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Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood and northern Oregon coast

Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood and northern Oregon coast

Old Nov 18th, 2022, 05:02 PM
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Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood and northern Oregon coast

Quick trip to Portland area. Traveled with my son who was there on business. I read all the previous Fodors reviews of the area, which were extremely helpful. A special shoutout to mms for some specific help.

Day 1: arrived late morning at PDX. Dropped my son off at Hotel Grand Stark, a small boutique hotel on the central eastside. The hotel was clean and had convenient valet parking. I spent the remainder of the day in Willamette Valley at Four Graces Winery and Argyle Winery. Of course these two only scratch the surface of wineries to visit. I really wish I had more time in Willamette Valley! Four Graces was a quaint little winery with nice views of their vineyard and a pretty outdoor area to sit and enjoy their delicious wines. I particularly enjoyed the sparkling pinot gris and Highground pinot noir AND the local hazelnuts! Argyle specializes in sparkling wines, which I enjoy, and the blanc de blanc was a favorite. After a long travel day I had a pizza at Red Hills Market and bought a couple of souvenirs for stocking stuffers.

Day 2: spent the day driving the Columbia River Gorge from Portland to Biggs Junction. Loved Multnomah Falls!! Absolutely beautiful and easy to access for anyone who is unable to hike longer distances. There is a gift shop and restaurant, also. I was unable to hike to the bridge as planned because of a search and rescue training, but I wasn't disappointed. The views were still awesome.

I spent the day stopping at various points to soak in the views and take pictures. Several cool little towns along the route. Had lunch at Riverside Restaurant in Hood River (it's inside a hotel and doesn't have good signage) and had a good tuna melt. Nice views.

Visited Stonehenge WWI memorial in Maryhill, WA. Really enjoyed this memorial to veterans. Nice views, also. Headed back west on Route 14 and found Maryhill Winery. Enjoyed a wine flight and beautiful views from the winery. Drove back to Hood River and took Oregon Route 35 south toward Mt Hood. I loved this area referred to as the Fruit Loop and regretted that the farm stands were closed for the season.

But, I soon realized the best was yet to come. Dusk was fast approaching and I really wanted a great view of Mt. Hood. I drove up Buzzard Point on snowy, icy road and found the view I was looking for. Mt. Hood took my breathe away, in all it's spendor. My day was fulfilled and I drove back to Portland.

Day 3: I really am a beach gal at heart, so I was looking forward to visiting the coast. It did not disappoint. Visited Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Seaside, and Astoria. The weather was perfect! Manzanita is a quaint, small town worth a visit. I talked to a couple at a viewpoint outside of Manzanita and they said they had never seen it so clear. Loved Ecola State Park and its beautiful fauna. The views of the ocean are wonderul. Cannon Beach is a wonderful town with many shops. Loved my salmon fish and chips at Ecola Seafood Market (thanks mms!) Haystack Rock is neat. I drove through the downtown of Seaside and took some pics at the End of the Trail Lewis and Clark statue. Astoria is a port city and has the Astoria-Megler bridge which is over 4 miles in length and connects to Point Ellice, WA. Of course I had to drive over this bridge, lol! Another great day--headed back to Portland.

Day 4: flew from PDX to ORD. Welcomed home by cold temps and light snow.

Thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Oregon and Washington! What a beautiful area with so much for a flatlander to see!

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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 05:55 PM
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Old Nov 19th, 2022, 07:57 AM
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Great trip report! I'm glad you had good weather for your time on the coast. Next time you come back, (I'm sure you will), try going farther south on the coast and visit the Tillamook cheese factory. Just south of Newport visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Depending on how much time you have to spend in Oregon you could make it to Crater Lake NP and Bend and see a lot of the Cascades.
Another thing to see in the NW quarter of Oregon is the Evergreen Air and Space museum in McMinnville.
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 05:08 AM
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Glad you enjoyed your time! Red Hills pizza is my favorite Good timing for the hazelnuts as the stands will all close before Thanksgiving.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 08:54 AM
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Yes, tomfuller I will need to make a return trip to see more of Oregon! Such a beautiful state.

and mms, thank you again for your detailed information. It was a big help!
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