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Itinerary Help for April

Phoenix AZ
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Itinerary Help for April

My husband and I are planning a long weekend trip to Oregon for our anniversary in mid/late April. I orginally thought the Willamette Valley would be a great destination, but I read that April is the perfect time for the Columbia River Gorge. We enjoy the outdoors, but also love good food and wine! I am open to a diverse itinerary, but don't want to push too hard as it is supposed to be relaxing. I think we would prefer staying in one location for sleeping accommodations. We live in Phoenix, so I am not overly concerned with the rain, we actually don't mind it as we don't get it often.

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Oregon
Oregon
United States
Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley
743 Reviews
Portland, OR
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
973 Reviews
Hood River, OR
Phoenix
Phoenix
Central Arizona, AZ
Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: Itinerary Help for April

April is a transition month for most lower elevations as winter merges into spring. Snow will be deep and getting deeper; while even the mountain passes such as Siskiyou can still get an occasional snow storm.

You can pretty much count on rain anywhere west of the Cascades, accompanied by high winds at times through the Gorge and along the coast. That said, the flowers awake in April and tease us with the hope of early spring and summer.

Keep an eye on www.tripcheck.com for the latest road/weather conditions and forecasts in Oregon. Make your plans, but stay flexible.

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Oregon
Oregon
United States
Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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2. Re: Itinerary Help for April

Should have said snow IN MOUNTAINS would be deep and getting deeper.

Oregon
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3. Re: Itinerary Help for April

Gorge would be great place to visit on a weekend in April. Even if it is raining.

Salem, Oregon
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4. Re: Itinerary Help for April

This may be almost too obvious to state, but for good food and wine in April or whenever, I would vote for the Dundee > Newberg > Carlton > McMinnville area. Heck, downtown Portland is an exciting foodie capital these days and good wine is EVERYwhere :-)

Not to say the Gorge isn't beautiful, but if you're into gustatory pleasures, I stand by my thoughts...drive to the Gorge for an afternoon... fortunately there are outdoor activities of a different ilk in both downtown and the wine country.

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Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: Itinerary Help for April

For a visit as short as yours, I think you should choose one or the other. Yes, you can spend a couple of days in the WV wine area and then zip across to spend a half day in the Gorge - but remember there is a big city in between the two with heavy traffic. To me, that would not be at all relaxing.

There are *lots* of wineries in the gorge:

columbiagorgewine.com/wineriesvineyards.html

Hood River has some upscales eateries. The gorge has outstanding natural beauty and unique geography and fewer people and less congestion, but it depends upon what you want to do :-)

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idaho
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for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
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6. Re: Itinerary Help for April

I think that that is a hard decision, as well. We love to spend time in the Gorge, lots of hiking and the weather is usually warmer than Portland, but that said, we LOVE Portland. Living in the mountains, it is such a thrill not to have to driver! Riding the street car, metro, and the food!!! lovely.

If in the Gorge, try NOra's Table in Hood River..fresh and interesting food.

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Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Itinerary Help for April

You might be over-thinking this, PHXGAL. Whether you stay in the Columbia River Gorge or Willamette Valley wine country, you'll be doing some driving every day. So why not stay in Portland, where you're 30 miles west of Multnomah Falls, 30 miles northeast of the heart of wine country, and have countless dining options. We can give specific recommendations for wineries, sightseeing and hiking, dining, etc., but otherwise, I think most relaxing might be to just let weekend unfold. If you do decide on one location over the other - i.e. gorge vs. wine country - I wouldn't let traffic concerns dictate your itinerary, especially on a weekend. Lots of folks visit this area and return to the forum with trip reports; and few of those include any mention of traffic.

I'm guessing you already know that the wine that put Oregon on the world-wide wine map is Willamette Valley pinot noir. Someone who doesn't drink wine may not know this, or that the *lots* of wineries in the gorge generally produce warmer weather varietals.

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Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley
743 Reviews
Portland, OR
Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls
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Bridal Veil, OR
Oregon
Oregon
United States
Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Itinerary Help for April

Agree with thrumylens - Portland is relatively traffic free esp on weekends.

We were there on holiday weekend and never felt it was crowded or congested on the roads.

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Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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9. Re: Itinerary Help for April

Considering that Portland ranks among the worst traffic in the nation, it is something to take into consideration when thinking about a short visit going back and forth across the city.

2012 Texas Transportation Institute Texas A&M ranks Portland 16th worst nationwide.

2013 Tom Tom ranks Portland 8th worst in USA.

oregonlive.com/roadreport/index.ssf/2011/02/…

Yes, Oregon has a number of wine regions all around the state :-)

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United States
United States
North America
Oregon
Oregon
United States
Oregon
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10. Re: Itinerary Help for April

Normally when traffic is easy it can take 15 mins or so from downtown Portland to Troutdale. However two times recently before 3PM, that has not been true, once it was close to 90 mins, another time an hour, for some reason traffic was stalled, so not always easy.

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