I would start in the Rogue Valley and base myself in Ashland or Medford. Ashland on the 4th is THE place to be. Old fashioned 4th of July with pancake breakfast, parade, street fair, music, band concert and fireworks.
You can also take in the sights in Jacksonville - a gold rush era town with shops and good restaurants. Rafting or fishing on the Rogue River. Hellgate Jet Boat tours are fantanstic - must make reservations.
Then of course, there is Crater Lake National Park and the Oregon Caves.
Personally, I would skip going up Highway 5 through the middle of the state and go over to the coast after leaving the Rogue Valley. The oregon coast is simply breathtaking and it is fantastic all the way up.
When you get to the top of the state, you can cut across and then take in Portland.
You probably won't have time to do everything but something to choose from. Hope this helps.
Kathy in Ashland
So much to do, so little time....
I agree with Kathy; start in Ashland or Medford. And if you're looking to "chill", Ashland is the better pick. While you're there do a white-water trip on the Rogue River, and if it's a must for you, a day trip up to Crater Lake.
From there, north on 101 for as long as time allows. Lots of stuff to do on the coast: jetboat ride up the Rogue, dune buggy rides, great hiking, and more sightseeing than you'll ever have time for. I'm not a surfer, but I think the best beaches are on the north coast, around Cannon Beach and Seaside.
Lots of ground to cover, and not much time. Where are you flying into? Maybe hit Crater Lake on the way down south?
I am actually flying into San Fran on 6/30. I will be in Ashland by Sun 7/2 in the evening. Do you recommend any accomodations there? How many days would you spend there?
I am supposed to be in Seattle the following Friday, 7/7 and will be flying out of there on Sun, 7/9.
Based on that itinerary, I will be in Portland 1 night on Thurs, 7/6.
I basically have Monday-Thurs to see the rest of Oregon. I will see Portland on Fri, 7/7.
How many days in Ashland depends on what you want. Ashland a chill town I guess,
chill, surf, hike, whitewater raft, so gather you do not want to tour oreg
Rogue has some excellent whitewater below Grans Pass, many hikes to do depending on interest Crater Lake is possible.
Kathy gave good advice. Check out Oswald West (Short Sands Beach) for your surfing. We also like Ave. U & The Cove in Seaside. Cannon Beach has Indian Beach that is also one of our favorites. Cleanline in CB and Seaside is a great place to rent or purchase wetsuits, booties, etc. Do you have your own boards? :)
So, four nights before Portland? You could spend them in Ashland, Gold Beach, Yachats/Newport area, and Cannon Beach/Seaside. But with that itinerary, forget Crater Lake, and forget "chill". Unless you're talking about sticking your toes into the Pacific Ocean. ;-)
Or, two nights in Ashland, and two nights in either Yachats/Newport, or Cannon Beach/Seaside areas. With this one you'd have time to do the Rogue whitewater, sightsee part of the coast, and chill a bit. But frankly, this doesn't do much for me either. You'll see plenty, but regret not having time to enjoy it.
Why not just park yourself in one spot, for all four nights? Central or north coast. You could do most everything on your list, and still have time to chill. And probably with no regrets.
I like the idea of 2 nights in Ashland area and 2 along the coast. Any ideas for places to stay in Ashland? Do I need to make reservations in advance? Would I base myself in Ashland and do a day trip to Crater Lake?
I do not know how to reply to the other people above you....
In Ashland, The Ashland Springs Hotel is nice. We also like the Plaza Inns & Suites. We just spent 4 nights at the Tides by the Sea in Seaside, it was a great place to "chill." We had room 151 which had excellent views and was very convenient for surfing, located right at Ave. U. It has a heated pool where we enjoyed nightly swims and Corpeny's and Bigfoot Pub & Grub are within walking distance for nice meals.
In Cannon Beach there are several nice places to stay. Check out Gower St. Bistro, Wayfarer or Bistro for nice meals. Newman's at 988 is my new favorite restaurant in Cannon Beach. We enjoyed a nice dinner there last week. I will post a review here a bit later. It is a very small, intimate restaurant with great food. It used to be Pullici's, and Italian restaurant. Have fun! :)
Everyone's reading whatever you write, and can respond however they want, relevant or not.
You'd do Crater Lake as a day trip from Ashland. Unfortunately, if you see Crater Lake, you probably won't have time for the white-water trip.
Yes, you definitely need to book reservations in advance, especially in Ashland, which, besides being a cool town, is very popular for its Shakespeare Festival. Book now! The places syrahgirl recommends are both towards the higher end. If that's your style, I'd add Ashland Creek Inn and Iris Inn as places to consider. If you're looking lower to mid-range, Google your heart out, and good luck!
Same is true at the coast, except you MIGHT just happen upon a motel with a vacancy somewhere in the area you're looking at. If you're looking for upscale, again, book now. For the central coast, I'd suggest Overleaf Lodge in Yachats. Adobe would also be good, and for an out-of-the-box choice, check out the Haceta Head Lighthouse Keepers' B&B, which supposedly is haunted.
Lots of nice upscale options in the Cannon Beach area (north coast): Stephanie Inn, Ocean Lodge, Cannon Beach Hotel, SurfSand Resort. At the other end, try Ecola Creek Lodge.
Between north and central coast, choose north of surfing and chilling are important. Choose central coast if it's sightseeing and hiking.
this is all great info. I really appreciate all of this. I think the rafting and surfing are key with a lot of nice scenery along the way. How far of a drive is it from Ashland to Cannon Beach? Does it make sense to spend a night somewhere in between?
If we stay in the less pricey places, do you think we need reservations?
We are going to kind of wing it. If we love a place, we might decide to just set up camp and enjoy the scenery.
I have heard a lot about the music fest in Eugene. Is this worth a stop?