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We are making a trip from Morro Bay, California to Portland, Oregon. We will be traveling in a motorhome with two 13-year-old boys and three adults, as well as two small dogs. What would you suggest we see and do? We will be leaving Morro Bay on April 6 and need to return to Morro Bay on April 15.

I can’t speak highly enough of Oregon Caves. A recent article in the Mail Tribune newspaper highlighted that the monument, along with Crater Lake, are among visitors’ favorites.

I gather that if you’re driving inland to the caves, you’ll be taking Interstate 5 north. If that’s the case, consider a 10-minute detour south from Grants Pass to stay at Valley of the Rogue State park, one of Oregon’s premiere campgrounds. It’s right on the banks of the Rogue River and has extensive and very well maintained facilities.

If you were visiting in summer, I would suggest continuing on to Crater Lake, Oregon’s only national park, but snow can make the park difficult to access this time of year. If you’re up for a snow day, though, the park rangers offer free snowshoe hikes on the weekends and provide the snowshoes.

If you decide to travel that way, take Highway 97 to central Oregon then Highway 26 through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and Mount Hood National Forest to Portland.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on March 6th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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I have extra time between business meetings in Portland, where’s a great spot to get in 18 holes?

Just outside of downtown Portland are several high quality courses that are fully equipped to greet  the “spontaneous golfer” with rental clubs and needed gear. Pumpkin Ridge and The Reserve are west of the city and both clubs have hosted several PGA and USGA Professional tournaments. Langdon Farms, which is just south of Portland proper too provides a great golf experience and solid test of play. All three courses are open to he public and will help you take advance of a free afternoon for golf.

Answered by Noel Lucky, Ask Oregon Golf Expert on March 2nd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Planing on going to Bend next weekend. Know any good nature places to go to with a nice view?

There are many nature places with great views around here! Some of my favorites are covered in snow at the moment – Tumalo Mountain is one. But Pilot Butte State Park is right in Bend and offers great 360 degree views of the city, mountains, desert and surounds. Up north a bit, Smith Rock State Park is a superbly beautiful natural area with incredible views, also of the mountains and desert as well as the Crooked River. Let me know if you have any other questions or want more info! Have a great time!

I am getting married in late May, and would like to find an Oregon Coast beach that is a little more private than the average state park, as well as offers a little protection from the gusty coastal winds.

A lot of people get married at the Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, because the pub has a special room that opens into their own “beach” adjacent to Cape Kiwanda State Park. It’s not secluded, but it does have great food and an easy place to duck into, in case the weather is terrible. And very good beer.

Outside of that, I would suggest:

  1. Oceanside — a small village, with a nice restaurant called Roseanna’s nearby. A few small hotels and vacation rentals nearby. There is a small oceanview community clubhouse there.
  2. Short Beach — This is a small, secluded beach with a lot of stairs, but it’s very scenic. My story about it here , and here’s the website by the man who created the groovy stairs.
  3. Tierra del Mar — This spot just north of Pacific City is not tightly protected, but it is in the lee of Cape Kiwanda, so it can be less windy (sometimes). What it does have is easy access. Unlike Short Beach, with lots of stairs, at Tierra del Mar you can drive right onto the beach, and even if you park on the highway it’s an easy, low beach access.

Officially, you are supposed to have a permit. If you want one, contact the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation at 800-551-6949 or 541-265-8179 for permits.

Good luck!

Answered by Niki Price on February 16th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I may be going through Portland to visit wine shops. Any recommendations, hidden little gems?

In Portland proper you should definitely check out ENSO Winery. Also, Liner & Elsen Wines does some excellent tastings on the weekends in NW Portland. Safe travels and happy tasting!

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Need Oregon winery recommendations for a colleague traveling to Portland area soon…suggestions?

Favorites: J.K. Carriere WinesTrisaetum, Seven of Hearts Wine, Anderson Family, Ghost Hill and Vidon. I also recommend the Carlton Winemakers Studio, several small production labels: Brittan and Retour and, for a handy (albeit not to scale) map of everything, have her check this site.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I am looking to do a trek across Oregon to visit all the historical landmarks. What places are a must see?

I’d start in Baker City and move west! Good start for historical landmarks: Flickr group.

Answered by John Chilson, Ask Oregon History Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I’ve been looking around Portland for a place that dishes up biscuits and gravy with a bite to it. Do you know a place that makes it with spicy sausage or something?

Hmm, not sure how that any are particularly spicy, but they make darn good biscuits and gravy at these places, and you can always top them with hot sauce: Industrial Cafe, Screendoor, Arleta Library Cafe, Gravy, Podnah’s, Besaw’s, of course Pine State Biscuits!

A couple years ago the Oregonian came up with some favorites: here

Answered by Dave Strom on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Where can I find a delicious Cabernet? Is it unheard of in Oregon?

You’re in luck! Even though Oregon is definitely famous for Pinot Noir, that is not to say that Cabernet is left out. Turn your attention to Southern Oregon Wine for a bounty of bold reds including Cab, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Zinfandel, and others. I really enjoy those by Troon Vineyard and Cliff Creek Cellars. Soléna Estate and Zenas Wines have some great options too using fruit sourced from southern Oregon. While the former two are based in Southern Oregon, all four have tasting rooms in Carlton, OR if you’re in the Willamette Valley. Hope this helps get you started!

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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