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The columbia river gorge etc.

dallas
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The columbia river gorge etc.

We have one day to explore this area. We are staying in Downtown Portland. We will Rent a car that morning and head out by 9am. What is the best route/ falls to see/ town to have lunch in/ drive back?

I have been reading a lot on the forums for recommendations but everyone's questions are all over the place and I dont have a sense of the geography or travel times yet. So excuse me if this has been asked before. I didnt see it in my standard search.

We are looking for Views and waterfalls. We want dramatic scenery with not a ton of hiking. 30 min hike max i would think. We want to get a sense of the area and a taste of everything. Eating with a view is always a favorite where possible.

Thank you for your help!

Vancouver...
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1. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

Take I-84 East. Turn off on the Old Columbia River Highway East. Have lunch at Multnomah Falls lodge. Before you do anything, get a paper map and look at it so you can get a " a sense of the geography or travel times" and also the big picture where things are and times from, in relation to Portland. Chuck.

Portland, OR
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2. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

You won't be able to get a taste of everything with just a day but it is a good start.

If you were to drive from a downtown hotel straight to Hood River on 84, you would get there in about an hour. By exploring the scenic highway, you can take as much or as little time as you like. There are many waterfalls right next to the road and you can pull over to take photos. There are also waterfalls that are just a short hike in.

Once you visit Multnomah Falls for a view of it, head straight to Hood River where you will have great dining options. Full Sail Brewery has a view but I prefer Double Mt Brewery or 6th Street Bistro for lunch.

dallas
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3. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

Thank you for your responses...if we just meander down the road and take our time will we be missing anything further along the trip? Any must sees that are within maybe 1.5 hr from portland max? I think 3 hrs of driving will be enough for one day for us.

Thanks!

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

The views and waterfalls you're looking for are mostly within about a 15-mile section of hwy 30 (the old Columbia River highway): columbiariverhighway.com/historic_columbia_r… . Take exit 22 from I-84 east to get on it. Your first stop should be Women's Forum Overlook, and from then on others will generally be obvious. A few of the falls require a short walk, and of those, I particularly like Bridal Veil and Wahkeena.

I agree with PDXWindJammer to head to Hood River for lunch. But save a little room. Because, having read other of your posts, I think you'd enjoy a visit to Marchesi, where $5 per person will buy you one of the best wine tasting experiences you may ever have: a flight of 5 - 6 wines, bread & bread-sticks, cheese, salami... all served at your table. Marchesi produces mostly warmer weather Italian varietals, which you generally won't find in the Willamette Valley.

Edited: 24 March 2014, 19:50
Portland, OR
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5. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

The Oregon Coast is 90 minutes away and a must see. Maybe you should purchase a guide book to get sense for things to do and see in Portland. Once you outline your rough draft itinerary, we will better be able to advise you. It is difficult to advise you without knowing who the "we" is or what it is you are interested in.

Have fun planning the trip!

Oregon
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6. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

3 hours?? Not really enough. If you take old highway, and you should, it can take that long and more before you are ready to head back to Portland. Too many things to see to be in a hurry. I would go at least as far as Bonneville Dam. And really best day is to go to Hood River and then turn back. Though if you really want to see the Gorge go to The Dalles before you turn back.

Portland, OR
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7. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

Thrumylens, unfortunately, Marchesi now charges for their charcuterie plates. No freebies except the breadsticks on all the tables. I agree that it is a nice stop. Mt Hood Winery has spectacular views of Mt Hood on a clear day and I love their rose' but not a fan of some of their wines. You could pack a picnic lunch, get a bottle of rose' and eat it out on their huge patio. They often have Solstice Pizza food cart out front and this is some of the BEST pizza around!

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

Thanks for the correction, PDXWindJammer. We've been club members there for over a year now, so I didn't know they'd changed their policy. Certainly understandable! Thinking of spectacular Mt. Hood views, ever stopped at the Solera Brewpub in Parkdale? Have to admit I don't recall much about the brews or the food, but that view.....

Edited: 24 March 2014, 20:13
Portland, OR
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9. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

Yeah, I used to belong to the wine club there, too. Dropped it because they didn't have some of the great comps that my other clubs have such as comp tastings for up to 3 friends and 2-3 times yearly free dinners or lunches.

I haven't been to Solera yet but it is on my list!

dallas
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10. Re: The columbia river gorge etc.

Sorry my post was confusing. This is only one portion of our trip... we will be doing the coast and the wine country later. I am posting on the site specific forums to hopefully get those experts opinions for each area.

Also we will be going to the gorge for the entire day. the 3 hr comment was in reference to actual DRIVE time. not including stops etc... We will be out there all day as long as it takes =)!

Thank you again for your help thrumylens, that map is great. It seems like most of those falls you can drive almost right up to. Is that correct?

After doing all of these falls in the morning... Or picking the best 3-4... And having lunch in Hood river. What is the best route back?

Thanks!