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Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 11
Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Hello,

I'm going to book a trip out to the beautiful NW as a surprise for my wife and could really use some help. I've already gleaned some great info from these boards. Lots of questions that are all over the board and hoping some of you kind souls can help fill in the gaps or provide guidance.

Age: mid 30s

Trip dates - 4-5 days in late June

Traveling from: Atlanta, GA

Budget – For this trip medium-high to high. It’s an anniversary.

What makes my wife happy and how I want to plan the trip (kind of in order) - Solid hikes/nature, pescatarian/vegan meals, lots of city walking/experiences, yoga, fancy-ish hotels (this is where I'm allotting most of my budget but not looking to spend for the sake of it), wine (pinor noir, mostly)

I'll check flights but plan to either fly into and out of Seattle or into Seattle and out of Portland. I'll rent a car in Seattle and we'll drive down to Portland.

Day 1 - Arrive Seattle in the morning. Find a good place to do yoga (my wife is crazy into yoga and it makes her super happy so this will be a good start). Check out the EMP museum. She loves Nirvana and when I went to the EMP museum last year I kept thinking about how great it would be to bring her and just listen to all of the different music of the 90s. Walk around (Fish Market), good dinner.

Questions:

-Any suggestions on good yoga in Seattle?

-Recommendations on best place for a great seafood dinner - maybe raw bar? Doesn't need to be overly fancy. Quaint or hole in the wall place with great beer works. I can check Yelp as I know I'm posting in Oregon.

-Decent place to stay around good walking area (Fish Market, EMP Museum) - Again, I can find this online but always welcome recommendations

-Maybe Chihuly Garden and Glass, maybe take in some views from Kerry Park?

Day 2 – Possibly another day in Seattle if I can come up with some things that are super great but think I’ll want to spend most of our short time in Orgeon. Likely chill in Seattle a bit in the morning but get a decent start toward Oregon for a bit of a road trip. Since our trip is short I don’t want to meander too far out of the way on this drive but if there is a great hike on the way or some spectacular scenery then we are happy to move off of I-5. Drive, hike, drive, chill at our nice hotel/B&B, find some good grub.

Questions:

-Are there any good hikes that would provide us a scenic drive off of I-5 while also allowing us to break up the drive with an outdoor activity? Would be great if something was on the way and we could stop for a few hours to hike 4-8 miles or so, get back in the car and continue to our destination.

-Big question – where to stay to make our base in Oregon? Research points me to Willamette Valley where the Pinot Noir flows like wine. Open to other recommendations for sure. If in Willamette Valley I’ve come across the following places that seem to be recommended on these boards: Black Walnut Inn, Dundee Mansion B&B, Chehalem Ridge B&B, Youngberry Hill. Read about The Allison but seems the group here feels it’s a little overrated for the price –plus we’re not into the spa services. Our main criteria would be 1. Proximity to great hikes and outdoor activities 2. Views/atmosphere 3. Proximity to great wineries and restaurants. I’m assuming #3 is going to be the easiest requirement to meet since we’ll have a car.

Day 3 – Longer hike in the area. Maybe some wine related stuff after but likely hike most of the day. Relax, nice dinner.

-Another big question – What are some recommended hikes in the area? Again, we have a car so can drive but would want to keep it under an hour or so each way. We used to live in Colorado so used to longer (up to 12 miles or so) day hikes and fortunately my wife is a champ in this department. Some research points me to Trail of Ten Falls (8.7 mile hike), Eagle Creek Trail (12 miles) and a few others. Need to do more research here but hoping that if you all have recommendations on where to stay, you might have recommendations on nearby hikes.

Day 4 – Short hike in the morning (don’t want to start drinking wine at 9am) and then hit a few wineries followed by a chill dinner. I can do more winery research since there is already great info on this site. Figure it best to find a place to stay first but welcome suggestions for sure.

Questions:

-Ideas on a shorter day hike in the area? Maybe 4-5 miles?

-Suggestions on wineries? Again, I can research more here but we’ll be looking for places with great views/environment/experience. We haven’t done this wine thing before and aren't super sophisticated but enjoy a nice glass on our deck or at dinner from time to time. Pinot noir is my wife’s favorite. Wish I had more guidance to give than that.

Day 5 - Fly home

Thank you so very much for any recommendations,

Scott

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
posts: 5,531
reviews: 76
21. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Oh, for all the hikes you are doing, you may be better off just getting a year pass. If that seems too much, get them at the hike trail heads... forgot~ Sorry.

m

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,457
reviews: 70
22. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

You cannot get passes at most trail heads. We are hikers and so are familiar with this. Buy them on your way, stopping at pretty much any gas station/mini mart, or REI. The passes are called the NW Forest Pass. The day passes are $5 each and the annual is $30.

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
posts: 4,853
reviews: 110
23. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

http://tinyurl.com/7n6tctx

Without discussing any particular trails (particularly in the Gorge where I have no experience), you should check out the various forest passes required throughout Oregon. Most are used as parking permits at trail heads...where there is no way to buy one; you need to get one in advance. There are also a variety of county and city park trails that require special parking passes. In wilderness areas there are limits on how many people can be in a hiking group and the group leader is required to fill out a form to put in a box at the trail head so they will have some idea of where you were going and when you expected to return (so they can find you if you don't show up).

Some, but not all, of the trailheads, particularly in the national forests, will accept the federal lifetime senior passes. You need to carefully read the signs. Even then, if there are rangers or visitor centers in the area, doublecheck. I know at Cape Perpetua, for example, nothing is said on the sign about the federal senior passes, but I've used it with no negative results (so far).

Nothing can be worse than driving 20 miles on a rough forest road only to find out you need a parking permit in the middle of nowhere. As they say, an ounce of prevention....

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
posts: 5,531
reviews: 76
24. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

www.nwhiker.com should tell you about which pass (if a pass is required) for each hike. Of the ones you mentioned, I believe they are all NW forest pass. I wish they had a three or five day pass for visitors.

Mrs o

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,457
reviews: 70
25. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Or you can just ask those of us that hike:) There are several of us here. Dog and Hamilton both require the NW Forest Pass.

Oregonpoppa--There was one trailhead in WA that we used to go to where you could pay for the day onsite, but other than that, I have not seen places like that. All are like you say, where you need to pass in hand before arriving.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 11
26. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Thanks! NW Hiker says that NW Forest Pass is needed for Dog but for Hamilton it reads, "Washington State Parks Requires a Permit. I can look more into it but figured someone on here might be able to clarify - does, as Mtngrl state, that imply the NW Forest Pass?

And should these be the two hikes you all would recommend for our short visit? Just want to have a main game plan and some backup plans but focusing on the main plan first. Just hope they give a good sense of what the area has to offer.

Also, thanks to MrsO_5 for the recommendation. Instead of one long hike on Fri and one shorter hike plus a few wineries on the second day I think I might just do one winery after our first day hike before dinner and a second winery after our hike on Saturday. That will give us a little more time to hike while also taking in a couple of wineries!

I'm trying to come up with daily game plans like - Dog Mountain > Hotel/Shower > Marchesi Vinyards > Full Sail Brewery (beer) > Nora's table (dinner).

All recommendations welcome. Man, this is going to be fun!

Edited: 6:32 pm, April 22, 2013
Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,457
reviews: 70
27. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Yes, the NW Forest pass works for Hamilton. We were just there a couple weeks ago. Hamilton is easier than Dog, IME. DS even took some friends up Hamilton recently. A mix of college kids, all fit, but a few have never hiked before and they did fine. Dog is nice in that there are a few different routes. We have never taken the easy route there, lol. My knees can attest to that:)

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 11
28. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

Thanks again everyone! I'm just finalizing plans now that the trip is less than a week away! Picked up the NW Forest Pass the other day.

Here is an outline with a few more questions if you all have a moment.

Fri - early morning drive from Seattle to Hood River

-Drive straight to Dog Mountain for hike

? Is it best to take the red trail up and green trail down if we want a more challenging uphill and less severe downhill while also maximizing views/scenery or would you all recommend the orange route for a section?

-Check in at hotel to clean up

-Marchessi vineyard for a drink or two and nice views before dinner

? Is there a need to make any sort of reservations?

- Dinner - Nora's table

? Open to other dinner suggestions. Always like a good vibe, good views, etc.

Saturday - Hood River all day!

-Yoga possibly

-Hike/winery combo

? Looking for a good combo like the one above. Maybe Hamilton mountain, if not too similar to Dog, and a winery suggestion that isn't more than a 45 min drive from central Hood River? I was looking at Maryhill Winery but it seems like it's a bit of a haul out there unless there is a good hike that way and they don't mind us showing up to the winery in hiking clothes and a bit sweaty.

-Will need to find a good place for dinner but could just Yelp it when we are there unless you have a strong recommendation for a good experience/views/vibe type of place. Doesn't have to be fancy at all but would need to have an option or two for the vegetarian/seafood diet of my wife.

Awesome!

Scott

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
posts: 5,531
reviews: 76
29. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

You can check on hiking at www.nwhiker.com to view some of the highlights of the hikes you are interested in. And be sure to check www.bestgorge.com for the highlights in the Gorge.

Sounds like you are gearing up for your trip~ I am excited for you!

MrsO

Edited: 1:00 pm, June 21, 2013
30. Re: Nirvana, Seafood, Pretty Things, Hike, Wine (Thank You!)

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