This summer, we visited Portland, OR to attend my cousins wedding. We stayed the Portland area for about 5 days and did a bit of sightseeing while we were there. I rented a car so it would be easy to come and go as we please and not have to rely on public transportation and taxis to go everywhere.
When we landed in Portland, the first thing I noticed was how nice and clean their airport is. There was even a kid’s area with TV and games inside the airport for people waiting for flights. After we left the airport via the well-marked signs, we took a shuttle to Thrifty rental cars where I was convinced to upgrade my vehicle to a Rav4 SUV. We were then given maps and directions of the area.
The first couple nights, we stayed at a Marriott in downtown Portland. Within walking distance was a strip of stores along the Willamette River, bridges, and an entire downtown area to explore. In the evening we walked northwest about twenty block to a nice area of town where we ate dinner. The downtown area of Portland has a lot of parks and bike lanes.
The next day we drove to along 84 East along the Columbia River to go check out Multnomah Falls. We arrived and pulled up to the parking spot. We left the car and behind the building with a restaurant and gift shop, I saw my first glimpse of the waterfall. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I couldn’t believe just how high up it was it.
We walked up to an area with a better view and took some pictures. We then walked up a paved path with steep inclines that goes to a bridge. There is a trail that takes you all the way to the top of the waterfall but because we had my daughter and her stroller, we decided to turn around from there and head back. We checked out the little museum before we left and headed back onto 84 East towards a town called Hood River.
We arrived at Hood River which gets its name from the fact that a river runs through the town with water that comes from Mt Hood. The downtown area is very hilly so I put on my emergency break when I parked. We walked around the nice little town, had lunch and then checked out a few stores. On the way back to the car, we stopped in Dog River Coffee. I’ve been told good things about the coffee in the Portland area so I was curious to try it. I tried a cup of the Guatemala and it was delicious so I bought some to bring home with me. We then headed back towards Portland with great views of the Columbia River along 84 West.
The next day we packed up our things and traveled to a town called Camas in Washington. We stayed here because it was close to where the wedding was being held. We stayed at the Camas hotel, a beautifully designed small hotel right in the center of town. We stayed in a room that had a king size bed with about two feet of walking space around it and a gorgeous bathroom.
After the wedding, we decided to check out the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway. We traveled along the Columbia River on Lewis and Clark Highway (14). There were some great views of the river from this road. We passed the Bonneville Dam on the right and continued on the highway. We continued passed the Bridge of the Gods and decided to cross over the river via the Hood River Bridge.
We passed Hood River, the town we visited a couple days earlier and started on the scenic highway that goes around Mt. Hood. There weren’t too many places to stop as we approached Mt. Hood but there were a lot of fruit stands. As we got closer to Mt. Hood, there were a lot of great photo opportunities. When we got as close the Mt. Hood as we could, there were breathtaking views of the snowy peak.
We passed a ski resort and started heading back towards Portland. There were a lot of trails that we passed along the way. We made our way to our new hotel near the airport. It was a Hyatt on Cascades Parkway. We ate dinner in Cascades station, a newer development with a lot of big stores including an Ikea.
The next day we traveled west towards the coast. We wanted to visit Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Along the way we traveled through big forests on Route 26. When we finally reached the West Coast, we traveled South on Route 101 for a couple minutes and then arrived at Cannon Beach. It’s a cute little town with shops but the beach itself was way too cold to go in the water. Haystack Rock was absolutely amazing. Living on the east coast, I’d never seen anything like it.
After lunch we traveled north on Route 101 passed the small beach town called Seaside and towards beautiful Astoria, OR. Once in Astoria, we visited the Oregon Film Museum. This is part of the location of where the one of my favorite movies, The Goonies was filmed. They also have some information on other films that were shot in Oregon including Short Circuit and Kindergarten Cop. Check out the replica of the ORV with bullet holes from The Goonies.
We decided to make a quick stop at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. “Ocian in view! O! the joy.” were the famous words written in Clark’s journal when they reached what they thought was the Pacific Ocean. It turns out that they were still a couple weeks away. This park features a lot of hiking trails and a replica of Fort Clatsop, the encampment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the Oregon Country near the mouth of the Columbia River during the winter of 1805-1806.
After the park, we headed back towards Portland and briefly went through a town called Longview, WA. That night we packed up our suitcases because our flight was the next day. Overall, we had a great trip out west. Next time I’m in that area I want to check out Seattle for sure.