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Finalizing Itinerary

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Scottsdale, AZ
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Finalizing Itinerary

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.

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

1. Both hotels are fine. Do you plan on using SPG cash and points or free nights? Cash and points is not available for the Nines. Both offer free nights at 10k per night. If you are using points for a free night then I would choose the nines because you are getting a better redemption on your points a little over 3 cents per point.

2. Beer festival on friday will be fine. I have gone on Friday night a couple of times and find the crowd to be pretty manageable.

3. Hood River to Newport is a little over a 3 hour drive. If you want to fully explore the gorge and make it to Newport before dark I suggest an early start. So take it easy at beer festival. The best way to Newport is to double back on I-84 then take I-205 south, then I-5 south to the Corvalis exit and take Hwy 20 to Newport.

4. One of the coast experts could probably tell you a good place for lunch along the way. I will say avoid any Moe's restaurant, but look for a place that is selling seasonal and fresh seafood.

The only part where I think you're cramming is from gorge to Newport. Sounds like a great trip.

Scott

www.portlandtraveltips.com

Portland, OR
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2. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

Hmmm... Yes, it seems like you may be trying to cram TOO much into such a short 4 day trip. Certainly won't feel like much of a vacation with a heck of a lot of driving.

I recommend the Nines. Great location and a beautiful hotel and going up to Departure Lounge is a MUST.

Day 2 - have lunch at the Food Cart Pod at 10th and Alder before heading to the beer festival. There are oodles to choose from and they are cheap! Head to the beer festival and probably have some pretty long lines. Friday is getting busier every year.

Day 3 - The Gorge AND wine tasting AND Newport in one day will be pushing it. It will be a VERY long day and driving to Newport at night is not fun. I have done it countless times so know very well what the road is like at night. You have to pick up your car, which will take some time, and then it is 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Hood River on the fast route on 84. It would be a shame to go that route when the scenic highway is where all the waterfalls are. You COULD just drive to Multnomah falls on 84 but some of the other falls are soooo beautiful!

From Multnomah Falls it will take you almost 4 hours to get to Newport and that isnt' counting any stops. It may take you longer, not knowing the curves in the roads. I can practically drive that windy road with my eyes closed. The fastest way to Newport is to head I-5 south and then cut over on the road toward Corvallis and follow the signs to the coast. Why Newport? A better option would be to go to the closer Cannon Beach but you will have a difficult time finding a place to rent for one night except for some of the outlying areas with motels.

Rather than trying to stop at places between Newport and Astoria, you really should head straight to Astoria or you wont' have any time to explore this great little town on the mouth of the Columbia River! Take a trolley ride and visit the Maritime Museum, for starters. Eat at the Bow Picker. They ONLY serve albacore fish and chips but it is the best fish and chips I have ever had. Very little batter. It is also served out of a boat in the middle of a parking lot. Like a food cart but a boat.

You will need to leave Astoria fairly early to get to your train by 2:00.

Just thinking about your trip exhausts me but have fun!

Portland, OR
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3. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

Scott, the drive from Hood River to Newport is nearly 4, not 3. Portland to Newport alone is 2 1/2.

If you do have to go to Newport, eat at Nana's in Nye Beach. Casual, locals place with friendly service and a really nice patio, if the weather is nice. I still think you should change your plans and not go all the way to Newport.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

I've never done the drive from the gorge to newport myself, but google maps said it was 3 hours 26 minutes. I have done the drive from Portland to Newport and that was a little more than 2 hours and hood river to Portland is only an hour. Sounds like you are rounding up and I am rounding down. Either way still makes for a long day.

Scott

www.portlandtraveltips.com

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5. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

We have stayed twice at The Nines on the club level. Our favorite in Portland! :).

Edited: 11:26 am, March 14, 2013
Scottsdale, AZ
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6. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

Thanks everyone for your advice. You certainly gave me lots to think about.

For the 27th I was thinking if we pick up our car by 9:00 (we're getting it from a small place within walking distance of the hotel so shouldn't take long to pick up) we can be at Multnomah falls by 10:00. Spend an hour or so in the area and back on the road by 11:30. Even if the drive to Newport is four hours we should get there around 4:00 or so. The sun doesn't set until pretty late in the summer so we will still have some daylight to explore Newport a bit.

On the 28th google maps says Newport to Astoria is 134 miles (3 hours) so if we left Newport around 10 or so we would have time to diddle daddle along the way and make it to Astoria in the late afternoon.

Our other option would be for me to cancel our reservation in Newport and stay two nights in Astoria but seems we wouldn't be able to see as much of the coast (although we would be able to spend a little more time at the waterfalls so I guess it's a toss up). Thoughts? Not able to find a nice place within our budget in Cannon Beach for two nights.

Oregon Coast
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7. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

We've driven Newport -> Portland hundreds of times over the years. It takes three hours.

More if you hit traffic or there is an accident; less if you are a member of the Andretti family.

Newport to Astoria in high summer will take longer than 3 hours due to traffic congestion in Lincoln City and Seaside, so allow about a half hour more.

Portland, OR
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8. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

I still think it is a shame to just drive through The Gorge only to see Multnomah Falls instead of the scenic highway but it seems you have your mind set, no matter what we recommend. The scenic highway is a "do not miss" in my eyes.

Half-Brit, you must obey the speed limit. :). Portland to Newport always takes me 2 1/2 hours, never 3, so I must be related to Mario. We have a place in Newport and drive there very frequently. Unless there is a Ducks or Beavers game or I drive at peak rush hour.

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9. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

What is your budget? There are many hotels in Seaside to choose from if Cannon Beach lodging is too high. www.seasideor.com. :).

Edited: 11:16 am, March 16, 2013
Scottsdale, AZ
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10. Re: Finalizing Itinerary

Do you think this is a better idea? After visiting the gorge head to Astoria for the night. Next day meandor down the coast to Lincoln City for the night. Next day head back to Portland to catch amtrak. Seems like it might save a little driving time and allow a little more time at the gorge. Could also do this in reverse order. Which place Astoria or Lincoln City would more fun on a Saturday night and Sunday night? Seem like they are roughly the same amount of distance/time from Portland.

We have a hotels.com credit we want to use for one night ($200) and then would pay cash the other night. That's the reason for switching hotels. We can stay a cheaper place in Astoria on our own dollar then use the credit at a nice beachside place.