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First time to Portland---Help

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Houston, TX
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43 posts
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First time to Portland---Help

Hi All!

I'll be arriving in Portland on Monday, and I've had very little time to do research. My schedule will allow me plenty of sightseeing time Monday afternoon, and all of Tuesday. I will be attending a seminar the rest of the week, and plan to see the 'city' sights after classes.

I'll have use of a car for the trip and will be staying at the Hilton Executive Towers. The Columbia River Gorge is a must, and I was hoping I'd get a chance to see the sand dunes as well, but don't know if that's pushing it.

Suggest away!

Maris

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
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11. Re: First time to Portland---Help

Is there a reason you want to ride the tram? It was built as transportation for people needing to use the OHSU facilities. If you use it , realize that people riding it are not doing it for fun. My husband deals with OHSU and has been on it a few times and has been very frustrated with people thinking it is a tourist destination sort of thing. Not all tourists are annoying though...just the ones who do not realize that there are people there that are going through tough times. I just asked a friend who works at OHSU about it last week, and she sure had some words about it as well. So please, if you do ride it, be sure to realize that not everyone is there to have a good time. I hope I am not lecturing here, but some people have posted about this being a tourist thing and they have no concept of what it was intended for.

Portland, Oregon
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12. Re: First time to Portland---Help

Thanks for the scoop on Cape Kiwanda, Kitters; long time since I've been in that area.

I agree with Mtngrl re the tram, and would add that, while the view from it might be unique, it's certainly no better than many others of and around the city, including ones from the Pittock Mansion.

And for the rest of my $.02...... I think you'd enjoy more time at the coast, so I'd suggest moving the gorge to day 1, and allow all of day 2 for the beach. A possible itinerary would be hwy 26 to 101 to Cannon Beach, including Ecola St. Park. Head south, stopping where you're tempted, but don't miss Hug Point and Oswald West. Take the Three Capes Scenic Loop road out of Tilllamook; Cape Meares St. Park will be one of the first stops, and if you have your camera, maybe your last before heading back to Portland on hwy 6 along the Wilson River. If you've still got light, there's a waterfall about 10(?) miles past Jones Creek where you'll get photos as good as many in the gorge. It's not as high or spectacular as those in the gorge, but like Wahkeena, you can get close up to it. Look for a large, gravel pull-out/parking lot on your right. Pack a wide-angle lens if you've got one.

Longview, Washington
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for Mount Rainier National Park
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13. Re: First time to Portland---Help

Just a couple of small corrections to your itinerary--

You cannot return to Portland from Cannon Beach via I-5. I-5 runs north and south. You will be west of Portland. Either back track on Hwy 26 or go north on 101 to Astoria and return to Portland on Hwy 30 which is a really pretty drive along the Columbia River.

The Columbia Gorge and The Dalles are E on I-84, but be sure to take the old scenic highway one way because that will give you the best photo ops.

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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14. Re: First time to Portland---Help

Thank you maristravels :)

You will get great city/mountain views from Pittock Mansion, and from the Rose Test Gardens..which can be reached from NW 23rd st..you don't have to drive into Washington Park, you can walk from NW 23rd even.

From there , you can drive the short distance to the Japanese Gardens..it is a photographers dream..every turn there is another wonderful sight..

The Chinese Gardens are right in town, on NW 2nd, you can take the streetcar then get off at Everett and walk down .. beautiful and amazing when you think that everything in the gardens was brought from China, but it is possible to see in a short time..

If I had to choose, though, the Japanese Gardens should not be missed.

Mtngrl and mistletoe saved me many times with their directions , they told me how to get to the coast and we did not get lost once! lol...it is easy- but remember, it is 90 minutes each way with no traffic..there is always traffic somewhere..

Before Cannon Beach you will pass a place that might be a good stop, for a soda and a break..Camp 18. These people were so great this past winter when there was a snow that trapped many people in their cars on the highway, all the employees at Camp 18 stayed at work, some went home to get blankets etc and they stayed open until the roads re-opened the next day, taking care of all the stranded travelers..

Enjoy your visit, Portland is a lovely city..

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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15. Re: First time to Portland---Help

Actually, you cannot get TO the Rost Test Gardens from NW 23rd, but the street that takes you there is by NW 23rd :)

We used to go there so often and we would just park in the neighborhood and walk ..

oregon city
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16. Re: First time to Portland---Help

It is allowed to walk up in around the Cape Kiwanda Dune area. I'm pretty sure all of the cape-including the sandy area- is designated as some sort of state lands(exept for the condos someones building on it-ugh). It might give you the feeling of the dunes farther south-only if you imagne 40miles of it!! :)

Like Kitters said-sand lake much more for dune buggies and not alot of room for peace and quiet(if thats what you want).

Houston, TX
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17. Re: First time to Portland---Help

OK, so I'm switching destinations, doing the Gorge after landing and saving the full day for the coast. It's so helpful to have locals to make sense of it all.

As for the tram, I think I'll head your words, and skip it. It is advertised on the Visitors' guide as a great spot for unique views of the city, it wasn't until I went to the website that I noticed it was used for the hospital. In any case, I seriously doubt I'll want for shots.

Should I still do the mansion with the coast? I'll be sure to stop by Camp 18, I think I read another post were someone found it quite enjoyable.

Thanks again guys!

18. Re: First time to Portland---Help

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