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Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Norwich, United...
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Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Hi from the UK,

My Wife and I sat and watched a Travel Channel programme on UK Satellite TV last night on the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland, Florence amongst other places) and were totally blown away by the beauty of this area. This has led to us deciding that with all being well, this will be our major holiday next year (probably June, July or August).

We will fly into Seattle, I think that is pretty much guaranteed, visit the city and do the obvious attractions. From there we will probably take an Amtrak down to Portland and it is from here on in I would like some help.

I've worked out a rough itinerary in my head and using the internet today, but it would help if you could assist with number of days needed in each place etc etc. As a bit of background we love cities and countryside jointly, so a city fix followed by some serious mountains/lakes/parks etc would be ideal.

So itinerary for Oregon part of trip looks like this at the moment:-

Pick car up after stay in Portland - Mount Hood Area - Bend - Crater Lake NP - Klamath Falls - Ashland - Grant's Pass (jet boat) - then over to the coast (thinking Florence initially, as seriously want to do some dune buggying) but then easy after that but obviously north with aim to drop car off back in Portland.

Is that a good route? Am I doing Oregon justice? Obviously with a car we are very flexible so any suggested detours would be easily done.

Any advice, hints, tips, criticism all glady appreciated.

Cheers

Portland, OR
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1. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Sounds like a good plan but I would do the loop the other way, starting with the coast. That will allow you to more easily pull off at viewpoints, state parks, etc. The ocean will be on your right on the way down south.

Enjoy your trip! Oregon is truly beautiful!

Norwich, United...
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2. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Thanks, that is a very valid point and not an obvious one for someone who drives on the other side of the road!!!

A couple of things to add to the original post.

Is Klamath Falls to Bend via Crater Park (we would do a complete circle IF the Rim Road is open) doable in a day with an early start or would you recommend an overnight in the park itself?

Portland is a key component of this itinerary. How long would you allow for a first time visitor to the city? There certainly seems plenty to keep us occupied.

Finally, what about Salem? Interestingly having worked for Kettle Foods in the UK, I am aware of the city and with Kettle US roots there (I presume they are still there, it's a long time ago). Is it worth a stop also?

Thanks again for your help

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3. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Hi, the jet boats are great fun, we have done the 2 hour scenic trip several times, the Hellgate Excursion also offers lunch and dinner trips. Will you be staying in Grant's Pass? We recently stayed at the Weasku Inn there for the second time. We had a river cabin in the back of the property which was so cozy and comfortable. The grounds are gorgeous here and they offer a wine and cheese reception in the evening and a nice breakfast buffet in the morning. The staff is very friendly here, the River's Edge is a nice place for dinner in the area, our second dinner here was very nice, you have views of the Rogue River while you dine and the food is great.

We have also enjoyed many stays at the Riverside Inn where the jet boat leave but it is starting to get a little worn. In Ashland, we have stayed over a dozen times at the Plaza Inns & Suites, the Ashland Springs Hotel is also a nice place to stay in the area. Chateaulin, Peerless, Amuse, Winchester House and Liquid Assets Wine Bar are all nice places for meals in Ashland, it's such a quaint little town with a lot of culture.

Also in this area, don't miss the Rogue Creamery in Central Point, we also discovered a fantastic chocolate place called Lilly Belle, they make some really good Blue Cheese Truffles here. Have fun! :)

Oregon/Washington
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4. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Yes, it is very doable to go from Klamath Falls up to Bend, and to include Crater Lake all in one day. But, I would suggest either leaving very early from KF or staying a night at CL so that you can do the boat tour at CL. It is amazing and gives you a totally different perspective! There is a Ranger on the boat that explains things as well.

For Portland, I would allow 2 full days.

Salem is not a big tourist destination. And yes, Kettle Foods is still around, going strong:) If you head down to Salem, you might want to stop at Silver Falls State Park which is just east of there, and then maybe stop at the Oregon Gardens which is just a few minutes from Silver Falls.

Definitely add in the gorge to your visit.

As for timing, our best weather is July and August, and especially for Crater Lake you would want to wait til the rim drive is open. I would suggest coming sometime after mid July.

Bend, Oregon
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5. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Oregon is a HUGE state and I think that is an effective plan for covering the Western half. There are outstanding attractions in Eastern OR (Wallowas, Steens, John Day Fossil Beds just to name a few) but they are so remote that you would spend most of your trip driving.

+1 to add the gorge. You could easily drive from Bend up through Madras to Biggs or The Dalles, and then head west to Portland along I-84.

Mt Hood is an easy day trip from Portland.

Klamath Falls is less of a tourist destination than Salem, IMHO. Was there something particular that you want to see in that area? If not I suggest getting an early start from Ashland and heading directly to Crater Lake (unless you plan to stay at the park).

Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Not sure why you have Klamath Falls in itinerary. I would just do the Bend to Crater Lake and on to Ashland. That can be done in a single day, albeit with a good bit of driving.

As has been noted, unless you have a strong desire to spend time in Salem, it normally would be a simple drive-through. You might consider a detour to Silver Falls State Park east of Salem for a wonderful multi-waterfall hike.

If you are a track and field fan, you might want to check out the events in Eugene in June (including the Prefontaine Classic, one of the world's best track and field events). July would also bring the Oregon Country Fair on the outskirts of Eugene, a wonderful event reminiscent of the hippie 60's, but lots of fun, great food, entertainment and considerably cleaned up from its drug days. The renowned Oregon Bach Festival is in Eugene during late June and early July; and the Oregon Festival of American Music is in late July and early August. If any of this interests you, please consider including Eugene in your planning. As home to the University of Oregon, Eugene has a lot more to offer than Klamath Falls or Salem.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

First of all, *thank you* for planning ahead, lol! It is so much easier on both ends when folks have plenty of time to research :-)

Okay, agree with above posters that the "circle route" -- going south along the coast, then inland, and back to Portland is our most popular tour.

If you've not driven in the US before, our roads are wide and we drive a lot slower than you folks do. Oregon has just a few freeways (motorways), as you can see from a map, and the rest of the roads are two lanes with passing lanes. Nearly everywhere here is beautiful, honestly!

Will also ask why Klamath Falls? There aren't any "falls" there. If it's falls you're looking for, Silver Falls State Park near Salem makes a wonderful half day. Salem itself? Hmmm.

As to timing. You are aware of our holiday on the 4th of July. Virtually *everywhere* will be jammed with people that weekend, and that is the traditional kick-off for summer. July is very busy; August is swamped with tourists. June is less dependable weather-wise, but somewhat less crowded. This is based on the coast, where I live, but other tourist spots will be the same, such as Crater Lake.

As far as selecting your hotels already, whilst you will need to book in advance in the summer, you have plenty of time to get your itinerary firmed up before thinking about hotels! Then you can give us a budget, and we can make suggestions for the different areas you'll be visiting.

We'll be looking forward to helping you plan a great holiday :-)

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

As if it needs to be said again, yes, south on the coast, then loop inland for northbound drive. And I'd suggest going down the coast as far as Crescent City in northern California so you can include giant redwoods. Wouldn't have to spend more than a couple hours in the area, but well worth it. Awe inspiring.

Other thoughts.... Also the question, why K. Falls? There might be something of interest there to visitors from out of country, but not much for us locals! And re the jetboats; those from Grants Pass must have been shown on the Travel Channel. The more popular ones run from Gold Beach, a small town on the south Oregon coast. Check out Jerry's Jet Boats or Rogue River Mailboats. From Gold Beach, you could easily drive south to Crescent City, see some redwoods, then inland to Ashland in a day.

As to how much of the coast, depends on how much time you have. Some beautiful scenery around Cannon Beach, so consider starting there. So, the loop generally would look like: Portland - coast - Crescent City - Ashland - Crater Lake - Bend - Mt. Hood (short visit) - Portland. As has been suggested, plan to visit the Columbia River Gorge on one of your Portland days. You folks like wine? If so, plan another day in the Portland area for that.

Oregon
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9. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Fisrt, I agree with others about K Falls. I would also ask why Ashland? Very nice town up against the Mtns, The main attraction is the Shakesperan festival, and if that is your reason get tickets in advance.

Otherwise I would head from Grants pass to Crater Lake. and spend a night ar Crater Lake Lodge. Rooms are not wonderful but the setting is sunrise over the lake is wonderful. Suset also pretty nice watching the shadows of the rim move across the lake.

If you want to drive east side of rim likely can't do it in June, snow may still be there. Though Rim drive is great, not necessary to enjoy Crater Lake.

I assume you have been convinced to drive south on Oreg coast. How much a big question. You can srate in Arorie and go clear to Crescent City in CA on got to Lincoln Citty and head inland at Reedsport. really depends on time you have.

I think jet boat ride from Gold Beach better than from Grants Pass. if you decide to drive as far south as Crescent City.

Yas add the Columbi R gorge, day trip from portland or on way back to PDX from Bend.. Gorge drives best on Old Hwy heading east in my view.

I will send my blurb on the coast. i

Oregon
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10. Re: Major help needed with an itinerary for Oregon next summer

Quote from Halfbrit

If you've not driven in the US before, our roads are wide and we drive a lot slower than you folks do. Oregon has just a few freeways (motorways), as you can see from a map, and the rest of the roads are two lanes with passing lanes

Not sure how many posters here have driven in Britain. we spent one month ther driving. which may not have been full sample, but I can't remember being more terrified driving on rural roads as road from Bath to Stratford on Avon. curbs on both sides of road, almost no place to pull out to let people pass, people passing anyway. This was our first day driving there, it got better, I learned to drive on narrow roads.