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I will be in Eugene for a meeting on Jan 14th and 15th and would like to see some of the Oregon Coast; perhaps on the previous weekend or maybe starting on Jan 10th. What area would be relatively easy to drive to from Eugene or Portland? What kind of weather should I expect? Can you suggest some B&Bs? — Lois

From the coast, the most direct route to Eugene is from Florence on the Oregon Coast via OR 126 (just under 1.5 hours). You didn’t mention where you are traveling from, but it sounds like you may be coming from the north and you could easily spend four days traveling the North and Central coast between Astoria and Florence. Astoria is famous for bed & breakfasts in historical Victorian homes. If you are looking for more ocean beach destinations, I would consider starting in Seaside or Cannon Beach. In Seaside, you may want to try the Gilbert Inn B&B (historic home). In Cannon Beach, consider Song of the Sea B&B (modern home, close to town and beach). Just south of Cannon Beach is the unique French Chateau-like Arch Cape Inn. In the Newport area, you may want to consider the Sylvia Beach Hotel. It’s actually a historic beach hotel, but very B&B like with a literary slant. Rooms are furnished and decorated based on famous authors. Another unique B&B stay would be the Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B, the original lighthouse keepers’ home (near Florence).

Weather is typically mild and rarely below freezing on the coast, so your travel along the coast should not be a problem. You will want to check on pass conditions as you pass through the Coast Range on your way to and from the coast. From the Portland/Longview area, the lowest elevation on the North Oregon Coast is Highway 30 into Astoria (the Washington side of the Columbia is even closer to sea level). Highway 26 is the most direct route to the coast from Portland, but the Coast Range summit is about 1500 feet and is most likely to have mountain travel conditions. The highest point on OR 126 from Florence to Eugene is under 800 feet.

Weather in January is typically cool with highs average in the high 40s and lows in the mid to high 30s. It is one of the wetter months of the year, averaging nine or more inches of rain during the month, so be prepared. Many come to the coast for storm watching this time of year. There can be high winds. The storm tossed seas can be an awesome site.

Hope this helps.

Happy travels!
Gary

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on October 17th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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What are the most beautiful sites in Southern Oregon? What is the best beach for RVs?

In the Southern Oregon Region, the most beautiful site arguably is Crater Lake, the centerpiece of the state’s only national park and a sacred site to native tribes long before settlers “discovered it.” The summertime and wintertime landscapes each show unique facets of this natural wonder.

In Southern Oregon, there are several sites I recommend at various points along the coast. Starting with the farthest south, Harris Beach State Park has 36 full-hookup sites; http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_79.php About 80 miles north in Bandon, Bullards Beach State Park is larger with 104 full-hookup sites. About 25 miles just outside Charleston, Bastendorff Beach county park has 74 full-hookup sites: http://www.co.coos.or.us/Departments/CoosCountyParks/Bastendorff.aspx.

And although Bastendorff Beach isn’t quite as easy to access on foot as beaches at the previous two sites mentioned, this is my personal favorite beach on the South Coast, and the one I always go to. On the south end of the Coos Bay jetty, the beach is long and flat with finely textured sand. A sandstone cliff borders one end that makes for nice tidepooling and surf fishing at low tide. Water is shallow for a quite a ways in the surf zone. It’s popular with surfers and people flying kites and walking dogs. On a clear day, Cape Arago lighthouse (isolated, closed to the public and hard to spot from almost any other point on the coast) is visible from the beach’s north end.

Enjoy your stay,
Sarah Lemon

 

Answered by Sarah Lemon on October 17th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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We are looking to spend 5 days around the coast in June 2013. We have found lots of cool lodges to stay in, but they mostly want at least 2 nights minimum stay. Would you recommend hotels and moving around the coast? Or, base ourselves in a lodge and travel from there each day? — Pete

I would recommend you plan your itinerary to base yourself strategically in two places and make day trips north and south from each base. For instance, to explore the South Coast, you could stay in Bandon and spend one day exploring north to the great State Parks southwest of Coos Bay (Shore Acres, Sunset Bay and Cape Arago) and another day going south, perhaps as far as Samuel H Boardman State Park near Brookings. On the Central Coast, you could base your stay in Yachats, then venture north to visit the attractions in Newport like the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the historic bay front and Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. To the south, you could explore the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Heceta Head Lighthouse and Florence where you can experience the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. If you wanted to explore the North Oregon Coast, you could have a base in Cannon Beach or Manzanita that would offer day tripping north to Ecola State Park, Seaside and Astoria. For a day trip south, I would recommend the Three Capes Scenic Route that begins west of Tillamook and includes Cape Meares, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda.

I hope this helps, but if you narrow down the areas you’d prefer to visit, I may be able to help with some more specific recommendations on itinerary, attractions or lodging based on your interests.

Happy Exploring!
Gary

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on October 17th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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I’d like to plan a trip to visit colleges in Portland and Eugene. I’d also like to visit Medford all in 3-days! ~ Marnie S.

First of all, you can certainly fly in to the Medford area or begin even in Eugene or Portland.  That depends on you of course.  Portland is just shy of 2-1/2 hours north from the Eugene area.  Medford is about 3 hours south of Eugene.  So, if you fly in to Portland, you can spend one whole day enjoying the city and touring a few colleges.  As you may already know, Portland is home to many colleges/universities and I just happened to have driven by Reed College today… it’s gorgeous!  You could really spend several days here but I know you have three days so one day in Portland will give you a small idea of what it’s like here.

From the Portland area, I would almost say to jet down to Medford and spend one night there and come back up to Eugene from there the next afternoon or evening.  Usually I tell folks to stay of I 5 driving however you have a lot of ground to cover.  So, heading from Medford back up to Eugene, I would first stop at Lillie Belle Chocolate:  http://www.lilliebellefarms.com for some road snacks!  Also, grab some of Southern Oregon’s delicious cheese right next door at Rogue Creamery:  http://www.roguecreamery.com/store/  You can grab some bread there too and to experience the greatness of Southern Oregon on a road trip is a good thing!  Both places are just outside Medford in Central Point.

The University of Oregon is a gorgeous campus.  Take the tour!!  You will find the campus has a certain feel that exudes it’s history, it’s place in Oregon and a vibe that is young and exciting.  I have taken the tour of the campus a few times and suggest that you bring your camera and settle somewhere for a coffee and enjoy!

For lodging ideas, I am going to suggest you check out www.obbg.org  I happen to be an B & B inspector for The Oregon Bed & Breakfast Guild and there are tons of great B & B’s along the route for you to choose from!

Here’s a list that may make it easier:

Touvelle House B & B:  http://www.touvellehouse.com  In Jacksonville if you decide you have time to drive just a tad further than Medford.  This is totally worth the extra few miles and plus… Jacksonville is a “must see” as far as I am concerned!

C’lest a Vie Inn is a great neighborhood location in Eugene and not too far from Ninkasi… a place to grab a delicious local beer.  In the Portland area, I would highly suggest you check out Ace Hotel, it is the best location to “feel the city” and experience true Portland fun!  Kenny and Zukes on the corner have the best bagels and Powell’s is just a block away… you have to check out Powells!

I hope this info has helped and please let me know if I can help you further!  You have a lot to cover in just three days!  Have fun and thanks for your AskOR question!

Debbie

Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Expert.  You can find my blog at: www.whitebreadandjam.blogspot.com

p.s.  in Eugene… check out The Vintage for food and the Sweet Life for dessert!!  Yum!!

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on October 16th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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We are thinking of doing a road trip through Oregon for 2 weeks in early July 2013. We’re most interested in mountain / wildlife scenery in Oregon and coastal and wine experiences. We would also like to know if it is easy to do this by motorhome rather than car? – Gill W., Cardiff, Wales.

I believe I can give you some great ideas on how you can road trip your way around Oregon and see as much as possible in two weeks! First of all, let me say that either way you choose to travel, you will love it. I personally would love a road trip via motorhome because of all the perks of “having your home ride with you” and it will give you a chance to pick up some delicious food from many regions and prepare and enjoy it yourself. Although, traveling via auto isn’t bad either cause I do enjoy dining at a different place each day when I’m out and about so be sure to treat yourself to some of our local restaurants too if you do motorhome it! We have some pretty amazing chefs in our towns and cities that LOVE to share all the goodness found here.

I would probably begin in or near the Portland area. From there, I would def stop at Multnomah Falls and possibly enjoy a short hike and of course take tons of photos. It’s quite beautiful there and if you have never seen it, you will wonder what took you so long!

Moseying along hwy 84 east, you will find the town of Hood River. You must stop and stay a day to enjoy all it has to offer!   There is always something delicious going on in that region!  Also, as you may well know, a stunning Mt. Hood awaits your visit too!  Gaze and be amazed at our mountain and be sure to bring your camera and binoculars!  Here’s more info about the area.  There is hiking at my favorite Mt. Hood area trail called Tamanawas Trail;   it’s pretty easy and worth the surprise at the end!

If you can tear yourself away from Mt. Hood, head east once more and follow the road to places such as Pendleton, Enterprise and Joseph, Oregon.  I would suggest a night in Joseph so you can enjoy the beautiful Wallowa Mountains  via Hells Canyon Scenic Byways.

This site is awesome and will take you on a wild ride of beauty and the “all natural” side of Oregon!  Baker City is where I would suggest you take a break!  I loved this route when I took it a few years ago.  Don’t be surprised if you see a “real” cowboy herding cattle or find some restaurant in some quaint western Oregon town where everyone turns and looks at you when you walk in.  You aren’t a local but it’s all good cause you’ll sit and enjoy a burger made of all local ingredients and smile as you enjoy every bite!

From the Baker City area, it’s time to head to Bend and Sisters Oregon!  Stay a night in either town and enjoy our Central Oregon region. I have taken a Lava Cave Tour in Bend, I have taken the beer tour at Deschutes Brewery… and I love downtown Bend!  If you decide to drive a car, you have to check out The Old St. Francis School for lodging.  I have also enjoyed snowmobiling a few times too at Mt. Bachelor but of course there won’t be any snow however, driving around and enjoying some of our cascade mountains in this region is quite spectacular.  See Sisters, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Bachelor and the rest!  You can see many of these mountains when you take hwy 20 toward the Willamette Valley!  Hwy 20 is also the part of the Over The River and Through The Woods Scenic Byway!  Enjoy the gorgeous ride all the way to Albany, Corvallis and up in to hwy 99W!

You are now nestled quite nicely in to the Willamette Valley so it’s time for some delicious wine!  You can certainly find info on our hundreds of wineries or you can wing it and enjoy finding some on your own!  I always enjoy finding new things and experiences by chance but for just a little guidance, here are a few of my fav wine stops:

  1.  Van Duzer:  http://www.vanduzer.com
  2. Left Coast Cellars:  http://www.leftcoastcellars.com
  3. Adelsheim:  http://www.adelsheim.com

It’s a little tough to choose here but if you’d like, you can shoot over to the coast whenever you want from the Willamette Valley.  If I could suggest a few cities that I love along the Oregon Coast… Canon Beach, Seaside, Tillamook and Astoria!  I truly love all of it and the cities I listed are all pretty much in our North Coast and so would be doable in a day or two depending on your timing.  Once you are in Astoria, you aren’t too far from Portland.

You can of course change up this route as much as you want and if time allows, you can shoot down to Crater Lake in Southern Oregon around the Albany area taking I 5.  It’s probably a “must see” if I may say so but I wouldn’t stuff so much in that you can’t take your time to enjoy where you are!

As far as enjoying our Oregon wildlife, you will find that we do take preservation of many things very serious.  Our reserves and estuaries are protected wildlife areas and to name a few places for viewing wildlife:

William Finley:  http://www.fws.gov/WillametteValley/finley/  (loved this area)

Oak Park Refuge:  http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=490&action=ViewPark  (I’m actually hiking this refuge tomorrow!)

Sauvie Island:  http://www.pdxinfo.com/hikes/sauvie.php (awesome hikes and scenery!)

Here’s a few links to check out when you choose which mode of travel you will be taking:

/places-to-stay/

www.obbg.org

This is a lot of info to take in so please let me know if I can overwhelm you some more!  I can provide more detail about roads to take, etc. but I am sure part of the fun in planning is finding your way and finding those out of the way places that will make your trip so special.

Please feel free to follow my on Facebook page… look for Oregon Bliss and on my blog at www.whitebreadandjam.blogspot.com I am Sweet Bliss there!  You can follow me around Oregon and beyond at both these sites.  I enjoy Oregon and my new experiences and share all of them!

 

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on October 16th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We are driving to Port Orford to visit the prehistoric gardens, then to Bandon for the Wildlife Zoo and then working our way back to Tillamook. We are looking for some special sights and sounds to visit on Highway 101. We’ve been to the lighthouses on the Oregon coast but are wondering about some not so common sights.What do you recommend?

If you’re doing the Prehistoric Gardens and the wildlife park, you would probably like the Sea Lion Caves, between Florence and Yachats on Highway 101. And, if you’re looking for unusual sights on Highway 101 as you head north, look for:

  1. Otter Crest Loop, between Newport and Depoe Bay
  2. Boiler Bay — especially at really low tides, you can see the boiler!
  3. The Glassblowing Studio in Lincoln City
  4. Proposal Rock in Neskowin
  5. Munson Falls, about 10 miles south of Tillamook
  6. Blue Heron Cheese Factory (petting farm!) just south of the big cheese factory in Tillamook
Answered by Niki Price on April 26th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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What is one of the most scenic places to visit? – G.S.

The  Columbia River Gorge offers towering basalt cliffs, temperate rain forest, cascading waterfalls, and an abundance of hiking trails. Mount Hood is a beautiful snow capped peak surrounded by National Forest, more hiking trails, and alpine lakes. Both would be well worth your time.

I suggest taking a drive along the Historic Highway from Troutdale, stopping at Crown Point to take in the views, and exploring waterfalls on the way.

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My husband and I are going to go up the Oregon Coast for a vacation. We want to stay in a hotel that is pretty much walk out to the beach. Any suggestions? We are probably going to start in the southern part and travel north.

We Pamper Campers mentioned the Fireside in Yachats. That hotel is adjacent to the Overleaf Lodge, which is also quite nice. The Adobe has its own restaurant, which always nice if you don’t want to drive around. Be advised, though, that all three Yachats hotels overlook a rocky shelf — beautiful but no long walks on the sand.

Answered by Niki Price on March 12th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Where is a good place to spot Oregon Redwood trees? Any tips for a weekend getaway to see the trees and maybe an urban area of Oregon?

Our region is indeed home to a largely overlooked pocket of redwoods. They are on the extreme south coast near Brookings, just north of the border. This is a very remote area of the state, with no “urban” area anywhere close. You could, however, visit the Rogue Valley by driving east for about two hours on Highway 199 to Grants Pass. Medford is the largest city with about 75,000 population. The surrounding towns of Ashland and Jacksonville are known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Britt Festivals outdoor concerts, with world-class whitewater rafting on the Rogue River, as well as biking, fishing, wine tasting and world-famous artisan foods. Here’s a story published last year in the Mail Tribune newspaper’s Joy magazine about a little-known redwoods hike: “A Stroll in the Redwoods.”

Answered by Sarah Lemon on March 9th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I’m going to Crater Lake the beginning of July. What can I expect for weather? We will be there two days but in Oregon for two weeks. What else are must-sees in the area between there and Portland, or Portland and Seattle? We like the outdoors.

Glad to hear you’re focusing some of your visit on Crater Lake. It’s perhaps Oregon’s most unique feature and an attraction I always recommend.

July in Southern Oregon is quite warm, upper 80s to 90-some degrees, occasionally peaking in the 100s. But Crater Lake is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so it’s relatively cool even in summer. Temperatures plummet in the evenings, so bring long pants and a jacket to wear. And for all its beauty, Crater Lake has swarms of mosquitoes during summer evenings. Repellent is essential if you’re there once the sun goes down.

Activities at the park range from guided hikes to fly-fishing excursions to stargazing in the summer. Check the nonprofit park trust’s website, www.craterlaketrust.org, for events not listed on the government’s website.  Here’s an example of recreation that I wrote for the Mail Tribune newspaper in July 2010.

There’s plenty more to see on the way to Portland from Crater Lake via Highways 97 and 26. But consider a longer stay in Southern Oregon for the Oregon Caves National Monument, whitewater rafting on the Rogue River, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, outdoor Britt Festivals concerts in historic Jacksonville, hiking, biking, fishing, wine tasting and world-famous artisan foods.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on March 8th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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