Here's our plans for our first time visiting the Northwest.
July 25: arrive early afternoon. Check into hotel (debating between The Nines or Westin - using points - which do you recommend and why? Visit the rose gardens that afternoon and a few pubs.
July 26: Beer Festival. Hoping since it's a Friday it won't be TOO busy. Any other "can't miss" Portland things we should do this day?
July 27: Pick up car in the morning. Head to Columbia River Gorge (I want to see waterfalls), then drive to Newport. What's the best route? What time should we leave the Gorge in order to make it to Newport in the early evening (before dark)? Ideally we could hit up a winery or two if they are on the way but not sure we'll have time. Have reservations in Newport that night.
July 28: Head up the coast to Astoria stopping along the way. Have reservations in Astoria this night. For sure want to stop in Cannon Beach (I'm a Goonies fan, what can I say). Any other spots along this route that are must stops? Maybe a glass shop in Lincoln City? Where would be the best place for lunch along the way? We love seafood and scenic views.
July 29: Drive back to Portland to return car and catch 2:30 train to Seattle. We are renting the car from a downtown Portland location so hoping the return won't take long. We'll then have two nights in Seattle before catching a flight from there back home.
I realize we're cramming a lot in to a small time frame but there's so much we want to see.