Questions regarding Oregon itinerary

Feb 12th, 2013, 07:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,619
Questions regarding Oregon itinerary

We are planning a trip to Oregon in September. The only thing scheduled for sure is the Tennessee/Oregon football game on Saturday, September 14. (What can I say -- we are die-hard Tennessee fans, even in the bad years!)

We have friends near Eugene (die-hard Duck fans!), and we will probably be staying with them on the 13th and 14th and going with to the game on the 14th.

We will probably be flying in and out of Portland.

We would like to see a lot of the coast. Would also like to see Columbia River Gorge. If we have time, would like to see Crater Lake and also the Redwood park just over the line in California. On this trip, we don't plan to spend time in Portland.

We like beautiful scenery, love sitting on rocks or cliffs overlooking the ocean, love waterfalls, nature. I want to stay in a clean modern place, so probably no B&Bs. Would like to keep lodging under $200 (or even, preferably, $150) per night.

We are not interested in fancy restaurants and don't like spending hours inside eating. Not interested in bars, etc. On vacation, we love to eat outside when possible.

We are thinking we will have either 6 or 7 nights before joining our friends near Eugene. Sunday we will head back to Portland for our trip home.

Any ideas for a good way to do this? I realize we might have to cut some things out (but not the coast). Thanks!
Samsaf is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Check out other posts in here under Oregon for a lot of suggestions.

You could start in Portland - by visiting the Rose Garden and Japanese Tea Gardens and maybe the zoo in nearby Washington Park and enjoying dining somewhere.

Or - head straight away from the airport out the road to the Gorge and enjoy the waterfalls along there (Multnomah is the hightest and their lodge has a see through/glass roof in the restaurant) - and then maybe watch some wind surfers at Hood River - and spend the night looking up at the glacier on Mt. Hood - at our favorite - Timberline Lodge.

From there - you could head back over to the Coast - starting at Astoria or points south - and I like the Surfrider Lodge - at Depoe Bay - just south of Lincoln City - and you might see some whales from up on the bluff.

From there - drive on down the Coast - and decide if you want to stay there longer - maybe taking the Jet Boat rides up the fabled Rogue River - and/or head over to the cute little college town of Ashland - and also visit nearby Crater Lake.

From any of these points - you are within a half days' drive of Eugene (and some wineries outside Eugene ) - so it's all up to you as to how you want to divide it up.
Tomsd is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 08:57 AM
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At Crater Lake, there is a boat tour that is wonderful. It stops in mid September, so if that interests you then head down there at the start of your trip. Then cut over to the coast and head up there before your time in Eugene.

The gorge is wonderful too. As for how much time, it just depends. Some people are good with half a day and others enjoy a week or more. You can hit the highlights without rushing in a day.
mms is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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This is one of my favorite states to visit. Craft beers and wonderful wines, great outdoor spaces…what more can you ask for! I know you said you didn't want to spend time in Portland but in case you do, try Andina ( which is Peruvian food done perfectly and their boutique drinks are to die for. Another great restaurant that’s set up as community seating is Clyde Common ( You’ll enjoy both places for sure.

So this is what we did and I think it took us 10 days but you can shorten stays in each area. Use it as a sample itinerary, if you like. Fly in to Portland, staying a night or not, then head to the coast (Cannon Beach). It’s a nice small town and close to the famous Haystack Rock which you must time properly so you can be out there during low tide. Stay the night for sure. Then head down the coast to maybe Florence where the massive sand dunes start. There are crab shacks on the way but there is one in particular I loved right off the highway that i can't remember the name but will look up for you. Great food and so cheap! A nice 2-3 hours break on the way down the coast would be to do a flat water kayak on the Siltcoos River to the mouth where the pacific meets the river (there is also an estuary there – really gorgeous kayak trip and it’s easy). You can rent kayaks where they’ll drop it off for you and then pick it up for you right at on the river. You can stay the night and if you do, go visit a Rogue brewery there - nice food, lovely beer right by the water. Next day, keep heading down the coast. When you get to Florence, do a dune buggy ride in the dunes – absolutely gorgeous. There is a point on your ride where you see nothing but sea, sand, and sky in the horizon. Might as well be a Rothko painting - one of his happier ones, that is. From there head inland through the mountains to the lower Willamette Valley area where you can hit a bunch of wineries (they produce some really fantastic reds – as good as the Russian River reds that come out of California). At least a night’s stay there is warranted. Like Napa, they have lots of great restaurants in the area too. Anyway, after all the wine you’ll be “tasting”, you won’t want to be in the car for long! Then head towards Bend where I would at least stay a couple of nights at a minimum. There’s plenty of outdoorsy activities in the area like rafting and the like. Then head out to Crater Lake. Book a room at the lodge ahead of time (they book almost a year in advance so you may have to time your trip around what’s available at the lodge or camp, depending on what time of year). At Crater Lake, make sure you take the boat tour. You’ll need to book that ahead of time too as those book up fast. You’ll hike down to the water then back up after but it is the clearest water you will see in the US. If you have a full day for the boat tour, choose the Wizard’s Island tour so you can get off the boat, do the hike to the top of Wizard’s Island (bring a picnic lunch) then back to the lodge. Bring some games that you can play at the lodge’s great room – it’s great for that. You can order drinks or food there too. On your way back to Portland, stop by Mount Hood and the fruit loop. Stay in Hood River and eat at Brian’s Pour House. During the day, drive through the historic and scenic Columbia River Highway where you can find a line of waterfalls off the highway. You can just drive through (snapping photos along the way) or stop and hike some of the gorgeous hikes. I like the horse tail one (or something like that) because the hike takes you up the side of the gorge where the views are just incredible. There are overall about 200+ waterfalls in the area! Then head back to Portland for your flight home.

You could keep going down the coast to the redwoods but I don't think you can do that AND crater lake at the same time. At least if you plan to really spend time on the coast and the areas. Not for 6 days anyway.

Hope that helps!
maria_so is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Oh, and I forgot, in Bend, stay here. They have a movie theater (free for staying guests), a brewery, a distillery, and a bath - yes, a bath! Loved this place!!!
maria_so is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Suggest the Columbia River Gorge for waterfalls and scenery- Best Western in Hood River is a decent place to stay. Or stay at the Edgefield in Troutdale for a fun experience- it used to be a poor farm, then a nursing home- now a hotel- beautiful grounds, art, winery and brew pub and a couple of restaurants too- I always think its fun to stay there.

Heading down I-5 towards Eugene you could do a day hike at Silver Falls State Park - east of Salem. There are 10 waterfalls and nice hiking trail between- one of my favorite hikes.

Head over to the coast- I love the area between Lincoln City and Florence- lots to see and do - I usually stay in Yachats- cute coastal town- check out the Fireside Motel, the Adobe or Overleaf motels- right on the water with a nice trail between. I usually stay at the Adobe- they also have a restaurant with ocean views.

My favorite beach in the area is Devils Elbow State Park- also called Heceta Head- nice cove with trail up to lighthouse. Lighthouse is being repaired so not sure if open yet - but still a nice walk with great views.
You could stay at the lighthouse keepers house at that site- it is a B&B- amazing breakfast in the am- there is a nice hiking trail behind the lighthouse- leads to the Hobbit Trail which goes down to a secluded beach.

Try a dune buggy ride just south of Florence- also fun- you go with a driver.

Between Florence and Coos Bay, there is not a whole lot to see- its mostly trees.

So much to see and do -
I recommend the jet boat ride down at Gold Beach too- that is an all day event -
sunbum1944 is online now  
Feb 12th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Original Poster
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Thanks! The boat ride on Crater Lake looks awesome!
Samsaf is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Where does the football game sit in relation to your trip?
Beginning, end, or in the middle?
bbqboy is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Sorry, just reread your post.
I'd head East to the Gorge from the airport.
Head down to Bend 2nd night.
On to Crater Lake, then 3rd night in Ashland.
Head over to the coast via 199 to the Redwoods,
Spend the $th night in Brookings or Gold Beach.
Head North to Yachats to spend 5th night.
Then over to Eugene for Saturday and Sunday, Monday head for Portland and the Airport.
bbqboy is offline  

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