Seven Scenic Days in Oregon
My husband travels a lot for his job so when it comes to our vacations, I get most of the say on where we visit. I had never been to the Northwest region of this country so after a bit of research, I decided that we would be spending our week-long summer vacation in picturesque Oregon! Take a few minutes and scan through Oregon's travel website, and try to tell me that you don't want to visit Oregon too! Kudos to your marketing department.
My husband and I historically have not had the best vacations. Neither one of us would really put in the work before our trips to plan out an agenda. This led to us arriving at our destination only to have the same conversation all day every day. (e.g., "What should we do?" "Where should we eat?"). I'm sure you can imagine that this led to some really fun-filled carefree days.
After taking a road trip around Ireland with my type-A friend, I finally realized how a vacation should be planned. She created a Google Doc pinning down activities, excursions, and restaurant options for each day.
It took us ten years, but we finally figured out to plan a vacation together. He books the flights, car, and hotels because he's far more perticular about the accommodations...and I plan everything else.
I relied heavily on travel Oregon's trip ideas to map out our destinations. I desperately wanted to visit Oregon's Seven Wonders, but it would have been impossible with the time we had. So these are the locations we hit:
The agenda below is what we put together and we stuck to it pretty closely. My favorite spot was definitely Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and its crazy blue fresh water comes entirely from melted snow and precipitation. It's some of the clearest water in the entire world. I definitely recommend taking the ranger led boat ride to Wizard Island, which was created after Mount Mazama (a large volcano) erupted approximately 7,700 years ago!
My husband and I both loved our stay at the airbnb near Crater Lake. Unless you book about a year ahead, you most likely will not be able to stay at the Crater Lake Lodge and since it's a National Park the nearby accommodation options are sparse. The hosts at the airbnb were fantastic, and their home was so peaceful.
We both actually really enjoyed Portland too. It was surprisingly clean and had so many unique restaurants and shops. We had heard such positive things about the Oregon Coast, but it was really gray and foggy on our coastal drive, but other photos I've seen are gorgeous. The coastal towns were pretty quaint and adorable. If you have any interest in visiting Oregon, check out my agenda below. If you have been to (or live in) Oregon, let me know what I missed! My husband and I would love to go back.
Thanks for stopping by!
Our Seven Day Agenda
Day 1: Saturday, August 6th, Arrive in Portland
Hotel Check-In: (20 minutes from Airport to Hotel): The Benson Hotel
- (½ mile from hotel) Saturday Market: (lunch and walk around) 2 SW Naito Parkway Portland, Oregon 97204
(1 mile from Market) Pearl District- drinks, unique shops, restaurants
Dinner: Veritable Quandary at 8:00pm:
Evening Drinks: Deschutes Brewery, 210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209-2929
Day 2: Sunday August 7th
Breakfast: Screen Door (get there early!!!!)
After Breakfast: Alberta neighborhood in North Portland -- Salt and Straw ice cream shop
St. John’s Bridge- drive across (Park on the North Side for photos)
Drive from Portland to Astoria (2 hour scenic drive)
Take the scenic route on Historic Highway 30
Stop off in Scappoose Bay for some flat-water kayaking on the Columbia River. $25/hour for a tandem kayak, really pretty scenic spot 30 minutes on the way to Astoria
Check-in Hotel Elliiot
Lunch: Buoy Brewery (.1 mile) from hotel (A glass floor with sea lions living below!)
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Astoria Column-- 1 Coxcomb Drive, Astoria, OR 97103; $5 Park, 164 steps for a pretty view
Fort Stevens State Park-- free parking, shipwreck beach
Dinner: Bridgewater Bistro
Day 3 Monday- August 8th (Drive to Newport, 3 hour drive)
- Wake up early and have breakfast at
- Stop at the Lewis and Clark National Park (so very cool!)
- Drive towards Newport Beach (on the way)
- (1 hour away from Astoria) Stop in the charming town of Wheeler on the Nehalem Bay for a bite to eat or to browse the antique shops. Veer off Highway 101 at Tillamook to tour the Three Capes Scenic Loop. This detour will take you past the Cape Meares Lighthouse and Cape Lookout State Park and down to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, where you can settle in on the
- Pelican Pub & Brewery patio to drink a beer and watch surfers ride the waves.
- Check-in: Hallmark Resort
- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.
- Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
- Devils Punchbowl
- Dinner: At our Hotel Georgie’s Beachside Grill
Day 4: Tuesday- August 9th Drive to Crater Lake
- Wake up early and have breakfast at The Coffee House easterly end of Newport's Historic Bayfront at 156 SW Bay Boulevard
- Drive to Crater Lake (4.5 hours)
- The BEST airBnB experience: Prospect Lodge Shasta Room & Airbnb
- **ATTEMPT to reserve a next-day boat ride: There is a kiosk inside Crater Lake Lodge next to the Front Desk, and another inside the Annie Creek Gift Shop at Mazama Village. Guests can purchase both same day and next day tickets at a kiosk. Kiosk sales begin at 24-hours prior to the tour departure time and will continue until sold-out or two hours prior to the departure time due to the required travel time. Any tickets remaining after the sales cut off time will be available for purchase at the Cleetwood Cove parking lot, first come, first served.
- Lunch at Crater Lake Lodge
- Other food places: Crater Lake Lodge (sit down dining--make reservations); Annie Creek Restaurant (buffet style); Rim Village Cafe (quick grab and go)
- Free 2-hour guided hike around Crater Lake
Day 5: Wizard Island Boat Tour & Drive to Hood River
a boat ride to Wizard Island Boat Cruise begins at 9:45am, must walk 1.2 miles to Cleetwood Cove
Drive to Bend around (2h 20 minutes to Bend, Oregon)
Lunch at : Spork 937 NW Newport Ave #120, Bend, OR
Drive another 2 hours 40 minutes to Hood River, Oregon
Hotel Check-in: Hood River, Oregon: Columbia Cliff Villas
Day 6: Thursday- August 11th
Lazy Breakfast at the delicious Kickstand Coffee
Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa
Mt. Hood Winery
Cathedral Ridge Winery
Dinner and live music at Brian's Pour House
Ice Cream at the adorable Mike's Ice Cream
Day 7 Head back to Portland
Hotel: Hilton Portland & Executive Tower (921 SW Sixth Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204)
- Early Morning-- Take a photo of the Gorge from: Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint
- Take a photo of the Multnomah Falls and bridge, in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.