like to spend one day exploring the city. Friends have recommended The Pearl District and the NW District. Also, said that downtown is pretty central and transportation is easy to maneuver. We would like to keep stays below $200 per night. Arriving late the first evening and will probably spend the first full day in the city.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 04:58 AM
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Your $200 a night budget might be a bit tight, or close to. Portland hotels are expensive. Even with living there, when we wanted to stay overnight in downtown the Monaco was our goto. I looked at rates and they seem to run just a tad over $200 during your time. FWIW, it is a very nice hotel with an excellent location, perfect for a mom/daughter trip. Take a look at the Inn at Northrup Station as well. That tends to be a bit less, and is in the NW area of 21st/23rd streets where there are loads of unique shops and restaurants. Again a great location, and the inn tends to be not as expensive as the other hotels around the Monaco.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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I should have been more specific. That was a loose budget. For a nicer hotel in a safe and central location, we are fine with a bit higher. Is Monaco the Kimpton hotel?
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Sep 16th, 2018, 05:37 AM
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Yes, it is a Kimpton. There are a couple in town, but we have stayed at this one a number of times and love it
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Sep 16th, 2018, 08:47 AM
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Hotels in Portland at that time are a bit pricey. We stayed at the Embassy Suites at 3rd and Pine. Very centrally located to public transportation. We were there for a week so it gave us a bit more room but it was also the economical.

If you are only going to spend 1 day in Portland, I suggest the Hop on Hop off bus. Portland is fairly large. The Hop on Hop off covers most of the city in 2 hours and then you can go back to things you want to explore in more detail. We managed to fill 6 days with just Portland. Maybe I missed something but the Pearl district seemed to be shopping and restaurants. There was a lot of construction in that area but I am sure that is over by now.

The places that I enjoyed were Washington Park, specifically the Rose Test garden and the Japanese Tea Garden, Pittock Mansion, The Grotto, The Saturday Market, the Aerial Tram. Everything was easily accessed by public transportation.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 06:01 PM
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Hey so one consideration is if you do want to do some of your other days as day trips and just stay in Portland, then I assume you will have a rental car and need parking. The Monaco's website says parking is $42/night. If so, you might want to consider one of the hotels on the edge of downtown.

Two of them are at the edge of Northwest: the Silver Cloud Hotel on Vaughn or the Holiday Inn Express in that area. You would need to walk to Northrup to catch the streetcar from there. I like some of the restaurants in this area. Inn at Northrup Station also supposedly has parking but is first-come first serve, which is phrased in such a way that I think I'd call them and ask. It is right on the streetcar line so it is a better option if so.

The other way to go would be to stay on the East Side. There are some big hotels there due to the Convention Center and if there's not a convention at the moment, sometimes they go down a lot in price. They will charge parking but it will be more like $25. The Doubletree seems nicer and more updated than the Crown Plaza, which I've attended for a number of meetings.

I didn't know that Portland had a hop-on hop off private bus. Part of the fun of our city is using our Mass transit. Feel free to list your priorities and we can help...
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Sep 16th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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Check the Travel Portland website. You can book many hotels through them - some free parking. When I stay downtown, I usually don't park at the hotel parking as there are several parking garages that are much less than the hotel.

One fun thing to do is the Epicurian Walking Tour. You will be guided through downtown and the Pearl area and visit a variety of business where you will try some of the local foods, or beer, or wine. It changes with the seasons but I enjoyed very much. You will also learn some Portland history.

Agree the Inn at Northrup Station might be a good spot, walking distance to shopping and restaurants and the last time I stayed there, parking was free.
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Sep 17th, 2018, 05:42 AM
  #14
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As sunbum mentioned, booking through the TP website usually offers parking and sometimes breakfast as well. I usually check that and then call the hotel directly and they have always matched that offer, FWIW.
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Sep 17th, 2018, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 5alive View Post
I didn't know that Portland had a hop-on hop off private bus. Part of the fun of our city is using our Mass transit...
The Hop on Hop off may be seasonal as their "office" was a card table in Pioneer Square with a pop up tent. ;I found that the amount of information available for Portland was overwhelming and yet not very specific. For instance, the Pearl has many unique shops and restaurants. When you look at the Pearl on the map it covers many blocks. You could probably spend a whole day walking every street in the Pearl. Therefore, I used the Hop on Hop off to give me an overview of the various areas. I also learned some of the history of the city. I then used mass transit to go to the places that I was interested in. The mass transit in Portland is wonderful.
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