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We have a day and night to get from Portland to Eugene, what could we see on our way? –Linda

Hi Linda,

I am the AskOR Willamette Valley expert and I am happy to give you a few suggestions for enjoying our gorgeous region!  First of all, for lodging, I would check out www.obbg.org if you are thinking you might enjoy a night in a B & B along your route.  If you would like to wine taste or if you are in to seeing some of the most beautiful country in the world, take hwy 99W out of Portland south all the way to Eugene.

On your route, enjoy our small towns and villages and know that in each and every one of them you’ll find something good to drink and delicious local food to enjoy.  You’ll be going right by the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum near McMinnville:  http://www.evergreenmuseum.org  If you have ever wanted to see the Spruce Goose, this is its home!

Traveling further south along this route, you will come across my favorite place for local beer and food in Amity, OR at The Blue Goat Cafe:  http://amitybluegoat.com  Save room for dessert because it’s really good!

A great place to stay if you want an in between Portland and Eugene place is Corvallis.  A vibrant bustling town home to Oregon State University.  Take the campus tour if you’d like or take a hike!  My most favorite Oregon hiking trails are nearby.  The Mc Donald Dunn Forest:  http://www.cof.orst.edu/cf/recreation/trails.php  I hike here a few times a month and there’s always something new to see.  You can do just a few miles or take a longer route as you choose.  My reward for working hard on these trails is a bite to eat at either Block 15 or American Dream Pizza on 2nd Ave. both in downtown Corvallis.

You can choose to skip over to Albany from here on hwy 20 right out of downtown Corvallis and enjoy their darling downtown area before heading again south on to Eugene again via hwy 99.  A few tidbits about Albany… they happen to boast the most in number and varied styles of historic homes and buildings in the entire state of Oregon!  Worth a stop for some photos of the gorgeous vintage abodes and a trip to the Albany Carousel Museum and studio is awesome:  http://albanycarousel.com  A few places to dine if you choose to eat in Albany:

Well… this is my short list.  I am happy to provide you with more info but this could keep you busy far longer than a day and a night.  Hope you enjoy your planning and your trip.  Thanks for your question!

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on November 8th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Is March too early for a fly fishing trip? When does the season start? -Doug

There are some serious fly fishers who will fish in March but I would say later in the spring it gets even better.

Many of the rivers that get salmon and steelhead runs do not open until the third week of May to protect the young salmon and steelhead that are migrating to sea.  Most lakes open during the third week of April or are open year-round.

Check out regulations here:   http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/licenses_regs/regulations.asp

Answered by David Johnson, Ask Oregon Fishing Expert on November 1st, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are good spots on the Oregon Coast for beachcombing? I’m looking for agates. -Sandi

There are many beaches along Oregon’s 363 mile coastline where you will find agates. On the North Oregon Coast, I would recommend beaches south of Cannon Beach such as Arcadia Beach or Short Sand Beach (Oswald West State Park). Further south, Oceanside is known for agates where at low tide you can pass through a tunnel at Maxwell Point to find gravel beds great for agate hunters.

On the Central Oregon Coast, the stretch of beach between Otter Rock and Newport are famous for agates, including the appropriately named Agate Beach. Further south you will find some good agate beaches between Yachats and Florence. Consider the beach access areas adjacent to small creeks such as Agate Point just south of Yachats, Neptune Beach or Stonefield Beach.

On the South Oregon coast, consider Seven Devils Wayside south of Coos Bay, the beaches near Cape Blanco State Park and beaches both north and south of Gold Beach.

The quieter seasons of the year are often the best for agate hunters. Not only is there less competition for the prized stones, but off season storms often pull sand off the beach and waves dislodge agates from the shoreline revealing them to beachcombers. Look for areas of gravel deposits, then look closer to find the polished translucent quartz stones along with polished jasper and sometimes petrified wood and fossils.

Happy agate hunting!

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on November 1st, 2012 - Post Your Answer

When does ski season on Mt Hood usually start? -Jon

Ski season on Mount Hood can open as early as Halloween but the Thanksgiving weekend is generally the target date for all the resorts. If you really have the bug like me, Timberline runs limited operation on weekends starting in early October through the official resort opening when all lifts are operational. It is weather dependent, so make sure to check their website or the Timberline snow phone 503-222-2211. Have a awesome winter and hope to see you on the slopes!

Answered by Asit Rathod, Ask Oregon Snow Sports Expert on October 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are some good indoor rainy day activities in the Mt Hood/Columbia River Gorge area? -Greggory D.

I would recommend checking out the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center/Wasco County History Museum in The Dalles, along with the Fort Dalles museum.

You may also be interested in WAAAM (WAAAM: Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum) in Hood River. Definitely some interesting photographs of the vintage vehicles could be had there.

While not indoors, I would suggest checking out the Mosier Twin Tunnels trail. There are some great vantage points of the Gorge from here, and the tunnels do offer shelter from the rain. Keep an eye out for the historic graffiti left inside by snowbound travelers back when this was the highway.

What are some romantic spots along the Oregon Coast? We’re driving up the coastline from California.

If your idea of romantic spots is sharing spectacular scenery, your visit to the Oregon Coast will be a can’t-miss. I suggest you stop at the Oregon Welcome Center as you cross the state line near Brookings. Be sure to pick up information on the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. You will enter this beautiful scenic area as you drive between Brookings and Gold Beach. There are many scenic viewpoints and if you like to hike, most of these stops are intersected by some of the most beautiful portions of the Oregon Coast Trail.

I would recommend you spend at least a couple days in Gold Beach, allowing you to explore this scenic area. If you don’t mind not staying on the beach and want to splurge, one of the most romantic spots to stay would be Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, just up the north side of the Rogue River. Their dining room is open May through October and will offer some of the finest food you will find in the region, though you will be seated in tables of eight. For more intimate dining, return to downtown Gold Beach and look for Anna’s by the Sea, a small, quirky spot just off the main track that will offer a high level of dining. If you would prefer more of a cabin stay experience, consider Ireland’s Rustic Lodges, each cabin with wood burning fireplaces. They also offer traditional oceanfront motel rooms at Gold Beach Inn. For breakfast or lunch, consider a visit to Rollin in Dough Bakery and Bistro. I enjoyed the breakfast here last week and the lunch menu looked great. If you day trip to the north at Port Orford, consider a visit to Redfish restaurant.

If it were me, I would enjoy the drive north about 60 miles and spend the balance of your nights in Bandon. A visit to Cape Blanco State Park on the way would be a don’t miss place to visit. The beach at Bandon is spectacular, dotted with sea stacks, making for beautiful beach strolling at sunset. Beach Loop Drive in Bandon offers several great view points and beach access areas, most notably the Face Rock viewpoint and Coquille Point to the north. For romantic dining, don’t miss Alloro Wine Bar & Restaurant in old town Bandon. Also nearby to consider is The Loft Restaurant and Bar with views of the Coquille River. For coffee or desserts, look for Coastal Mist. I’ve also heard good things about Lord Bennett’s Restaurant. There are a number of oceanfront hotels in Bandon. Consider the Table Rock Motel, Windermere on the Beach, Bandon Beach Motel or Sunset Oceanfront Lodging. I recently stayed in one of the suites at Inn at Face Rock (Best Western) and the room was nicely upgraded and had a wood burning (presto log) fireplace. Though not oceanfront, it had some ocean views and the property also has a good restaurant, Bandon Bill’s.

One great day trip from Bandon is to drive north to Charleston and the State Parks at Cape Arago. You can make this trip via the Charleston to Bandon Tour Route. Just a few minutes away is a nice restaurant, Empire Cafe.

Hope this is some help on your romantic getaway!

Gary

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on October 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are some fun things to do in the Roseburg area? We like museums, scenic drives and local attractions. -Terry L.

Perhaps the most well-known attraction in the Roseburg area is Wildlife Safari, a few miles away in the smaller town of Winston. Speaking from personal experience, this is fun for kids and adults alike. Here’s a story from the Mail Tribune newspaper’s Joy magazine about it: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/JOY/706200302&cid=sitesearch

There’s also the Douglas County Museum of Natural and Cultural History. And you’re very close to the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, which as the name implies is one of the most scenic drives in the region, with numerous waterfalls to see along the route.

The Roseburg area has become a major player in wine grape-growing in Oregon, so there are lots of opportunities for wine tasting if you’re so inclined. Another adult form of recreation is Seven Feathers casino and resort, about 30 minutes away in Canyonville. It’s a main venue for musical acts, comedy shows, rodeos and the like. There’s also a new spa at the resort.

Like other Southern Oregonians, residents of Roseburg spend a lot of time in and around a major river, the Umpqua, which has rafting, fishing and jetboating opportunities.

I would suggest consulting the community calendar published online by the Umpqua-News Review when you get to town: http://www.nrtoday.com/Entertainment/Calendar.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on October 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We have 3 days in Portland and want to see art exhibits, theater and explore the neighborhoods. What do you suggest? -Joanne

I recommend a visit the Portland Art Museum to start!  Portland also has a ballet, opera, and many theater options: http://www.portlandtheatre.com/calendar/index.php

Most of these cultural offerings are in Downtown Portland.  Adjacent is Portland’s Pearl District, a modern artsy neighborhood.  I would also recommend visiting the Mississippi Avenue, Alberta St., Hawthorne Blvd, and Nob Hill neighborhoods.

Answered by Dave Strom on October 24th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are some fun activities on the Oregon Coast for a young family? -Corin

There are some great family attractions on the coast. Obviously the beach is the number one attraction, but many communities also offer the opportunity to catch live crab off the docks which is always a hit with kids. You may want to consider some of the following:

Seaside: Indoor carousel, kiddie rides and Seaside Aquarium.
Newport: Oregon Coast Aquarium
North of Florence: Sea Lion Caves
South of Bandon: West Coast Game Park Safari (petting zoo with opportunity to pet exotic baby animals).
Reedsport: Umpqua Discovery Center (Interactive walk through natural history exhibits). Nearby is a dependable location for elk watching.
Between Gold Beach and Port Orford: Prehistoric Gardens (rainforest walk with 23 life size dinosaur replicas).

You didn’t mention which part of the coast you are visiting, so this list includes attractions covering almost 300 miles of the Oregon Coast. If you’d like to let me know where you will be spending your two days, I can get more specific about that region. Hope this helps for now. Happy exploring!

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on October 24th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Are there any ghost towns or other places of interest off of I-84 in Eastern Oregon? -Harold

You’re headed in the right direction for ghost towns. There are several near Baker City, including Bourne and Whitney, but they’re still a bit of a drive off I-84. If you pick up Highway 7 west of Baker City, you’ll traverse the Sumpter Valley to the near-ghost town of Sumpter, 28 miles away, which is a beautiful drive with good photo opportunities of the rural landscape.

If you have less time, I recommend visiting the historic district of Baker City. Here’s an excerpt from a Travel Oregon article:

Today, Baker City’s historic downtown boast more than 100 buildings on the National register of historic places including the beautifully restored Geiser Grand Hotel, and the monumental Carnegie Library now restored and home to the Crossroads Art Center. The downtown is full of locally owned shops, restaurants and galleries. The Leo Adler Memorial Pathway now follows the Powder River through the historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods connecting them with the iconic Geiser Pollman Baker Heritage Museum and the Baker City Sports Complex.

Also convenient for the traveler is The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, which lies east of Baker City. It features living history exhibits and interpretive trails bringing the experience of immigrants to life.

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on October 24th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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