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Portland to Ashland in October

Milford PA
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Portland to Ashland in October

I will be visiting Oregon the first week of October this year. I plan to spend several days visiting friends in Oregon, and then drive down to Ashland to see some theater. When leaving Portland, I'd like to drive south to Corvallis, then cut over to the coast road between Newport and Florence or Reedsport before heading east again to Route 5 -- I've been told this is the most scenic coastal area. Does this sound like a reasonable route? And where would be a good place to spend the night before heading to Ashland the next day? ( I need to arrive in time for a 2 pm matinee, so don't want to drive more than a few hours in the morning). Any suggestions would be most helpful!

Oregon
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1. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

How much time do you have between your Portland departure and the 2:00 p.m. matinee? Drive times [very ish] are:

Portland to Corvallis [interstate]: just shy of 2 hours

Corvallis to Newport [2-lane highway]: 1 hour

Newport to Florence [2-lane highway]: 1.5 hours

Florence to Eugene [2-lane highway]: 1.5 hours

Eugene to Ashland [interstate]: 3-3.5 hours

The area between Newport and Florence is indeed beautiful and depending on how frequently you stop to ooh and aah, will take much longer than 1.5 hours.

North of Ashland an hour or two is the Wolf Creek Inn. I've never stayed there, but, I have always wanted to:

http://www.historicwolfcreekinn.com/

Roseburg or Grants Pass are towns along the freeway with the typical along-the-freeway hotels/motels.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

Instead of driving to Corvallis (unless there is specific reason?) I'd suggest taking I-5 to Salem, then Hwys 22/18 to Lincoln City. The road is faster, wider and generally a more pleasant drive than Hwy 20, which has major truck traffic with a 12 mile slow narrow winding section.

Plowing through Lincoln City can be a tedious 15-20 minutes, but then you'll start to see the ocean! You'll pass right through Depoe Bay, and can take the scenic original coast road for a few miles south of there called Otter Crest Loop:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51838-d35…

Yachats is very pretty and the stretch from there to Florence is beautiful.

From Reedsport to Ashland is about 3½ hours - we've driven it many times over the years. Hwy 38 is a lovely scenic drive along the Umpqua River.

The trick is to find a nice location for your overnight stop that is within the few hours you want to drive in the morning. Reedsport works out time-wise, but it's slightly inland and quite frankly is not the most scenic town! There is a decent enough motel along the river inland a few miles. The very small town of Elkton has one or two B&Bs but I don't know anything about them. There are towns with lodging along I-5 of course -- what type of lodging or 'atmosphere' are you looking for?

Milford PA
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3. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

To clarify, I was planning to leave Portland on Saturday and the Ashland matinee is Sunday. Thanks for the tips about Route 20; the Otter Crest Loop sounds wonderful too.

On Sunday I'd prefer to keep the driving time to a minimum, so I don't mind staying inland, perhaps somewhere off Route 5. How is Route 126 from the coast to Eugene?

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4. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

We have stayed several times at Wolf Creek Inn. It is very reasonably priced and has lots of charm and history. A very nice breakfast is included with your room. We like to have dinner there also. The staff is very friendly and they love to talk with guests about the Inn and it's history. :)

Oregon Coast
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5. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

Hwy 126 is a good road. Not what I call particularly scenic but it's okay. You can bypass Eugene and some of I-5 if you turn right at Veneta on the Territorial Highway.

We've had lunch at Wolf Creek and wandered to look at the [unoccupied] rooms. It's nice in old fashioned sort of way - it is the oldest continuing lodging in Oregon.

There's lodging in Sutherlin, Roseburg and Canyonville as well.

Oregon
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6. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

Interesting perspectives on Hwy 20 vs. Hwy 22 -- I drive Hwy 20 regularly and prefer it to Hwy 22; I don't notice truck traffic on that road any more than other roads. I also think 20 is an easier shot from I-5 for those not familiar to Oregon; there's a bit of a wiggle through small Corvallis and that's it, rather than having to meander through or around much-larger Salem.

But, the drive south from to Depoe Bay is nice; the Otter Crest Loop has amazing views. It is a one-way, narrow road that is a bit daunting if you afraid of heights.

If you do go Hwy 22 to Lincoln City, I recommend stopping at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area that is just north of Newport. There is a small fee to access the area but it's worth it.

Milford PA
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7. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

Just checked on the Wolf Creek Inn and it will be closed for renovations in October. Too bad, it looks like a nice place.

Milford PA
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8. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

OK -- so are there any other interesting alternative routes between Portland and Ashland that might take less time than the coast road, and would give us some nice scenery and a good place to stop for the night? It does seem like the coastal route is going to be difficult, especially if the weather isn't good.

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9. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

7 Feathers Casino in Canyonville is nice. They have a great indoor pool. Ask for a newly remodeled room. They have a great spa there also. :).

Newberg, Oregon
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10. Re: Portland to Ashland in October

If you leave Portland right after breakfast, then take 18/22 or 34/20 over to the Coast, cut back to I-5 from Florence to Eugene, then continue south to Canyonville, you should be able to reach the 7 Feathers Casino and Resort by early evening. Good spot for an overnight sleep -- eat at the resort or at Serafino's (very good Italian food, budget prices) about a mile away in the center of the small town of Canyonville. From there, it's around 80 miles to Ashland, so you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading south and you'll have plenty of time to make your matinee.

Edited: 21 July 2014, 22:49