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Portland, Seattle, coast, 10 days

Old May 17th, 2016, 05:23 PM
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Portland, Seattle, coast, 10 days

Trying to put together an itinerary for a 10 day trip that starts in Portland and ends in Seattle. Two adults who like to hike, eat good food and drink wine. We'd like to see both cities, spend time on the Oregon Coast, in the National Parks for hiking and visit some wineries. We aren't sure in what order we should do all of this. Thanks!
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Old May 17th, 2016, 06:10 PM
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What month?
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Old May 17th, 2016, 06:31 PM
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Sorry! That would have been helpful. We will be there in August.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 04:55 AM
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Gardyloo-
i've actually seen a bunch of other responses that you've posted and got a lot of good info! What we're trying to figure out is how much time to spend in Seattle and Portland and do day trips vs. driving from place to place. I'm a bit concerned about getting hotels in popular beach and National Park areas as well. Appreciate any suggestions you can offer. Thanks!
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Old May 18th, 2016, 06:24 AM
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My plan would be to fly to Portland (PDX) and take the TriMet Red Line into the city. See Portland and then rent a car to go to the coast. I like the Oregon Coast more than the Washington Coast.
Drive south on the coast at least as far as Newport and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Which National Parks do you want to visit?
Fro transport between Portland and Seattle, use the Amtrak Cascades train instead of paying a drop fee.
There is a light rail line from downtown Seattle out to the SEA airport.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 06:34 AM
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It really depends on your priorities, in particular whether you want to hunker down and make day trips, rather than a more mobile plan that would have you changing locations more frequently.

So let me just give my views on areas that you could look at that would hit your priorities.

Wine - Obviously the Willamette Valley around McMinnville and Yamhill County (southwest of Portland) is a well-known destination for wines. It's not as developed as places like the Napa/Sonoma valleys in California, but there is plenty of visitor infrastructure, or you can do day-trip forays from Portland without too much difficulty. Or, you can transit the Willamette Valley wine areas en route to/from the central or northern coast.

But another up-and-coming wine area is the Columbia Gorge, pretty much from Troutdale all the way to The Dalles and beyond, with winery concentrations in the Hood River Valley and some more out by Maryhill. This area has the advantage of being very accessible to/from the whole Mount Hood/Hood River area, which also offers numerous hiking, water-based activities, the Gorge's waterfalls, orchards and fruit stands, etc.

Coast - The Oregon coast is gorgeous for most of its length, all the way down to the redwoods in northernmost California. If you haven't seen the redwoods, or if you're unlikely to return to the region soon, they should be on your "life list" and I would immediately modify my plans to include them. Doing so would divert at least two days from your itinerary, days that would have to be "paid for" elsewhere. Nevertheless I would include them in a heartbeat.

There are several parts of the Oregon coast that have a high density of scenery, and, frankly, other parts that involve driving through forested inland areas without much appeal. The southernmost 60 or 70 miles, between the California state line and Port Orford, are the most scenic in my view, followed by the coast between Florence and Depoe Bay, then Tillamook to Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia.

Then of course there's the Washington coast, in particular the coastal strip of Olympic National Park, from Lake Quinault to La Push. Since this is a national park, there's very little development, and not very many tourist facilities, unlike the Oregon coast which is highly developed. But Olympic National Park has other advantages - the incredible Quinault and Hoh valley rain forests, waterfalls, beautiful lakes, and alpine meadows overlooking the wilderness core of the Olympic Mountains. Olympic NP requires at least a two- or three day time investment, so, again, it might foreclose other options.

Here are three imaginary routes, each with their own highlights (and a few shared ones) that might merit further investigation. They're all magnificent.

Redwoods/Oregon coast - https://goo.gl/maps/ShPb7mZ1d432 This starts with a loop past Mount Hood and the Hood River Valley, back through the Columbia Gorge, over to McMinnville, then south on I-5 to Grants Pass and out to the Jedidiah Smith redwoods near Crescent City, then north the entire length of the Oregon coast to Cape Disappointment, then inland to Mt. St. Helens and finally to Seattle.

Central Oregon coast + Olympic NP - https://goo.gl/maps/PDtYfQ1N4Gt Same as above except you cut out to the central coast, then continue north up to the Olympic NP coast and rain forest valleys, then to Hurricane Ridge and finally into Seattle via the Bainbridge Island ferry.

Central Oregon coast, sagebrush, Rodin, Mt. Rainier - https://goo.gl/maps/rFMikPZCQjs This starts with a loop of the central and northern coast, then east along the Columbia and through the Gorge out to the Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge replica. It then passes through fabulous cowboy country along US 97 between Maryhill and Yakima, then over White Pass to Paradise on Mount Rainier, then into Seattle.

All wonderful, all different. Tough choices.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 10:22 AM
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Thank you so much for your ideas. You are very generous! I'm sure I'll have more questions once we take a look at your itineraries. If you ever get to the other Washington (DC)-- I'd be happy to return the favor.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 01:01 PM
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As for hiking, the gorge is fantastic for that! We live in the Portland area and hike over there a lot and never tire of it. If you want suggestions, just ask, and let me know what you like in terms of mileage and elevation. The websites that we find the most helpful are www.oregonhikers.org and www.wta.org With the first site, if you click on "find a hike" you can use the filters to find suggestions. WTA is a WA based hiking site that has a great feature of being able to read the latest trip reports.

As for wines, the Willamette Valley beats the gorge wines in quality hands down. There are a handful in the gorge that are good, but there is a reason that the Willamette Valley is known world wide for its wines. Again, if you need suggestions, just ask.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 05:24 PM
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So... we've decided to spend the first 1 or 2 nights in Portland. Next decision is do we stay in Mt. Hood, at Timberline lodge or McMinnville? I'm not sure how much time to leave for hiking around Mt. Hood. Thanks for your help!
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