Whoever suggested that when hiking the Columbia River Gorge, to remember to bring enough water, good hiking shoes, binoculars, and to dress in layers - thank you! We were well prepared!
We (my 17 year old son, husband and me) flew into Spokane and quickly drove to Silverwood Amusement Park in Washington. I know that was kind of quirky but we had a great time - it was a fun little amusement park. We especially liked the train ride/robbery adventure/my son loved the roller coaster! Stayed at the Oxford Suites in Spokane - would not recommend them as the rooms are really not suites at all.
Day 2 was a long drive to the Columbia River Gorge - beautiful scenery. We enjoyed the fruit loop and the beautiful views of Mt Hood and Mt. Adams. Stopped at the Draper Girls Country Farm and Cascade Alpacas. Ate a Charburgers in Cascade Locks and stayed over night at White Salmon Inn in Washington. Charburgers was a great experience with beautiful views and the White Salmon was very nice.
Day 3 we visited the Bonneville Locks which was very interesting and went in search of Herman the Sturgeon and the Fish Hatchery - fun! Then we did the Gorge - hiked Horsetail and on up to Ponytail Falls. We also visited Multinomah which was very crowded for a Sunday - and Vista House. We wished we had had more time to do Latourell Falls but hopefully another time :) Stayed overnight in Embassy Suites in Portland (used to be the Multinomah Hotel - very, very nice!), ate at The Original which was ok and stood in line for Voodoo Donuts - my son loved that!
Day 4 we visited Fort Clatsop outside of Astoria, stopped at Waves of Grain for bread in Cannon Beach and picnicked on the beach near Haystack Rock. Next stop was West Oswald State Park where we hiked the Cape Falcon trail. Again, glad we brought lots of water as the hike was longer than we expected but the view at the end was beautiful. We overnighted at Ocean Inn in Manzanita which was one of our favorite places to stay - right on the beach! We also loved to eat at the Big Wave Café in Manzanita. My son and I like seafood; my son had fresh razor clams, breaded, and I had fresh grilled halibut - the food was delicious. We liked it so much, we went back for breakfast the next day.
Day 5 was DePoe Bay and a Whale Watch with Carrie. We saw a whale, a harbor porpoise, lots of birds and sea lions. We overnighted for two nights at Overleaf Lodge which was very nice.
Day 6 - more hiking - this time to Cape Perpetua and Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Day 7 - Hiked the Dunes outside of Florence, visited the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area for a quick peek and the headed to our overnight place at Eagle Rock Inn in Vida as we headed back up to home. Eagle Rock is very nice - our room was comfortable and Debbie and Randy treated us very well. We ate at Takoda's for supper. Another favorite eating spot - the pizza was great!
Day 8 - Hiked to Sahalie Falls and then walked half way around Clear Lake near McKenzie Bridge. What beautiful colored water! Made another quirky stop at the Enchanted Forest in Turner. Definitely for the little ones but it was fun to see an amusement park totally designed by one man (from Wisconsin too :). My son and husband liked the roller coaster and log ride! Headed to Portland where we stayed over night at Staybridge Suites in Portland. Staybridge was another favorite - we were treated very well, our room was awesome - a great way to end the trip.
Day 9 - Flew Home -
Thank you to everyone on this forum! All of you gave us helpful advice and made our visit to Oregon something we will always remember. Again, Thank you!