Portland plus 4-day road trip advice needed

Old May 13th, 2010, 07:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Portland plus 4-day road trip advice needed

Hi folks!

I'm heading up to Portland in a couple of weeks and need some advice. I'll be staying in Portland for 4 nights, and then I'll have 4 more days to explore the region before I fly home. I've never been to the Pacific Northwest before and really want to get a good introduction to the area. My question is, which of the following options do I do for the road trip:

1) The Olympic Penninsula. Lake Quinault, Hoh rainforest, and...? Not sure where the 3rd night would be. Maybe the coast south of the Penninsula to make the drive back to Portland (for the flight home) shorter?

2) The San Juan Islands. I've heard they're amazing. Is there 3-4 days worth of stuff to do there?

3) The southern coast of Oregon. This is the wild card. Supposedly gorgeous and remote, but I know nothing else about it.

So what do you think? This question really is about priorities, since I won't be coming back anytime soon. Which of the above (or some thing else!) has the greatest "can't miss" appeal?

Any and all other suggestions are welcome! Limitation: I don't really want to do much more than 2 hours of driving a day.

Bonus question: does the Columbia River gorge deserve an overnight stay? Or better to head back to Portland for dinner and hotel?
Freighttrain is offline  
Old May 14th, 2010, 03:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is so much right near Portland, I would stay in that area, since that is where you are. I would do the Columbia River Gorge and then spend the night at Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge one night, then hike a little in that area the next day. Or you could snow ski there. Mt. St. Helens deserves a day. Then you could even go to another part of MSH and hike areas (ape cave, etc). Coast is excellent, Silver Falls State Park, Crater Lake. Staying closer to Portland would cut down on your driving. Don't miss The Rose Garden, Powells Bookstore, and Stumptown Roasters coffeehouse while in Portland.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old May 14th, 2010, 08:41 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 335
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What do I win for the bonus question? The logical place to stay in the Gorge is Hood River, about an hour from Portland. It's popular for windsurfing and kiteboarding, so if that appeals to you, maybe hang around for a night. Or, if you're planning any long hikes. But otherwise, either head back into Portland, or maybe as spirobulldog suggests, up to Timberline Lodge. Unless you're an expert, I wouldn't plan on skiing though.

The coast is easily Oregon's biggest tourism draw, so that would make the most sense to me for the other four days. But you don't have to go as far as the southern coast. Scenery on the central coast is spectacular as well, and there is actually more in that area to keep you entertained/busy than the south coast. Or, you could combine two nights on the north coast with two on the central.

But I'm not sure Crater Lake fits. It's over four hours from Portland. Maybe if you end up deciding on the south coast. And, with the Trailblazers already out of the playoffs, and not much going on there during the summer, I don't know why the suggestion of The Rose Garden.

San Juans are out of reach too. Combining drive times and ferry schedules, it's the better part of a day's travel time in each direction. Olympic Peninsula is certainly doable. The choice between that and Oregon's central coast would depend on your interests.
passerbye is offline  
Old May 14th, 2010, 05:37 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you want to drive no more than two hours a day, you are lucky to have two great destinations that fit that bill: the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast.

On the Oregon Coast, concentrate on the area between Manzanita and Ecola State Park, which is just north of Cannon Beach--a perfect headquarters for your visit.

If you are interested, I can make suggestions for where to stay on the Columbia River.

The Southern Oregon Coast, the Olympic Peninsula, and San Juan Islands each require hundreds of miles of driving.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old May 15th, 2010, 10:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
passerbye,

You don't find the Roses amazing? Most travel books list them as one of the top experiences in Portland. The Japanese Gardens are just across the street and are very nice as well.

It is the International Rose Test Garden

http://www.photoworks.com/slideshow/...6?source=pw980
link above is to our pics from Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Coast, Crater Lake, Columbia Gorge--Eagle Creek Trail is the hike with all the waterfalls(12 miles but easy).
spirobulldog is offline  
Old May 15th, 2010, 10:46 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In reading passerbye's post again. I guess they thought I meant the Basketball Arena. I meant an the actual garden. lol. I think the arena is named Rose Garden because of the prominence of the many Rose Gardens in the city. It is my understanding that several of them are great, but I have only visited the one I mentioned above.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old May 15th, 2010, 12:40 PM
  #7  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Spiro--Yes, the arena is the Rose Garden. When locals say the Rose Garden, they mean the arena. When they say the Rose Gardens, plural, then they mean the International Test Rose Garden.
mms is offline  
Old May 15th, 2010, 02:31 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 335
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
so does that make me a local mms?
passerbye is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
imgwiz
United States
13
Sep 26th, 2016 07:04 AM
AntInNewYork
United States
12
Aug 4th, 2010 09:16 AM
roseclare
United States
8
May 15th, 2007 02:07 AM
geegee
United States
7
May 30th, 2006 06:41 PM
allstates1
United States
20
Jun 15th, 2004 09:39 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:12 PM.