Seattle to Portland and Beyond

Feb 21st, 2014, 03:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6
Seattle to Portland and Beyond

My husband and I are planning a vacation to Seattle and Portland in Late August. This is the first time that I am traveling to the west coast so I would like to see as much as I can fit in on our 7-8 day trip. The main sights that I would like to see are Seattle, Olympic Park, Mt Rainer, Portland, Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood and the Oregon Coast. I am not sure if this is a realistic intinerary or should I cut/add some stops? Also are there are reccomendation of hotels/towns to stay when not in the larger cities?
juliasj is offline  
Feb 21st, 2014, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
With that amount of time, I would concentrate on just Seattle/Environs or Portland/Environs. Not Both. We spent 13 days in Oregon and 12 in Washington and still wasn't nearly enough time. The beauty of Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park is being able to stay 2-4 days and really see it.
We spent 4 days in just Olympic. There are really 4 different areas to Olympic, each needs a minimum of 1/2 to a full day. Mountains, Coast, Lakes, Rainforest.

Mount Rainier is an awesome place and would be a shame not to hike there. Columbia River Gorge is the same.

If you choose to stay in just Seattle, then you would have time for San Juan Islands, which is not to be missed(whale watch tour there).

If you do Portland, then I would include Mt. St. Helens.

You could easily spend a couple of days in both Portland and Seattle. Lots to see and do in each. Pike Market in Seattle, Rose Garden in Portland are probably the Top Options, IMOP. Don't miss Powells Bookstore. Great Great food in both.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 21st, 2014, 07:44 AM
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Realistically you're going to need three days to visit the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park, one or two for the Columbia Gorge and Mount Hood, a day to travel between Seattle and Portland, and at least two days to visit the (northern part) of the Oregon coast. That adds up to 6-7 days without allocating any time to either city. You would be very familiar with the inside of your rental car.

Here's what I'd suggest as an outline of your time.

Spend two days in Seattle, then travel to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. Visit Hurricane Ridge (close to PA) then continue west and visit the Olympic National Park coastal strip, focusing on the beaches near La Push (Google Rialto Beach) and on the Hoh Valley rain forest. Look at staying in Forks and watch out for vampires.

Then drive south along the coast, stopping at Ruby Beach near Kalaloch, and at Lake Quinault (another marvelous rain forest valley) but continue and spend the night in either Ilwaco (WA) or Astoria (OR) at the mouth of the Columbia River. Don't miss Cape Disappointment with its Lewis and Clark interpretive center, a couple of lighthouses, and some excellent waves-on-rocks action.

Then follow the north bank of the Columbia River back towards Longview and Portland, but overshoot Portland and spend the night in Hood River. Travel on the "historic" Gorge highway between Troutdale and Hood River. The next day, drive up the Hood River Valley to Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge, then loop back into Portland for the balance of your visit.

To summarize -

Day 1 - Seattle
2 - Seattle
3 - Seattle - PA, Hurricane Ridge
4 - PA - Forks, La Push and Hoh valley
5 - Forks - Ilwaco
6 - Ilwaco - Hood River via Columbia Gorge
7 - Hood River - Portland via Mount Hood
8 - Portland, fly.

Rough map -

In this plan, the Olympic National Park coastline substitutes for the Oregon coast, and you'll have to squeeze in the Gorge between the coast and Portland.

As you can see, a bit rushed, but it will provide a good snapshot of this incredible region.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 367
I'd spend 2 nights exploring Seattle, and 1 by Mt Renier. Overnight 3 nts Portland w a day trip to the Gorge and Hood River. Last 1-2 nts at cannon beach oregon and Ecola park. Lv from PDX. Beautiful!!

Olympic peninsula is 2-3 days min and another trip or do it w Seattle and save Portland for next time.
eroz is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,334
I agree with spiro on this. Fly to Portland (PDX) and go to Mt. St Helens for your view of a more recent volcano.
The thing I don't like about Olympic is that there are no "through" roads. You would do a lot of backtracking.
Whichever airport/rental car you choose (PDX or SEA), you should return the car where you rented it. The airports are less than 4 hours apart right off Interstates.
Oregon's Cascade volcanoes include Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters, Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Thielsen.
Crater Lake is in the caldera of an ancient volcano called Mt. Mazama.
tomfuller is online now  
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