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maria_so Feb 17th, 2010 05:31 PM

Seattle, Portland, Crater Lake, Mt Hood, Hood River, Mt Ranier. Help!!!
Gardyloo, Orcas, Beachbum, hope you're reading this!

I'm FINALLY heading back to Oregon! It's been a few years since (then BF) DH and I took a fodorite's suggestion to spend DH's birthday trip to Oregon.

We stayed at Portland for a night, Hood River for another, and Cannon Beach for 2 nights. Fell in love with Oregon but haven't been able to make it back. DH will be in a course in Seattle in mid August and we thought we'd take this opportunity to head back down and check out the other sites of Oregon we missed (along with some in the Washington side, of course).

So here's our itinerary so far:

Arrive Seattle on 8/13. Staying in Seattle from 8/13 to 8/20 (the length of his course). We'll be staying at the Homewood Suites on Pike St.

Any suggestions on restaurants, things to see, etc would be greatly appreciated. We won't get a car until the 20th and DH wants to stay in Seattle the first weekend so he too can enjoy the sights (since he'll be in a course the rest of the week). I, however, would love to hear recommendations on how I can occupy my time without a car during that week.

8/21 & 8/22: Leave Seattle early and head to Portland. Staying for 2 nights. We stayed at a sheraton before but would like to be more centrally located and in walking distance to the pearl district and/or bars & restaurants. Any suggestions of hotels that won't break the bank? Preferrably under $150/night? I have booked a queen room at Hotel Lucia for $149/night - is that a good hotel? Is that a good price? For restaurants, is Olea still open? We loved that restaurant. What wine bars/restaurants would you recommend?

8/23: We want to leave Portland early on the 23rd and hit the wineries at the Willamette valley area. Any suggestions where to stay? I went ahead and booked at Hotel Oregon in McMinnville. Is that a good one? Got a queen room with a private bath. Love the location and the rooftop bar. How's the little town like? How about a restaurant for the evening?

8/24: leave winery area and hit the coast. We're thinking of staying overnight at Coos Bay. Is that a good place to stop? We really liked Cannon beach area but thought we'd try out another spot this trip. Is there something similar in the mid to southern coast? We stayed at Schooner's cove at Cannon beach with beach side room that was really nice. Anything similar? The thing is we thought this would be a good southern most stop before heading inland to Crater Lake. Any recommendations here would be great. Was also thinking of maybe getting on a dune buggy ride at Sand Dunes National Recreation Area.

8/25: Crater Lake. What hike? Will we have time? We want to do a half day boat tour of Wizard island. Will the water be too cold in August? Can you swim at the lake?

8/26 & 8/27. Hood River, staying at the Hood River hotel. We want to do a morning of rafting up the salmon and afternoon at the Washington wineries. Dinner at Brian's Pourhouse (that's where we had dinner before and LOVED it) and which other restaurant? What cool bars to hit? The second day we want to drive up Mt Hood - what's not to miss? Is there a short hike we can do?

8/28 & 8/29: Mt Ranier. Any hiking trail suggestions? What should we not miss at Mt Ranier? We're staying at the Paradise Inn/Lodge.

8/30: drive back to Seattle and catch a late flight back to Houston.

We're love the outdoors/nature, arts, museums, wines, beers, good food. Not into gambling or antiquing. We're in our mid 30's and no kids (yet).

Will appreciate any suggestions you have! Thanks in advance!


mms Feb 17th, 2010 05:50 PM

Things to do in Seattle without a car include Pike Place Market, SAM, Olympic Sculpture Park, ferry to Bainbridge Island, REI flagship store, Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, the aquarium, and Tillicum Village. Those are just the usual draws of course.

For Portland, yes that hotel is nice and that is a good rate.

Hotel Oregon is a fun place! The rooftop bar is great, especially in the summer:) Good places to eat would be Wildwood Cafe (a must for breakfast!), La Rambla, Bistro Maison, and Nicks. Stop in Orchards and go to the back and try some Honest Chocolates. Alf's is a great burger/fries/shake place next to campus. It has been around forever, and is good.

The boat ride at Crater Lake is very good. We swam in the water when we were there on an unusually hot day one year. Felt sooooo good! The trail down to the boat dock is about a mile and drops 700 ft elevation, so some people think that is steep. There are benches along the way if one needs to stop and rest. Crater Lake Lodge is beautiful, but book asap and hope for an opening!

Definitely stop at Timberline Lodge. As for hiking, I really like the Timberline Trail. It goes around the mountain, but obviously that takes a couple days;) You can start it though and just go as far as you want and then double back. Ramona Falls is beautiful! You can hike to there from a different spot besides starting at Timberline.

maria_so Feb 17th, 2010 06:57 PM

Ooooh! mms, thanks! You were one of the ones to help with my past trip to Oregon, thanks for responding! Those are great suggestions. I already got the room at Crater Lake Lodge ( I always book the national parks place asap because I know how popular they are) but have to wait till April to book the boat tour.

What do you think about our plan for the coast? Would you recommend another spot other than Coos Bay that is similar to Cannon Beach?

Good to see your response mms! Thanks again!

maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 07:39 AM


suze Feb 18th, 2010 08:05 AM

Things to do in downtown Seattle without a car is easy (you can also check Trip Advisor Seattle forum, they have some itineraries specific to this).

How about a Savor Seattle tour? Pioneer Square historic district and International district (Chinatown)? Plus all the good suggestions already given by mms. Maybe some shopping?

Gardyloo Feb 18th, 2010 09:55 AM

Maria_so, Coos Bay is not very attractive. Just a bit further south is Bandon, which is (IMO) the most attractive town on that part of the coast by far.

It's then quite easy to cut over to Roseburg and on to Crater Lake.

With those days in Seattle, take the time to discover our wonderful neighborhoods, not just the tourist spots. Wallingford, Fremont, Capitol Hill, Alki, Madison Park...

Rent a canoe from the U of W canoe house and glide around the channels in the nature reserve on Union Bay and the Arboretum. Visit the Museum of Flight, or take a day and ride the train to Tacoma and visit the Museum of Glass or the Tacoma Art Museum. See if the salmon are visible through the underwater windows at the Ballard Locks. Explore the houseboat communities on Lake Union. Go to Uwajimaya in the International District and play "name that vegetable" then chow down on lumpia or Huli Huli chicken in the food court. Build a fire on the beach at Golden Gardens park. Go to a Mariners game and holler your noggin off.

Tons to do.

happytrailstoyou Feb 18th, 2010 09:57 AM

Were I making this trip, I would stay in Bandon rather that Coos Bay, and in Hood River I would book a room with a balcony on the river at the Best Western Hood River.

In Bandon I would dine at Alloro and in Hood River at Celilo.


maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 01:20 PM

Oh I LOVE the suggestions for solo stuff for me to do. Instead of a canoe, are there kayaks instead?

I was going to switch to Elizabeth Street in Newport but will look through Bandon lodgings. Any specific suggestions?

BTW, It says it will take about 5 hours from newport to CL - how long do you think it will take for Bandon to CL?

Also, any buggy ride suggestions in the sand dunes?

Many many thanks!

p.s. lumpia and huli-huli are just my kind of thing with me being filipino! Yum!

Gardyloo Feb 18th, 2010 01:47 PM

At the UW activities center, just canoes and rowboats.

However, here's an excellent alternative for kayakers, plus the burritos are numero uno.

I'd guess around four hours from Bandon to Crater Lake.

Gardyloo Feb 18th, 2010 01:50 PM

Oops, meant to add -

tchoiniere Feb 18th, 2010 01:59 PM

If you are baseball fans, go to a Mariners game at Safeco Field. A great stadium.

spirobulldog Feb 18th, 2010 02:10 PM

We took the boat tour to Wizard Island on Crater Lake. They only allow a certain # of folks per day on the island (90, I think), so get your tickets early. We jumped off the dock at Wizard Island and actually got to swim to "the old man"(this is a log that has been floating in the water for 125 years). Water was pretty darn cold and I think a couple of minutes was all I stayed in. A few others jumped in, people also were swimming near the main shore area. We hiked to the top of Wizard Island and had a picnic there as well. There is no ranger there or anything, just us and the other 20 people on the boat. Castle Crest Wildflower trail is the most recommended, sadly they were redoing the trail this past summer, so we didn't get to see it. It is a short hike.

We did rent 4 wheelers and rode the dunes. Pretty fun.

We rode the chairlift up at Mt. Hood and hiked back down it. Also hike the Trilium Lake below Mt Hood.

We stayed at Timberline Lodge, but ate in Government Camp, twice. Did have breakfast @ Timberline.

Photos of our Oregon trip

maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 03:09 PM

Gardyloo, those links are terrific! I think DH and I are definitely up for a day or kayaking and a moonlit one too!

spirobulldog, how long did it take you to hike to the top of wizard island? we want to do this too. Is it steep/strenuous or moderate? How far is that hike? Where did you go ride the dunes? I was thinking of doing the one right by florence...

We plan to drive up to timerline lodge for lunch from hood river then do a hike. is the trilium one most recommended? Strenous? Moderate? Thanks!

tchoiniere, thanks for the suggestion but unless it's footy (soccer - my DH is from the UK), we usually don't go see games. Thanks though!

htty, where would you recommend to stay in Bandon? I wanted a room with a balcony and facing the ocean. Not sure how warm it will be in mid august but also maybe a fireplace?

Thanks again!

mms Feb 18th, 2010 03:11 PM

Maria--Glad to help:) We have stayed at Elizabeth Street Inn and really enjoyed it. If you opt for Newport, I would highly recommend it. It just depends on if you want to go further south or not. I agree that Coos Bay is not the best destination. One thing that is really nice about ESI is that all rooms are oceanfront. They all have little balconies as well. It sits on a bit of a bluff, so to get to the beach you either go next door to the other hotel and go down some stairs, or go a block the other way and you walk right to it. The Nye Beach area is nice and has lots of shops and restaurants as well, which is within walking distance of ESI.

mms Feb 18th, 2010 03:12 PM

BTW, Trillium Lake is super easy...more like a stroll. Very pretty though.

maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 03:38 PM

spirobulldog, love the pictures! Where is that picture taken where the seals were and it looks like a cove or something by the water? Also, which waterfall is that where you can walks through behind it? And the seafood place by south beach looks like my cup of tea indeed!

Thanks for sharing the pictures.

maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 03:43 PM

mms, now I'm really torn! I've looked through the accomodations in Bandon and not really drawn to any of them. ESI seems to be what I am looking for exactly. I did want to make it at least to Florence because we wanted to ride dune buggies at the sand dunes. Is it a far drive? We also wanted to be able to have a nice dinner that evening and I wanted to catch lunch at that south beach crab/seafood place I just saw in spirobulldog's pics. If the jaunt to the sand dunes isn't too far, we may just opt for staying at Newport that night. DH was saying maybe drive down to do the dune buggy rides that late afternoon (stopping by and having lunch at the crab place on south beach)and head back to Newport to for dinner and spend the night at Elizabeth Street Inn then head towards CL the next morning. Is it a far drive up and down?

maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 03:48 PM

htty, those restaurant recs look good! Thanks.

Where did you stay in Bandon and did you like it?

mms Feb 18th, 2010 03:55 PM

Maria--Newport down to Florence is only about an hour. But down to Bandon would be closer to 3 hours. So ESI would be a fine place to stay and still go to Florence without feeling like you are so far away.

maria_so Feb 18th, 2010 04:02 PM

OK, then that works out fine then. We plan to leave from McMinnville early that day and start driving down the coast, hoping to end up at South beach area by say around noon or 1pm. Eat at the seafood place off hwy1 then head further down to Florence to see the sights and ride the dunes. Head back up to Newport have dinner then stay at ESI. Next day head out to CL. How long do you think it will take to drive from McMinnville to South beach? Is that plan doable?

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