Ask Oregon Questions & Answers
We have 3 days in Portland and want to see art exhibits, theater and explore the neighborhoods. What do you suggest? -Joanne
Most of these cultural offerings are in Downtown Portland. Adjacent is Portland’s Pearl District, a modern artsy neighborhood. I would also recommend visiting the Mississippi Avenue, Alberta St., Hawthorne Blvd, and Nob Hill neighborhoods.
There are some great family attractions on the coast. Obviously the beach is the number one attraction, but many communities also offer the opportunity to catch live crab off the docks which is always a hit with kids. You may want to consider some of the following:
Seaside: Indoor carousel, kiddie rides and Seaside Aquarium.
You didn’t mention which part of the coast you are visiting, so this list includes attractions covering almost 300 miles of the Oregon Coast. If you’d like to let me know where you will be spending your two days, I can get more specific about that region. Hope this helps for now. Happy exploring!
You’re headed in the right direction for ghost towns. There are several near Baker City, including Bourne and Whitney, but they’re still a bit of a drive off I-84. If you pick up Highway 7 west of Baker City, you’ll traverse the Sumpter Valley to the near-ghost town of Sumpter, 28 miles away, which is a beautiful drive with good photo opportunities of the rural landscape.
If you have less time, I recommend visiting the historic district of Baker City. Here’s an excerpt from a Travel Oregon article:
Today, Baker City’s historic downtown boast more than 100 buildings on the National register of historic places including the beautifully restored Geiser Grand Hotel, and the monumental Carnegie Library now restored and home to the Crossroads Art Center. The downtown is full of locally owned shops, restaurants and galleries. The Leo Adler Memorial Pathway now follows the Powder River through the historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods connecting them with the iconic Geiser Pollman Baker Heritage Museum and the Baker City Sports Complex.
Also convenient for the traveler is The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, which lies east of Baker City. It features living history exhibits and interpretive trails bringing the experience of immigrants to life.
I will be in Eugene for a meeting on Jan 14th and 15th and would like to see some of the Oregon Coast; perhaps on the previous weekend or maybe starting on Jan 10th. What area would be relatively easy to drive to from Eugene or Portland? What kind of weather should I expect? Can you suggest some B&Bs? — Lois
From the coast, the most direct route to Eugene is from Florence on the Oregon Coast via OR 126 (just under 1.5 hours). You didn’t mention where you are traveling from, but it sounds like you may be coming from the north and you could easily spend four days traveling the North and Central coast between Astoria and Florence. Astoria is famous for bed & breakfasts in historical Victorian homes. If you are looking for more ocean beach destinations, I would consider starting in Seaside or Cannon Beach. In Seaside, you may want to try the Gilbert Inn B&B (historic home). In Cannon Beach, consider Song of the Sea B&B (modern home, close to town and beach). Just south of Cannon Beach is the unique French Chateau-like Arch Cape Inn. In the Newport area, you may want to consider the Sylvia Beach Hotel. It’s actually a historic beach hotel, but very B&B like with a literary slant. Rooms are furnished and decorated based on famous authors. Another unique B&B stay would be the Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B, the original lighthouse keepers’ home (near Florence).
Weather is typically mild and rarely below freezing on the coast, so your travel along the coast should not be a problem. You will want to check on pass conditions as you pass through the Coast Range on your way to and from the coast. From the Portland/Longview area, the lowest elevation on the North Oregon Coast is Highway 30 into Astoria (the Washington side of the Columbia is even closer to sea level). Highway 26 is the most direct route to the coast from Portland, but the Coast Range summit is about 1500 feet and is most likely to have mountain travel conditions. The highest point on OR 126 from Florence to Eugene is under 800 feet.
Weather in January is typically cool with highs average in the high 40s and lows in the mid to high 30s. It is one of the wetter months of the year, averaging nine or more inches of rain during the month, so be prepared. Many come to the coast for storm watching this time of year. There can be high winds. The storm tossed seas can be an awesome site.
Hope this helps.
|Coast, General Travel, Portland, Willamette Valley|
In the Southern Oregon Region, the most beautiful site arguably is Crater Lake, the centerpiece of the state’s only national park and a sacred site to native tribes long before settlers “discovered it.” The summertime and wintertime landscapes each show unique facets of this natural wonder.
In Southern Oregon, there are several sites I recommend at various points along the coast. Starting with the farthest south, Harris Beach State Park has 36 full-hookup sites; http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_79.php About 80 miles north in Bandon, Bullards Beach State Park is larger with 104 full-hookup sites. About 25 miles just outside Charleston, Bastendorff Beach county park has 74 full-hookup sites: http://www.co.coos.or.us/Departments/CoosCountyParks/Bastendorff.aspx.
And although Bastendorff Beach isn’t quite as easy to access on foot as beaches at the previous two sites mentioned, this is my personal favorite beach on the South Coast, and the one I always go to. On the south end of the Coos Bay jetty, the beach is long and flat with finely textured sand. A sandstone cliff borders one end that makes for nice tidepooling and surf fishing at low tide. Water is shallow for a quite a ways in the surf zone. It’s popular with surfers and people flying kites and walking dogs. On a clear day, Cape Arago lighthouse (isolated, closed to the public and hard to spot from almost any other point on the coast) is visible from the beach’s north end.
Enjoy your stay,
|Coast, General Travel, Southern Oregon|
We are looking to spend 5 days around the coast in June 2013. We have found lots of cool lodges to stay in, but they mostly want at least 2 nights minimum stay. Would you recommend hotels and moving around the coast? Or, base ourselves in a lodge and travel from there each day? — Pete
I would recommend you plan your itinerary to base yourself strategically in two places and make day trips north and south from each base. For instance, to explore the South Coast, you could stay in Bandon and spend one day exploring north to the great State Parks southwest of Coos Bay (Shore Acres, Sunset Bay and Cape Arago) and another day going south, perhaps as far as Samuel H Boardman State Park near Brookings. On the Central Coast, you could base your stay in Yachats, then venture north to visit the attractions in Newport like the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the historic bay front and Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. To the south, you could explore the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Heceta Head Lighthouse and Florence where you can experience the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. If you wanted to explore the North Oregon Coast, you could have a base in Cannon Beach or Manzanita that would offer day tripping north to Ecola State Park, Seaside and Astoria. For a day trip south, I would recommend the Three Capes Scenic Route that begins west of Tillamook and includes Cape Meares, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda.
I hope this helps, but if you narrow down the areas you’d prefer to visit, I may be able to help with some more specific recommendations on itinerary, attractions or lodging based on your interests.
|Coast, General Travel|
We are thinking of visiting Oregon in either November, December or during the Spring. One of the things we would like to do is clam digging, is there anyone that offers this activity? – Lori
Most of the razor clamming on the coast is in Clatsop County (Warrenton to Cannon Beach). These beaches have the most stable populations of razor clams. There are other beaches that support razor clams including (north to south): Short Sands (Oswald West State Park); Cape Meares beach; Agate Beach; North Beach and South Beach (Newport); Waldport beach; North Umpqua Spit; Bastendorff beach and North Spit (Coos Bay); Whiskey Run (Bandon); and Meyers Creek beach (Gold Beach), but about 95 percent of the razor clamming is on Clatsop County beaches.
Razor clamming is open on Clatsop beaches from October 1 to July 14. The most popular times for clamming is during the spring and summer, when tides are lowest. There are some minus tides during daylight hours this year in November and December that would be your best opportunity this year, so check a tide table for those dates. Tidal predictions for the north jetty of the Columbia River would be the most accurate for Clatsop beaches.
A license for recreational clamming is required through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and clammers are limited to the first 15 clams taken. The ODFW website can offer more information on licenses and regulations. I don’t know of anyone who offers razor clamming as an activity commercially.
Hope this helps and happy clamming!
We love cycling, although more road cycling than mountain biking, and I’m not too great on hills! Are there any particularly good (and relatively flat) cycle routes you could suggest? -Gill
Yes… as a matter of fact, where I live in Albany, OR we are actually right in the middle of an awesome scenic bikeway. I actually have a B & B there and we get bicyclists from all over the world stay with us because of our location. Check out this site, and we often have guests ride our covered bridges that begin just a few miles from Albany. You can certainly find shorter distances within these rides and many areas offer flat riding areas. That happens to be why our scenic bikeway and covered bridge area in Linn County is so popular.
Also, many people ride the bikeway just partially let’s say from Albany to Eugene and then take the train back to Albany for example. Amtrak has a great schedule and is a great resource for our bicyclists wanting to ride only a portion. You can certainly just enjoy a ride around one of our towns such as Corvallis! It’s all flat and riding to Oregon State University and around the downtown will offer you some great sites. There’s even a bicycle renting shop downtown if you aren’t bringing your own. They are all super nice and helpful.
Hope this helps!
|Cycling, Willamette Valley|
I’d like to plan a trip to visit colleges in Portland and Eugene. I’d also like to visit Medford all in 3-days! ~ Marnie S.
First of all, you can certainly fly in to the Medford area or begin even in Eugene or Portland. That depends on you of course. Portland is just shy of 2-1/2 hours north from the Eugene area. Medford is about 3 hours south of Eugene. So, if you fly in to Portland, you can spend one whole day enjoying the city and touring a few colleges. As you may already know, Portland is home to many colleges/universities and I just happened to have driven by Reed College today… it’s gorgeous! You could really spend several days here but I know you have three days so one day in Portland will give you a small idea of what it’s like here.
From the Portland area, I would almost say to jet down to Medford and spend one night there and come back up to Eugene from there the next afternoon or evening. Usually I tell folks to stay of I 5 driving however you have a lot of ground to cover. So, heading from Medford back up to Eugene, I would first stop at Lillie Belle Chocolate: http://www.lilliebellefarms.com for some road snacks! Also, grab some of Southern Oregon’s delicious cheese right next door at Rogue Creamery: http://www.roguecreamery.com/store/ You can grab some bread there too and to experience the greatness of Southern Oregon on a road trip is a good thing! Both places are just outside Medford in Central Point.
The University of Oregon is a gorgeous campus. Take the tour!! You will find the campus has a certain feel that exudes it’s history, it’s place in Oregon and a vibe that is young and exciting. I have taken the tour of the campus a few times and suggest that you bring your camera and settle somewhere for a coffee and enjoy!
For lodging ideas, I am going to suggest you check out www.obbg.org I happen to be an B & B inspector for The Oregon Bed & Breakfast Guild and there are tons of great B & B’s along the route for you to choose from!
Here’s a list that may make it easier:
Touvelle House B & B: http://www.touvellehouse.com In Jacksonville if you decide you have time to drive just a tad further than Medford. This is totally worth the extra few miles and plus… Jacksonville is a “must see” as far as I am concerned!
C’lest a Vie Inn is a great neighborhood location in Eugene and not too far from Ninkasi… a place to grab a delicious local beer. In the Portland area, I would highly suggest you check out Ace Hotel, it is the best location to “feel the city” and experience true Portland fun! Kenny and Zukes on the corner have the best bagels and Powell’s is just a block away… you have to check out Powells!
I hope this info has helped and please let me know if I can help you further! You have a lot to cover in just three days! Have fun and thanks for your AskOR question!
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Expert. You can find my blog at: www.whitebreadandjam.blogspot.com
p.s. in Eugene… check out The Vintage for food and the Sweet Life for dessert!! Yum!!
|General Travel, Hotel Recommendations|
If I had 3 days in Oregon, where would I travel to? Love sun, water and rock formations. Love to eat seafood (especially shell fish).
Sounds like you need to plan a trip to the Oregon Coast! If sun is an important part of the equation, you should plan your trip for July, August or September. Of course, the coast is spectacular no matter what the weather, but those are the months with the best chance of dry days and sunny skies. The rocks, water and seafood are the easy part. The Oregon Coast is known for its coastline punctuated by nearly 2000 sea stacks and small islands that are all part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. They are great areas for exploring tidepools and watching birds, marine life and crashing waves. On the North Oregon Coast, the state’s most famous landmark is Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. From Cannon Beach, you can also see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse built on a small rock a mile from the shore. Pacific City also has a Haystack Rock a little further offshore and the beautifully sculpted sandstone headland, Cape Kiwanda. On the Central Oregon Coast, Seal Rocks is named for it’s rock formations at the edge of the shoreline. Other great geologic formations include Devil’s Punchbowl in Otter Rock and Devil’s Churn in the Cape Perpetual Scenic Area near Yachats. On the South Oregon Coast, the beach at Bandon offers numerous rock formations. These are just a few examples. Here’s a recent story we did on the Oregon Coast’s sea stacks.
Wherever you choose to go on the coast you will find great, fresh seafood. Dungeness Crab, oysters and razor clams are among the Pacific shellfish delicacies you will find. If you’d like to provide more information on what area of the coast you are interested in or where you are coming from, I can make some more specific recommendations. I hope this helps for now.