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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…

What stops should we make from Eugene to the South Coast to Ashland?

You have a great route picked out! There is so much to do in the outdoors in Oregon from Eugene through the southern part of the state. You’re going to love it. Here’s what not to miss: If you go from Eugene to the coast, make your first stop Reedsport, to check out the amazing…

What are your favorite breweries off Interstate 5?

You’ll be headed through some wonderful brewery country there. If you’re traveling F-Su, you might consider Agrarian Ales, an absolutely wonderful farmhouse brewery that uses local ingredients and has a lovely outdoor dining area with a great view of their hop fields. They’re just off I-5 north of Eugene. Another great choice is Corvallis’ Block 15,…

Is a wilderness trip in September doable in terms of weather, hunting season, etc.?

September is a great time to visit Oregon and explore the mountains! It’s definitely doable, but weather can be a huge question mark. Often, September is filled with warm, summer-like days and crisp, cool nights. However, it’s not uncommon to see snow falling in September, especially at higher elevations. If you’re planning on day hikes,…

What’s a beautiful place near Baker City where I can propose to my girlfriend?

What exciting news! Baker City is a pretty amazing place with a lot of beautiful vistas nearby, and even more if you have extra time to explore. The downtown area has some beautiful cityscapes, including in front of the historic Geiser Grand Hotel. There are some lovely valley views along the Elkhorns as you drive…

What are some dog-friendly parks near Canyonville?

Thanks for you question! Directly in Canyonville, there are several parks that are dog-friendly. Charles V Stanton Park is right off I-5 (hard to miss), and fairly large, but does get some freeway noise. If you take Tiller Trail Highway, however, you arrive at two smaller parks, Herberts Pond Park and Canyonville County Park (this…

Is there camping along Route 204 between Elgin and Tollgate?

Thanks for asking! There are a few campgrounds close to Highway 204 as you travel across the Blue Mountains. On the western side there is Camp Meadowwood Springs and as you move progressively east there is Woodward Campground near the summit and then further west Woodland Campground. A little further off the highway are two…

What are the ultimate Oregon half-day, full-day and overnight backcountry hikes?

I definitely have some suggestions. Here are some of my favorite half-day, full-day and overnight backpacking hikes: Half-Day Hikes Tumalo Mountain (Bend, Central Oregon): Tumalo is about 4-miles round-trip. The trail up Tumalo starts from Dutchman Flat parking area on Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway and offers a steady climb rewarded with alpine wildflowers and beautiful views of Broken…

Are there places to paddleboard near McMinnville?

Good question! Depends on what you define as “near.” I know lots of  folks paddleboard on the Willamette River…which isn’t right in McMinnville, but isn’t that far away, either. There are multiple places to put in/take out on the Willamette. I know people paddleboard from Wallace Marine Park in Salem, which is maybe 30 minutes…

Which Portland luxury hotels should we consider for our family reunion?

My first two recommendations would be either the Kimpton Riverplace or The Nines. Both are located in or near downtown Portland with access to MAX lightrail or streetcar as well as beautiful catered banquet rooms. Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel (1510 SW Harbor Way) is located on the waterfront next to Tom McCall Park and is a six-minute…

For kids that have never seen the ocean, what places should we visit?

The Oregon Coast is 363 miles of family friendly, but there are some great stops known for being kid-rrific. The town of Seaside is one of Oregon’s first beach resort towns and it is still known as one of the best family destinations in the Pacific Northwest. There is a lot of family friendly shopping,…

Are there campsites near the Painted Hills with restrooms?

Sounds like a really fun trip! The Painted Hills are one of my favorite places in Oregon, with a landscape that is both majestic and a little surreal when the sunlight hits it just right. One of the best campgrounds near the Painted Hills is the Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site, located between John Day…

Can you see the Gorge waterfalls from a vehicle?

The Columbia Gorge offers some pretty stunning sights that are easily accessible.  To see a panorama of the Columbia River and learn a bit about its history, visit the Vista House at Crown Point off the Historic Columbia River Highway. Depending on your mobility, you may be able to snap some photos at the first…

What’s the best hiking trail near Madras?

I suggest the 7-mile Tam-a-láu Trail loop hike near Lake Billy Chinook. It features a mile-long climb to the top of a lava plateau called the Peninsula, which separates the Deschutes River and Crooked River arms of Lake Billy Chinook. Hikers are treated to bird’s-eye views of the reservoir and the dramatic cliffs and plateaus that line…