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Portland to Eugene, OR. Trip help needed for 2 outdoorsy types.

Portland to Eugene, OR. Trip help needed for 2 outdoorsy types.

Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Portland to Eugene, OR. Trip help needed for 2 outdoorsy types.

Hi:
My husband and I are driving from Portland to Eugene the week of labor day. We will have our 4-month old with us. We'd like to see the coast and we love the outdoors, hiking. We're not really into shopping or museums. Because we have an infant with us for the first time, we realize we won't be doing much heavy hiking but would like to plant ourselves in a nice outdoorsy area that we can use as a home base and sightsee/hike from there. We like the ocean and national parks. We're trying to limit our travel from hotel to hotel. Anyone have suggestions for a good locale between portland and Eugene? Thanks!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:46 AM
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Hi, SprintGal:

The midway point between Portland and Eugene would probably be Salem. There's a great little place there called the Shilo Inn. Good inexpensive family place to stay. Check this place out on tripadvisor.com.

I confess to being a bit puzzled. Why do you want to stop between Portland and Eugene? It's only a two hour drive along a multi-lane interstate highway.

In addition, Portland to Eugene is an inland route. The coastal route is totally different. If you want to go along the coast, you head west and away from Eugene. Along the coast you will find lots of wonderful small hotels to stay in. It all depends on how far down along the Oregon coast you want to go. You can hike along the beaches, these are very easy hikes.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 07:57 AM
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It sounds like you want to take a scenic drive from Portland to Eugene via the Oregon Coast? Otherwise, it's less than a 2-hour drive in I-5 between the two but it's not particularly scenic that way.

Here's what I would suggest: take Highway 99W from Portland through Newberg and McMinnville (some wine country), then take Highway 18 out to Lincoln City on the coast. This is an easy but very pretty drive. From Lincoln City, drive south on Highway 101 (coast highway) to Florence, then head east back to Eugene. In between, there are plenty of places to stop, lots of parks and viewpoints, many of which offer short hikes with great scenery. I suggest you get an Oregon Coast tourmap from AAA - it highlights all the cool outdoorsy stuff along the coast.

You might stop in Newport, a large coast town, that's going to be about halfway between Portland and Eugene on that route. There are lots of other little towns instead if you prefer.

Take note that Labor Day week will be one of the more busy along the Oregon Coast. If you do drive 101, you should be prepared for lots of slow traffic and busy hotels. If you merely want to taste the Oregon Coast without driving down it, you could head west at several points going south from Portland and just visit the coast (Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, and Florence would all work) then turn around and drive back. Any of thse routes to and from the coast will be scenic.

Another option is to take 99W all the way from Portland to Eugene instead of I-5. It's much slower (towns) but also much more scenic, maybe a four-hour drive total, but you could detour at numerous places in between such as out to the coast.

With a couple of days you could also head south of Eugene to Crater Lake and stop only one night in between. Crater Lake will be busy that time of year, too, but it's breathtaking.

Andrew
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Since it's only two hours on I-5 between the two cities, the "home base" part of your post is confusing, SprintGal. Or, are you planning to do the coastal route in more than a day?

In any case, I would recommend the hike out Cascade Head, just north of where highway 18 (see Andrew's post) intersects with 101. The trailhead for the shortened version is at Cascade Head Ranch, a couple miles west off 101. The "hike" is an easy one, and the view from the headland is one of my favorite on the entire Oregon coast.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Another great and easy hike to do is Sweet Creek Falls- just out of Mapelton ( which is between Florence and Eugene.
From Hwy 126 - take Sweet Creek Road - you will see signs leading to the trail head about 10 miles off of 126.
It would be an easy hike with a baby in pack and its very beautiful!!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:29 PM
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If you want to see the coast, I suggest you spend part of your time in Cannon Beach—a beautiful place not to be missed. While there visit Ecola, Hug Point, and Oswald state parks.

On your way south, stop in Tillamook for ice cream.

Make you other overnight stop Newport. Stay near Nye Beach. Visit lighthouses and, perhaps, the aquarium.

Newport is about 115 miles from Eugene, and there is much to see between Newport and Florence, including Cape Perpetua and the Sea Lion Caves.

Book rooms immediately. If you want suggestions, please ask.

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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 08:54 PM
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We have a 10-month old and just went to Sweet Creek Falls this weekend (we're in Charleston) and loved it. Eugene is great, make sure you are there for the Saturday Market. Anywhere you go or stay is very infant friend!

Have a great time.
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