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Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

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New Orleans
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Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

I'm a mom who's bringing her two kids (8 & 9) up that way in June.

We will be flying into SEA, staying two nights, then heading to the San Juan Islands for three nights. It seems like there are a lot of things there that the kids would love and with the travel time, I think that two nights would be too few.

We would drive back to Seattle, drop off the car and hop on the Cascades train to Portland, arriving in time for dinner. We will stay in downtown Portland that night.

Which leaves us one more day and night to do either the Columbia River Gorge or the coast. Which should it be? I am leaning towards the gorge, because it seems like there are neat things to see, but I could be convinced that the coast shouldn't be missed.

Tell me if I'm missing an obvious solution to our time problem. One more day is all I need!

Newberg, Oregon
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1. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

Are you renting a car in Portland? The Gorge is about an hour to the east of Portland, the Coast about 2 hours to the west. You're right, you could use AT LEAST one more day.

We faced the same dilemma in planning our October trip to NOLA -- so we added 3 more days and 2 more nights (10 and 9 total). But STILL not enough time to get to all the restaurants I'd love to try there. LOL!

Berkeley, California
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2. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

Since you'll be spending time in SEA and the San Juans, I'd pass on the Oregon coast and instead do a driving loop from Portland, heading east through the Columbia Gorge to Hood River, then taking Hwy 35 south to Mount Hood, and returning to Portland on Hwy 26.

If you get a reasonably early start, that will give you time to take the Columbia River Scenic Highway and get up close to the waterfalls in the Gorge, maybe take a short hike. You can get lunch in Hood River and watch the windsurfing, then take a pretty drive up the Hood River valley to Mount Hood. You'll have time to take a short detour up to Timberline Lodge where you can watch people skiing, then it's about an hour's drive to return to Portland.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

Ahh, the classic time vs. money vacation dilemma. If it were me I would spend the extra $35 per person and fly to PDX instead of taking the train. You would save about 3 hours on travel time, assuming the train is not delayed which is not uncommon. Alaska Air runs flights to PDX nearly every hour all day.

Scott

www.portlandtraveltips.com

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

Hello there,

Decisions, Decisions..

IMO, With the wait time at the airport you could almost be here driving or by train.

The coast is a two hour drive. where the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area starts about 15-20 minutes outside of Portland in a city named Troutdale. The Orgon John said an hour, I think he meant traveling to Hood River. That is a popular city more than half way nto the Gorge.

Best wishes with whatever you choose,

Mrs O

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

I'm wondering what you'll be doing in the San Juans that the kids would like better than either a day in the Gorge or at the beach. We go to San Juan Island every year or so, and besides a whale watch or kayak tour, there's not that much unique to the area for kids to enjoy. So I'd shorten that stay to two nights on San Juan Island.

If you stick with three nights in the San Juans, between the Gorge and the Coast, the choice should be easy. There are few things better than a sunny day on an Oregon coast beach, especially for kids.

Edited to add that, if the weather's lousy, the Gorge is probably the better bet.

Edited: 11:46 am, April 25, 2013
Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

Bear in mind that the Portland Rose Festival is on from June 1 to June 9, or thereabouts. The parade is on June 8, I think.

Otherwise, I concur with those above: a) don't take the train; and b) do a Gorge-Mt. Hood loop. But there's also the Aviation Museum in McMinville if they're into that (of course there's also one in Seattle). But the McMinville one has the Spruce Goose (though the Seattle one has a Concorde SST).

Newberg, Oregon
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7. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

Absolutely correct, MrsO. I don't think I'm in the Gorge until I see a Charburger or windsurfers. LOL!

8. Re: Ugh. I need one more day. Check my itinerary, please.

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