I think I loved you long before I met you.
…but really. I’m not sure when my love affair began but it did, in full. I booked a trip out west, rented a car in Portland, and spent four days on the road finally exploring and finding the fruits of my google image stalking labor.
My journey began in Portland, a city where I think I’ve heard ‘Oh Steph, you’d LOVE it there’ maybe about 16 hundred times. And they weren’t wrong! It has this down to earth, cool vibe to it where pretense is not a thing but spectacular dough nuts and even better vistas are.
From Portland, I made my way along the Columbia River Gorge scenic highway, roaming through mountainous curves and making rest stops at waterfalls. Multnomah Falls easily has to be the most iconic of these falls, but Wahkeena and Latourell Falls are pure magic as well. Be prepared with your hiking shoes!
Make your way throughout this highway and then down into Hood River. Grab a blanket and spend some time on the Columbia River watching the fantastic windsurfers do their thing. Hood River is one of the best places in the world to wind surf so it is quite the experience witnessing this
Before coming back into the city for the evening, we crossed the bridge over Columbia River and drove on the Washington side of the river to loop back. I found this to be a nice local tip – driving on the Washington side. From here, you’re able to look onto Oregon and all the terrain that you just drove through. Quite lovely.
From here, we ventured to Sauvie Island which is just outside of Portland. It is a very small island of farms and lavender fields when in bloom. We found a very quiet beach and watched the sunset.
From here, we retired back to Portland.
We grabbed doughnuts and we off on our way North to Ecola State Park! What a view that can be found here. Stunning, and a ‘don’t miss.’ A lovely little beach called ‘Indian Beach’ can be found in this park.
From here, we made our way down the coast with our first stop at Cannon Beach to have a glimpse at its famous Haystack Rock. Cannon Beach itself is a long, wide strip of white sandy beach where dogs and people alike are running all over the place. The town of Cannon Beach is the most developed one that I came across on this coastal part of the road trip so there are plenty of hotels and cute shops to be found.
We got a local tip however, to grab sandwiches at a Cannon Beach deli and make our way 15 minutes down the road to Short Sands beach. We did exactly that. It’s a small hike down into the beach, and when you emerge from the trees, a beautiful beach appears. It feels untouched by time. We laid out a blanket and had our glorious meaty sandwiches and chips.
We then packed up and drove down the coast some more views, finally ending our night in the cutest town anyone ever did see called Manzanita. A neighborhood night farmers market was just beginning as we drove into town and stayed in a Manzanita Inn a block from the water for the evening.
Portland & Columbia River / Mount Hood Recos
- Hood River Lavendar Farms
- Columbia River Scenic Highway
- Multnomah, Wahkeena, Latourell Falls
- Sauvie Island
- Ned Ludd – Please, please, please go here. It is amazing! And so original. I wanted to package this place up and bring it back to Brooklyn with me. ( http://www.nedluddpdx.com)
- Coava Coffee – obsessed with their shop design + their coffee.
- Solstice Pizza – great place to eat right across the street from where you should watch the wind surfers!
- Voodoo Doo Doughnuts and Blue Star Donuts – I feel like these are PDX staples and can have obscene lines!
- There are many of awesome places and breweries in East Portland and in the Pearl District
- Although we rented a hotel, I would actually recommend doing an AirBnB for Portland. I did a quick look around what’s available, and these homes had me envious that I wasn’t their owner!
Woke up early and grabbed coffee at Manzanita Cones & Coffee. A very quaint place, where all the neighbors bump into each other and catch up on life.
We headed to Tillamook – yes, like the cheese! With the cheese factory as the town’s highlight, we stopped here for some of their famous icecream. Icecream in hand, we headed embarked on the Three Capes Scenic route to have ourselves a look at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda.
After a day of travel and a full sunset on the water, we headed back to Portland for our last night since we had a flight to catch in la manana.
If we did have more time, we would have loved to have added the below to our list of sights.
Other stunning sights:
- Crater Lake
- Oregon Dunes
- Abigua Falls
- Painted Hills
- Oneonta Gorge
Until next time Oregon!