Ask Oregon Questions & Answers
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.
|Mt Hood & Columbia Gorge|
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.
Is there a short bike ride my girlfriends and I can do to a few wineries as a day trip from Portland?
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/
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.
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.
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.
That should be a full day – typically I recommend no more than 3-4 wineries in a day.
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.
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.
Whenever I vacationed as a child in Roseburg, we always went to Wildlife Safari in nearby Winston. This is the ultimate kid-friendly activity around Roseburg. Check out this story from the Mail Tribune newspaper’s Joy magazine about the attraction.
If you still need more to keep the kids busy, there’s also the fish ladder at Winchester Dam on the Umpqua River just north of town for an educational experience that’s also fun.