I posted a while back that my husband and I (both 36 y/o) are planning a 2 week trip next May for the purpose of a "self guided" brewery tour of Oregon. The more research I have done, the more overwhelmed I feel. Obviously we want to visit the craft breweries, but we don't want to miss out on the beauty of the location or the abundance of outdoor activities. We also want to do a winery tour in the Williamette Valley.
Our original thought was to leave everything open and not book hotels, tours, etc in advance. However, we now know that we have to book our wine tour in advance (I have already picked the tour guide) and we are also concerned about leaving Memorial Day weekend "un-booked." We don't want to spend a lot of time calling hotels to find availability.
So... all that said, we have to narrow down our itinerary and that is were I am hoping you all can help.
This is what we have so far.
Fri 5/18- arrive Portland (late)
Sat, Sun, Mon in Portland (possible tues and wed) see below.
These are the things we want to do while in Portland
Pub Tour (Monday 5/21)
Japanese Gardens (probably Sunday)
Sat Market (would go on Sunday)
PSU Farmers Market (Sat only)
Forktown Tour (Sat only)
We are willing to spend more time in Portland and make it our base to travel to Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge on Tues/Wed OR we can leave Portland and spend 1-2 nights in Hood River if that what would be best. Our interest is to see the waterfalls and visit Full Sail if able. Possibly cross into Washington for a few of the other breweries and scenery. Can we do this easily from Portland in 1-2 days or would it be best to move to Hood River?
Thursday 5/24 - From Portland or Mt Hood (depending)
Travel to Newport - one night
Friday 5/25 Leave Newport and head to Williamette Valley - currently planning for McMinnville. This is Memorial Day weekend- We know one day will be devoted to our wine tour. Should we plan on an extra day or two to sight see on our own? Can we do the Silver Falls SP for waterfalls from McMinnville? What other scenic byways should we not miss? What about any other outdoor activities here? Kayaking, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, etc?
The other concern is we will be stuck here because hotels may want a 3 night commitment because of the Holiday.
Now we are up to Monday 5/28. This is where we just can't decide what we should do... we have 4 days left...should we head to Bend for the Bend Ale Trail and Sunriver outdoor activities? Is it worth it? How long should we stay, 2 nights? 3? OR should we head back to Portland and on to Seattle?
This will be our very first trip to the Pacific NW and we keep going back and forth whether or not we want to try to visit both Oregon and Seattle or just get a good heavy dose of Oregon?
We are trying to limit changing hotel rooms to 4 times or less, but this is not absolutely necessary.
Thanks for the advice!
By the way, yes, we will have a rental car and yes one of us will always be the designated driver! We are physically able to make 6+ mile hikes to waterfalls if anyone has suggestions.