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Help me plan my Oregon trip

Help me plan my Oregon trip

Old Sep 5, 14, 10:27 pm
  #1  
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Help me plan my Oregon trip

I am going to PDX touching down 11am on 9 oct(Thursday) and returning 11am on 13 oct(mon).

Now unlike past ops I plan to actually stay in different hotels in the state. Given the short time and long weekend I thought fellow FTers might be able to give me a few pointers on what I can do during that time and where to spend my days.
Ultimately I would prefer to stay in cities 2-3 hrs drive apart as to save me from driving too much, i.e. day 1 albany, day 2 Tillamook, day 3. Astoria, day 4. Phoenix.

We enjoy outdoors(hikers, bikers, etc) and also enjoy parks, sceneries, etc. We also love history as well as national monuments, i.e. if it is famous and pretty we want to see it.

TA is pretty bleak and confusing on the state and there are many opinions so I thought Id ask here first.
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Old Sep 5, 14, 10:42 pm
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We thoroughly enjoyed an overnight at Seaside. And got to try three very different -- but all tasty -- renditions of clam chowder.
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Old Sep 6, 14, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by libuser View Post
I am going to PDX touching down 11am on 9 oct(Thursday) and returning 11am on 13 oct(mon).

Now unlike past ops I plan to actually stay in different hotels in the state. Given the short time and long weekend I thought fellow FTers might be able to give me a few pointers on what I can do during that time and where to spend my days.
Ultimately I would prefer to stay in cities 2-3 hrs drive apart as to save me from driving too much, i.e. day 1 albany, day 2 Tillamook, day 3. Astoria, day 4. Phoenix.

We enjoy outdoors(hikers, bikers, etc) and also enjoy parks, sceneries, etc. We also love history as well as national monuments, i.e. if it is famous and pretty we want to see it.

TA is pretty bleak and confusing on the state and there are many opinions so I thought Id ask here first.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, you want to drive from Astoria OR to Phoenix OR in one day? They are at opposite ends. The one thing about Oregon that people may not realize, is that outside of the I5 and metro Portland, it takes FOREVER to drive from the coast to inland, and vice versa.

A suggested route (and one I usually take) is start in Portland, make your way to the coast, and drive down. Very, very scenic drive. Another drive comparable to that (especially around October) to see pumpkin patches and the like is straight down the I5 to college towns like Corvallis. Wonderful history and a very easy drive down.
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Old Sep 6, 14, 1:52 pm
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I would do two loops out of Portland. One would be through the Columbia Gorge (if there's been much rain, the waterfalls will be terrific) to Hood River, then south (up) the Hood River Valley to Mount Hood, then back into Portland. In October the Hood River Valley will be beautiful with all the orchards either still in harvest mode or maybe some early fall color, and Mount Hood is always spectacular at any season. This can be a long day trip, or an easy two days, spending the night in Hood River or maybe McMenamin's Edgefield closer to Portland.

The second loop would be out to the coast around Yachats, then north to Astoria and Cape Disappointment (across the awesome mouth of the Columbia from Astoria.) This will have it all - fabulous coast, historic sites, lighthouses, waves on rocks, the real deal. Return to Portland along the north shore of the river, through some great scenery and interesting historic towns. You could overnight in Seaside or Cannon Beach.
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Old Sep 6, 14, 2:55 pm
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You might want to check out this thread.

Cape Disappointment was spectacular BTW.

Bobette
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Old Sep 6, 14, 3:38 pm
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The most spectacular place to visit in Oregon has to be Crater Lake - but I don't know what the weather will be like in early October, as I've only been there in August. It looks like all the services - shops and visitor center - close on October 5, so you may be a bit too late for it this time

McMenamins are always good places to stay for not a lot of money. I'm staying at the Kennedy School for the second time in Mid October.
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Old Sep 6, 14, 10:30 pm
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At the time of you visit the weather can be a little unpredictable.

October is the start of the PNW "hurricane season" where the remains of typhoons in the PAcific sweet around and hit the PNW. On the coast you ccan get hurricane force winds and heavy rain. Probably what is considered the worst storm is one that hit over columbus Day weekend in 1962.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Day_Storm_of_1962

The weather could be fine.

What starts in early Octoberis mountain pass snow that usually changes to snow from rain overnight.

have some flecibility and look at the weather prior to planning what you will do. You can use Portland as a base for day trips around the area.

---day trip to Columbia Gorge then loop around to Mt hood
--loop to astoria then down to Canon Beach
--day trip to st Helense
---day trip to Willamette Valley (area wine country)
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Old Sep 7, 14, 3:42 pm
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I have similar interests and have visited northern Oregon a few times.
My favorites:
Columbia River Gorge. It has many spectacular waterfalls and is an easy day trip from Portland.
Neahkahnie Mountain in Osvald West State Park. It's a 1661 foot mountain that you can hike to the top of and enjoy spectacular views of the coastline. It's about 30 miles south of Astoria.
I also recommend Cape Meares and Cape Lookout near Tillamook.
And I enjoyed Bob Straub State Park, about 25 miles south of Tillamook for its sand dunes.
The Oregon coast has so many beautiful places that if I had 4 days, I would spend 1 day in the Columbia River Gorge and the other 3 on the coast.
As others have noted, October is the beginning of the rainy season in Oregon. I've had pretty good weather during October trips to the region, but do be prepared for some rain.
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Old Sep 7, 14, 4:31 pm
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As a native Oregonian, I cant understand for the life of me why you would include a stop in Albany. Unless it was just a stopover for the night but there is absolutely nothing of value that I know of. Corvallis is at least a college town but you might as well as go to Eugene or if you want to be closer to Portland, stay in Salem. (No offense intended towards any current or past residents of Albany.) I agree with others that day trips from Portland are great ideas. Do a day trip to the coast, one up the Columbia River Gorge and one through the Willamette wineries. Plenty of hiking opportunities all around the state, especially the foothills or the coast.
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Old Sep 7, 14, 10:50 pm
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I agree with those that have said Columbia River Gorge is a great day trip or 2-day loop. I love McMenamin's Edgefield (it's a cool old property that used to be a poor farm) -- it's got a hot soaking pool, a movie theater, a distillery, a winery tasting room, a brewery, all kinds of cool tucked away bars and spaces on ground. I'd stay there one night, then drive the Gorge, seeing Vista House and Multnomah Falls. Plenty of hikes to do in the Gorge, to little waterfalls or to viewpoints above the river (we just did a short hike to Wauna Viewpoint near Cascade Locks that was great). Hood River is a cool town with lots of breweries and shops -- they are famous for wind surfing and kite surfing (they have schools you can take classes from), but October might be a little late.

I think a trip to the coast and to a bunch of wineries would be the other thing I'd do. There are wineries all up and down I-5 from Portland to Eugene, but McMinnville is the biggest concentration. Crater Lake is absolutely phenomenal, but it's probably too far from Portland and too late in the season for you.

If you decide to head down to the Eugene area, I have plenty of recommendations (King Estate Winery, hiking Spencer Butte, etc.). Actually, I'd be happy to share hotel/restaurant/hiking recommendation for other places in Oregon too, once you nail your itinerary down.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 4:28 pm
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The Hampton Inn in Astoria is a little gem of a hotel.

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Old Sep 9, 14, 11:36 pm
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+1 that within your timeline, the best areas to consider are Portland, the gorge, and the beach, with some wineries in the Willamette Valley along the way. Note that there are also some great wineries in the gorge, too, so that can be done in that region as well.

If you do decide to do more of a sampling, with one day each in a variety of places, I'm surprised that nobody has talked about central Oregon. You could (again, if your focus was on seeing a bunch of highlights briefly, as opposed to getting a bit of depth in any one region of the state) go Portland - gorge - Bend - central coast - McMinnville/Dundee (wineries) - Portland. None of those segments are more than 2-3 hours except the Bend-coast one, and that's probably 3.5h to Lincoln City.

Albany? Phoenix? Nah. Although Phoenix DOES have Talent! (little Oregon small-town humor there.)
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