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Trip planning help - Oregon (Portland, Coast, Willamette, Bridal Veil)

Trip planning help - Oregon (Portland, Coast, Willamette, Bridal Veil)

Jun 5th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 138
Trip planning help - Oregon (Portland, Coast, Willamette, Bridal Veil)

Looking for opinions regarding our plan so far. Six adults, five of whom love wine and food. We will not be taking in any museum, galleries and such nor is this a group likely to take long hikes. However, we would like to get a taste of the outdoor wonders. Primarly we are going to tour the wine country.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrive PDX at 12:15 on a Sunday, grab rental car and drive to Hotel Monaco (estimate drive to be about 30 min), quick check in then hit the road.
Drive to Tillamook (about 75 min drive) check out cheese factory, sites depart by 4pm
Drive up the coast to Cannon Beach - check out sites, have dinner, drive back to Hotel Monaco.

Day 2, 3, 4(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday): Drive to our VRBO vineyard rental near Dundee. Visit vineyards, wine tasting, dinner. I travelling companion is in the restaurant busines and is suppose to be arranging some special tours. Suggestions for this area are welcome.

Day 5 (Thursday): Depart Dundee area in the morning and head to Bridal Veil to see the falls then to Portland to take in a few sites and for a nice dinner at _____.

Day 6 - depart PDX EARLY for flight east.
jmsvss is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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The drive to Tillamook is closer to 90 minutes, and IMO not at all worth the time if the Cheese Factory is the only reason. On the other hand, if you're thinking about visiting Cape Meares State Park, Oceanside, and maybe Cape Lookout, I might change my mind.

So, consider just going straight to Cannon Beach. Cute little town, worth an hour or two, beautiful beach dominated by Haystack Rock, with tidepools and all.... If that's not enough for you all, visit Ecola State Park, just north of town. If you still want more, take the walk into Short Sands Beach at Oswald West State Park, 10 miles south. In any case, you can find good cheese and great scenery without going to Tillamook.

"I travelling companion is in the restaurant busines and is suppose to be arranging some special tours. Suggestions for this area are welcome."

Not sure what you mean by this. Are you looking for restaurant or winery suggestions? Or something else?

Assume by Bridal Veil you mean the Columbia River Gorge? If so, good idea. Lotsa good options for dinner that night, all of them "nice". What kind of nice are you looking for?

General comment... There are several good restaurants in wine country, but I don't think they compare to the better ones in Portland. So, since Dundee is only about 45 minutes southwest of the city, and it appears you do have a designated driver....
beachbum is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Thanks, I like your suggestion regarding Cannon Beach, Ecola and Oswald West Sate Parks and will heed your advice regarding Tillamook. Regarding restaurants in this area - where can we find good salmon or other northwest fare?

I guess my request regarding Dundee was lost in my typos but yes I was looking for some winery and restaurant recommendations. I have heard of a place that prepares foraged mushrooms and the Dundee Bistro seems to be highly regarded.

Yes, I meant the Columbia River Gorge. I am having trouble gauging travel time combined with sightseeing time but it seems Bridal Veil is a must. I do want to be able to get back to Portland in time to enjoy some of the sites. Any ideal spots for a night cap?

I am also interested in your Portland restaurant suggestions. We are interested in most anything with local cuisine high on the list
jmsvss is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Hi, I am on the coast now in Seaside, it's a beautiful area to spend time in. We found some great Copper River salmon at The Wayfarer in Cannon Beach. The mushroom place is called Joel Palmer House in Dayton, it's very nice.

I would go to Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria, we enjoyed appetizers out on the deck yesterday, the weather was gorgeous in Astoria, they have yummy Prawns here and we loved the Clam and Mussell chowder. I also like the Ship Inn in Astoria for fish and chips. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Dundee ... the Dundee Bistro is very nice. Some people I have noticed have raved about it and I never thought it was that good but it is nice. There are some really good places in that general area and beachbum and fellow poster mms know those..

I would just go to the wineries, have dinner then back to the city - or go back to the city and have a fantastic meal and skip eating in the winery area... believe me, it is nothing like Napa or other beautiful winery areas ...

Bridal Veil is beautiful but there are a few, that I don't remember names of that are fantastic and Multnomah Falls will take your breath away too .. especially if you are insane and decide to walk across that little bitty bridge way up there ....

I will give you my restaurant list ..
1. Serratto
Italian, beautiful space, good service, great food

2. Cafe Mingo
casual, very affordable, very busy all the time..

3. Lucys Table
Elegant , intimate space, great food, great serv

4. Wildwood
favorite of many, great menu, great space

5. Paleys Place
Elegant, good for celebrations, perfect service, very good food.
NW 13th & Everett
Tourist favorite, great Happy Hour

2. Paragon
Great Happy Hour, Weekend late-night "scene"
Good food, good service

3. Piazza Italia
NW Johnson & 12th
Good authentic Italian, casual and fun.

4. Giorgios
NW Hoyt & 12th
Great food in elegant space, perfect service

5. Oba
NW 12th
Nuevo Latino, great brunch and Happy Hour
dinners are good too.

6. Vault Martini
The Best Martinis, Blood Orange Margarita..etc
Great Happy Hour

7. Everett Street Bistro
NW Everett & 12th
French-ish bistro, good food, good service, always busy

8. Henrys Tavern
12th & Burnside
100 beers on tap, what else can I say?
The food is good and enormous portions. Family friendly as well.

9. Fratellis
Italian , but not typical. Great food.

10. Silk (formerly Pho Van Bistro)
VietNamese- beautiful space, delicious food, p

11. Wilf's
Wilf's Restaurant and Bar at Union Station..

12. Fenouil
Beautiful space, excellent service, wonderful food, delicious desserts, dinner, lunch or just drinks..French Brasserie
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 11:00 AM
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Oh and as to the Salmon question. I don't know if there is a restaurant in town that Doesn't have salmon on the menu !
Salmon and Crab ... when I get homesick for Portland, seafood is right up there in things I miss ... that and the cool green ... and all the restaurants... and the Coast ... lol
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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There's another current thread about restaurants in Cannon Beach. The Wayfarer kimamom mentions probably has the best seafood menu in town. But, what she didn't say about that Copper River Salmon is that it was smothered in goat cheese, which is criminal in any local's mind. They were obviously trying to hide something. So Wayfarer.... okay to good, but definitely not fine dining. You'll get closer to that at Newman's @ 988, though they might have trouble fitting a group of your size in. It's a tiny space. Astoria would be an hour detour (roundtrip), and IMO Bridgewater Bistro wouldn't be worth the trip. We had dinner there last weekend; good, but again not fine dining. View's nice though. Still, I'd go with Newman's.

A couple more wine country restaurants to consider: Nick's Italian in McMinnville and Painted Lady in Newberg. I know there are a couple more good ones.... where's mms when you need her? ;-) As for winery recommendations, many of the better boutique-style places are taste-by-appointment only places. There are plenty of other good options, too, but which would you prefer?

To add to Scarlett's list: Higgin's, one of Portland's first farm-to-table fine dining establishments; Sel Gris, selected 2008 restaurant of the year by the Oregonian (I think); Carlyle, just darn good; and in a pinch, Ten 01. If you don't mind great food in a PNW funky atmosphere: Le Pigeon, another recent restaurant of the year winner; Toro Bravo, co-winner with Le Pigeon; and even more off-the-wall, Ned Ludd, where all hot dishes are cooked/baked/roasted in what used to be a pizza oven.

The Columbia River Gorge scenic area extends from about 23 miles east of Portland to Hood River, about 60 miles east. The heart of it is within a 10 mile stretch, 25 - 35 miles east of the city. You'd want to take the Historic Highway eastbound, which takes you past all the waterfalls, but could return on I-84. http://www.columbiariverhighway.com/...er_highway.pdf
beachbum is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 12:31 PM
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Great input, thank you. I've heard The Wayfarer mentioned in other places as well.
I will have to check out each of those restaurant websites.
jmsvss is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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Thanks beachbum, I think our messages crossed. I check out Newmans as well.
jmsvss is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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a recommendation for the recommendations of beachbum

He and another poster on these forums (Portland locals) were an incredible help to us when we visited Portland and when we moved there ... for some reason, we were able to drive across the country with our dog and had not one problem... but we were always getting lost in Oregon ... thanks to beachbum and mms ... we found our way ....eventually lol....
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 03:53 AM
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What is a drive along Highway 101 like? We have never been to Oregon nor seen the beaches of the PNW except in photos. How long would a leisurely take to drive Route 26 out of Portland to Cannon beach, take in Haystack Rock and any other "must sees," then take Hwy 101 south to either Cape Lookout and/or Cape Meares and then take Route 6 back to Portland? The distances do not look to be that great.
jmsvss is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Total drive time for that route would be 4.5 +/- hours. Not knowing what they are for you, it's hard to gauge how much time to add for "must sees", but I'd suggest a minimum of 3 - 4 hours. Best reason for returning on OR 6, I think, is Cape Meares State Park, where you'll see a lighthouse, and some dramatic coastal landscapes. It's a small park, and won't take a lot of time. Plan a stop at Oceanside too, but if you're pressed for time, pass on Cape Lookout. Nice park, but you have to do some hiking to experience the best of it.

I don't see that anyone has confused you with winery recommendations yet... It'd be nice to know what your friend is arranging, as some of the best wine here is produced by boutique wineries that taste by appointment only. For now, I'll limit recommendations to those with regular tasting hours. In the Dundee area: Argyle, if only for their bubbles, then Archery Summit, De Ponte Cellars, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene, Torii Mor, Dobbes, Stoller....

You could spend an entire day tasting along Carlton's two-block-long main street, but best stops there are Seven of Hearts (shares a space with Barbara Thomas) and Scott Paul. You'd also like Carlton Winemaker's Studio, a co-op of sorts, where the facility is shared by a number of small producers. Look particularly for Andrew Rich wines there. Cana's Feast, next door is pretty good too, if for nothing else but the food that comes out of the kitchen, and maybe a game of bocce.

There are also a number of good stops along/near North Valley Road, from Newberg west. The better ones are taste by appointment only wineries, but Adelsheim and Penner-Ash are two with regular hours that would make the drive worthwhile. And Willakenzie's not too far off that route.
beachbum is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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I'm here, but sleep deprived, lol, so can only offer basic advice at the moment Wineries...our favorites are mostly by appt only places. Some of my personal favorites include Chehalem, Amity, Brick House, Arbor Brook, Adelsheim and Seufert. Another favorite is Grochau Cellars, but his place is now in NW Portland so you can hit that while you are in downtown.

Salmon....yes, in most restaurants around here. But geez, to add stuff to it just makes me speechless. Our salmon is excellent and should not be smothered in anything, IMO.

Several very good restaurants in the Dundee/McMinnville general area. In Mac, Wildwood is a must for breakfast. Other good places are La Rambla and Bistro Maison. In Dundee is Red Hills Provincial Dining. Painted Lady in Newberg, along with the French Bear for good lunches.

I need some sleep. Had celebrations the last few days and family all just left. Nap time
mms is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Oh I love the way mms comes along, all partied out ... of course, we were not invited, were we ??? harrumph !

We used to go to Cannon Beach and the surrounding area for just the day. It was a 90 min drive on 26 and drive South on 101 to take advantage of the views/pull over to the side and take a gazillion photos .. then we went back to 26 because our habit of getting lost usually interfered with getting home on time ... it is a great day trip ..or a great overnight ..
Scarlett is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:51 AM
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"Not knowing what they are for you, it's hard to gauge how much time to add for "must sees", but I'd suggest a minimum of 3 - 4 hours."

Yeah, I know I haven't provided much detail regarding our preferences and that makes it hard. We are three couples in our 40's travelling together for the first time. The whole trip just "happened" one night. We are not even "close" friends, we just enjoy each others company. We are from the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia and are just looking for a little "local color" and some things we can see in Oregon that we can't see back east. The is all kind of like a blind date really. But I'd say our group is probably game for just about anything.
jmsvss is offline  

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