Ask Oregon Questions & Answers
Portland is surrounded by the beautiful ocean and the mountains, plus there are so many get restaurants and shops in the city that you would surely appreciate staying a few more days to explore the NW.
Here are some suggestions:
Get lost in Powell’s books, the largest new and used bookstore in the world.
Go see the symphony or a concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Hall
Schedule a walking tour to see the Best of Portland, Epicurean Excursion, Flavor Street (food cart tour) or the Chocolate Decadence tour.
Best Pizza: Ken’s Artisan Pizza
French: Le Pigoen
Seafood: Woodsman Tavern
Brunch: Clyde Commons
Happy Hour: Portland City Grill (best view of the city)
If you rent a car:
Visit one of the 32 wineries near Portland.
The coast is only a 1.5 hour drive. Cannon Beach has great restaurants and shops.
I actually just answered a similar question, so you’re not alone in your love of lakes! For a family that size, I would suggest renting cabins at either Lake of the Woods or Fish Lake, both located on Highway 140 between Medford and Klamath Falls. Both have rustic cabins situated around the lake, and both have nice swimming, fishing, and kayaking onsite. You can also find hiking trails in the nearby Sky Lakes Wilderness. Book early, as these resorts do fill up fast for summer!
If you want something a bit more comfy, I’d recommend The Running Y Ranch in Klamath, though the lake it’s on (Klamath Lake) does not offer any swimming. Have fun!
4-5 days in Oregon might not be enough for your mountain-seeking soul, but we’ll work with what we’ve got. From Portland, your options are endless. If you just want to see a mountain, you can hike up to Pittock Mansion through Forest Park and you’ll be able to see Mt. St. Helens, the tip of Mt. Adams, and a very prominent Mt. Hood.
But if you want to get closer, you can drive a short 45-minutes toward Mt. Hood on Highway 35. My favorite hikes with breathtaking views of Mt. Hood include:
If it’s alpine lakes and waterfalls you’re interested in finding, here are my favorites:
…and that’s just the Mt. Hood side.
If you wanted to take a day hike through the Columbia River Gorge (45 minutes from downtown Portland), I’d recommend:
If you have any questions about any of these, I’m happy to help.
I hope you have the best trip to Oregon!
Thanks a lot,
Another recommendation that is family and kid-friendly is Camp Dakota Adventures. They offer 6 different zip lines as well as a Challenge Course for you and your family to navigate your way through the tress, over barriers and between ropes.
If you have any more questions, I’m happy to help, so please let me know!
Thanks a lot,
I actually just attended the Oregon Truffle Festival last month, which is an amazing event if you want to learn more about truffle hunting when it comes around again next January. I learned a little bit about truffle-hunting, but you’ll probably have to seek out a true pro for expert advice. Here’s what I can tell you:
*Oregon white truffles grow underneath Douglas fir trees. They like stands of trees that are between 15-30 years old. I am not aware of a white Douglas fir variety (though I’m not a botanist!) There is a tree known as the white fir, but that is a different species. White fir: http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_abco.pdf; Douglas fir: http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_psme.pdf
*They can be anywhere near the root system of the tree, so yes, they can be farther out from the tree. They can be anywhere from an inch under the soil to much deeper.
*They are in season now although it may be tapering off. They are ripe in the winter months and tend to be at their peak around January.
*As far as where to hunt them around Cottage Grove, I’d contact your local forest service office to find out about public lands where you can hunt them. You have to be careful about hunting them on private land—make sure you have permission from the land owner before you go out. Some private land owners have contracts with professional truffle hunters and lease the foraging rights on their land.
Cottage Grove Ranger District: 541-767-5000. Also, truffle hunting now requires a permit, so talk to your ranger about that as well.
Here is a great video that will give you a visual and a ton of good information about what Oregon truffle-hunting looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zkv0KKJbYg
The gentleman featured in the video is Jack Czarnecki, owner of Oregon Truffle Oil and an expert on Oregon truffles.
Another good resource if you want to learn is to go out on a foray with a professional hunter, like Kris Jacobsen of Umami Truffle Dogs in Eugene. (http://umamitruffledogs.com/) The other benefit hiring a truffle guide to take you out is that many of them use a dog to hunt. When you hunt with a dog, vs. raking, you are guaranteed to find ripe truffles, because the ripe ones give off the aroma that attracts animals. (Unripe truffles may ripen over time if stored in a container in the fridge, but ripe truffles have the true truffle aroma and are immediately ready for use).
I was lucky enough to go out on a truffle hunt at the truffle festival this year, and it was a really neat experience. Good luck to you—I hope you find some!
Rockaway Beach makes a good base for exploring the coast north and south with several great accessible attractions for the elderly or those with mobility issues. A good day trip north would include taking in the amazing highway-side viewpoints on Neahkahnie Mountain north of Manzanita and a visit to Ecola State Park where amazing viewpoints are just steps away and paved walking paths lead to more stunning views. Cannon Beach and Manzanita are small beach towns that are easy to explore.
To the south of Rockaway Beach, the day trip to Cape Meares is my favorite, offering great views just off the parking area and paved paths that lead to a lighthouse. The Three Capes Scenic route can make an extended day trip including Cape Meares, Cape Lookout State Park and Cape Kiwanda at Pacific City.
One of the most popular activities in the Rockaway Beach area is crabbing which you will find just to the north on Nehalem Bay. Local marinas offer crab ring rentals and bait. You can crab from the docks or rent a boat, then have your catch cooked up dockside for the freshest crab dinner ever.
Hi! You’re in for a treat. Central Oregon in September is so beautiful.
I have several recommendations for you. Don’t miss the High Desert Museum, which presents natural and cultural history and also has live animals on site. For hiking, try Smith Rock State Park, the Deschutes River Trail, or the Cascade Lakes region. Tumalo Falls is near Bend and easy to access. The Newberry National Monument offers cool volcanic history and views as well as a waterfall, Paulina Falls.
Take a stroll through Sisters - a fun little town with Western flair. Many events take place in Sisters in September, too. There is a ton of great dining in the area – try the Old Mill District or downtown in Bend for starters.
What else do you want to know? Have a great time!
Which state park has the best oceanside site for tent camping? Looking for great views and beach access.
I would have to go with Cape Lookout State Park on the North Oregon Coast. RV spaces are more toward the center of the park and the beachfront sites are dedicated to tents. You will find a link to the campground map on the Cape Lookout page of the Oregon State Parks website.
While in Southern Oregon, I recommend spending time in the quaint town of Ashland, taking in a Shakespearean theater production or dining at one of the many farm-to-fork restaurants. If time permits, a day trip to Crater Lake National Park is a must: the route from Ashland (or anywhere in Southern Oregon) will take you past Union Creek and several lava tube sections of the Rogue River. During the warm months, I recommend a day on the Rogue River, rafting or fishing, and in winter, various snow sports are on tap at Mt. Ashland.
If you’re into breweries, Medford and Ashland have several great locations, such as Caldera and Standing Stone, or if wine’s more your thing, I recommend a day on the Applegate Wine Trail (outside historic Jacksonville). If you let me know your interests, I know I could tailor my answer to you better!
A free permit is required from the Forest Service, even if you are only planning on harvesting a small amount for your personal use. My best advice is to ask the rangers when you stop in the Ranger Station to get your permit. I usually go to the Zig Zag Ranger station to do this. All that is required is a valid photo ID.
Be aware that there are some areas off limits to picking, as they are reserved to Warm Springs tribal members due to treaty rights. These areas are generally well marked. The rangers can also help you with this, and even provide maps.
If you aren’t interested in picking, there is generally a stand in the parking lot next to Charburger in Cascade Locks that sells them during the season. You may also be interested in the Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival.
However, my favorite place to find huckleberries is in one of the famous milkshakes from the Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp.
|Mt Hood & Columbia Gorge|