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  1. Attractions
    1. Amusement Parks
    2. Aquariums & Zoos
    3. Art Galleries & Studios
    4. Casinos
    5. Movies and TV filmed in Oregon
    6. Museums & Interpretive Centers
    7. Outdoors & Nature
    8. Performing Arts
    9. Shopping
    10. Theater
    11. Tour Companies & Guides
  2. Recreation
    1. Birding
    2. Camping
    3. Cycling
    4. Fishing
    5. Golf
    6. Guides & Charters
      1. Back Country Guides
      2. Bicycle Guides
      3. Charter Boats
      4. Fishing Guides
      5. Hunting Guides
      6. Jet Boat Charters
      7. Outdoor Guides
      8. Whitewater Guides
    7. Hiking
    8. Indoor Sports
    9. Jet Boating
    10. Kayaking
    11. Oregon Winter Trips
    12. Rafting
    13. Snow Sports
    14. Sustainable Travel
  3. Eat & Drink
    1. Artisan Producers
    2. Beer & Breweries
    3. Cideries
    4. Coffee & Tea
    5. Culinary Experiences
    6. Distilleries
    7. Farmers' Markets
    8. Farms & Farm Stays
    9. Oregon Food Trips
    10. Picking & Foraging
    11. Ranches & Ranch Stays
    12. Restaurants
      1. American
      2. Asian Fusion
      3. Cajun / Creole
      4. Chinese
      5. French Bistros
      6. Greek
      7. Irish
      8. Italian
      9. Japanese
      10. Latino
      11. Mediterranean
      12. Pacific Northwest
      13. Pizza
      14. Seafood
      15. Southern
      16. Thai
    13. Seafood
    14. Wineries & Wine
  4. Oregon Heritage
    1. Covered Bridges
    2. Ghost Towns
    3. Heritage Areas
    4. Heritage Museums
    5. Indian Country
    6. Lighthouses
    7. Old West & Oregon Trail
  5. Natural Wonders
    1. Bodies of Water
      1. Lakes & Reservoirs
      2. Rivers
      3. Waterfalls
    2. Forests, Parks & Refuges
      1. National Forests & Parks
      2. National Wildlife Refuges and Areas
      3. State Parks
    3. Mountains & Hills
  6. Events
    1. Animal & Agriculture Events
    2. Culinary Events
    3. Cultural Heritage Events
    4. Exhibit & Lecture Events
    5. Fairs & Festivals
    6. Flower & Garden Events
    7. Oregon Food Trips
    8. Performing Art Events
    9. Snow Sports
    10. Sports Events
    11. Visual Art Events
    12. Volunteer Events
Where
GPS
  1. All Regions
    1. Adams
    2. Adel
    3. Adrian
    4. Agness
    5. Albany
    6. Allegany
    7. Aloha
    8. Alsea
    9. Amity
    10. Antelope
    11. Arch Cape
    12. Arlington
    13. Arock
    14. Ashland
    15. Ashwood
    16. Astoria
    17. Athena
    18. Aumsville
    19. Aurora
    20. Azalea
    21. Baker City
    22. Bandon
    23. Banks
    24. Bates
    25. Bay City
    26. Beatty
    27. Beaver
    28. Beavercreek
    29. Beaverton
    30. Bend
    31. Blachly
    32. Black Butte Ranch
    33. Blodgett
    34. Blue River
    35. Bly
    36. Boardman
    37. Bonanza
    38. Boring
    39. Bridal Veil
    40. Bridgeport
    41. Brightwood
    42. Broadbent
    43. Brogan
    44. Brookings
    45. Brothers
    46. Brownsville
    47. Burns
    48. Butte Falls
    49. Buxton
    50. Camas Valley
    51. Camp Sherman
    52. Canby
    53. Cannon Beach
    54. Canyon City
    55. Canyonville
    56. Carlton
    57. Cascade Locks
    58. Cascadia
    59. Cave Junction
    60. Central Point
    61. Charleston
    62. Chemult
    63. Cheshire
    64. Chiloquin
    65. Christmas Valley
    66. Clackamas
    67. Clatskanie
    68. Cloverdale
    69. Colton
    70. Condon
    71. Coos Bay
    72. Coquille
    73. Corbett
    74. Cornelius
    75. Corvallis
    76. Cottage Grove
    77. Cove
    78. Crabtree
    79. Crane
    80. Crawfordsville
    81. Crescent
    82. Crescent Lake
    83. Creswell
    84. Crooked River
    85. Culp Creek
    86. Culver
    87. Curtin
    88. Dairy
    89. Dallas
    90. Days Creek
    91. Dayton
    92. Dayville
    93. Deadwood
    94. Deer Island
    95. Depoe Bay
    96. Detroit
    97. Dexter
    98. Diamond
    99. Diamond Lake
    100. Dillard
    101. Donald
    102. Dorena
    103. Drain
    104. Drewsey
    105. Dufur
    106. Dundee
    107. Durkee
    108. Eagle Creek
    109. Eagle Point
    110. Echo
    111. Eddyville
    112. Elgin
    113. Elkton
    114. Elmira
    115. Enterprise
    116. Estacada
    117. Eugene
    118. Fairview
    119. Fall Creek
    120. Falls City
    121. Fields
    122. Florence
    123. Forest Grove
    124. Fort Klamath
    125. Fort Rock
    126. Fossil
    127. Fox
    128. Frenchglen
    129. Gales Creek
    130. Grandview
    131. Gardiner
    132. Garibaldi
    133. Gaston
    134. Gates
    135. Gearhart
    136. Gervais
    137. Gilchrist
    138. Gladstone
    139. Glendale
    140. Gleneden Beach
    141. Glide
    142. Gold Beach
    143. Gold Hill
    144. Government Camp
    145. Grand Ronde
    146. Grants Pass
    147. Grass Valley
    148. Gresham
    149. Haines
    150. Halfway
    151. Halsey
    152. Hammond
    153. Harbor
    154. Harper
    155. Harrisburg
    156. Hauser
    157. Hebo
    158. Helix
    159. Heppner
    160. Hereford
    161. Hermiston
    162. Hillsboro
    163. Hines
    164. Hood River
    165. Hubbard
    166. Huntington
    167. Idanha
    168. Idleyld Park
    169. Imbler
    170. Imnaha
    171. Independence
    172. Ione
    173. Ironside
    174. Irrigon
    175. Jacksonville
    176. Jamieson
    177. Jefferson
    178. John Day
    179. Jordan Valley
    180. Joseph
    181. Junction City
    182. Juntura
    183. Keizer
    184. Keno
    185. Kent
    186. Kerby
    187. Kimberly
    188. Klamath Falls
    189. La Grande
    190. La Pine
    191. Lafayette
    192. Lake Oswego
    193. Lakeside
    194. Lakeview
    195. Langlois
    196. Leaburg
    197. Lebanon
    198. Lexington
    199. Lincoln City
    200. Logsden
    201. Long Creek
    202. Lorane
    203. Lostine
    204. Lowell
    205. Lyons
    206. Madras
    207. Malin
    208. Manning
    209. Manzanita
    210. Mapleton
    211. Marcola
    212. Marion
    213. Marylhurst
    214. Maupin
    215. McKenzie Bridge
    216. McMinnville
    217. Meacham
    218. Medford
    219. Mehama
    220. Merlin
    221. Merrill
    222. Metolius
    223. Midland
    224. Mikkalo
    225. Mill City
    226. Milton Freewater
    227. Milwaukie
    228. Mitchell
    229. Molalla
    230. Monmouth
    231. Monroe
    232. Monument
    233. Moro
    234. Mosier
    235. Mount Angel
    236. Mount Vernon
    237. Mulino
    238. Murphy
    239. Myrtle Creek
    240. Myrtle Point
    241. Nehalem
    242. Neotsu
    243. Neskowin
    244. Netarts
    245. New Pine Creek
    246. Newberg
    247. Newport
    248. North Bend
    249. North Plains
    250. North Powder
    251. Noti
    252. Nyssa
    253. Oakland
    254. Oakridge
    255. O'Brien
    256. Oceanside
    257. Odell
    258. Ontario
    259. Ophir
    260. Oregon City
    261. Otis
    262. Oxbow
    263. Pacific City
    264. Paisley
    265. Parkdale
    266. Paulina
    267. Pendleton
    268. Philomath
    269. Phoenix
    270. Pilot Rock
    271. Pleasant Hill
    272. Plush
    273. Port Orford
    274. Portland
    275. Post
    276. Powell Butte
    277. Powers
    278. Prairie City
    279. Princeton
    280. Prineville
    281. Prospect
    282. Rainier
    283. Redmond
    284. Reedsport
    285. Remote
    286. Rhododendron
    287. Rice Hill
    288. Richland
    289. Rickreall
    290. Riddle
    291. Riley
    292. Ritter
    293. Riverside
    294. Rockaway Beach
    295. Rogue River
    296. Rose Lodge
    297. Roseburg
    298. Rufus
    299. Saginaw
    300. Salem
    301. Sandy
    302. Scappoose
    303. Scio
    304. Scotts Mills
    305. Scottsburg
    306. Seal Rock
    307. Seaside
    308. Selma
    309. Seneca
    310. Shady Cove
    311. Shaniko
    312. Shedd
    313. Sheridan
    314. Sherwood
    315. Siletz
    316. Silver Lake
    317. Silverton
    318. Sisters
    319. Sixes
    320. South Beach
    321. Sprague River
    322. Spray
    323. Springfield
    324. St. Benedict
    325. St. Helens
    326. St. Paul
    327. Stanfield
    328. Stayton
    329. Steamboat
    330. Sublimity
    331. Summer Lake
    332. Summerville
    333. Sumpter
    334. Sunriver
    335. Sutherlin
    336. Sweet Home
    337. Swisshome
    338. Talent
    339. Tangent
    340. Tenmile
    341. Terrebonne
    342. The Dalles
    343. Thurston
    344. Tidewater
    345. Tigard
    346. Tillamook
    347. Tiller
    348. Timber
    349. Timberline Lodge
    350. Toledo
    351. Tolovana Park
    352. Trail
    353. Troutdale
    354. Tualatin
    355. Turner
    356. Tygh Valley
    357. Ukiah
    358. Umatilla
    359. Umpqua
    360. Union
    361. Unity
    362. Vale
    363. Veneta
    364. Vernonia
    365. Vida
    366. Waldport
    367. Wallowa
    368. Walterville
    369. Walton
    370. Warm Springs
    371. Warren
    372. Warrenton
    373. Wasco
    374. Wedderburn
    375. Welches
    376. West Linn
    377. Westfall
    378. Westfir
    379. Westlake/Dunes City
    380. Weston
    381. Wheeler
    382. White City
    383. Wilbur
    384. Wilderville
    385. Willamina
    386. Williams
    387. Wilsonville
    388. Winchester
    389. Winchester Bay
    390. Winston
    391. Wolf Creek
    392. Wood Village
    393. Woodburn
    394. Yachats
    395. Yamhill
    396. Yoncalla
    397. Zigzag
  2. Central Oregon
    1. Antelope
    2. Ashwood
    3. Bend
    4. Black Butte Ranch
    5. Brothers
    6. Camp Sherman
    7. Crooked River
    8. Culver
    9. Grandview
    10. La Pine
    11. Madras
    12. Maupin
    13. Metolius
    14. Paulina
    15. Post
    16. Powell Butte
    17. Prineville
    18. Redmond
    19. Shaniko
    20. Sisters
    21. Sunriver
    22. Terrebonne
    23. Tygh Valley
    24. Warm Springs
  3. Eastern Oregon
    1. Adams
    2. Adrian
    3. Arlington
    4. Arock
    5. Athena
    6. Baker City
    7. Bates
    8. Boardman
    9. Bridgeport
    10. Brogan
    11. Burns
    12. Canyon City
    13. Condon
    14. Cove
    15. Crane
    16. Dayville
    17. Diamond
    18. Drewsey
    19. Durkee
    20. Echo
    21. Elgin
    22. Enterprise
    23. Fields
    24. Fossil
    25. Fox
    26. Frenchglen
    27. Grass Valley
    28. Haines
    29. Halfway
    30. Harper
    31. Helix
    32. Heppner
    33. Hereford
    34. Hermiston
    35. Hines
    36. Huntington
    37. Imbler
    38. Imnaha
    39. Ione
    40. Ironside
    41. Irrigon
    42. Jamieson
    43. John Day
    44. Jordan Valley
    45. Joseph
    46. Juntura
    47. Kent
    48. Kimberly
    49. La Grande
    50. Lexington
    51. Long Creek
    52. Lostine
    53. Meacham
    54. Mikkalo
    55. Milton Freewater
    56. Mitchell
    57. Monument
    58. Moro
    59. Mount Vernon
    60. North Powder
    61. Nyssa
    62. Ontario
    63. Oxbow
    64. Pendleton
    65. Pilot Rock
    66. Prairie City
    67. Princeton
    68. Richland
    69. Riley
    70. Ritter
    71. Riverside
    72. Rufus
    73. Seneca
    74. Spray
    75. Stanfield
    76. Summerville
    77. Sumpter
    78. Ukiah
    79. Umatilla
    80. Union
    81. Unity
    82. Vale
    83. Wallowa
    84. Wasco
    85. Westfall
    86. Weston
  4.   The Wallowas
    1. Baker City
    2. Enterprise
    3. Joseph
    4. La Grande
    5. Union
  5. Greater Portland
    1. Aloha
    2. Banks
    3. Beavercreek
    4. Beaverton
    5. Buxton
    6. Clackamas
    7. Clatskanie
    8. Colton
    9. Cornelius
    10. Deer Island
    11. Forest Grove
    12. Gales Creek
    13. Gaston
    14. Gladstone
    15. Gresham
    16. Hillsboro
    17. Lake Oswego
    18. Manning
    19. Marylhurst
    20. Milwaukie
    21. North Plains
    22. Oregon City
    23. Portland
    24. Rainier
    25. Scappoose
    26. Sherwood
    27. St. Helens
    28. Tigard
    29. Timber
    30. Tualatin
    31. Vernonia
    32. Warren
    33. West Linn
  6. Mt. Hood / The Gorge
    1. Boring
    2. Bridal Veil
    3. Brightwood
    4. Cascade Locks
    5. Corbett
    6. Dufur
    7. Eagle Creek
    8. Estacada
    9. Fairview
    10. Government Camp
    11. Hood River
    12. Mosier
    13. Odell
    14. Parkdale
    15. Rhododendron
    16. Sandy
    17. The Dalles
    18. Timberline Lodge
    19. Troutdale
    20. Welches
    21. Wood Village
    22. Zigzag
  7.   Mt. Hood
    1. Estacada
    2. Fairview
    3. Government Camp
    4. Parkdale
    5. Rhododendron
    6. Sandy
    7. Timberline Lodge
    8. Troutdale
    9. Welches
    10. Wood Village
    11. Zigzag
  8.   The Columbia River Gorge
    1. Cascade Locks
    2. Corbett
    3. Eagle Creek
    4. Hood River
    5. Mosier
    6. Odell
    7. The Dalles
  9. Oregon Coast
    1. Agness
    2. Allegany
    3. Arch Cape
    4. Astoria
    5. Bandon
    6. Bay City
    7. Beaver
    8. Blodgett
    9. Broadbent
    10. Brookings
    11. Cannon Beach
    12. Charleston
    13. Cloverdale
    14. Coos Bay
    15. Coquille
    16. Depoe Bay
    17. Eddyville
    18. Elkton
    19. Florence
    20. Garibaldi
    21. Gearhart
    22. Gleneden Beach
    23. Gold Beach
    24. Hammond
    25. Harbor
    26. Hauser
    27. Hebo
    28. Lakeside
    29. Langlois
    30. Lincoln City
    31. Logsden
    32. Manzanita
    33. Mapleton
    34. Myrtle Point
    35. Nehalem
    36. Neotsu
    37. Neskowin
    38. Netarts
    39. Newport
    40. North Bend
    41. Oceanside
    42. Ophir
    43. Otis
    44. Pacific City
    45. Port Orford
    46. Powers
    47. Reedsport
    48. Remote
    49. Rockaway Beach
    50. Rose Lodge
    51. Seal Rock
    52. Seaside
    53. Siletz
    54. Sixes
    55. South Beach
    56. Tidewater
    57. Tillamook
    58. Toledo
    59. Tolovana Park
    60. Waldport
    61. Warrenton
    62. Wedderburn
    63. Westlake/Dunes City
    64. Wheeler
    65. Winchester Bay
    66. Yachats
  10.   Wild Rivers Coast
    1. Bandon
    2. Brookings
    3. Gold Beach
    4. Langlois
    5. Port Orford
  11.   Yachats, Waldport and Seal Rock
    1. Seal Rock
    2. Waldport
    3. Yachats
  12. Southern Oregon
    1. Adel
    2. Ashland
    3. Azalea
    4. Beatty
    5. Bly
    6. Bonanza
    7. Butte Falls
    8. Camas Valley
    9. Canyonville
    10. Cave Junction
    11. Central Point
    12. Chemult
    13. Chiloquin
    14. Christmas Valley
    15. Crescent
    16. Crescent Lake
    17. Curtin
    18. Dairy
    19. Days Creek
    20. Diamond Lake
    21. Dillard
    22. Drain
    23. Eagle Point
    24. Fort Klamath
    25. Fort Rock
    26. Gardiner
    27. Gilchrist
    28. Glendale
    29. Glide
    30. Gold Hill
    31. Grants Pass
    32. Idleyld Park
    33. Jacksonville
    34. Keno
    35. Kerby
    36. Klamath Falls
    37. Lakeview
    38. Malin
    39. Medford
    40. Merlin
    41. Merrill
    42. Midland
    43. Murphy
    44. Myrtle Creek
    45. New Pine Creek
    46. O'Brien
    47. Oakland
    48. Paisley
    49. Phoenix
    50. Plush
    51. Prospect
    52. Rice Hill
    53. Riddle
    54. Rogue River
    55. Roseburg
    56. Selma
    57. Shady Cove
    58. Silver Lake
    59. Sprague River
    60. Steamboat
    61. Summer Lake
    62. Sutherlin
    63. Talent
    64. Tenmile
    65. Tiller
    66. Trail
    67. Umpqua
    68. White City
    69. Wilbur
    70. Wilderville
    71. Williams
    72. Winchester
    73. Winston
    74. Wolf Creek
    75. Yoncalla
  13. Willamette Valley
    1. Albany
    2. Alsea
    3. Amity
    4. Aumsville
    5. Aurora
    6. Blachly
    7. Blue River
    8. Brownsville
    9. Canby
    10. Carlton
    11. Cascadia
    12. Cheshire
    13. Corvallis
    14. Cottage Grove
    15. Crabtree
    16. Crawfordsville
    17. Creswell
    18. Culp Creek
    19. Dallas
    20. Dayton
    21. Deadwood
    22. Detroit
    23. Dexter
    24. Donald
    25. Dorena
    26. Dundee
    27. Elmira
    28. Eugene
    29. Fall Creek
    30. Falls City
    31. Gates
    32. Gervais
    33. Grand Ronde
    34. Halsey
    35. Harrisburg
    36. Hubbard
    37. Idanha
    38. Independence
    39. Jefferson
    40. Junction City
    41. Keizer
    42. Lafayette
    43. Leaburg
    44. Lebanon
    45. Lorane
    46. Lowell
    47. Lyons
    48. Marcola
    49. Marion
    50. McKenzie Bridge
    51. McMinnville
    52. Mehama
    53. Mill City
    54. Molalla
    55. Monmouth
    56. Monroe
    57. Mount Angel
    58. Mulino
    59. Newberg
    60. Noti
    61. Oakridge
    62. Philomath
    63. Pleasant Hill
    64. Rickreall
    65. Saginaw
    66. Salem
    67. Scio
    68. Scotts Mills
    69. Scottsburg
    70. Shedd
    71. Sheridan
    72. Silverton
    73. Springfield
    74. St. Benedict
    75. St. Paul
    76. Stayton
    77. Sublimity
    78. Sweet Home
    79. Swisshome
    80. Tangent
    81. Thurston
    82. Turner
    83. Veneta
    84. Vida
    85. Walterville
    86. Walton
    87. Westfir
    88. Willamina
    89. Wilsonville
    90. Woodburn
    91. Yamhill
When
to
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  Category Rating

Is May it a good time to hike Crater Lake?

First things first: Winter rules Crater Lake National Park. It can start closing seasonal roads in mid-October and last through June. An average year sees 44 feet of snow dropped on the park. Obviously 2015 hasn’t been an average year. So with that in mind, things can change dramatically but if I were to place a bet… I think it will be open. You might get cold. But the road should be open. Please review current conditions before your visit. Highway 62 and the road to Rim Village (Munson Valley Road) are plowed and open all year. However, snowy and icy road conditions can occur anytime, resulting in temporary road closures.

If you’re looking to camp, I’d recommend Mazama Campground and Lost Creek Campground. Both Campground loops and sites open as snow removal progresses. But keep in mind that snowmelt can last through June and while snow persists, mosquitoes may be numerous. And at Crater Lake… they’re pretty numerous. For more on the current weather at Crater Lake, click here.

As far as hiking trails go, this is where things get fun!

There is so much to see and there are so many trails to hike. Here are a few of the best hikes I’ve been on and my all-time favorite hikes near Crater Lake.

  1. Wizard Island:

This hike is unlike anything else. To get started, check the park tour boat schedule and buy a ticket. You’ll begin your hike down the rim to Cleetwood Cove and then ride the boat to Wizard Island. When you get there, you’ll be invited to hike to the 6,940-foot top of the island… which will show you how it got its name. Afterwards, you’ll ride the boat back to Cleetwood Cove and hike the steepest part of the outing back to your car. Or you could stay, take in the sunset, swim in the clear, icy-blue water or have a picnic on the rocks.

  1. Pacific Crest Trail

Beginning from the west at Seven Lakes trailhead, head toward Devil’s Peak. Or, alternatively, head for the south part of the wilderness and hike the trail up Mount McLoughlin, Southern Oregon’s highest mountain.

  1. Mount Scott

The highest point inside the park is actually Oregon’s 10th highest mountain. Crazy, right?  Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy five-mile round-trip hike that gets lots of use when accessible, which isn’t usually until July through early October.

Other hikes to include:

  1. The Watchman’s Tower
  2. The Pinnacles
  3. Mt. Thielsen

Where is a beautiful place to pop the question?

This is an unusual request, but I’ll do my best! Will you be in the outdoors a lot? Because the most off-the-beaten path locations will probably be outside. On that line of thought, my first idea is Mt. Ashland. Any time of year, the Mt. Ashland access road is accessible, and in spring and summer, it’s possible to hike and picnic up there (or ski in winter). The historic lodge will not be open in the off-season, but if you drive to the end of the parking lot and drive or walk up the dirt road, you can get to a nice trail that leads to the summit (you hike up the back). It’s a beautiful spot for a proposal, and only about a mile hike.

Otherwise, another nice spot is Lithia Park in Ashland. It does get crowded, depending on the weather and day, but if you go to the top of the park (park above the playground and walk up the trail), the upper duck pond area is rarely crowded. In the summer and fall, the stand of trees across the street from the upper duck pond is a nice area, too.

In the Applegate area, any of the wineries on the Applegate Wine Trail are scenic, and often not crowded. It would be easy to take a walk from the tasting area into the vines for a proposal. Hope this helps!

How should we spend 48 hours on the Oregon Coast?

Two days traveling the Oregon Coast means severely limit stopping and spending any time at the many attractions along the 363-mile coastline. Newport or Yachats make a good first overnight stop to explore some of the amazing scenic areas on the Central Oregon Coast. Top scenic attractions to make time for include Devils Punchbowl, Yaquina Head (Newport area) and the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (just south of Yachats)

I would spend my second night in Bandon after a stop at the three amazing State Parks on Cape Arago southwest of Coos Bay. The beach at Bandon is decorated with dramatic rock formations and is one of the most scenic beaches of any adjacent to an Oregon Coast town. You could rejoin I-5 via OR 42 E from Bandon, but if you choose to travel further south along the coast, make time for visiting the Cape Blanco Lighthouse and the viewpoints along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on April 10th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

When are the wildflowers in full bloom?

First blooms usually start appearing around mid to late April, and continuing until the hot (well, hot for Oregon) weather arrives sometime in early July. To catch a nice selection of wildflowers, I would probably suggest sometime in early to mid May. The exception to this is the higher elevations around Mt. Hood, where the lupine usually hit peak in mid to late June. It’s all dependent on weather conditions, and how long it stays cold. I think the wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge are really spectacular in the first couple of weeks of May, when the bleeding hearts are blooming, along with a variety of other things.

Can you help me plan a fabulous but reasonably priced girls weekend?

A girls weekend sounds fabulous! You really can’t go wrong in any part of the Willamette Valley if you’re looking for wine, food and fun. Since you specifically asked about something that’s reasonably priced, I’m going to pass along a few ideas for places to stay that I know are a bit off the beaten path and somewhat easier on the budget.

The Grand Hotel in Salem offers a Wine Trail package that is a good deal. I’ve stayed at the Grand and it’s a very comfortable hotel, and it’s an easy drive to the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, which has absolutely world-class wineries. However, because it’s further from Portland, lodging in this area is a little less expensive — and the wineries may be a little crowded on a weekend (although nothing in Oregon will be crowded compared to wine regions like Napa).

Consider staying at Sweet Cheeks Winery Farmhouse. Since you’re traveling in a group, perhaps a house rental in a vineyard might be fun? Divided out among the members of your group, the price per night is probably lower than booking individual hotel rooms. It’s right next to Sweet Cheeks winery, which is one of my favorite wineries in the South Willamette Valley; lots of other great wineries in this region, including King Estate, which is stunning and has a wonderful winery restaurant which would be great for a special dinner together.

If you’re looking for something budget-friendly in the northern part of the Willamette Valley (Dundee Hills, Carlton, Newberg, McMinnville), which is where many of Oregon’s most famous wineries are, I’d suggest Hotel Oregon. It’s a renovated historic hotel on 3rd Street in downtown McMinnville, and is walking distance to tasting rooms and great restaurants (plus the hotel has a restaurant and four bars onsite!). The rooms in this hotel are European style, which means they are on the smaller side and some of them have shared bathrooms accessed via the hallway (other rooms with private baths are available too). But the rooms are all very nice and decorated with quirky hand-painted murals. I’ve stayed there and had a great time! Plus you really cannot beat the prices at this place for a historic hotel in the heart of Oregon Wine Country.

If you’re still trying to narrow down where to go, check out Oregon Wine Country for info about all of the wineries in the Willamette Valley, including different travel packages and offers.

What is the best way to see Jordan Valley by car?

This is a really great question! I actually took a driving tour through this same area of Oregon at the end of October last fall. So, for starters, I’d say that time is one of the best to go. I don’t think you’d want to go any later than the middle of November (too cold!) and no sooner than August (too hot!).

If you start your road trip near Burns, you can drive through both Malheur and Mud Lakes (they’re not really lakes, more or less dried up lake beds). This area of Oregon is completely different from any other I’ve experienced but it was mesmerizing how big the sky was and how nice the people were. From there, you can continue southeast on the 205 through Frenchglen. I’d recommend staying at the Frenchglen Hotel. It’s a quaint hotel that was built in 1916 by a meat-packing company but now hosts five rooms for guests. Just across the road from the hotel is an awesome wildlife and bird viewing area. I walked around in there for about three hours and didn’t get bored once. Even in late October there were plenty of critters to see and there was a family of bald eagles nesting about 50 yards off the road. It was incredible! After leaving Frenchglen a fun option and short drive to the Pete French Round Barn is really cool. Otherwise, you can drive up to the top of Steens Mountain and look out at the Alvord Desert about 300 feet below you, stretching out for miles.

Other options would be to bypass the mountain road and take a dip in some of the local hot springs. Mickey Hot Springs and the Alvord Hot Springs were great and it only cost $5.00 to check them out and drop my toes in.

If you continue taking HWY 205 SE you’ll find yourself among one of the most jaw=dropping places in Oregon: the Alvord Desert. You can drive over and through it, you can camp in it, you can do just about anything you want to do there. It’s similar to the Salt Flats in Utah but way, way more intensely beautiful. And if you take the Fields-Dieno Road all the way back up to HWY 95 East, you’ll get to the Jordan Valley with some time to spare.

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Can you suggest a trip that allows us to see lots of boats?

There are several choices for good port or fishing towns on the Oregon Coast. On the North Oregon Coast, you could consider Astoria with its working riverfront ranging from fishing boats and international commercial ships to recreational boats and cruise ships. There’s a lovely river walk that allows you to take in the views of boats on the river and in port. The river walk passes a combination of working waterfront businesses and brew pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, along with the amazing Columbia River Maritime Museum that would be a must stop for you. For a luxury stay, you could book a room at the Cannery Pier Hotel that is built on the river pier of a former cannery and you could watch the river traffic from your room. Other options include Victorian bed and breakfasts, downtown boutique hotels or traditional hotels.

On the Central Oregon Coast, I would recommend Newport with its large bay front port on Yaquina Bay. It’s a fun place to walk, offering a unique combination of commercial fish processing along with tourist shops, restaurants and attractions. You’ll find some bay front accommodations and other local attractions are nearby including two historic lighthouses and the world-class Oregon Coast Aquarium. On the bay front, there is a small maritime museum. There are beautiful stretches of beach nearby too! The short day trip to Depoe Bay would allow you to visit the worlds smallest navigable harbor, as well as look for whales at the oceanfront Whale Watch Center.

There are several interesting choices on the South Oregon Coast. I love the character of the small fishing port of Charleston southwest of Coos Bay. Just minutes from the port is a string of three beautiful State Parks on Cape Arago. The Cape Arago Lighthouse can be seen from various viewpoints nearby. Accommodations near Charleston are more limited, but you will find many choices in North Bend and Coos Bay, a major shipping port. I love the town of Bandon for its amazing beach with dramatic rock formations. It has a small port on the Coquille River, but it would make a great base for exploring north to Charleston and south to Port Orford, a small fishing port, but home of the only dry dock port on the West Coast where boats are lifted directly in and out of the ocean’s waters by crane. Bandon makes relaxation time in the evening easy with an Old Town area and riverfront boardwalk where you will find some of the community’s best shopping and dining.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on March 29th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

Are sites in the Gorge accessible to people with limited mobility?

You will find that there are TONS of accessible sights along the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway, including Multnomah Falls. There is an elevator in the historic lodge there and a wheelchair ramp to the main viewing area. The trail is paved all the way to the bridge, but it might be a little steep for someone with limited mobility.

Other waterfalls easily accessible are Latourell, Wahkeena, and Horsetail Falls. All of those areas are paved, and easily seen within a short distance from the road.

Also, make sure to stop at Vista House at Crown Point. There is a wheelchair ramp into the building, and an elevator inside to access the lower floor.

Should we visit Willamette Valley wineries in April or May?

Both April and May are great times to visit wineries in the Willamette Valley, but if I had to pick I’d lean toward May because it’s Oregon Wine Month and many wineries are offering special events and tastings that they don’t offer at other times of the year.

Depending on your preferences, you may or may not want to come on Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day is traditionally the kick-off to the summer season in Oregon Wine Country, and you’ll find lots and lots of special events and fun things going on at almost every vineyard and tasting room in the state.

That said, it may be more crowded that weekend that on other weekends this spring, so it just depends on if you want a fun, vibrant, busy atmosphere, or if you’d rather get a little more personal attention from the wineries you visit. The same holds true a weekday vs. weekend visit. Some of the small boutique wineries in the valley are only open on the weekends, but bigger places are open most days of the week — you’ll want to check websites or call ahead to check on their tasting room hours. On a weekend (especially if it’s sunny) it will be busier at the wineries. If you go on a weekday afternoon, there’s a chance you might be the only guests and will be able to have plenty of time to chat with the winery staff!

Another fun tip: if you’re traveling to Oregon via Alaska Airlines, there is a special program that allows Alaska Airlines passengers to ship Oregon Wine home for free!

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Are there yurts to rent near Crater Lake?

We love Oregon yurts! If you’ll be combining your Crater Lake tour with Oregon coast vacationing, there are a number of great state parks with yurts at your disposal (though reserve far in advance). If not, the closest yurt rentals are at LaPine State park, outside of Bend. However, this park has rustic cabins, not yurts (though you get the same amenities). On the other side of Crater Lake, the closest yurts are at Valley of the Rogue. Each are about 2 hours’ drive from Crater Lake, in different directions.

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