General Question

mzgator's avatar

What are some great things do to in Oregon?

Asked by mzgator (4148points) June 30th, 2009 from iPhone

My husband has to go to a school in Oregon in October, and I am tagging along for the week. We are thinking of going a few days early and staying through the next weekend. We are thinking of driving into Washington and possibly going to Seattle. Do you guys have any ideas?

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20 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Seattle for sure. The blown glass museum in Tacoma might be a worthwhile stop. The Oregon Coast is fantastic. Hood River is nice and the “fruit loop,” which is a drive through produce country. Hood River is also the home of Full Sail brewery and a mecca for windsurfers and kiteboarders (not sure when the season is, however. Crater Lake is amazing.

Those alone would probably keep you occupied. I’m sure johnpowell will have some suggestions.

mzgator's avatar

Thanks kevbo!

drClaw's avatar

Listen to kevbo, he hit the nail on the head. Some good beaches: Cannon Beach, West Port, La Push

kelly's avatar

Crater Lake in the southern Cascades. Mt. Hood in the Columbia Gorge, the Columbia Gorge – take the old road turnouts when you can, it shows you the incredible engineering and danger to build the road. Bend Oregon and drive from Bend west over the 3 Sisters Highway. West of the Cascades is a whole different world, high plains, wheat fields, vistas for hundreds of miles. The beaches, any of them.

Judi's avatar

I am sorry you’re going in October. If you are in the Wilamette Valley you will learn what it’s like to live in a rain forest !
Eugene has the best Saturday Market in the world. If you like hiking, Oregon has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. There are also a few beautiful wineries and some sort of festival can be found evert year. The Hult Center for the Performing Arts is an amazing acoustic structure . If you catch a show there you will be awed.
The Shakspeare Festival in Ashland is also a must see if you get there before the season ends or stay until it starts again
now you’ve gone and made me homesick. I think I’ll call my mommy.

Judi's avatar

I meant to say festivals can be found year round but I can’t edit that part on my iPhone.

marinelife's avatar

In the time you have, I would stay and explore Oregon, which has much to offer.

You could drive up to Seattle, but Portland is a little gem of a city that reminds me of the Seattle I knew in the 60s. I call it a pocket metropolis. Not to be missed if you like bookstores at all is Powells, one of the best anywhere and huge. The Governor Hotel downtown is a gorgeous and historic hotel. In October, you might be able to get decent discounted rates. There are still great Oregon microbrews. One of my favorites is Widmer Hefewiezen. Another popular group are the Bridgeport Ales including Blue Heron.

The entire length of the Oregon Coast is breathtaking and makes for a very fun drive. One of my favorite places is the Netarts Peninsula. I love the small town of Oceanside. Driving there will take you past Tillamook and the creamery is a must stop. Killer cheese and ice cream!

The area along the Columbia River is spectacular. WIllamette Falls, the Columbia Gorge Hotel, etc.

You might consider a trip to Mt. Hood if the weather is holding. You don’t want to get caught in early snows. The Willamette Valley at the base of Mt. hood is one of the most gorgeous and lush I have seen. There are also some outstanding wineries in the area you might enjoy visiting.

If you do go into Washington, may I suggest Mt. St. Helens? It is not that far from Oregon and an indescribable sight that is not done justice by photos.

Astoria at the mouth of the mighty Columbia is a charming little town.

Also, should you go south, the Siskiyous, the mountains that straddle the border with Northern California are breathtaking.

Have a great trip!

mzgator's avatar

Thanks so much everyone. You have all given us great ideas for some Louisiana folks to enjoy Oregon!

trailsillustrated's avatar

here’s a real fun day trip if youre in portland- you go out the old gorge highway. You stop and look at crown point, multnomah falls. you continue on through hood river and all the way on to maryhill winery. you have a nice lunch outside and taste wine. then on to maryhill museum. a world class museum on a hill way way out there. now you’ve spent enough time to come back, beautiful drive, and at Tad’s chicken dumplins’s for dinner!! beautiful view of the sandy river and the best fried chicken and chicken dumplings in the world. then you go home and fall into bed. whatta day

Supacase's avatar

The Oregon coast is a must. Tillamook cheese factory (they have excellent ice cream, too!) The Portland market was a lot of fun. Not sure if it is every day or just weekends. All I remember is it is mostly under a bridge downtown.

buster's avatar

Five miles out of Tillamook is Cape Lookout State Park. Its an amazing place that is peninsula jutting out into the Pacific ocean. Its a coastal temperate rainforest. There is a hiking trail that goes thru super mossy old growth forests out onto the peninsula. You can see off cliffs on each side into the ocean. We saw some whales. I saw some really neat banana slugs. They got these little cabins facing the ocean in the edge of the woods but maybe a hundred yards from a rocky beach for like 30 or 40 bucks a night.

@Supacase. I think your talking about whats called “The Saturday Market” right off Burnside St.

Dorkgirl's avatar

So much is written here about things to do outside of Portland proper, but the city itself has so much to offer. The downtown area has great restaurants, parks, fountains, and shopping.
The Pearl District has trendy galleries, restaurants, brew pubs, etc.
Powell’s City of Books is the largest book store in the US—if I’m not mistaken and you can spend an entire day there. Across the street is Jake’s Famous Crawfish restaurant, a great place to enjoy their blue plate lunch special.
N.W. 23rd and N.W. 21st Avenues offere more shops, bars & restaurants.
The Portland Art Museum is always a great way to spend a few hours.
There’s the Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, the International Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Classical Chinese Garden.
You can enjoy a walking tour of the city and learn more about our history. You can take the underground tour—cheesy but fun.
Hop on the Max train and see where it takes you or grab the #63 bus for a ride around the highlights of the city.
Saturday Market is a funky Portland institution offering hand made goods and happens under the Burnside Bridge on Saturdays & Sundays.
October weather can be wonderful, and we often get sunny, warm days. The leaves will be turning and it should be a great time for you to enjoy our city. I hope you don’t run off to Seattle before giving Portland a good shake.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

LOL. You’re going to do exciting things in Oregon by going to Seattle.

In Oregon the “excitement” is more about nature. There are plenty of places to hike, go fishing, go see the redwood trees (even the one you can drive your car through) and the coast. I suppose you could go to the city too but…imho that’s not the best part of Oregon by a long shot.

Dorkgirl's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater—the Redwoods are in California and about 8 hours away. Yes, they are beautiful, but if someone only has a week that’s probably too far to go.

I agree the coast is beautiful. The tide pools are wonderful! The mountain (aka Mount Hood) is lovely in the fall. Timberline Lodge is great to visit and it’s where The Shining was filmed.

I made a presumption in my first answer that @mzgator would be in Portland (or the metro area) when her husband is in school/class. That was very “Metro-centric” of me. If she’s not going to be in the Portland Metro area (Eugene, Corvallis, Bend, Ashland…) then many other places are options. And, all of those cities/towns offer fun and interesting cultural events, restaurants, etc.

Oregon has beaches, mountains, desert, volcanic formations, farm lands, wine country, cities, small towns, ranching, fishing, hiking, rafting, climbing, rivers and lakes, and so much more. What you see or do here is nearly limitless.

gooch's avatar

Hi all this is Mzgator’s husband. If she decides to tag along I will may head up with her a few days earlier. I will be in Bend the second to last week in October. I am thinking of flying into Portland then driving north to Washinton then back down to Bend for my school I will be attending. My big concern is weather and possibly not being able to get to Bend because of snow. If I miss class I am a dead man! I have no clue as to what the weather is in that area. Any advice would be helpful.

marinelife's avatar

You are unlikely to encounter more than a light dusting of snow on I5 in late October.

Judi's avatar

Bend has a lot of sunny days. It’s getting from Portland to bend that might be iffy, but October is a prety safe time.

Dorkgirl's avatar

I disagree with @marina. There’s rarely snow on I-5 in October. In 20 years I can’t recall any significant snow in the valley in October, but I could be mistaken.

You can check the road conditions over the pass across Mount Hood at odot.gov. You can see if the roads are clear or if there’s snow. They plow often and keep the roads in good condition because it is a main thoroughfare.

If there’s snow and you don’t want to deal with that, you can drive south to Salem and go across on the 20. The elevation is lower and snow is less likely.

Bend is often sunny when the west site of the Cascades are gloomy. They do get snow, but not much in October (typically).

My son has been living in Bend for the past two years and they have not had any significant snow until late November. We have driven to Bend many times throughout the year at a variety of times with no issues. I don’t think you have to worry.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@Dorkgirl Don’t let people fool you into thinking the redwoods are only in California. There are beautiful redwoods in Oregon as well. It’s a moot point though, if it’s too far to drive then yeah.. it’s out.. you don’t want to travel the whole time you’re on vacation..

marinelife's avatar

@Dorkgirl My answer: “You are unlikely to encounter more than a light dusting of snow on I5 in late October.”

Your answer: “There‚Äôs rarely snow on I-5 in October. ”

How precisely is that in disagreement with my answer?

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