Seattle to Willamette and Portalnd

Old Feb 8th, 2023, 06:43 AM
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Seattle to Willamette and Portalnd

Hello - I am looking for suggestions for a couple who wants to drive from Seattle to Willamette - first time visitors - will stay in Willamette for a few nights to explore wine region then to Portalnd. Suggestions for best route and stops enroute to Willamette?
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 07:33 AM
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The Willamette Valley extends for well over a hundred miles south from the Willamette River's junction with the Columbia River just north of Portland. But I assume you're referring to the main wine district, which is - generally - a little southwest of Portland, centered (more or less) close to the pleasant town of McMinnville.

You can get to McMinnville from Seattle in as little as around 4 hours, using Interstate 5 for most of the route. I-5 is not particularly scenic, and there are certainly pleasant alternatives, depending on a couple of things. First, when do you plan to take this trip, and second, how long do you have for the drive?

Depending on the answers, you could do the "straight shot" down I-5, or you could take a longer but extremely scenic route that crosses the Cascades then arrives in Portland and the Willamette Valley via the Columbia River Gorge, or one that gets to the valley via the Pacific coast.

Google the places on these maps -

https://goo.gl/maps/izv2j34bWH3rViiK8
https://goo.gl/maps/BLrMCPhKbf6f9YLb6
https://goo.gl/maps/oFqp1ou2U7yiJZPeA

Note that the Columbia Gorge and Hood River Valley are also noted wine districts.
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 07:42 AM
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Thank you - more Qs!

I appreciate your reply very much and the maps.

The couple, in their 70s, are traveling by train to Seattle to arrive 7 Sept and will spend 2 days there visiting family and touring around. They plan to drive toward Willamette 9 Sept and would like to explore the region for about 5-6 days.

They will head to Portland and take flight home form here, 15 Sept.

They are interested to seeing things along the drive so the two options other than I-5 look like good possibilities. They do not want to spend most of the time in the car though.

Would you suggest a stop and maybe an overnight at the Columbia Gorge or Hood River Valley wine districts? I also have read that Astoria could be a nice stopover point/destination enroute? Thank you for any additional info - very much appreciate as I am new at this...

Best,
Melinda

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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 07:53 AM
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Hood River is a terrific stopover point if they take the eastern route. Have a look at the "Hood River Fruit Loop" - Hood River Fruit Loop, Hood River, Oregon




On the coast, yes, Astoria is an interesting and historic town. Cannon Beach is very popular too, but my favorite in the area is the small fishing village of Ilwaco, on the Washington side of the Columbia, next to awesome Cape Disappointment.


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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 08:50 AM
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Wow - looks awesome! A lot to choose from. Eastern or Coastal ... tough decision!

May I ask - would you recommend is they decide on taking coastal route to include an overnight stopover, perhaps? Incorporating visit to Cape Dissappointment and llwaco?

And if they do the eastern, Hood Rover fruit Loop with a stopover somewhere too?

Ultimately, they have sites set on Chehalem B&B and maybe also Dundee Wine Library while in Willamette.

Thank you for all,
Melinda
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 05:17 PM
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I live in Seattle and drive to Willamette Valley often (Corvallis) where my family lives. To me the drive is simply heading south on I-5 freeway. I use the 205 around to avoid Portland. Obviously as a visitor your priorities will be different. There are some pretty amazing new wineries in Willamette Valley. 5-6 days is a lot of time for the valley. Are you sure they wouldn't like to go out to the Oregon Coast. That's plenty of time for both.
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Old Feb 9th, 2023, 06:15 AM
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Coast options

Thank you, John - yes - I think the Oregon coast sounds like a fine way to get to Willamette. Can you let me know any wineries and sights you'd recommend? They are hoping to find some unique stops and less known wineries to explore.

Thank you again
Melinda
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Old Feb 9th, 2023, 08:06 AM
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https://willamettevalley.org/wine/
Sorry I have no recommendations, only have seen so many of them when driving in that area. Hope this link proves useful
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MelindaA
Thank you, John - yes - I think the Oregon coast sounds like a fine way to get to Willamette. Can you let me know any wineries and sights you'd recommend? They are hoping to find some unique stops and less known wineries to explore.

Thank you again
Melinda
Since there will be train travel involved, try taking the Coast Starlight south from Seattle through Portland to Salem. Rent the car in Salem. Take 22 west from Salem and then 99W north to McMinnville. In McMinnville, be sure to see the Evergreen Air and Space Museum in addition to the wineries.
In case of rain in Portland, be sure to visit Powell's World of Books.
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Old Feb 15th, 2023, 11:41 AM
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Another question please - Can you recommend a B&B near Salem that is accessible to wineries for an interesting stay, clean, friendly, etc. Budget about 250-300/night? The couple will stay a couple nights in Chehalem and want to also explore an area that will give them more of a perspective of the region in addition to Chehalem area.

Thank you
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Old Feb 16th, 2023, 03:33 PM
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There's a McMenamins (hotel) in McMinnville.
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Old Feb 17th, 2023, 02:56 AM
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Thank you! Looks like a fun stay ~
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Old Apr 15th, 2023, 03:07 AM
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Willamette Valley Vinyards in Salem is great, it's not a "less known" spot but its a good choice. For a "less known" winery, but another I'd recommend is Coria's which is just a little west of Willamette Valley Vinyards, (10 miles or so). I second the Aviation Museum if they are into things like that. Lincoln city, Depoe Bay, and Newport on the coast have some great shops, outlet mall, restaurants and beaches. As well as hotels with beautiful views.
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Old Apr 18th, 2023, 02:58 AM
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thanks

Originally Posted by christine70
Willamette Valley Vinyards in Salem is great, it's not a "less known" spot but its a good choice. For a "less known" winery, but another I'd recommend is Coria's which is just a little west of Willamette Valley Vinyards, (10 miles or so). I second the Aviation Museum if they are into things like that. Lincoln city, Depoe Bay, and Newport on the coast have some great shops, outlet mall, restaurants and beaches. As well as hotels with beautiful views.

Thank you - I appreciate this info
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