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Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

new york
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Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Hi , Pleae help us figure out how to plan this trip. My husband and I will be celebrating our 25 th wedding anniversary in July. It will be our first visit to Oregon Our dates are somewhat flexible but we are looking to spend nine nights and want to see the following places. Portland,Columbia Gorge, Mount St Helens, Crater Lake Park, Mount Hood. Eugene. Sisters and Bend.. Also would like to drive part of the coast but we would like to minimize traffic and crowds so perhaps cannon beach is out. Where else would you suggest? Astoria sounds nice and so does Florence.

We would like to do some moderate hiking,a rafting trip on deschuttes river, some easy bicycling, Learn about Oregon history. go to a Saturday market, in either Eugene or Portland, dine at a food truck.

Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

I'll let the OR DEs take over, but I have a question. Were you hoping to spend a night at Crater Lake, and if so, where?

Sisters/Bend is so beautiful and so full of amazingly varied natural wonders that it would be a shame to spend only a little time there. There are crystal clear rivers fed by springs that gush right out of the ground, lava caves, cinder cones, mountain trails, fossil beds (a bit of a drive to those), and hot springs. Central OR is sometimes overshadowed by the coast, but it is spectacular There are lovely resorts there, too.

new york
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2. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Thank you so much for your interest in our trip. We would like to visit Crater Lake Park ( we nay not have another opportunity) but do not need to spend the night. Everything you describe sounds so wonderful, exactly what we are looking for.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Hi there- its likely doable if you travel each day. You can start in Portland and head down the coast- I'm thinking you may like the section between Newport and Florence. you can drive on down to Reedsport and head over to Crater Lake on Hwy 138/38- one of the most beautiful drives, in my opinion up the Umpqua/N Umpqua River. On to Crater Lake and up to Bend/Mt Hood/the Gorge. Note that the main area of Florence is not on the beach- it is behind the sand dunes. Astoria is also not on the coast-but on the Columbia River.

The only sticky wicket is Eugene- is there a specific reason you want to go to Eugene? Its a nice place, but not one of the 'must sees'-especially on a first trip-at least in my opinion.

Crowds on the coast is probably subjective-you probably wont find it crowded, but most of the roads are 2 lane so you'll have to account for being behind slow RVs, etc.

I highly recommend the boat trip on Crater Lake if you can squeeze it in and can hike down to the lake(and back up).

new york
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4. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Eugene is not absolutely necessary. I like vibrant college towns and I thought it might be a good place to rent bicycles for some easy riding but it can be skipped if it doesnt fit in with the rest of the plan.

Portland, OR
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5. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Hmmm... That is nine places in as many days. You COULD do it but the question is would you have FUN doing it or just exhausted? I, personally, would be exhausted!

Portland is an amazing city and it would be a shame to come all the way across the country and not spend a few days in this vibrant city!! The food alone will stand up to any city in the USA, IMHO. You could stay in Portland and definitely do day trips to The Gorge, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens and also Cannon Beach. I would choose either Bend/Sisters area or Crater Lake and would recommend Crater Lake unless you are avid hikers. Crater Lake is stunning!.

Skip Eugene and rent bikes for a day during your stay in Portland.

Enjoy!

new york
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6. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Yes, you are right. it does sound as if I have been overly ambitious in my wish list. We can add an extra night as well to make it 10 nights. We can skip Mount hood . Perhaps skip either the Gorge or Mount St Helens too. I like the idea of spending our nights in two or three locations and taking day trips as needed.

However still not sure how best to plan the driving route?

Florence, Oregon
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7. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Here's a possible itinerary to consider:

From Portland take hwy 99 through Newberg, Dundee, McMinnville to Corvallis (college town), then hwy 20 to Newport. This will will take you through Oregon's premire wine country and even if you are not into wine, like me, it's a beautiful drive. This drive will take close to 4 hrs with minimal stops, so depending on what time you leave Portland, you might want to overnight in the Newport/Yachats area.

From Newport/Yachats, drive hwy 101 south to Reedsport. As Chinookgrrl mentions, this section of Oregon Coast is especially scenic.

Take hwy 38 at Reedsport. This route follows the scenic Umpqua River and passes Dean Creek elk viewing pastures where you are all but assured to see many Roosevelt Elk. At Elkton, turn on to hwy 138 and travel to Sutherlin, where will pick up I-5. Take I-5 south about 10 miles to Roseburg where you will pick up hwy 138 again, again traveling along the Umpqua River through some of the best scenery Oregon has to offer. (Newport to Roseburg takes about 3 hrs with minimal stops). You can access the north entrance to Crater Lake from hwy 138 just past Diamond Lake. (Roseburg to Crater takes about 2 hrs).

From Crater Lake, travel east to hwy 97 then north to Bend/Sisters. (about 2 hrs) From there, continue on hwy 97/197 to The Dalles. (about 3-3.5 hrs) From The Dalles, take I-84 west through the Columbia River Gorge. Another option would be to take hwy 26 off of hwy 97 at Madras up over Mt Hood, then pick up the Historic Columbia River Hwy and loop back to Portland on I-84.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

Welcome to our forums, agentman.

Here's my opinion (MHO in fact) Since you are already close to the *CRGSNA* (and Multnomah Falls), you could take in the Gorge then take the Oregon 35 just after Hood River (exit 64) up to the Deschutes (we have found Maupin be the city and Sage Rafting is good) then head towards Sisters and on down to the coast. (there is rafting on the White Salmon too in the Gorge, Zoller's outdoor adventures.)

You will miss Sisters big Quilting Show the second week of July and it's so fun. But maybe you are not into quilting. It is a well attended show and lots of fun.

You will just be skimming Mt.Hood but you will see some beautiful views of it.

I would skip Mt ST Helens. That should give you a more calm vacation. I would add that extra day.

Have fun planning.

MrsO

Eugene, Oregon
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9. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

http://www.oregoncountryfair.org/

Eugene is, indeed, a vibrant college town. However, most of the students will be gone for the summer by July, calming things down considerably. If your itinerary coincides with the staging of the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, I think you would find this to be a unique, fun experience. It would involve a full day and there's no parking to speak of at the fair (free shuttle buses from Eugene). If interested, you should get tickets in advance.

Think of it as sort of a family oriented Woodstock with dozens of great food booths, about a dozen stages with all sorts of performers, a crazy parade and lots of strolling street performers...all created annually over acres of open fields and forest (no motorized vehicles or carts allowed, creating interesting logistical issues for all the food booths). Planners work year-round on this. It used to be known for drugs (you could get high just breathing the air) and nudity, but it's been cleaned up in the past decade and is just a whole lot of fun now.

If you don't want to schedule this, I agree with the other posters who have said there are other places to go that are more popular with tourists. Come back to Eugene sometime during the school year and enjoy our vibrant city and alll the recreational opportunities we have to offer.

Oregon
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10. Re: Please help me plan our trip. Can we fit it all in!

I like chinookgrrls trip suggestion. Reedsport to Roseburg to Crater Lake up the N Umpqua is a good way. And Depoe Bay to Florence on coast one of our 2 or 3 best coast sections.

Poppa makes a good point with most of students gone you won't see as much, Both Oregon State and UO have very nice campuses. But if you must see one Dengay has good idea. Beaverland much better than Duckland. Then I spent 5 school years on that campus

Edited: 04 March 2013, 19:29