Good value near Washington Square
I'm not sure why this particular Shilo Inn wasn't one of those listed by VT, but it didn't seem to be.
This was a very comfortable place to stay for a relatively bargain price ... I paid about $45 per night plus tax during Thanksgiving weekend, booking through Orbitz.
I did reserve two double beds, and received one queen, but it turned out fine as I ended up being the only one staying there.
It is very close to Washington Square shopping center, and fairly easy to get to downtown Portland, which is about a 15 minute drive, depending on traffic.
Anyway, I thought it was a comfortable place to stay for a few nights while visiting family nearby. It had a microwave, refrigerator and coffee pot in the room, and there was a continental breakfast with yoghurt, cereal, pastries, fruit, juice and coffee.
The bed was comfortable and there was a color TV and hot bath/shower. Everything you could ask in a place to sleep and relax.
There's also free parking; a whirl pool, which I didn't use; and a big screen TV in the lobby.
Oregon Coast, Redwoods, Oregon Vortex, Crater Lake
"Olympia, WA to Florence, OR"
Day One (Saturday): Olympia, WA to Lincoln City, OR
I left Seattle about 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 21, 2003 (Summer Solstice). I arrived at my friend's house in Olympia around 11:15. We loaded up my hatchback with road trip and camping supplies for our nine-day excursion. It was raining slightly when we hit the road.
We took Interstate 5 south to Kelso and then cut west to Hwy 101 via SR4. We drove down SR4, a road that twined along the Columbia River, to a Rest Area just before the Astoria Bridge. We stopped to look at the wide mouth of the river pouring out into the Pacific Ocean and take some photos of the four-mile long bridge from Washington to Oregon. Our next stop was in Cannon Beach for a latte.
Cannon Beach is where the beauty of the Oregon Coast started to reveal itself with huge rocks towering out of the ocean and waves spraying up as they crashed into them. Unfortunately, it was a little too trendy for our liking.
From Cannon Beach, we drove up into mountains on Hwy 101. We were on the edge of the continent with nothing but a guardrail between our car and a thousand-foot high evergreen-speckled cliffs dropping straight down into the frigid, rough waters of the Pacific Ocean. We inhaled quick breaths of freedom with the clear ocean air.
South of Tillamook, we ventured off the highway to check out Munson Creek Falls. We drove down a rock road with huge potholes in it to the trailhead and then walked a quarter mile up the trail to view the falls. We were alone and surrounded by thick forest, a little too reminiscent of an 80s horror movie setting for me, but the falls were quite lovely.
Lincoln City, Oregon lured us in for the evening with a sign that advertised "Karaoke Nightly." We set up camp just south of town at Devil's Lake State Park, your average weekend campground with a mixture of RVs, tents, kids, and dogs.
We enjoyed a nice dinner at the Shilo Inn, where we could look out at the ocean from our table, before heading over to Maxwell's for karaoke. The crowd was a mix of tourists and locals, and we had a great time.
Day Two (Sunday): Lincoln City, OR to Florence, OR
We packed up our gear, and headed back out on Hwy 101 toward Newport and Florence. The coastal views became even more spectacular as we neared Newport.
We stopped at several different roadside lookouts to take in the splendor of it all. One particular spot was called Whale Cove. We didn't see any whales there, but we did see some interesting caves and rock formations, and a little waterfall. We crossed one of several old beautiful bridges on Hwy 101 in Newport as we headed for the Oregon Coast Aquarium. On the way there, we stumbled upon the Rogue Brewery, where we just had to stop to take pictures and purchase souvenirs.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a "must see" attraction. The aquarium exhibits were surprisingly psychedelic. My favorite part was the touching exhibit, where we got to put our hands in the water and feel the starfish, sea anemones, and skates. There were several volunteers located conveniently to answer our questions.
After leaving the aquarium, we headed down 101 to Florence. The topography changed drastically as we neared the sand dunes. We stopped at more lookout points along the way and saw sea lions and seals on rocks near the sea below us. At one spot we could see a picturesque lighthouse, Heceta Head. We found a great federal campground just south of Florence in Dunes City. The campsite we picked was remote and tucked back in the woods next to a lagoon with just enough tree opening to view the stars.
"Florence to Brookings"
Day Three (Monday): Waxmyrtle Campground ?Dunes City, OR
On an early morning walk through the deserted campground, I saw rabbits and squirrels running around all over the place. I watched a large black water bird dive for fish into the stream next to our campsite. We saw it do this several times that day. I enjoyed sitting by myself in the morning listening to the ocean and watching all the birds and critters.
We decided to hike the trail next to our campsite to see where it led and packed a lunch to take with us. The trail started out in a wooded area along the stream. There were some great views out over the marshes and sand dunes. We saw eagles soaring overhead, and Janice saw a deer in the woods. Then the trail turned to sand, and we were hiking in the hot sun through the dune brush and plants until we reached the ocean.
The beach was windy, and the air was fresh, and I felt so free out in the wide open with no other people in sight. I ran towards the water and, as I approached, noticed something bobbing up and down. Then I saw that the things bobbing had eyes. I was so excited. I couldn't believe I was seeing sea lions looking at right me, poking their little heads up out of the water to say, "hello." I was glad I brought my binoculars, so I could get a better look at their faces. As I was scanning the beach with the binoculars, I noticed several black figures cluttered about 50 yards down the beach. At first I thought it might just be driftwood, but then I saw them moving. We ran toward them to get a better look. I was in total disbelief.
There was a whole group of sea lions bathing in the sun. We could get about fifty feet from them before they would retreat into the water. We found a spot on a massive piece of driftwood to sit and eat our lunch while we watched them. There was no one else in sight, and the beach went on forever. It was a magical moment, and a highlight of our trip.
After our hike, we decided to check out the dune buggies, but once we got there, we chickened out and decided to ride go-karts and play miniature golf instead.
The sky was clear that night, and we could see an endless number of stars.
Day Four (Tuesday): Dunes City, OR to Brookings, OR
We said goodbye to our favorite campsite and hit the road again. Our next stop was at Umpquah River Lighthouse State Park. Then we drove to Coos Bay, where we stopped for lunch at a downtown cafe.
When we reached Bullards Beach State Park, we stopped to tour the Coquille River Lighthouse. We parked in a lot next to these huge piles of driftwood that we learned were washed up the previous winter by a sneaker wave, a huge wave that is hard to see and seems to come from out of nowhere. We climbed the spiral staircase and captain's ladder up into the top of the lighthouse. While we were up there, we could see a Coast Guard training boat fighting huge waves to get through the jetty and out to the sea.
As we drove south of Bandon, the views became spectacular. We decided to stop just north of Gold Beach in the late afternoon so that I could play golf and Janice could ride her bike.
When we reached Gold Beach, we stopped so I could get into the water, which was cold and exhilarating. Then, we drove south to Brookings, just north of the Oregon-California border, and pitched our tent at Harris Beach State Park. The park is right on the coast and had some fabulous views, but it was also very crowded and loud.
"California Redwoods, Oregon Vortex & Crater Lake"
Day Five (Wednesday): Brookings, OR to Klamath, CA / Klamath to Gold Hill & Ashland, OR
From Brookings to Klamath, Hwy 101 snaked back and forth through coastline and the Redwood forests. The road was hilly and winding, and the sun beamed perfect patterns through the huge trees. We reached Klamath and the Trees of Mystery around Noon and ate lunch at the Forest Cafe across the street. The decor attempted to mimic the outdoors, and the room we ate in gave the appearance of being under water. There were duck feet and butts above our heads. It was a cheesy, touristy place, but the food wasn't bad.
Giant statues of Paul Bunyon and Babe, the blue ox, greeted us at the entrance to the Trees of Mystery. We took the $18 tour, which included a short hike through the forest, where obnoxious recorded voices tried to convince us that the trees were, in fact, mysterious. Then we took the Sky Train, which carried us several hundred feet into the air and above the treetops.
Then we headed a few miles up the road to experience the famous Tour Thru Tree, a giant redwood you can drive your car through for four bucks.
We then retraced our tracks up 101 and back through the Redwood forest and headed East towards Ashland. The drive to Ashland was beautiful and challenging as we wound our way through mountains and along the Rogue River.
It was extremely hot and dry in Ashland, and the whole experience there felt stuffy and claustrophobic after spending so much time on the coast. It's a good thing our next stop was such an otherworldly experience - The Oregon Vortex!
Day Six (Thursday): Ashland to Gold Hill and Crater Lake, OR
We headed to Gold Hill, home of the Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery. The Vortex is a spherical field of force, half above the ground, and half below that causes mysterious gravitational phenomena to occur. Scientists, including Albert Einstein, have studied this mystery spot for years and no one is sure exactly what causes it or why it exists. Whatever it is, it certainly provided us with some interesting entertainment and is the coolest roadside attraction I've ever seen.
We arrived at Crater Lake in the early evening and found a great campsite in the Mazama Campground, the only campground within the park boundaries. I was intrigued by all of the snow considering the temperature was in the 80s to 90s. Unfortunately, melting snow is perfect breeding ground for mosquitos, which were attacking swarming us. We got our campsite all set up and then drove up the mountain to the Visitor's Center and Lodge. The views were along the way were incredible.
Our campsite was located next to a steep ravine, and we could hear the water running through the canyon. The stars were incredible. We really enjoyed hanging out by the fire that evening.
Day Seven (Friday): Crater Lake National Park
We took our time hanging out in the morning and then prepared to hike the Cleetwood Trail from the volcano rim down to the bright blue green water. It was a short hike, but it was very steep with switchbacks the whole way. When I saw other people finishing the trail out of breath and exhausted, I could tell it was going to be hard coming back up.
The sun was scorching, so it felt really good to take off our hiking boots and put our feet in the cool water. The lake was amazingly clear. We could see little crawfish swimming around. We sat on huge rocks, ate our lunch, and hung out for a little while.
After our hike, we drove as far around the lake as we could until the road was blocked off due to snow.
Day Eight (Saturday): Crater Lake to Eugene, OR
We left Crater Lake, driving back up and around the mountain to reach the road that eventually took us back to I-5 and Roseburg.
It was another beautiful drive along a river with many mountain views. There were several campgrounds and picnic areas along this route, and we stopped at one to use the restroom and saw a nice waterfall.
Shilo Inn in Tigard near Washington Square
Walking around Portland in the evening!
Union Station - portland, Oregon
NW 13th at Lovejoy
I'm flying into Portland in August, and wondered if anyone could suggest hotels around the airport to stay in or stay away from. I would like to stay within a modest price range.
Re: Portland Hotels
I stayed at the Doubletree Hotel Columbia River in Portland. It was about 10 miles from the Airport. The price was very reasonable for the area considering it was Rose Festival Weekend (We payed $99 a night). It has a full service restaurant with lounge. There is also excercise equipment and an outdoor pool with spa. The only downside was the hotel was in the process of remodeling. There are also many hotels close to the Airport. There was a Sheraton Hotel and Embassy Suites pretty close to the terminal. So you might want to look into that as well.
Re: Portland Hotels
We live here but sometimes stay at airport prior to an early am departure. We have stayed at Sheraton Airport, Embassy Suites and Shilo Inn. Any are good. Rates vary. Most hotels in airport area are in good shape and acceptable. Ones above have shuttle to airport.
Re: Re: Portland Hotels
I agree with Janna, most the airports we've had friends stay at are nice. But may be not in the best neighborhood. Be sure not to walk around that area, drive.