View Full Version : Hey Pac-NW guys....vacation advice needed

12-30-2010, 01:05 AM
My wife and I have some SWA Awards we need to use, and the Pacific Northwest is a place we've always wanted to visit. We have two windows we're deciding on: May 23-27 or July 11-15. We are thinking of flying into Portland on a Monday and flying home from Seattle on Friday. What are some things that are "must do?" Anyone have great recommendations for lodging along the way? Cannon Beach, Mt. St. Helen, Olympic Forest, Crater Lake, and Columbia Gorge are all things we've heard of and seem awesome, but we literally have no idea how we should tackle all of this! Anyone want to play tour guide and suggest an itinerary?

12-30-2010, 03:52 AM
TL7 -

oh boy.. there is a host of things you can do here.. My advice is bail on the seattle departure and go in and out of portland. That way it will give you lots of stuff to do. July is a secret month in the PNW because it turns amazing outside. If you want to do some water fun I'm sure something could be arranged but honestly, I'd spend the limited time you have seeing the sights. I'd look at a few day trips...

MT hood trip:
Leave pdx early AM-- head out US30 east. get off on the old lewis and clark road which will take you up the esticata river, over to crown point and on a tour of 15 water falls all walking distance from the car. From there I'd continue E and visit the bonneville damn and see the fish pools and wild salmon runs. It's free. Cont E and head to Hood river and see the wind surfing. Have lunch. Then head inand, go around the back side of MT hood. It's scenic drive... Go up to Timberline Lodge for a visit. Maybe stay there (it's where the shining was fillmed in the 80's). Amazing place all built with wood pegs, no nails etc. Or you could return back to pdx for the night.

Another great day trip is out to the beaches. I'd probably stay the night out their if you go that route as its about 2 hour drive.

Shoot me a pm if you want some specific info.
An old fashioned phone call might help too.

12-30-2010, 07:35 AM
The Oregon coast is amazing. It would be easy to spend one entire trip of those lengths just exploring the coast via highway 101 from say Astoria down to say Eurka California. Bring cameras, extra batteries and memory cards.

12-30-2010, 08:25 AM
highly recommend the D'Sands condo's in lincoln city on the oregon coast. not new, but right on the ocean. stayed there 2x and loved it. 3 days to explore depot bay and newport would be right. aquarium is a neat experience in newport. cool aviation museum up near tillamook.

to throw this out as well, fly into seattle and take the ferry to victoria. it's an awesome island. stay near the port and you can go whale watching, see the historic town, and buschart gardens are amazing. you don't need a car there, as they rent scooters. we scooted to the gardens. long and slow, but very scenic and a fun day. wineries around as well.

12-31-2010, 12:53 AM
I recommend walking on the Bremerton to Seattle ferry which takes you downtown Seattle to visit the Needle and Pike Place market no driving is required. The Oregon Coast is great but the water is too cold to swim in. In May bring a waterproof warm jacket but the driest time of the year is July and a light jacket would do. You could spend a day along the coast to Bremerton (Hwy 101), spend a day in Seattle, take another day along the Cascade Mountains and get great views of Mt Rainier, what's left of Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood. A lot of driving but you'll get the idea of what is out here. Any major ticket items needed, then buy in Portland as there is no sales tax. Your wife would say a nice ring packs very well in a suitcase..haha.

I live on the east side of WA. State so it is a fun vacation to go west. In the summer, all we have is hot, dry desert weather with no people and lots of water and we get tired of boating and need a change.

12-31-2010, 02:34 AM
OMG - this poor guy is going to need a summer to go see all this stuff.

Alll good ideas for sure. The victoria suggestion is a wow favorite of mine.Especiallyy if you take the usa ferries over there. You willneed passports for that. And you can burn 2 days on this trip alone.

Make sure you do some google mapping on these sights. My wife would kick my butt if I hauled her to Rainierand Hood on the same day. Way to far.

My advice would be,to pick out a few great trips and leave it at that. Fly into eiter Seattle or portland and base camp fromthere. It's a 3 hour drive between the too.


01-01-2011, 08:38 PM
We're booked to fly into Portland July 9 for a week. We decided to just fly in and out of Portland based on some of the responses, and we'll probably do the "circuit" as suggested. Any good lodging recommendations along the way?

01-02-2011, 01:33 AM
A few places I know of depending on where you wanna go and of course price range.

Cannon Beach - Stephanie Inn or The Ocean Lodge. Both are right by Haystack Rock.
Downtown Portland - The Nines. This is the only hotel I've been in recently in downtown and I was pretty impressed with it.
Newberg (Wine Country) - The Allison. Very nice place to stay in the area.

01-03-2011, 01:28 PM
I would say go to Crater Lake and the beaches. I do not know when they reopen the road to Crater Lake since it depends on how much snow they got over the winter.

01-03-2011, 02:56 PM
flew over crater lake for the first time last summer going from reno to portland. looks like an amazing place. I would like to see it sometime in person. have read a lot about it. probably too far to tow a boat, but to go spend a day would be nice :)

01-03-2011, 03:51 PM
You cannot boat on crater lake. There are government boats on it that are a closed system so nothing gets into the lake. They had to air lift them in since it is a hike to get down to the water and there is no roads to the water. It was fun to watch them air lift the boats in. Some thing you do not see every day.

If you are in the area there are several other lakes to hit up. Let me know if you are in the area and I will take you out on my boat.

01-03-2011, 04:24 PM
wow, didn't know that. are they available for rent? or govt boats there to chase off the public from doing anything :)

been to eugene once on the way to bend via portland. was a nice area. loved bend, but seemed that the entire town was either no-income or super-wealthy. no middle class at all..

01-03-2011, 05:31 PM
That is bend for you. They do not have a middle class and most people that work service jobs in bend do not live in bend since it costs so much. The downturn has taken a hit on the market in that area.

The government boats are to take people to the island.. for a price. No wakeboarding behind them but that lake would be cold. a few years back a plane crashed into the lake. No oil or gas came to the top. They think the gas and oil froze so fast that it did not have time to leak out.

01-03-2011, 06:39 PM
if you decide to go to the columbia gorge, caveb is an excellent place to stay. if there's a concert at the gorge- that's always a good time too. caveb is next door to the venue... great winery.


PM me if you want any info ...