My husband, our 2-yr-old daughter and I are planning a trip to Oregon in mid-July. It will be a weeklong trip (fly in on a Wednesday and fly out the following Wednesday). We will be renting a car and taking a road trip around the State. The following is what I have tentatively planned for our trip, but would love ANY advice on what we should definitely see and what we should skip based on what I've already planned. We have never been to Oregon with the exception of being in Portland for a very short business trip (no sightseeing). We like zoos/animals, beaches, hiking, waterfalls, unique places to eat and lodge, and not a lot of crowds. Keep in mind we have a 2-yr-old with us, but she LOVES to travel and be outdoors. This is a 800+ mile drive.
Day 1 - Fly into Portland in the morning. Are the hotels near the airport a good option? I've heard the north/northwest side is a bit sketchy, true? I'm thinking the LaQuinta near the airport. Not very "unique," but a good value. Anything we can do in the late morning/early afternoon around Portland for a few hours that is worth checking out (not too much driving)?
Day 2 - Drive west on Hwy 26 to the coast to check out Cannon Beach (Oswald West State Park, Ecola State Park). Head south on Hwy 101 to Manzanita to see Nehalem Bay State Park. Maybe stop at Tillamook Cheese Factory? Worth stopping? Check out Munson Creek Falls. On the way to Lincoln City, go to Cape Lookout State Park. We will spend the night in Lincoln City. I was thinking of staying at the Ester Lee Motel, and checking out Mo's for dinner. Are there better choices for either/both?
Day 3 - Continue to drive south towards Bandon. Check out Depoe Bay, Cape Foulweather, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Yaquina Head Lighthouse near Newport, Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse near Yachats, Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence, Winchester Bay and the dunes, Honeyman State Park, go through North Bend and Coos Bay. We will stay in Bandon for 2 nights. I'm debating between staying at the Bandon Beach Motel, The Bandon Inn, Harbor View Motel, Sunset Oceanfront Lodging and Windemere on the Beach. Any suggestions on the best place on or very near the beach? Would like to stay around $150/nt maximum.
Day 4 - The Oregon Coast Music Festival, North Bend July Jubilee and Shore Acres Concert in the Park going on in North Bend the weekend we will be there. Is this worth checking out? What about the Coos Bay Boardwalk? Also, what about the West Coast Game Park Safari south of Bandon since we like animals? Are there better things in the Bandon/North Bend/Coos Bay area to check out?
Day 5 - We'll leave Bandon early in the morning and drive east on Hwy 42 towards Crater Lake National Park. After checking out the Park, we will head north to Bend and maybe take the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. We will spend the night in Bend. I was thinking the Shilo Inn Suites Hotel. Any better options? What are some good places for dinner in Bend (family friendly)?
Day 6 - We'll leave Bend driving north on Hwy 97 through Redmond, then Hwy 26 through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, then Hwy 35 through Parkdale to Hood River. We will then head west on Hwy 84. We plan to check out Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil, Bridge of the Gods. Are there other good places to check out along the river? We will end back in Portland and stay 2 nights.
Day 7 - We plan to go to Washington Park to the zoo and gardens for the day.
Day 8 - Fly home in the afternoon.
Please let me know your thoughts on this tentative plan. Am I trying to pack too much into this week or is this doable? We just want to see as much as we can while still relaxing some. Please let me know of any alternatives that would be better in terms of sites, lodging, route, etc. Thanks much!!