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“Oregon...One of God's Masterpieces”
Review of Oregon

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
“Oregon...One of God's Masterpieces”
Reviewed 28 August 2013

My husband and I visited Oregon in August travelling down the coast from Seaside to Reedsport then cutting inland to the Willamette Valley, Washington's Mt. St.Helen's, the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood and Silver Falls State Prk. We flew into Portland, rented a car and took off to the coast. Getting around was easy with our GPS system we brought from home. Our first stop was Ecola State Park and gazed across the bay to the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and then on to Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock on a sunny afternoon. The beach is beautiful with so much room to walk, picnic and lounge. The streets were full of tourists combing the shops and restaurants. We did not stay but went to Seaside where we stayed @ Guesthouse Inn and Suites. We were unable to find a place in Cannon Beach because all places we tried to book in June required a minimum of a 3 day stay which didn't work into our plans. All places we stayed in, except one in Oregon were clean, comfortable and had breakfast included, nothing fancy but comfy places to sleep and shower. We ate @ Maggie's on the Prom, very expensive but wonderful seafood. We went on the early side and sat outside, otherwise we would have needed reservations. The dress was Oregon casual. After a walk on the Prom, we found some Tillamook ice cream in a shop next door to a wonderful looking deli where we could have eaten. Next morning, we drove south down 101 to Tillamook stopping at the cheese factory and the Blue Heron for picnic supplies. We brought a cooler with us that we were able to pack in a suitcase and it served us well as we travelled. We found the road to Cape Meares Lighthouse south of town and the Three Capes Loop. Road construction made the Loop hard to get around and we totally gave up on finding Cape Kiwanda. However, Cape Meares and the gorgeous beach, lighthouse and Octopus tree were great hikes. The weather turned cool and windy and the sun disappeared as we expected on the coast. The turnouts along the road awarded us with breathtaking views, where we saw birds, whales, lighthouses and rock formations. We picnicked on the beach and took short hikes to what looked interesting. We stayed the night in Newport @ The Whaler Motel and ate at Mo's Original and had great seafood again. We tried to poke around the shops but most close up early and it was raining anyway. Next morning, fog enveloped us but we got some very interesting photos of the harbor and bridge. Heading south down 101 brought us to Yachats where we spent some time browsing galleries waiting for the weather to improve, then on to Cape Perpetua and the Devil's Punchbowl. We picnicked looking out over the gorgeous semi-foggy landscape @Cape Perpetua. There are short walking trails and longer ones for those with lots of time. We took many trails in Oregon and all were well maintained and clean. We travelled down as far as Heceta Head Lighthouse and toured the facilities and walked some short trails. We had reservations that night back in Yachats @ Deannes Oceanfront Lodge and it was. This is an old family owned motel that backs right up to the ocean. It was a really quaint but comfortable place to stay. We ate at Pizza Garage another family run place where the pizza was great, the beer cold, pool tables and good conversation. Next morning, the weather had improved so we thought we'd try Cape Perpetua again. We also stopped @ Strawberry Hill and were rewarded with fantastic tide pools teeming with beautifully colored starfish clinging to the rocks and sea anenomes. Another great hike. Then, it was on to Florence to the Dunes and Reedsport where we saw elks at the reserve. If we were to do this again, we could have stayed the previous night in Florence rather than Yachats so we didn't need to backtrack north. From Reedsport we moved on to Eugene and checked into the Holiday Inn Express-Downtown University. This is a very nice hotel and we were able to clean up before going to Sarver Winery for the Friday night pizza and music overlooking the beautiful landscape of the Willamette valley. The place was packed but we were able to park and shared a table w/some friendly Oregonians and had a great time. Go early! The next day we moved on to our wine tour. We visited 4 wineries: Archery Summit, White Rose, Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene. We enjoyed the wine and scenery sharing 1 flight of wine at each place to keep us sober and cutting down on costs. We spent that night @ The Lion's Gate B&B in Newport. It was a lovely home and cozy retreat with wine, cheese and fruit to greet us. Breakfast the next morning was fabulous and the chance to visit with the other guests was fun. Our next drive was up to Washington's Mt. St. Helen's. It was an easy trip from Newberg and we were rewarded with great scenery and sunshine. The visitor's center @Johnston Ridge was a great place to start. We hiked a 2 1/2 mi. trail, the Hummocks and saw some more great views of the mountain. It was well worth the trip up to Washington to see this part of history. We drove back to Portland for the night and stayed @ Hampton Inn Portland East so we would be ready to start the Columbia River Gorge in the morning. We drove the historic highway 30 west to east to take in the falls and hikes along the way. We hiked part way up to Wahkeena Falls and took the trail to the top and beyond Multnomah Falls. This is a strenuous hike uphill with 11 switchbacks. The trail is well maintained and there were many people sweating and huffing and puffing along the way. This was an accomplishment for us and we were rewarded with some great sights. Drink lots of water along the way. The trip downhill is hard on the knees but quicker! After lunch, we continued driving the falls loop and took a ride across the gorge on the Bridge of the Gods...not worth the bother. We were anxious to get to our next stop, Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. This was a highlight of the trip for us. Mt Hood was magnificent and the lodge was a treasure. We ate in the mezzanine bar and watched the sunset on the mountain. This is a wonderful place to stay and experience. There is a restaurant for meals, no breakfast included here. Again, lots of great hikes available. We spent the rest of the day travelling the Mt Hood loop stopping for hikes and scenery. We spent the night @ Oxford Suites in Gladstone at the southern part of Portland. They had a light supper meal with wine and beer available as well as breakfast at no charge for guests. Our next day was devoted to Silver Falls State Park and an outlet mall north of Salem on I-5 before spending our final night near the airport in Portland @Country Inn and Suites. They have a nice bar and restaurant. The best hints I can give is take advantage of picnic sites, fruit stands and purchase a state park pass to cut down on a $5 a day usage fees at each state park. Even though we did not camp, there were many, many opportunities to camp at some great sites. Oregon is beautiful...a real treasure!

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Thank CRTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
2 reviews
“Oregon - Loved it”
Reviewed 10 November 2009

My friend and I did a whirlwind tour of Oregon in Sept. We started out on the coast at Seaside and traveled down the coast to Cascade City CA. My favorite places were Seaside, Cannon Beach and Escola State Park. We then took the Redwood Highway over to Oregon Caves National Monument. The Redwoods are at the beginning of the highway so don't miss them. Oregon Caves National Monument was worth seeing, very beautiful, but the tour could have moved along a little faster.

From there we went up to Crater Lake. The color of the water was amazing. Moving north we mountain biked the McKenzie River trail. I'd recommend this trail only if you are an experienced rider. The falls, Tamolitch(?) pool are beautiful. Even if you don't mountain bike its worth the hike. Mt Hood was okay, a little more desolate than I expected. The Columbia River Gorge was spectacular.

I'd like to visit Oregon again but spend more time in the Columbia River Gorge Area as well as the northern coast.

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Thank BarbaraConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
4 helpful votes
“Family vacation in Oregon”
Reviewed 9 October 2009

After hearing my wife rave about the beauty of Portland and the surrounding vicinity, we decided to go to Oregon for our summer vacation in early August. We started in Portland and stayed at the Embassy Suites in Washington Square in nearby Beaverton. Since we don't mind driving around, that location was perfect for us. The hotel was great because it offered free parking, free breakfast, and free snacks and drinks in the evenings. In Portland, we visited the Portland Saturday Market, took the aerial tram, toured the Pittock Mansion, and enjoyed the peace and tranquility (and beauty!) of the Japanese Tea Garden. We marveled at how lush and green the city is.
Then we hit the road. Our first destination was the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. Multnomah Falls was a highlight, but our favorite adventure was the Eagle Creek Trail to Punchbowl Falls. Along the way, we were advised to "hold onto the handrails," and we soon learned that the trail narrowed in several spots right on the edge of a cliff. Gulp! Scary, but a lot of fun and memories to last a lifetime. Our kids (all under 10) did great!
Then we went to Mount Hood. On the way there, we stopped at the Cascade Streamwatch. We also went to the Skibowl adventure park to ride the incredibly fun alpine slide. We bought 2-hour passes for unlimited rides. The ski lift to the top of the hill afforded fantastic views of Mount Hood. Later, we had dinner at Timberline Lodge, then went on the nearby trail and played in the small patches of snow (in August!) that were still there.
The next day, we went to the Enchanted Forest theme park in nearby Salem. The park has a neat history. It was a lot of fun, and the production of "Snow White and the Seven Dorks" was hilarious for kids and grownups alike.
We left Portland the next day and drove to Astoria (cute and quaint town), went to the beach and spent the night in Seaside, went to Ecola State Park (fantastic drive to the park, plus fantastic views), flied a kite at Cannon Beach, had lunch in Manzanita (very laid back), etc. We spent the night at the Salishan resort near Newport. Wow! Beautiful grounds. I wish we could have spent more time there, but there was still too much to see. We went tide-pooling at Yaquina Head Lighthouse recreational area; that was a real treat.
From there, we drove to Crater Lake National Park. We stayed at Mazama Village. Although the cabins are spartan, the Village has a nice restaurant and a general store. At dusk, the Village offered entertaining fireside talks by park rangers at its amphitheater. The park itself was a blast. We took a 3-hour boat tour of the lake, and the hike to the boat launch was a lot of fun. The highlight for the kids was playing in the patch of snow on the side of the road. We had snowball fights until it was time to go. When we first got there, the drive around the lake was treacherous because of a low-hanging cloud that made visibility next to impossible. It was white everywhere I looked except the few feet in front of our car. When we arrived, it was 46 degrees, and the next morning, it was 33 degrees. Cold, but a refereshing change from the sweltering heat back home.
Oregon was awesome!

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1 Thank jec77043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
121 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Central Oregon Coast”
Reviewed 8 March 2008

The central Oregon Coast is both unique and entertaining as well as relaxing. The area I enjoy extends north from Tillamook and as far south as Yachats. (pronounced Yah' Hauts) not yack hats.

Tillamook boasts the world famous Tillamook Cheese factory which can be toured for free with lots of free samples. Heading southward you have the panoramic views of bays, beaches, and oceans, along with wildlife and mountains which intrude right into the coastline. Farther south is Pacific city, with the little and big Nestuccas Rivers running through it full of seals, salmon, and steelhead. Its not unusual to see someone in a 12' boat hauling in a 40# chinook salmon.

As you continue south, you go through the sleepy hidden village of Neskowin, then into Lincoln City. This is several sleepy villages turned into one city since the tourists have affected the economy. The trick here is to go off season, during the week and motels and hotels run about 50-70% of regular rates. Its a steal. Its not unusual to find a nice out of the way motel such as the Nordic, recently remodeled with pool, hot tub, and steam rooms, along with continental breakfast and free movies for about $69-$79 off season midweek.
South of this is quaint Depoe Bay, named after Chief Depoe, the smallest harbor in the world. Its quaint off season/midweek, however during the summer weekends, you cant even find a parking spot.
Then south to Newport, a larger/small city with museums, aquariums, and nice parks with fishing, exploring and enjoying. It has a great harbor, bayfront area to explore.

South of this is the smaller cities of Waldport then Yachats. To be honest, the restaurants are marginal and the great small private cafes of the past have been replaced with lots of touristy eateries in the past 50 yrs but if you look around you can find some nice places....
ask the locals for advice because it changes constantly. Todays hot spot is tomorrows dive, Ive experienced this for years. Ive even heard that Salishan has gone bland in the last few years, so ask around.

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4 Thank AlHenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
42 reviews
240 helpful votes
“Eastern Oregon”
Reviewed 28 June 2006

EASTERN OREGON

Not a lot is said on tripadvisor about the east side of Oregon. Not real clear where Eastern Oregon begins some say Cascades, but I say somewhere east of Prineville but thought I might give a few ideas of what you can see there.

I have lived four different places in Eastern Oregon. Heppner, Pendleton, La Grande and John Day in that order. My larger family still near Heppner so go back. I also spent 17 years of my work life traveling and working in the National Forests of Oregon, much of that time on the eastside. So am familiar with Eastern Oregon.

MOUNTAINS

EO has 4 impressive mountain ranges moving northward

Steens. Out in the desert south of Burns. Highest point is just under 10,000 ' I have only traveled along west side. I have been completely around the other three more than once. . We ran into a bad of wild horses. Not as many trees as other mountains but still impressive. Two large lakes just north, Harney and Malheur

Strawberry. East and a bit south of John Day High point just over 9,000. John Day River Valley below it is about 3,000. Always impressive to drive along it on US-26. good views of valley floor, then forests then rock above timberline. Strawberry Lake is a nice short hike. On south side is Logan Valley a large high country meadow. Some nice views of Strawberries from there. too. I can just see Duvall driving a herd of something through it.

Elkhorns. West of Baker City . High point just over 9000. Baker City 3400. Anthony Lakes here is a short drive for Baker City. Nice setting in the forest. Mining country on west side. Mountains not as impressive from there, but the mining towns are good visits. Short train ride near Sumpter.

Wallowas. East of Baker City, but more impressive from south of the Wallowa River Valley and specially when well snow covered which is long part of year. High point I 10,000 give or take. Wallowa Lake good sized lake and view from north end very nice You see Lake with steep slopes on both sides. North half slope bare, south half tree covered, and Oregon’s Matterhorn in background. Wallowa River flows out of it, and Wallowa Valley very nice, Lostine, Minam and Imnaha Rivers flow north out of Wallowas. All pretty full rivers. Minam particularly. Catherine and Eagle Creek flow off south side. Many alpine lakes with nice hikes to them. Given one place to visit in EO this would be it.

And there are other mountains too. Blues between Pendleton and La Grande. Ochocos east of Prineville. Warners east of Lakeview, but above 4 most obvious and worth a journey

FORESTS

Five National Forests in EO. Wallowa/Whitman, Umatilla, Malheur, Ochoco, Fremont. They cover several million acres and are largely tree covered, with many nice rivers and creeks. And open for public to visit. So if you carefully pick routes you could be in forest much of visit to EO.

Of mountains mentioned above only Steens not on a NF. Steens is BLM so federal land and also largely accessible.

HELLS CANYON

Hells Canyon deepest in this country, but access is poor. Best way to see it is from jet boat on Snake Rivern, but that does not really show the depth well. I have been to Hat Point and view from there is outstanding. But you can’t get there easily. There is a fairly easy access viewpoint along Hells Canyon Wallowa Mtn Scenic Byway. That give you good idea of hugeness of that country. But I would consider paying to get to Hat Point

The Imnaha River Road just west of Hells canyon is a good drive and though not as big as Hells Canyon shows depth of that area.

FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Several sites north of US-26 between Prineville and John Day. Painted hills near Mitchell worth some time. So is visitor center at Sheep Rock along John Day River near Dayville. Anyone interested in fossils, these 3 or 4 sites a must. Check the Indian pictographs in Picture Gorge. You have to work a bit to find them. Painted Hills nice even if you don’t like fossils, so is Picture Gorge.


I could go on. Many nice small towns there. Rolling wheat fields. Cattle, Desert, Antelope. I will stop

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11 Thank phirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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