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portland Oregon side trips without a car?

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Feb 2nd, 2005, 04:27 PM
  #1
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portland Oregon side trips without a car?

My son is going out to visit his girlfriend over spring break in Portland. They would like to spend a few days outside the city, but will not have a car. Both are 20 years old, so can't rent one)

They had planned to do smoe sledding at Mt Hood, but apparently there is no snow and none predicted by mid-march. Obviously that could change, but they're looking for options.

Any one know if they could get to Seaside or Cannon beach by bus? and once there, is it easy to get around by foot or bus?

Or any other ideas for them?

Thank you!
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 04:51 PM
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I think it would be very difficult to do side trips from Portland without a car. The area is quite spread out, and I don't think public transportation is that good.

We visited Mt. Hood in October and there was tons of snow. I bet there will be snow there in March.
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 04:54 PM
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grandma,
There is Greyhound service to Seaside and Cannon Beach, but it's a circuitous route, stopping in Kelso, WA and Astoria, OR before getting to Seaside. That makes the ride to Seaside over 3 hours, and almost 4 to Cannon Beach, whereas the drive to either of those directly from Portland takes (most of us) only about 1.5 hours. If they did take the bus to the coast, they'd have to spend the night.

It's too bad for all of us that there's no snow on Mt. Hood. I heard last night that we have less than 20% of normal snowfall up there. Hope things change by the time he gets here. If not, be glad he's coming in March. If it were this summer, you'd probably be concerned about the forced communal showers we'll be taking.

Aside from the beach and the mountain, I would guess there are some Columbia River gorge tours they could take, but they should expect to be the youngest passengers.

I'm sure your son's girlfriend has ideas for them around the city.
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 05:14 PM
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Beachbum is right as usual.

I can think of one option for them, but it may or may not fit their interests. The Mazamas (www.mazamas.org)is an outdoor group that has organized hikes and other outdoor activities all over Oregon. Anyway, nonmembers can go on the hikes, just at a higher fee(they are still dirt cheap). The outings are by carpool, so that is where this tip may be helpful. If your son and his girlfriend are up for hiking, they can join one of the outings and carpool. At least it is a way for them to get out and see some of our beautiful areas.
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 09:59 PM
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TXgrandma, your son and his girlfriend can take Amtrak (bus) from Portland to Seaside or Cannon Beach - it's $16 each way per person and according to the Amtrak website takes only an hour and thirty minutes to Cannon Beach (probably first stop on coast) - almost as quick as driving. The downside is, the buses leave at bad times - late in the evening, early the next morning. They would have to stay two nights at the coast to make it worthwhile.

There is shuttle service between Cannon Beach, Seaside, and Astoria as well.

Andrew
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 10:59 PM
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Thanks Andrew. They are planning to stay there for a few days, so the Amtrak bus sounds perfect.

And mms- they do like hiking, so the mazamas may be a fun way to get there. His girlfriend is pretty involved with school, so I know she hasn't gotten out as much as she'd like.

Beachbum- hmmm communal showers? Now that might actually bring in the tourists if its marketed right!

I hope you get some more snow though. 20% is pretty hard to catch up before spring. My son's girlfriend all the spring flowers have started popping up on her campus already.

Well Thanks so much for your help. Any ideas on cheap but nice motels in CB or Seaside? After that, I'll bow out and let them do their own arrangements.
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Yes, thanks Andrew, I didn't know Amtrak ran buses!
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:24 AM
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Glad to hear that my suggestion might work for them. The Mazamas is a great group, so she may want to join too.

You sound like a great mom...doing some research but then butting out. I mean that as a sincere compliment
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Andrew! You're obviously very informed on the Portland transportation system and probably the most helpful poster I've found in that area! Kudos!

TXgrandma, if the kids want to stay in Seaside, we've enjoyed many stays at the Shilo Inn Oceanfront that is located right on the prom. Very nice property with oceanview restaurant (the steamer clams here are great), indoor pool, jacuzzi and walking distance to all the cool shops!

If they want a smaller, more intimate property, there's a B&B right on the prom that I've checked out that looks really nice. I'll have to do more research, the name slips my mind right now, but let me know if you're interested.

Cannon Beach is only ten minutes from Seaside. We have a beach cottage in the area, so we have not stayed in Cannon Beach, but there are also many nice places to stay there also. Mo's would be a nice casual place for lunch, affordable and pretty decent seafood. (The views are gorgeous from the dining room.) We've also enjoyed Cafe Mango in downtown CB.

A visit to Astoria would be wonderful! Lots to see and do there and some very good seafood restaurants that we like. www.oldoregon.com, www.seasideor.com are a couple of websites for you to direct them to. A visit to the Astoria Column would be fun, they could climb to the top and take in the gorgeous scenery.

Lastly, a couple of our family members are headed over to the area (Portland-Riverplace Hotel) then Seaside for a week of fun, relaxing and sight-seeing. This time DS is taking his fiance to Tillamook and I have been advised to recommend The Pelican Brew Co. to them for a meal in Pacific City.

I hope they have a wonderful time. As far as spring break, I'm not sure when it is on the coast, but you might want to advise them to book ressies soon, the entire area is already booked for the 4th of July weekend. Happy planning! ***kim***
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:15 AM
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TXgrandma, the B&B in Seaside that I was referring to is: www.seasideinnbandb.com Enjoy! ***kim***
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:44 AM
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TXGrandma, Cannon Beach is a little more upscale (and smaller) than Seaside, so they are likely to find cheaper accomodations in Seaside. I can't think of any cheap places off the top of my head, but I was there yesterday for the day and passed a number of modest places that were about $35-$40/night. I can't say if any of them are decent or not. They can also try HotelCoupons.com though the places on special there are usually gone by the evening when they'd arrive.

If they are really on a budget, there's a youth hostel in Seaside too that's supposedly pretty good (search Google for "Seaside Oregon hostel"). Keep in mind that March is Spring Break (maybe your son and his girlfriend will be on break too!) and Seaside can get kind of crowded during the busiest week.

Another transportation option comes to mind: rideshare on Craigslist. You basically find someone who is headed out to Seaside and arrange to ride with them (Craigslist has kind of a communal spirit). It's a little less random than hitchhiking, and with two people it's probably fairly safe, as scary as it sounds. See the website http://portland.craigslist.org . If they could at least get the inbound ride to Seaside early in the morning, they could reduce their trip to one overnight and take Amtrak home the next day if need be.

Andrew
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:59 AM
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grandma, I'd suggest checking out Chamber of Commerce websites for both towns. You're more likely to find the "cheap" of the "cheap but nice motels" requirement in Seaside. I know Cannon Beach has a number of cute little places within a block or two of the beach and a 5-10 minute walk of the center of town.
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 10:02 AM
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beachbum, what is the name of the famous Clam Chowder restaurant, right on the beach in Cannon Beach?
They have a Motel, with balconies, right behind the restaurant.
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 10:19 AM
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I think you're referring to Mo's, Scarlett. Tolovana Inn is the name of the motel. They're at the south end of Cannon Beach, a bit out of the way for someone without transportation.
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Oh well,
The clam chowder was good. It was a cold windy Sept day and we were happy to be inside watching the people walk on the beach.
TXgrandma,
they are going to LOVE Portland
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 11:33 AM
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Hi beachbum--I think we've corresponded before; however not in this forum.

I live in Eugene & I remember you lived on the Coast if I'm correct.

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Feb 3rd, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Must have been another beachbum, libretango; there are a bunch of us around! I live in Portland. But, I am getting old; and memories fade. What was the other forum?
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Is it really completely impossible to rent a car if you're under 25? Or is the cost just exhorbitant? If the former is the case, that's a shame.
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Brian, renting a car if you are under the age of 25 with some rental car agencies seem impossible. And if the rental car agencies will rent to young drivers they do seem to charge more. The reason is that drivers under the age of 25 have more accidents then the average population.
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Feb 3rd, 2005, 01:16 PM
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I have a 22-year old, he couldn't rent a car at all till 21. After that he pays additional, but it's not impossible.
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