Ask Oregon Questions & Answers
What are some good indoor rainy day activities in the Mt Hood/Columbia River Gorge area? -Greggory D.
I would recommend checking out the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center/Wasco County History Museum in The Dalles, along with the Fort Dalles museum.
You may also be interested in WAAAM (WAAAM: Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum) in Hood River. Definitely some interesting photographs of the vintage vehicles could be had there.
While not indoors, I would suggest checking out the Mosier Twin Tunnels trail. There are some great vantage points of the Gorge from here, and the tunnels do offer shelter from the rain. Keep an eye out for the historic graffiti left inside by snowbound travelers back when this was the highway.
|Mt Hood & Columbia Gorge|
What are some romantic spots along the Oregon Coast? We’re driving up the coastline from California.
If your idea of romantic spots is sharing spectacular scenery, your visit to the Oregon Coast will be a can’t-miss. I suggest you stop at the Oregon Welcome Center as you cross the state line near Brookings. Be sure to pick up information on the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. You will enter this beautiful scenic area as you drive between Brookings and Gold Beach. There are many scenic viewpoints and if you like to hike, most of these stops are intersected by some of the most beautiful portions of the Oregon Coast Trail.
I would recommend you spend at least a couple days in Gold Beach, allowing you to explore this scenic area. If you don’t mind not staying on the beach and want to splurge, one of the most romantic spots to stay would be Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, just up the north side of the Rogue River. Their dining room is open May through October and will offer some of the finest food you will find in the region, though you will be seated in tables of eight. For more intimate dining, return to downtown Gold Beach and look for Anna’s by the Sea, a small, quirky spot just off the main track that will offer a high level of dining. If you would prefer more of a cabin stay experience, consider Ireland’s Rustic Lodges, each cabin with wood burning fireplaces. They also offer traditional oceanfront motel rooms at Gold Beach Inn. For breakfast or lunch, consider a visit to Rollin in Dough Bakery and Bistro. I enjoyed the breakfast here last week and the lunch menu looked great. If you day trip to the north at Port Orford, consider a visit to Redfish restaurant.
If it were me, I would enjoy the drive north about 60 miles and spend the balance of your nights in Bandon. A visit to Cape Blanco State Park on the way would be a don’t miss place to visit. The beach at Bandon is spectacular, dotted with sea stacks, making for beautiful beach strolling at sunset. Beach Loop Drive in Bandon offers several great view points and beach access areas, most notably the Face Rock viewpoint and Coquille Point to the north. For romantic dining, don’t miss Alloro Wine Bar & Restaurant in old town Bandon. Also nearby to consider is The Loft Restaurant and Bar with views of the Coquille River. For coffee or desserts, look for Coastal Mist. I’ve also heard good things about Lord Bennett’s Restaurant. There are a number of oceanfront hotels in Bandon. Consider the Table Rock Motel, Windermere on the Beach, Bandon Beach Motel or Sunset Oceanfront Lodging. I recently stayed in one of the suites at Inn at Face Rock (Best Western) and the room was nicely upgraded and had a wood burning (presto log) fireplace. Though not oceanfront, it had some ocean views and the property also has a good restaurant, Bandon Bill’s.
One great day trip from Bandon is to drive north to Charleston and the State Parks at Cape Arago. You can make this trip via the Charleston to Bandon Tour Route. Just a few minutes away is a nice restaurant, Empire Cafe.
Hope this is some help on your romantic getaway!
What are some fun things to do in the Roseburg area? We like museums, scenic drives and local attractions. -Terry L.
Perhaps the most well-known attraction in the Roseburg area is Wildlife Safari, a few miles away in the smaller town of Winston. Speaking from personal experience, this is fun for kids and adults alike. Here’s a story from the Mail Tribune newspaper’s Joy magazine about it: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/JOY/706200302&cid=sitesearch
There’s also the Douglas County Museum of Natural and Cultural History. And you’re very close to the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, which as the name implies is one of the most scenic drives in the region, with numerous waterfalls to see along the route.
The Roseburg area has become a major player in wine grape-growing in Oregon, so there are lots of opportunities for wine tasting if you’re so inclined. Another adult form of recreation is Seven Feathers casino and resort, about 30 minutes away in Canyonville. It’s a main venue for musical acts, comedy shows, rodeos and the like. There’s also a new spa at the resort.
Like other Southern Oregonians, residents of Roseburg spend a lot of time in and around a major river, the Umpqua, which has rafting, fishing and jetboating opportunities.
I would suggest consulting the community calendar published online by the Umpqua-News Review when you get to town: http://www.nrtoday.com/Entertainment/Calendar.
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!