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How ambitious is this Itinerary?

Los Angeles, CA
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How ambitious is this Itinerary?

Planning an Oregon trip for late this summer for my wife and me. I wanted to see if I could get some feedback on how ambitious this itinerary would be--or if it is too ambitious, whether there are alternative suggestions.

We'll be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary along the way, so we're looking for a mix of fun, scenery, romance and relaxation.

Here is my current idea:

Saturday--Fly into Medford. Drive down to Ashland, spend the afternoon there and catch a play at the Shakespeare festival.

Sunday morning--Drive to Crater Lake and spend the day hiking/driving/exploring the area.

Monday--Drive to the Central Coast. Maybe Florence and the DUnes area or Yachats or Newport.

Tuesday--Head up the coast a bit, maybe Newport this time.

Wednesday--Head up to Manzanita/Cannon Beach.

Thursday--Drive to Astoria.

Friday to Saturday--Drive to Mt. Hood. Explore Hood River.

Saturday Drive back to Portland and spend the rest of the long Labor Day weekend in Portland, flying home to Los Angeles sometime on Monday.

Again, I'm open to other suggestions and would love some tips on activities or other local knowledge for the trip.

Thanks for any advice.

Florence, Oregon
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1. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

IMHO, your itinerary looks very doable. Though I seriously doubt you will drive straight through from location to location, here are the approximate drive times to help you decide where you'd like to stop for the night:

Medford>Florence= 3-3.5 hrs (Take Hwy 138 at Sutherlin-more direct route and more scenic).

Florence>Newport= 1-1.25 hrs

Newport>Manzanita= 2.5-3 hrs

Manzanita>Astoria= 1 hr

Hope this helps.


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2. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

I don't think it is too much. If you don't mind all the driving.

From Medford to Crater Lake is about 2 hours. driving around the Lake is a 2 hour drive.

To do-

I can answer from Newport North to Astoria easily so here is what I would do, though there is lots.

Newport- Aquarium (it is awsome IMO) Other options would be sea lion caves, at the docks are sea lions and you can go crabbbing, or go out on a fishing or crabbing boat, lots of shops and a wax museum, and little places to eat right at the docks. Someone else can better recommend where to eat there. Lincoln City has the outlet mall, casino, so depends on what you want.

From Newport north to Manzanita, there is Tillamook Forest as well as Tillamook Cheese Factory (at least stop for Ice Cream and see how they make cheese.. it doesn't take long if you don't want it to), there is also an amazing airport museum.... amazing because it is in a WWII hanger, and it is HUGE! Again all depends on what you like.

Make sure to hit pull offs, and take pics of the beach, there are awsome places to stop all up and down the coast. If you feel like a hike I would pick Oswald West St. Park as there are lots of choices in the lengths of the hike, and the beach is fun there.

Cannon Beach I would stay at the Stephanie Inn except they have a 2 day minimum. So pick a place by the ocean, and get a suite with a fireplace! They are all about equal in my book, the bigger names anyway, so do a google search or check out the Cannonbeach.net site.

Here is my goList for Cannon Beach.. it is written with familys with kids in mind, but might give you a feel for it.


There are lots of great little galleries, and I would eat at the Lazy Susan for Breakfast if it was me. And take in a show at the Coaster Theater, if it was one I liked. Nightlife as my golist mentions is pretty sparce in Cannon Beach. But the bakeries, and atmosphere are awsome ;). Cannon Beach is a thematic town, all buildings are cedar sided, and are kept within strict regs. very cute. If you need gasoline here fill up at the KOA, otherwise head into Seaside as it would be cheaper.

From CB to Astoria-

Seaside is a fun town (I grew up there, and need to make a go list) Do a google search and ask me questions, because I coule really write a book. Take a walk on the Prom is my main to do at Seaside. Either that or get some bread head to the Cove and feed the Seagulls after a picnic lunch (they have public restrooms and a picnic table there).

Gearhart is Quiet, but has a unique mexican place to eat (I forget the name at the moment, as well as the best Chinese in the area, so stop here if you want those types of food, they are on the main HWY so easy to spot. Gearhart also boasts the only drive on beach in the area, at Del Ray, so pass Gearhart and then just follow the signs.

Ft. Stevens and Ft. Clatsop come up next so do some research on them.

Ft. Stevens boasts, Battery Russell, Coffenbury Lake with Kayak rentals in the summer, A Bird Sactuary, lots of trails, the Peter Iredale (what 2 boards are left of it, and the South Jetty. The south Jetty is a MUST see IMO in the area. It has a lookout tower, and it overlooks the south jetty (man made!) of the Columbia River, and the waves crash right there. It is one of my husband's and I's favorite places, we used to go at night with a blanket and lay on the platform and watch the stars. ;).

Ft. Clatsop is where Lewis and Clark's Westernmost outpost was, and they are currently rebuilding the replica of their fort, it burnt down not long ago. But the interpretive center is still there and very interesting... if you are interested in Lewis and Clark, in Seaside they have their Salt Carin, and there are other sites I can recommend.

Ft. Stevens is behind Warrenton, and Ft, Clatsop is in Lewis & Clark.

Either way you go, next is Astoria.

Here is my go list.......again not specifically for romantic getaways and not at all finished, I need to edit it I notice, but with two toddlers....well LOL

Here is the link


In Astoria there is a nice dock you can walk on as well as a lookout tower, watch for seals. I would also make sure to get in the Astor Column. If you like museums, it boasts a few, from the Maritime Museum, Historical Museum, Flavel House, and even a Firefighters Museum. For Wines there is the Shallon Winery, and there is the Celler on 10th with a great assortment, course most restaurants have bars and wine, but two nice ones are the Silver Salmon Bar and Grille (I love their food, but it is $$$), and the Schooner Bay Bistro.(food is $$$ but not as good IMO), Both are non smoking. For a place to stay in Astoria, For your needs I would pick a B&B, but other options are the new hotels in town, there is a Best Western that just got remodeled, the Holiday Inn Express is new, and there is the Cannery Pier Hotel which would also have Awsome Views, and is new. I haven't stayed in any of these and don't know the prices, but alot of the hotels on the main road thru town, I wouldn't pick if I was going with my hubby on my anniversary.

In Astoria there are a few neat shops, and galleries, I do updates every week from here, so if there is something specific you are interested in let me know!

As for food, there is great food all up and down the coast, what is your price range and your likes ;).

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3. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

Hope you have tickets at Ashland they fill up quick

Hope you plan on 138 down the N Umpqua, nice drive and as Dennis says also best way on to coast.

You did not mention Col Riv Gorge, Old Highway very nice drive on way to Hood River.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

"How ambitious is this itinerary?"

My two word answer: Not enoughish!

You see, the thing about Oregon that people from out of state don't realize is that we're a go!-go!-go! culture that encourages packing in as much experience into as little time as possible.

Despite what some of the "Oregonistas" on this forum might tell you, the best way to see my state is through the window of a rented Chevrolet Malibu's sunroof.

Trees. Beach. Mountain. That's all you need to know. Write those three words on a 3x5 card and cross them off when you see them. Give yourself extra points if it's raining.

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5. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

It sounds wonderful! While in Ashland, check out the Peerless restaurant, we'll be dining there very soon AGAIN! We're trying to decide between the Timberline Lodge or the Columbia River Gorge Hotel. I love CRGH and recommend it if you need lodging. Others want to snowboard at Mt. Hood for the morning, so we'll see what happens!

You are going to be doing/seeing lots of things, enjoy! Where are you staying in Astoria? The Cannery Pier Hotel is gorgeous, I'll take lots of pics and post them here a bit later. If you want to check out Astoria, I have some photos posted under the Review section here if the area to give you a nice feel for the place. We've had a home there for about 20 years, it's a great place to relax and hang your hat!

If you like art, you may want to consider the Maryhill Museum(WA side) we're also considering a stop here if we "do" the Gorge thing. Welcome to the forums and please let us know how it goes!

I'd be happy to help you fine-tune your Astoria/Seaside part of your trip. If you're there on Sun., don't miss the Sunday Market, it's great. I'll write a Review with Photos when we're there soon. Have fun and happy travels! :)

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

While we are waiting for all the photos and reports, I would only say that it sounds like a very action packed, flying past everything but not really soaking in anything trip.

oregone, you always make me laugh!

I think since you are celebrating an anniversary in addition to making a nice trip, that it might be a richer experience if you cut down a bit on the driving and cramming so much in and perhaps spend a little more time in a few less places, soaking in the beauty of the place, not just noting it as you drive by.

But then, although I live in Portland, I am still not sure of distances, so perhaps it will not be as much of a trip spent in a car as it sounds.

Happy Anniversary from someone who has been married about 100 years :)

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7. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

I think it sounds like a great itinerary.

Syrahgirl--Timberline is fantastic. If you need any info on the area, let me know:) Also, the Maryhill Museum is quite a ways out in case you didn't know. You go all the way out to Biggs, then up to Goldendale. The area is interesting. Again, if you need help, I know it well:)

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

Have you done this kind of road trip before? Personally, I don't like checking in and out of hotels every day. Your itinerary is doable, but you could make a few changes to give yourselves more relaxing time, without sacrificing too much of the Trees, Beach, and Mountains. ;-)

How about overnights as follows:

1: Ashland;

2: Crater Lake area;

3 & 4: Central coast; I suggest Yachats

5 & 6: North coast; Cannon Beach

7 - ?: Portland.

The Gorge and Mt. Hood could easily be a day trip from Portland. Activities? Most of them are pretty obvious. Let us know specific interests if you'd like details. Happy planning.

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9. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

I believe the biggest crunch is going to be from Crater Lake to the coast! Just pray there’s not fog that day. It’s a shame when you drive the distance out in the middle of nowhere and you can’t see the site. It’s happened to me! Worth it? Oh my, yes! ::if no fog::

I always tell people that once you’re driving up the Oregon coast, you have to figure 100 miles equals 3 hours of driving. The roads wind around and you just cannot drive as fast on the highway. When I stay at our cabin in Manzanita and we drive to Newport, it’s a good 3+ hours. If this is your first time to Oregon, you’ll want to stop pretty often to take in the sites.

If you leave Astoria and head up the Gorge, the best of Hood River is right on the river, watching the wind surfing! God forbid if you don’t stop at one of the MANY waterfalls along the way! Multnomah Falls is a must! There’s a scenic loop drive if you take exit #17 (Troutdale) off of I-84. You’ll wish you had a model-A to drive! Don’t forget Crown Point! The best stops are before you even make it to Hood River.

The Columbia River Gorge Hotel is famous for their “umpteen course” breakfasts. If you make it as far as Timberline Lodge, you’ll feel like your in the alps though. Timberline is a memorable place. Lots of history! From Timberline, onto Hwy 26, you’re in my stopin grounds. Because I drive to Portland everyday to work from “the Mt”…. It’s ho-hum for me.

Whatever you do though… take a tiny side trip as you come through Sandy, Or. Turn onto BLUFF Road towards the High School. Go approx 1 mile. Park at Jonsrud View Point. One of the best views of the mountain and the valley below. Many days I plan my drive to work and time the sunrise about the time I come through Sandy. Ah! The sun comes up right behind the Mt and the colors repeatedly take my breath away!


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10. Re: How ambitious is this Itinerary?

We just visited the Oregon coast and stayed at the Pana-sea-ah bed and breakfast in Lincoln Beach. It was wonderful. They have a great web site. We stayed in the Garden Room--wonderful and what a view!! Great people also.