Author Topic: Oregon road trip  (Read 4812 times)

MMMdude

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Oregon road trip
« on: February 27, 2016, 12:33:33 PM »
Hey there, Canadian planning an Oregon road trip.  Our plan is to stay in Portland a few days so would love some suggestions on great beer places and also the top sights and things to do in the surrounding area.

After Portland we'd like to travel north on the Oregon coast line.  Looks like a place called Tillamook (sp?) might be a good place to venture from Portland and begin our Northward journey and we'll probably spend a night there or elsewhere if there is a better suggestion.  Once on the coast any must stop places?

Suit

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 12:45:46 PM »
I'm betting other Oregonians will chime in with their favorites too, there's a good sized group of us. As far as breweries, there are TONS to pick from: 10 barrel, Deschutes, Rogue, take a look around here: http://oregoncraftbeer.org/breweries/ also if you wind up in Astoria, check out Ft. George, I hear it's awesome. Another route to go in Portland is to go to a Taproom, like Civic or Bailey's which have great tap lists and let you bring in your own food. Tillamook is best know for the Tillamook dairy, Newport (on the coast) is known for the aquarium. If you like hiking check out the Columbia River Gorge for hikes near Hood River. If you dig snow, stop by Mt. Hood for tubing, skiing, snowboarding etc. The Willamette Valley area has great wineries too if you're in to that. Most of these things are about an hour to an hour and a half away from Portland, very doable for day trip exploring. Enjoy your trip here!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 12:51:02 PM »
Well hello! I am the resident Oregon tour guide ;) Self-appointed. I love talking about my home state. Born, raised, and lived in most parts of it.

Tillamook is lovely. The cheese factory is a must. Pelican brewery (to the south, in Pacific City) has good beer but meh food, although the fried cheese curds are well worth it. Otherwise, it depends!
A few questions:
are you traveling with dogs or kids?
Do you like active or calm vacations?
Are you a hiker, shopper, etc?
Do you like sea food?
Do you like gathering your own food- ie, clamming, fishing, crabbing, etc

There are lots of types of activities for lots of types of people!

Big attractions include:
Mo's (clam chowder)
Sea lion caves
All sorts of hikes
Devil's churn/devil's punch bowl and similar awesome ocean amazing-ness
Lots of salt water toffee

It also depends what time of year you're traveling.

Re: Portland. Beer options a-plenty. Any brewery in particular or type of beer you like? Widmer, Rogue, and Deschutes breweries are all popular stops. Bridgeport is less known but awesome- I recommend going during happy hour or it is $$$. There are TONS of smaller places though- burnside, breakside, cascade barrel, etc etc. Also lots of cider houses. If you like cider, I highly recommend going to Reverend Nat's.
As for what else to do in Portland: same questions. Foodie? Hiker? Shopper? Spa patron? (there's an awesome sauna facility in NE!) Lots to do, just need to know where to point you.

geekette

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 01:17:23 PM »
If you make it to Tillamook, could you send me some of their smoked sharp cheddar?  It was divine.

We went down the coast to the Jennifer Sears glass place, and I had fun blowing glass and turning it into a bowl. Yeah, most of the real work was done by an expert, but I was part of it all, picking the colors, spinning the glass blob, blowing into the pipe, moving it in and out of the furnace, etc.

our trips have been to visit family, both times in the winter, so that coast trip was really the only touristy thing we did. However, if anyone in your group is into fiber arts at all, the town of Portland is FULL of yarn shops.  Wonderful yarn shops.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2016, 01:44:57 PM »
Shops of note in Portland:
Collage (scrap book and general craft supplies)
Lodekka (a vintage clothing shop in an old double decker bus)
Pistils Nursery (oasis on the busy Mississippi street, with free ranging miniature chickens)
ReClaim It (salvaged home building materials- it's like a museum in its own right, very cool)
Mr. Green Beans (if you're a coffee fan, try roasting your own)
Powell's Books (duh)


Coffee shops worth visiting:
Case Study
Coava
Heart
Barista
Stumptown

Donut shops worth it:
Blue Star
Pip's Original
Not VooDoo- if you MUST voodoo, save yourself time and drive to the one in Eugene. Seriously, would work out to the same time as waiting in that dumb line and then at least you see the central valley from the I5 corridor

Food carts worth it, NOT an exhaustive list:
Nong's Khao Mang Gai
Cultured Caveman
There's a Hawaiin food cart at the 12th and alder pod that does super good Spam Musubi, but I can't remember the name

Other misc. good food:
Tilt (very busy weekends, also a bar)
Salt and Straw, but be prepared for a wait
Bamboo sushi
Red Onion Thai

Seagal

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2016, 02:00:23 PM »
I have been lurking for years on this site, and your post is the first to compel me to sign up for an account  (though I have been tempted before).  So thank you for that!

Portland beer:  Deschutes has the best beer out of the big breweries in my opinion (Widmer is not very good except their hef) but I would encourage you to seek out the smaller breweries if beer quality and variety is important to you.  Hit a few brewpubs in a few different neighborhoods and you will get a real sense of what is cool about Portland.  Just a few suggestions:  Burnside, Alameda Brewing, Hopworks, Laurelwood (multiple locations).  McMenamins Edgefield is really fun to explore also, although their beer is nothing to shout about.  And if you go to Bailey's downtown, pop into nearby Tugboat Brewing also.  It is a funky little hole in the wall.

Oregon Coast:  Most Portlanders choose either Lincoln City or Seaside/Cannon Beach for their beach vacations.  Tillamook has beaches but I get the impression they are not "destination" beaches (I've never been) and, as mentioned in a post above, most people just go to Tillamook to go to the cheese factory.  So with that said, I would suggest starting your coast road trip a bit south in Lincoln City instead of Tillamook.  Cities worth spending a bit of time in my opinion:  Lincoln City, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Astoria.  Plus make a quick stop in Tillamook for the cheese factory.  And a quick stop in Seaside to cruise Broadway and the turnaround, maybe walk the prom. 

A note re: Manzanita...it is small and sleepy but a great place to soak in the beauty of the Oregon Coast without an overload of tourist attractions.  While there, hike Neahkahnie Mtn and just take some long beach walks.  I'd stay the night in Manzanita if I were you.

Have fun!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2016, 02:05:23 PM »
I have been lurking for years on this site, and your post is the first to compel me to sign up for an account  (though I have been tempted before).  So thank you for that!

Portland beer:  Deschutes has the best beer out of the big breweries in my opinion (Widmer is not very good except their hef) but I would encourage you to seek out the smaller breweries if beer quality and variety is important to you.  Hit a few brewpubs in a few different neighborhoods and you will get a real sense of what is cool about Portland.  Just a few suggestions:  Burnside, Alameda Brewing, Hopworks, Laurelwood (multiple locations).  McMenamins Edgefield is really fun to explore also, although their beer is nothing to shout about.  And if you go to Bailey's downtown, pop into nearby Tugboat Brewing also.  It is a funky little hole in the wall.

Oregon Coast:  Most Portlanders choose either Lincoln City or Seaside/Cannon Beach for their beach vacations.  Tillamook has beaches but I get the impression they are not "destination" beaches (I've never been) and, as mentioned in a post above, most people just go to Tillamook to go to the cheese factory.  So with that said, I would suggest starting your coast road trip a bit south in Lincoln City instead of Tillamook.  Cities worth spending a bit of time in my opinion:  Lincoln City, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Astoria.  Plus make a quick stop in Tillamook for the cheese factory.  And a quick stop in Seaside to cruise Broadway and the turnaround, maybe walk the prom. 

A note re: Manzanita...it is small and sleepy but a great place to soak in the beauty of the Oregon Coast without an overload of tourist attractions.  While there, hike Neahkahnie Mtn and just take some long beach walks.  I'd stay the night in Manzanita if I were you.

Have fun!

Wow. Thank you for the Tugboat suggestion. Not often I see somewhere pop up I've never even heard of before! Now to find an excuse to take a trip over the river... =)

I will +1 Widmer not having the best beer in town, but their tour is neat, and you get beer, and I think it's free (someone correct me on this if I'm wrong/out of date).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2016, 03:46:06 PM »
A bike tour of Portland is recommended. The one I went on served beers afterwards :)

I can vouch for Stumptown and Case Study coffee. I didn't go to Deschutes, it was packed every time I walked past. Rogue and another one near Rogue (10 barrel?) were nice as well. There's a whole stack of brewpubs around that part of downtown (near the Pearl?).

The Oregon coast is very pretty, although I didn't get to Tillamook (I drove to Eugene, then over to Florence and south from there). Really enjoyed it, especially the old town part of Florence near the river. I keep on meaning to come back and do the northern half of the OR coast :)

MMMdude

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2016, 04:45:54 PM »
Thanks for the info so far.  To answer some questions

No kids or dogs will be on the trip

I love to hike for hours, whereas my wife would be more of an hour hike person (roundtrip).  She is a photographer so really into waterfalls/other beautifull landscapes with the 1 hour hike previso :-)

Active or calm?  I guess combo of both.  The only hobby type stuff i could see doing on vacation would be kayaking - any kayak rental spots right by water?

We like any style of beer so more interested in the building that houses the brewery/brew joint.

Yes we both love seafood and living in Northern Alberta the stuff we get here isn't overly great.

As for shopping with the CDN dollar so low we wouldn't be spending hundreds.  We like knick knack type stores for souvenirs.  If there's a spot with those types of shops/brewery/good coffee let me know. 

Bike and brews tour sounds amazing haha
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 04:48:51 PM by MMMdude »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2016, 05:08:57 PM »
Brew cycle is fun but a bit spendy
There are Portland walking tours, but I haven't been on one

Good Portland hikes sub-1hr:
Forest Park, you can go from McLeay park to the stone house and back out
Multnomah Falls, you can hike to the top
Fairy falls http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Fairy_Falls_Hike

Good coastal hikes sub-1hr:
Haceta Head lighthouse and tour
Cape Perpetua- go see Devil's Churn and the tide pools
Ecola State Park has some

Amazing waterfalls but 2.5 miles:
Punchbowl falls in the columbia river gorge

Seafood:
I don't eat much of this, so I don't know Portland rec's personally, but I hear good things about Jake's Crawfish and Salty's
Coast: Mo's is well loved, but some people like to be critical of it. Certainly long lines a lot of the time.
Eugene: Newman's fish market does really good fish and chips

Other activities:
You can go stand up paddleboarding near Ross Island in Portland. So much fun for the price. Really easy to learn even if you've never done it. They also do kayak rentals. Portland Kayak Company.
Right by there is a McMenamin's and a place called Buffalo Gap, which has more of a hole in the wall feel. Either place you can get a good burger and a beer. Buffalo Gap does some incredible breakfasts, actually. Good hollandaise sauce.
While you're down at the SE waterfront, I recommend taking the OHSU tram and seeing the views of the city. You can also take transit across Tillikum crossing and go to OMSI, which sometimes has some incredible exhibits. Not sure what's there right now.

MerryMcQ

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 08:41:21 PM »
If you like hiking, Forest Park in Portland is huge and full of great hikes. Forest Park runs right from the city up into the West Hills. It is full of attractions, like the Oregon Zoo. You can take a bus or drive easily to the Portland Rose Garden, where there are amazing views and great photo opportunities. There is the Japanese garden up there too with a pretty easy hike (30 minutes?) and beautiful photo opportunities. Both gardens are pretty year round, but Spring/Summer seasons are spectacular. You can Google the park for hiking trails and many are easy 1 hour loops through beautiful evergreen forests. And then 5 minute drive to a brewery in downtown. :)

Also, Powell's books is an awesome used bookstore that I love. Walk there or take MAX if possible, parking is a pain. It is downtown so walking is easy.

I second Multnomah Falls for a very scenic day hike. It's maybe an hour from Portland. It is gorgeous. Photography heaven. Very steep, paved trail, but it is pretty short.

hyla

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2016, 01:58:18 PM »
For beer places in Portland, I really like Cascade (mostly barrel aged sours) and the Horse Brass (pub with extensive tap list).  Agree with others that forest park and columbia river gorge are great for short hikes, and there are also nice short walks/hikes within city limits at Powell Butte and Mt. Tabor.  I would also recommend visiting some of the commercial areas in SE or NE neighborhoods instead of only downtown when you are looking for general shopping/dining/city sightseeing.  Downtown does have some great places (Powell's is as awesome as everyone says, and the downtown food trucks are really great too) but it can feel a bit like any other big city, whereas other neighborhoods tend to feel a bit more distinctly Portland-y. 

Tillamook itself is not the most awesome town, but it is close to nice rivers and lovely beaches.  But really, every beach and state Park I've ever been to in Oregon has been beautiful, so I don't think you can go wrong on the coast. 

For other attractions in the surrounding area, some of the volcanic areas are quite neat.  I enjoyed visiting lava tubes and tree casts in the national forest near mt. st. helens, maybe 2 hours from the city.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2016, 02:18:54 PM »
For beer places in Portland, I really like Cascade (mostly barrel aged sours) and the Horse Brass (pub with extensive tap list).  Agree with others that forest park and columbia river gorge are great for short hikes, and there are also nice short walks/hikes within city limits at Powell Butte and Mt. Tabor.  I would also recommend visiting some of the commercial areas in SE or NE neighborhoods instead of only downtown when you are looking for general shopping/dining/city sightseeing.  Downtown does have some great places (Powell's is as awesome as everyone says, and the downtown food trucks are really great too) but it can feel a bit like any other big city, whereas other neighborhoods tend to feel a bit more distinctly Portland-y. 

Tillamook itself is not the most awesome town, but it is close to nice rivers and lovely beaches.  But really, every beach and state Park I've ever been to in Oregon has been beautiful, so I don't think you can go wrong on the coast. 

For other attractions in the surrounding area, some of the volcanic areas are quite neat.  I enjoyed visiting lava tubes and tree casts in the national forest near mt. st. helens, maybe 2 hours from the city.

Oh yes! Ape Caves is incredible if you're headed toward Mt. St. Helens. No real gear requirements, although I would advise multiple light sources and a helmet for general good sense.

I second venturing to non-downtown areas. If you're downtown, you're mainly around other tourists. To get a more Portland feel, I recommend Slabtown/21st/23rd (still a bit touristy, but a bit more flavor), Mississippi, or Alberta Arts. There's some beautiful places and a really cool homesteading store in Sellwood also. And Sellwood hasn't gentrified quite as hard as the other areas yet.

Also awesome: cycle the springwater corridor. There are lots of bike rental places around town, so that part should be easy enough.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 06:35:58 AM »
Thanks for the info so far.  To answer some questions

No kids or dogs will be on the trip

I love to hike for hours, whereas my wife would be more of an hour hike person (roundtrip).  She is a photographer so really into waterfalls/other beautifull landscapes with the 1 hour hike previso :-)

Active or calm?  I guess combo of both.  The only hobby type stuff i could see doing on vacation would be kayaking - any kayak rental spots right by water?

We like any style of beer so more interested in the building that houses the brewery/brew joint.

Yes we both love seafood and living in Northern Alberta the stuff we get here isn't overly great.

As for shopping with the CDN dollar so low we wouldn't be spending hundreds.  We like knick knack type stores for souvenirs.  If there's a spot with those types of shops/brewery/good coffee let me know. 

Bike and brews tour sounds amazing haha



If your wife is into short and amazing hikes....hard to pass up Bandon beach. Three story tall rock formations on the sand you walk in/around...cliffs behind.

Way south of Portland. But come on: if you're into photography there are so many things right on the water's edge she'd love (Devil's Punchbowl) or you could park her in a seaside café while you hike.

I think one of the best things about the Oregon coast is cruising the length of it. Could be done in one long day if she's a pop out of the car/shoot/keep driving kind of person. Two days if you stay overnight someplace like Bandon.

Best breakfast I ever had in Oregon is in Newport, across from the boat harbor. Bracken, what's the name of that little place that looks like a house, up 3 wooden steps, tiny deck, looks across the streets at the boats? Wild mushroom and wine sauce omelets, full espresso bar, real home fried potatoes/baked their pastry, and more locals than yuppies. A brewery across the bay for him. I won't go thru Oregon and miss that.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 08:23:07 AM »
Thanks for the info so far.  To answer some questions

No kids or dogs will be on the trip

I love to hike for hours, whereas my wife would be more of an hour hike person (roundtrip).  She is a photographer so really into waterfalls/other beautifull landscapes with the 1 hour hike previso :-)

Active or calm?  I guess combo of both.  The only hobby type stuff i could see doing on vacation would be kayaking - any kayak rental spots right by water?

We like any style of beer so more interested in the building that houses the brewery/brew joint.

Yes we both love seafood and living in Northern Alberta the stuff we get here isn't overly great.

As for shopping with the CDN dollar so low we wouldn't be spending hundreds.  We like knick knack type stores for souvenirs.  If there's a spot with those types of shops/brewery/good coffee let me know. 

Bike and brews tour sounds amazing haha



If your wife is into short and amazing hikes....hard to pass up Bandon beach. Three story tall rock formations on the sand you walk in/around...cliffs behind.

Way south of Portland. But come on: if you're into photography there are so many things right on the water's edge she'd love (Devil's Punchbowl) or you could park her in a seaside café while you hike.

I think one of the best things about the Oregon coast is cruising the length of it. Could be done in one long day if she's a pop out of the car/shoot/keep driving kind of person. Two days if you stay overnight someplace like Bandon.

Best breakfast I ever had in Oregon is in Newport, across from the boat harbor. Bracken, what's the name of that little place that looks like a house, up 3 wooden steps, tiny deck, looks across the streets at the boats? Wild mushroom and wine sauce omelets, full espresso bar, real home fried potatoes/baked their pastry, and more locals than yuppies. A brewery across the bay for him. I won't go thru Oregon and miss that.

Oooh, askin me the tough ones. I'm way better with Florence than Newport, but lets see. Do you know if it was north or south of the bridge? I'm thinking maybe it was The Coffee House? If it's the one I'm thinking of, super cute little place, lots of local art inside, and a great cup of coffee. Otherwise I would say maybe Cafe Stephanie (N of bridge) or Fishtails (S of bridge).

I was gonna recommend Thorton's cafe in Newport as a great greasy spoon, if you made it down there, but I guess they closed =(

ssfw

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2016, 11:34:37 AM »
Several good beer spots have been mentioned, but I think Belmont Station is also worth checking out if you venture to the SE side of town (where Horse Brass is). It's a bottle shop / tap room with rotating taps that never get repeated, so you're always going to find a unique beer there. A lot of neighborhoods have really good microbreweries, so it may also depend on where you end up staying.

The coffee is going to err on the side of non-mustachian in any way, but Coava (mentioned by Bracken_Joy), Extracto and Ristretto all make insanely good pourovers.

Portland is also very walkable / bikable with relatively good transit ($5 all day pass for the Bus, Streetcar and MAX).

Forest Park / McLeay was also mentioned which can take you up to Pittock mansion, which has expansive views of the whole city. Generally good photography at sunrise.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2016, 02:03:05 PM »
Several good beer spots have been mentioned, but I think Belmont Station is also worth checking out if you venture to the SE side of town (where Horse Brass is). It's a bottle shop / tap room with rotating taps that never get repeated, so you're always going to find a unique beer there. A lot of neighborhoods have really good microbreweries, so it may also depend on where you end up staying.

The coffee is going to err on the side of non-mustachian in any way, but Coava (mentioned by Bracken_Joy), Extracto and Ristretto all make insanely good pourovers.

Portland is also very walkable / bikable with relatively good transit ($5 all day pass for the Bus, Streetcar and MAX).

Forest Park / McLeay was also mentioned which can take you up to Pittock mansion, which has expansive views of the whole city. Generally good photography at sunrise.

I can't believe I forgot to mention Ristretto!

Add both Ristretto and Portland Roasting's coffee bar to that list. When you visit Portland Roasting (7th and Oak) you can also pick up bulk fresh roasted coffee. Highly recommend their Guatemalan. If you opt to do this, message me and I'll send you a code for 10% if you order online and pick up when you're there. Not getting paid for this referral, just adore their coffee =)

(Any other oregonians contributing, the offer for the discount extends to you as well! Just shoot me a PM).

JoJo

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2016, 04:24:57 PM »
How much time?  What time of year?  I've done multiple trips but you could easily spend a couple weeks in Oregon.  I love areas south & east of Portland too - below are some non-coast sites.

South/Middle Oregon:
* Crater lake
* Grants pass (oregon caves, jet boating, possible to day trip down to Crescent Beach, CA - redwoods and lighthouse)
* Toketee falls

Closer to Portland:
* Silver Falls state park - 10 waterfalls on an 8 mile hike - you can walk behind 4 of them
* Multnomah falls

Middle/Eastern part (more desert-like there)
* John Day National Monument (fossils and Painted hills)
* Smith Rock
* Bend
* Ghost towns

spokey doke

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Re: Oregon road trip
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2016, 07:47:23 PM »
In PDX - too many options...if you like sour beers: Cascade Brewing (a bit spendy, but amazing stuff...although their non-sour beers are pretty boring).

Pok Pok for Thai in SE.

Go from PDX to Astoria and go to Fort George Brewing.

Hit Oswald West State Park (just south of Canon Beach, which has a nice beach)...right nearby, hike to the top of Cascade Head.

If headed to the S. OR coast, then I like the beaches in Bandon really well...then you can head east about at that point and hit Crater Lake which is a must...then on to more great beer in Bend.

E. of PDX, go do the triple falls hike in the gorge.

Tons more, gotta run...