Ask Oregon Questions & Answers

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We’ll be staying in Corvallis for about a week and are most interested in seeing Oregon’s natural wonders. How much could we jam into our itinerary?

I happen to live only 10 miles from Corvallis and love so much about this region so let’s go!

Here are a few links to check out:

Corvallis Tourism
Albany Visitors Association
McDonald Dunn Forest
Mary’s Peak
William Finley National Wildlife Refuge
Gentle Breeze Japanese Garden
Starker Forest
The Oregon Garden
Silver Creek Falls

I know this is a lot to throw at you but seriously, I’ve been to these place and they are totally worth checking out! I am an avid hiker and love the Oregon outdoors as well. So, please feel free to also check out my blog at www.whitebreadandjam.blogspot.com for more ideas and ways to spend your time here.

You could seriously spend just a week in the Benton and Linn County areas around Corvallis however, if you find time and have a day or two, check out our beautiful Oregon Coast! Newport isn’t that far away and the little town of Nye Beach is quaint and right on the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean. You can also take a day trip up to see Multnomah Falls as well. One of Oregon’s most beautiful natural wonders and worthy of a good hike around the falls area. Don’t forget your camera!

Believe me when I say I’ve only tapped the tip of the ice berg with this list. There’s so much more to do and see. So, please let me know if I can provide more ideas of places to visit. Have a great trip and enjoy Oregon!

Answered by Debbie Lusk on September 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Does Portland have any shopping areas with upscale boutiques and cute shops?

Yes! You’ll probably enjoy the Nob Hill area – specifically Northwest 23rd Avenue – it’s a mile or so of cute shops and upscale boutiques.

In downtown Portland, I’d recommend the Pioneer Place Mall. Adjacent to downtown is the Pearl District, which is famous for its upscale boutiques.

Answered by Dave Strom on September 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are your suggestions for a two-day trip in Mt Hood and Columbia River Gorge in October?

I would suggest using Hood River as a base for your two days here. Lots of lodging options, brew pubs, wineries and it’s right on the Columbia River. It’s also a great spot for easy access to the recreation areas of Mount Hood and the Gorge. Mount Hood Adventure is a great company to contact for help with planning horseback riding and other adventure activities.

Downtown Troutdale has a few good restaurants, art galleries, and antique shops. The real attraction in Troutdale is McMenamin’s Edgefield. Several restaurants, glass blowers, bars, and the winery. It’s a destination in itself. It was once a poor farm, and they have restored it to a hotel, along with the other things I previously mentioned. You could easily spend a few hours just wandering from bar to bar and touring the grounds.

Planning a trip to Portland in late March. What is the closest snow ski area that most likely will be open?

The closest skiing to Portland is on Mount Hood, approx 1-1:30 east of Portland. Spring skiing is some the best during the year and your dates are perfect for the spring deals. Ski Bowl and Timberline have what’s called the Fusion pass which is generally priced between $99-$129 and Mount Hood Meadows has a spring pass for about $129. The pass is good till the end of the season, generally mid-May. If you intend on skiing more than one day the pass more than well pays for itself.

Answered by Asit Rathod, Ask Oregon Snow Sports Expert on September 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Is there a short bike ride my girlfriends and I can do to a few wineries as a day trip from Portland?

Here are a couple of companies in Portland to check out:
Pedal Bike Tours
Portland Bicycle Tours

Each of them offer tours of the Willamette Valley via bike, and seem competitively priced.

Also, if you’re interesting in planning your own bike ride, here’s a good article I found that gives some tips. The first tour is a great loop in an area I know pretty well — and very reasonable for time/distance. You’ll also not be far from some other great wineries: Trisaetum, Colene Clemens, Ayres, and Utopia (though they may be harder to access with dirt roads).

Finally, keep in mind that there is a budding cluster of urban wineries in Portland proper, and you could have a fun day tasting wine right in town. Check out the website for this group of in-the-city producers: http://pdxurbanwineries.com/
Hope you have a great trip.

Answered by Ryan Reichert on September 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are the best hikes in the Eagle Cap Wilderness? Are they crowded?

Honestly, I have never had a bad hike in the Eagle Cap because it is big enough to absorb the few people who venture in each summer.

I love Glacier Lake and topping out on Eagle Cap is terrific. Bonney Lakes are at a lower elevation and can be buggy depending on the year. Certainly the Lakes Basin is the most popular camping spot, but again, I’ve never experienced crowds.

Answered by Lynne Curry on August 30th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What is there to see and do in Grants Pass? Are the roads easily accessible?

Grants Pass is the gateway to the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River. As such, it is renowned for its whitewater rafting. For those who prefer to see the river from a motorized craft, there is Hellgate Jetboat Excursions.

Grants Pass also is near Oregon Caves National Monument, the state’s oldest and one of the region’s top attractions. The city’s downtown is popular with antique collectors, and there are lots of wine-tasting opportunities in the nearby Applegate Valley, as well as a Saturday farmers market downtown.

Kids love Wildlife Images in Merlin and the Bear Hotel Artworks Museum. Here are recent stories from the Mail Tribune’s Joy magazine about those attractions: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101020/JOY/10200347&cid=sitesearch and http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110921/JOY/109210348&cid=sitesearch

Grants Pass is about 50 miles north of the California border right off Interstate 5. It also can be reached from the Oregon/California coast via state Highway 199, which is the route to Oregon Caves.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on August 30th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We love sightseeing, wineries and hiking and will be arriving in Portland. Which are the best wineries to visit for a day?

There are many places I would recommend to you, though given your tight schedule, to explore one region in the valley might be your best bet.

I would highly recommend checking out wineries in the Dundee Hills AVA, located near Dundee, OR (right on 99-W). My top picks would be:

• White Rose – ask for Gavin; beautiful, elegant wines.
Winderlea – Reid is a good guy; love their wines.
• Alexana – a newer estate, see if Christie is available; really tasty wines.
• Lange Estate – a family that’s been in the industry since its early days; great wines.

That should be a full day – typically I recommend no more than 3-4 wineries in a day.

Answered by Ryan Reichert on August 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I would like to visit Eastern Oregon. I know it is very remote, so I would like to know the places to see by car. I plan for 3-4 days on the road, after which I will return to Portland. Any suggestions on where to go?

Eastern Oregon is off the beaten path, but you’ve planned the right amount of time for exploring it by car. There are several incredible summer routes, depending on how far you want to venture and your interests.

Here are two dramatic driving routes to check out with key points of interest:

Since you only have a few days, you will probably want to make a loop out of one of these driving routes. I recommend a different stop each night to get the full experience and to lighten the driving load.
I hope you’ll let me know where you go and how it turns out for you.

Answered by Lynne Curry on August 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Your advice on day trips for a family with young children, originating in Eugene?

In Turner, the Enchanted Forest is super fun if you know ahead of time that this ain’t Disney.  In Independence, they have the Wings of Wonder butterfly exhibit.  Evergreen Aviation Museum is fun and the Wings and Waves Waterpark is like nothing else!

In Salem there is the A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery House Children’s Museum. Silver Falls is pretty to hike.  Splash! Lively Swim Park in Springfield has a wave pool, water slide and lots of other cool things.

There is also a roller rink in Springfield and Cascades Raptor Center is in Eugene. Fir Point Farms has goats that climb into trees to eat! Where else are you going to find that?  I love this list as it provides so many activities that involve nature.

If you happen to make it to the Wings of Wonder exhibit, please also stop in Albany, where you find the sweetest Carousel Museum and Carving Studio. Take the tour and see the animals coming to life step by step.  You may see carvers hand carving the animals, painters and more volunteers bringing this project to its eventual ending and assembly in about 5 years.

Answered by Debbie Lusk on August 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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