We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

8 posts
Save Topic
Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

Hello! My husband and I are planning a 3 week trip to the PNW. We are both retired, interested in the natural beauty of the area, the mountains, forests and the history of the area. We aren't interested in wine country or hiking (strolling would be fine)We are flying in and out of Seattle. I have a list of places we would like to see, but the list seems very long! We are also going to Oregon and hoping to visit Victoria, BC. Here's my list....Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Columbia River Gorge, down to Bend and Crater Lake, over to the Oregon coast up 101 to Astoria, stopping to see the sights along the way. Then to ONP and Victoria and back to spend a few days in seattle. Have we planned too much? I'll post in the Washington forum as well, any ideas would be welcome! Thanks

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

My reply on the WA TA Forum.

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

Oregon coast is best southbound. Most pulloffs on ocean side, plus passenger gets better ocean views. Astoria and Newport for me are best towns, more to do there. Bandon also pretty good town. Many like Yachats.

Crater Lake can be done as drive through. say Grants Pass to Bend. Hard to get a room at CL lodge, and Diamond Lake Resort does not work for some with better tastes. I have stayed a few times there for work, but have yet to take my wife. though she would probably be ok.

Plan at least a full day in Bend area, many things to see Newberry Crater, McKenzie Pass, Camp Sherman, Cascade Lakes SB.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,887 posts
1,049 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

Three weeks is a fair amount of time. You'll be busy but I think you can do it.

For Oregon, it's easy to make a "loop" which will include what you want to see. Start along the NW coast at Astoria, go south on Hwy 101 to Crescent City, California. Then you'd take Hwy 199 back into Oregon, go by Crater Lake, Bend and north to Columbia River. Then west along the Gorge to Portland.

Visitors do this type of route all the time taking anywhere from about 7 days (that's rushing) to about 12.

When are you planning to visit?

Level Contributor
34,991 posts
898 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

Are you planning to overnight in Astoria? :)

OREGON
Level Contributor
17 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

You have an ambitious but do-able plan. I won't repeat what the other posters have said but just offer one tip: By all means go to Mt St Helens and see it at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. This is the closest point to the volcano and has a fascinating documentary of what happened the day it blew. Unforgettable!

8 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

Thank you all for your suggestions. I think we have completely rearranged our trip. Here's the latest plan.....out of Sea Tac to Astoria arriving evening. Planning on 1 full day there and maybe over to Cape Disappointment. Leave next day to Oregon Coast, planning at least 5 days to get to Cresent City. Redwoods 2 days, over to Crater lake, (taking 1day) to Bend, overnight, to Hood River (area) and Columbia River Gorge (3 days total) Mt. St. Helens, 1 day, to Mt. Rainier 1 day back to Seattle 3 days, giving us a few days extra. I think we have given up going to Victoria, BC. Have I overestimated travel and sightseeing times or given too much time to any one area? We are really interested in the history, museums, and the scenic areas and drives...we're not into hiking, but we do want to see as much as we can! Also ideas for staying in Seattle downtown, so we can walk or take the trolley to the main sites, Pikes Market, Space Needle, sculpture park etc..... thanks agains for your replies

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

History? Museums? Make sure you have time in Astoria them Lewis & Clark sites and Maritime museums are good for that. And Astoria has some historic homes, plus Astor Column

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
2,324 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

Not sure when you are coming, but if you want to see a fair amount of scenery without hiking, check out the Rogue River jet boats at Gold Beach- you'll see lots of scenery and wildlife.

If I'm reading correctly you have 3 days planned for the Columbia Gorge- depending on what you do, that may be one day too many-particularly if you arent interested in hiking. Also the Maryhill Muesum in the gorge is pretty eclectic.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,887 posts
1,049 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

I think that's a good plan, Vicahe. There is lots and lots of beautiful scenery you can see in Oregon without hiking :-)

Many of the coastal towns have museums.

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
11,885 posts
129 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Oregon/Washington Bucket list!

There are plenty of Intereperetive centers (The Dalles, Multnomah Falls and Stevenson WA) and just the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises are enough to keep you happy.

There is a Hood River Fruit Loop, wineries, you can watch kite boarders at Event Park, 100 YO steam train, then all the waterfalls on both the Oregon and Washington side. You can take a trip up to Timberline Lodge while you are there. Be sure to visit the Wy'East Day side of it if you want keepsakes as they have a gift shop downstairs. The views from this mountain hugging National Historic Landmark are stunning! It's reachable from O35 next to Hood River.

Although the drive is about under 40 miles, there are views you may want to take time to stop and photograph on your drives. Yesterday it took us about 2 hours to drive down the 5 mile drive from Timberline and get to Event Park in Hood River because we took our time and enjoyed the sights and stopped for picture taking and at a few fruit stands.

We whiled away a couple of hours tasting wine at Marchesi Vineyards off of Country Club Drive in Hood River.

We tried to stop in at Bonneville Dam but it closes at 5. We had 8 minutes so just turned around.

We are going back today but we live close. If we didn't have to waste time re-driving what we did yesterday to see more- we would be good.

A good thing to note is that the staffed places close at 5 usually.

We were tired last night but we took the time to eat at Tad's Chicken and Dumplings at a window table overlooking the Sandy River in Troutdale on the Historic Columbia River Highway.. They throw open the windows and the river is just right there! Razor Clams for me even though it is called Tad's Chicken and Dumplings they serve other food. Good Stuff!

Today, Shirley's Tippy Canoe for breakfast then on back to Hood River. Then back home for a picnic by 3:30. I Hope- the time gets away from you when you are in such beauty.

Best

MrsO