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Will I need 4-wheel drive in the Gorge at the end of January?

At the end of January, you should absolutely be prepared for winter driving.   At that time of year, the roads require chains or traction tires.   If you are comfortable driving in the snow, you could get by with chains, but if you’ll find yourself white-knuckled on the wheel, I’d recommend 4-wheel drive and chains/traction tires…

What route should we take to tour the Oregon Coast by RV?

For pure scenic traveling, it’s hard to beat the Oregon Coast where you will find one of the world’s greatest stretches of scenic byway (363 miles of Coast Highway/US 101) that leads to many great destinations. Although Highway 101 is primarily two lanes and winding in portions, it is probably the most popular byway for…

Which mountain pass should we take from Crater Lake to Eugene in December?

Thanks for your question. Both 230 (leading to 62) and 138 can be equally snowy in December, but also equally easy to traverse, given conditions. For that reason, I would go with 138, which is your more direct route, knowing that the first 25 miles or so from Crater Lake will be at the highest…

Are there alternative areas to visit in the Gorge while some sites are closed due to the recent fire?

You’re correct that most of the trails in the Columbia River Gorge are closed as a result of the Eagle Creek Fire and the potential of landslides.  However, some of the sights have recently opened back up, and we have several alternative options!  The Old Columbia Highway is open from Troutdale to Bridal Veil Falls,…

Do you have any tips for visiting the Painted Hills during the holidays?

Sounds like you have some fun plans for the holidays! The Painted Hills can be really quite spectacular in the winter with the colorful landscape often dusted in snow. Depending on weather conditions, your ability to access the heart of the area might change, but the area is open all year, although some building and…

Can you name a rustic, upscale and secluded getaway for our honeymoon?

You’re throwing me a little with the combination of rustic, upscale and secluded; and the range of within 10 or 20 miles of the coast that is 363 miles long, but I do have a suggestion. Consider WildSpring Guest Habitat in Port Orford. I think it definitely qualifies as rustic and upscale cabins. I’m assuming…

What should be our first stops in Southern Oregon?

! If you’re coming up I-5 from California, you’re first Oregon stop should be Ashland, our favorite little theater town. Ashland has a full summer season of Shakespearean plays, but at any time of year, this town is hopping with dining options, cocktail bars, and wineries. If you like wine, I suggest hitting the Applegate…

Where should we eat around Hermiston?

There are a good number of classic and new fine eating establishments to choose from in the Hermiston area. Here are a few, of many, local favorites: Hermiston Brewing Company has some great beers on tap and classic pub fair like burgers and wings, to brick-oven fired pizzas and halibut fish and chips Delish Bistro…

What hikes would you recommend in the Hood/Gorge region if you have one day?

Unfortunately, your options for hiking in the Gorge this winter are limited due to the recent Eagle Creek Fire.  The fire devastated the Gorge, and all of the interstate exits and trails are still closed.  They’ll remain closed for the winter since we now face a danger of landslides. That said, I’m happy to provide…

Does the Willamette Valley have farm-to-table dining tours?

I have an easy answer to this question: yes! There are lots and lots of farm-to-table dining opportunities in the Willamette Valley. It’s one of the things we’re best at :). If you’re looking for an actual farm dinner–a delicious dinner prepared by a talented chef and actually hosted on a farm, brewery or winery–there…

Where should we stop in between Mill City and Bend?

Glad you are visiting Oregon! The route between Mill City and Bend is fairly remote and mountainous. There aren’t a whole lot of towns in between – but two spring to mind that you could check out. Sisters is just 30 minutes from Bend. It’s a charming western-themed town with some good shopping and restaurants….

Where is the best place to find seashells on the beach?

You can find seashells along most sandy stretches of the Oregon Coast. I feel timing and technique are the more critical aspects to beachcombing for shells rather than a specific location. For best success, I would suggest choosing less busy beaches, beachcombing during the offseason and being there at the right time (as the tide…

What are some great activities to do with toddlers in Portland?

Portland is super toddler friendly so you’ll have so much fun. We highly recommend the following: Sauvie Island pumpkin picking, hay rides, corn maze and so many great snacks OMSI science museum is a very hands-on place that is so great for kids and families at the same time Oregon Zoo has family events almost…

Is part of the Three Capes Scenic Loop closed?

Bayshore Drive that connects Bayocean Road to Cape Meares is closed indefinitely due to major slides (map), but you can still reach Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint by driving through Netarts and Oceanside via OR 131. You’ll just have to retrace your route back rather than doing a loop as you had planned. It’s only…

Do you know how to find the ghost town of Auburn?

There are some great resources over at Travel Oregon on ghost towns. You can also find helpful details at Visit Eastern Oregon here. According to these sources and others, it does appear that Auburn is fairly rundown and collapsed, with little signs other than rubble and gravestones from the old town cemetery that can be…

Is Lincoln City suitable for a quiet vacation with our dog in November?

Lincoln City has many pet friendly oceanfront options. A few that come to mind immediately include Surftides, The Coho and Chinook Winds Casino Resort. While all of these are larger resorts, November is a much quieter time on the Oregon Coast, so they may fit your preference for quiet and private. You may want to…

Where can I find bitters or session IPAs in Portland?

Easily your best bet for sessionable ales and bitters is Deschutes — which also has two of the very, very few cask engines in town. (They do not, unfortunately, always put low-alcohol cask-appropriate beers on them, but you may get lucky.) While there, give a look a Twilight and Bachelor Bitter — they’re wonderful beers….

Where should we stop along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway in October?

The Willamette Valley Scenic bikeway is beautiful and October would be a great time of year to ride it. Here are my thoughts on each of your questions. Quaint B&Bs Salem Century House of Salem is a historic home that’s just half a mile from the bikeway route and very bike-friendly. Albany Edelweiss Manor is another…

For photography, when are my chances of fog at the Coast the greatest?

Thanks for your question! I’m usually asked when is the “best” weather on the Oregon Coast or when to plan a trip when it’s not cloudy or foggy and I have to try to explain that sunny skies are not necessarily the best and certainly are not the most typical or interesting of the climatic…

Can you recommend a Mt. Hood hike after we go to Mirror Lake?

Since you’re already planning on hiking Mirror Lake, I’d recommend continuing up Hwy 26 for about 30 more minutes to Timberline Lodge and jumping on the Timberline Trail.  The trail itself circumnavigates all the way around Mt. Hood and is approximately 40 miles long, but you could hike out as far as you’d like, and…