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Visiting Portland in October

Syracuse, NY
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Visiting Portland in October

Hello, my friend and I will be flying to Seattle from the East Coast the first week of October. We plan on renting a car and taking a week to drive down to San Francisco and back. We plan to stop in/around Portland on the way down and/or on the way back up.

I'm interested in cheap hotels ($50-$75 if possible). We will have a car so the location doesn't really matter as long as its in a nice area.

Given the season we have thought about camping out somewhere, is there camping areas around Portland? It may be too cold for this, but we are exploring the option.

We're mostly interested in outdoors stuff and quirky/weird things (visiting the Goonies house in Astoria for example). Suggestions? What are the best parks/scenic stuff within a couple hours of Portland (or on the way down to San Fran)

Also, good vegetarian restaurants in the area?

Thanks a lot.

Buenos Aires...
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11. Re: Visiting Portland in October

cattrav, I was just re-reading your response and was so happy to read about Pambiche, and Plato Cubano ! It is so hard to get good Cuban food anywhere, much less without lots of pork or meat in it. I am enjoying these responses, taking lots of notes :)

Maine
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12. Re: Visiting Portland in October

Hi Jeremy. The others have Oregon covered. I'm from The San Francisco Bay Area, so from the CA border to SF, there is an absolutely beautiful Redwood Forest that you drive through on Highway 1 shortly after going over the border. The town of Ferndale is full of colorful old Victorians, shops, good for lunch. Mendocino is a weekend destination for all the locals from SF. Very nice to walk around, lots of artists, shops, restaurants, lovely Inns. We have been there many times for weekends. I have some recommendations if you'd like to stay overnight there. That's where they filmed Murder She Wrote, among others. The Coast Drive is spectacular. The drive on I-5 to SF from Portland is 10 hours straight. The Coast is longer but the scenery makes the time go by. Be Careful, you'll be driving on the outside of the road but will have a beautiful view all the way. When in SF, if you'd like recommendations for restaurants, etcet, just let me know. September and October is the "Summer" in SF, the weather if perfect!! And the (excuse me) "Tourists" are gone!!! The Blue Angels are usually there for Fleet Week, around Oct 10th, and they buzz the wharf for practice!! Have fun.

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13. Re: Visiting Portland in October

You may want to check out the Inn at Northrup Station in the NW 23rd district. We may be staying there soon and found a King Suite room for $104/night by calling the hotel directly. Website prices are slightly highler. Anyone have any experience here?

San Francisco...
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14. Re: Visiting Portland in October

For the southern portion of your journey, north of SF, check out Point Reyes Nat'l Seashore. You can see where the 1906 earthquake split/cracked the land tossing one side several feet higher. There is good camping there and a hostel if you want indoor accomodation (was $16 night, don't know what is is now). Hiking is beautiful that time of year, there are beaches, elk, kayaking.

Closer to SF is Muir Woods, terrific redwoods, and then hiking on Mt Tamalpais right outside the Woods.

There is also camping on the north side of the Golden Gate at Kirby Cove, but I think you may need to bring in everything, water, etc. Check the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) website for details.

No shortage of vegetarian food on SF area menus. But if you want to splurge, try Greens on the Marina. They have a take out counter if you want to just picnic.

Hope you have a lovely trip.

USA
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15. Re: Visiting Portland in October

I just drove from Portland down to San Francisco a few weeks ago, and it took me right about 10 hours to get there going down I5. On the way back I took Highway 101 from San Francisco up until the Grants Pass area in Oregon, and then got back on I5 there. It took about an extra 3-4 hours. For some of the way 101 is not right next to the beach, so you still have a nice view of trees but no ocean.

I'd say if you don't mind taking a little longer, drive down 101 on the way there because when you get to San Francisco you'll go right across the Golden Gate Bridge and it's an amazing first view of the city, not to mention the cute little beach towns you'll go through in Oregon and California. Then if you want to go back a little faster take I5.

As for hotels, downtown is nice, but parking can be a lot. There are a few decent hotels in the Lloyd Center area. Also as several people said the McMenamins properties are really cool and different. Kennedy School is in a pretty good location, not super close to a lot, but if you have a car it's a 10 minute drive from the main parts of the city.