Aloha, everyone! I just became a forum member but I have been reading all your informational posts for the past few weeks and got much, much more out of them than the $100 worth of guide books I have purchased. However, I have a few questions for you Oregon professionals out there...
I hope my questions are not too redundant as I have seen similar concerns in other posts, but not all in the same place. FYI, I'll be traveling with my wife and two sons, ages 14 and 11, next June.
Here is my tentative itinerary:
Day 2 - Portland to Cannon Beach (Ecola Creek Lodge)
Day 3 - Cannon Beach to ?Florence (? hotel)
Day 4 - ?Florence
Day 5 - ?Florence to Gold Beach (?Tu Tu Tun Lodge)
Day 6 - Gold Beach
Day 7 - Gold Beach to Ashland (La Quinta Inn)
Day 8 - Ashland to ?Crater Lake (? hotel)
Day 9 - ?Crater Lake to Bend (McMenamins)
Day 10- Bend
Day 11- Bend
Day 12- Bend to ?Warm Springs (?Kah-nee-Ta Resort)
Day 13- ?Warm Springs to ?Hood River (? hotel)
Day 14- ?Hood River to Portland (Embassy Suites or Westin)
Day 15- Portland
Day 16- Portland (day trip to Salem via Amtrak)
Day 17- Portland
Day 18- Portland to Honolulu
As you can see, I got a lot of question marks listed above. Here are my specific questions:
1. Is Florence a good place to stay along the coast between my stays in Cannon Beach and Gold Beach? My kids want to see the backdrop for the movie Goonies in Cannon Beach and we all want to experience the Jet Boats on the Rogue River from Gold Beach so we decided to visit the entire coast. In Florence we were thinking of doing a dune buggy rail tour and maybe see the sea lion cave. Also, any hotel recommendation along the central coast?
2. Should I splurge on the Tu Tu Tun hotel in Gold Beach? We're thinking of taking an all-day Jet Boat tour on the Rogue so for one day we will not be at our hotel except to clean up and rest. Any suggestions on something more economical but in a good location?
3. Since we're not thespians, should we even consider staying overnight in Ashland? Or should we extend our stay to two nights in southern Oregon and not spend a night in Crater Lake? Or, do you have any recommendations for our two nights between Gold Beach and Bend (we would still want to visit Crater Lake along the way)? I guess my major apprehension is the drive. Since I don't drive for more than 25 to 30 miles at a time on the island I live here in Hawaii, I wasn't sure a southern Oregon to Bend route in the same day was practical.
4. I'm not sure about my itinerary between Bend and Portland, but I do know I want to get close to Mt. Hood and drive along the Old Columbia River Highway; so should we stay overnight in the High Desert enroute? Or should we stop in Government Camp? Or, stay in Government Camp, or thereabouts, for two nights and forego a night in Hood River?
5. One of my kids' stipulations for agreeing on this Oregon trip is a train ride, so I could only figure out to put one in while we are in Portland for a daytrip to Salem (or Eugene); is this worth the effort? We love train rides and have taken the Oakland, CA to Denver, CO route a couple of times before, so the Mt. Hood or Hood River train ride (whatever it is called) won't do it for us.
Thanks for any advice, suggestion or recommendation. I appreciate it!
Just as a note, the only thing I have booked so far is the Old St. Francis School (McMenammins) hotel in Bend. I might be able to get a good discount on the Westin in Portland, which is why I listed it, but I will make back-up reservations at the Embassy Suites, just in case.