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We’re taking a roadtrip from California to Oregon. I would like to do the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway and stay there for a few days to really enjoy it. I would like to stay around the area for 3-4 days, to do some rafting, and definitely hiking and see all the waterfalls. If we can also visit some wineries along the way that would be great. – Priscilla N.

I live right on this scenic byway and can attest to its beauty. It’s indeed worth a few days of your time.

This byway is named for two rivers: the Rogue (in my backyard) and the Umpqua. Of the two, the Rogue is regarded more for its rafting. The Medford Mail Tribune readers picked Noah’s River Adventures as their favorite guide service last year in an annual poll.

There are many other companies in Jackson and Josephine counties that operate rafting trips. If you’re driving Highway 1 up from California, you should take Highway 199 into Oregon, and you will pass right by Grants Pass, a major jumping-off point for river trips and the gateway to the Rogue’s Wild and Scenic section.

You’ll want to do your wine tasting early on, as most wineries on the byway are in the Gold Hill/Sams Valley areas. Del Rio is one of the area’s best, just a couple of miles from Gold Hill, where the byway begins. Folin and Cliff Creek cellars and Agate Ridge all are in the Sams Valley area, which surrounds the byway near the Table Rocks. Make sure to stop for a hike on these mesas, locals’ favorite hiking trails.

Finally, Crater Lake Cellars in Shady Cove is one of the last stops on the area’s wine-tasting trail. See the Mail Tribune’s complete guide to wine tasting in the region.

As far as lodging goes, there is a variety, from hotels and country inns to camping. The Edgewater Inn in Shady Cove has reasonably nice accommodations. Between that town and Diamond Lake, Prospect Hotel is about the only lodging.

Additionally, here is a story from the Mail Tribune about a few of the waterfalls on the byway.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on April 19th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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Can you offer a couple of Oregon IPA’s I must try? – Kevin J.

These kinds of questions are always rough to answer, but I’ll give it a shot. The trouble is, IPAs are so variable that opinions invariably vary. But you didn’t ask me to waffle, so here goes.

I personally have three favorites, for different reasons:

  • India Pelican Ale from Pelican. As an all-arounder, it’s hard to beat. Lots of sticky, resinous hopping, but it’s bright and not overly heavy. The hoppy aromas and flavors are intense but not overwhelming.
  • Double Mountain Vaporizer. A recent phenomenon in Oregon has been the “Summer IPA”–an all-pilsner malt, light-bodied IPA that has all kinds of zesty, refreshing hops. Vaporizer is single-hopped with US Challengers, and it is ideal on a hot day. (Draft only.)
  • Fort George Vortex. Sometimes you are looking to be overwhelmed, to have your eyelids pasted back in your skull as a green flame of hop intensity screams down your throat. Vortex is my go-to in those situations.
  • Ninkasi does two nice beers, as well. Total Domination is their lively regular IPA and Maiden the Shade is their summer IPA. Terminal Gravity’s venerable IPA is still amazing. And, if you’re looking to go imperial, I’d suggest Hopworks Ace of Spades or Hair of the Dog Blue Dot.

Sound good?
Jeff

Answered by Jeff Alworth, Ask Oregon Beer Expert on March 12th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

If I plan to do the coast ride by myself, what would you recommend to prepare for the trip from North – South on Rt. 101?

The Oregon coast is a pretty fantastic stretch of coastline, complete with a ton of off-bike adventures and amenities to make the whole thing enjoyable. Late September/Early October would be a nice time–after the summer rush, but before the weather really starts to get inhospitable to long days of pedaling.

I’ll say right off I had a hard time finding info on a company that just offers gear shuttling for a ride like yours. There are certainly many companies that offer guided, supported trips, but as far as a shuttle service, this was the only one I found. It comes highly recommended.

For lodging, you’ll do best to look at your route first, estimate your daily mileage, and focus your searching on the towns you want to stay in. It’s worth looking at VRBO.com to see if there are some smaller, private rentals that might be available, since that’s always a nice way to go, but can also be impractical for single night stays.

Here are some recommendations for coast lodging, dining, and things to see/do.

From an overall planning point of view, here are a few great links you might find helpful:

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Bike Routes (note the link to Oregon Coast Bike Route)

Great Oregon rides around the state (be sure to look at the resource links)

Answered by Otis Rubottom, Ask Oregon Cycling Expert on March 12th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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I’m looking for a 5-star place to stay for one night as close as possible to the California border, but I can’t seem to find anything.

If on I-5, stay in Ashland at the Ashland Creek Inn. Tu Tu Tun in Gold Beach is close to California on the map but a long drive on rural roads.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on March 12th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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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

We will be there in early June this year. Any suggestions for special places to see or extra special things to do during this time?

June is the very best time to visit the Zumualt Preserve, the vast prairielands owned by The Nature Conservancy in northeastern Oregon. Along with native wildflower species, you’ll see raptors of all kinds and it is sanctuary for elk and wolves, too. June is also when the Grande Ronde River is really flowing, offering a great ride for anyone who wants to adventure through some of the most wild and scenic places in all of Oregon.

We are trying to plan a trip for later this year. We want to take in some more of Portland’s best, especially the scenic aspects of the Oregon Coast and perhaps some other spectacular sites (we love state and Nat’l Parks, great landscapes, farmland, trees, green space, etc.). We’re also trying to figure out how many days to try to set aside (5 – 12 days, max).

Highway 101 runs along the entire Oregon coast, from Washington State to California. There are state parks worth visiting along the entire stretch. Especially scenic are the stretches between Cannon Beach and Manzanita on the North Coast, and near Coos Bay on the South Coast (especially Shore Acres State Park).

If you’re also interested in history, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park  on the North Coast is fantastic, and also includes beautiful scenery. Astoria, Oregon, on the very NW tip of the state is a great place to start exploring the coast.

Closer to Portland, you might want to plan to visit Oregon’s wine country for rolling hills, beautiful farm land, and of course picturesque wineries! Learn more here.

Also not far from Portland, the Columbia River Gorge has some of the most impressive landscapes in the state.

Answered by Dave Strom on March 8th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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I’m looking to plan an anniversary trip for last week in July. Would like to stay somewhere near the coast that includes breakfast and would like to be close to horseback ride options. Other interests would be wine tasting and zoos/aquariums. Any Ideas?

One great trip is to fly into Portland, and drive through Oregon wine country (look around Yamhill County, and Hwy. 18), do a few tastings and maybe stay one night on the way. Try this site.

Then, arrive at the coast and head south, to Newport, which is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Here’s one B & B I’ve heard great things about. About 10 miles south of there, near Waldport, is a great little spot called the Cliff House. The owners’ names are Bud and Sharon.

Answered by Travel Oregon Staff on March 7th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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