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Tour Portland

Travel Tips


Discovering Portland
The Northwest's City of Creative Living


Oregon Coast Aquarium
Oregon Coast Aquarium

PORTLAND TOUR: DAY 3

Portland is a superb base for outstanding day trips no matter which direction you drive. After grabbing breakfast to-go at Ken's Artisan or Grand Central Bakeries, hit the road. To the south, an hour's drive on Interstate 5 and Highway 99 will take you to to the Willamette Valley's fabulous wine country, which surrounds the towns of Dundee and McMinnville. This bucolic wine region is best known for its outstanding Pinot Noir.

Duck Pond Cellars
Duck Pond Cellars
Visit wineries along Highway 99 such as Argyle (691 Hwy. 99-W, Dundee), Duck Pond Cellars (23145 Hwy. 99-W, Dundee) or Erath Vineyards (9409 NE Worden Hill Rd., Dundee) for an afternoon of memorable tasting. When hunger strikes, join the local vintners who like to hang out at Tina's (760 SW Hwy. 99-W, Dundee, 503-538-8880), where regionally grown food is paired with exquisite wine.

To the west, the dramatic scenery of the Oregon Coast offers endless photo opportunities. Take Highway 26 west for about 75 miles, winding through the beautiful Oregon coast mountain range to arrive at the state's dramatic Pacific beaches. From Seaside to Lincoln City, Highway 101 follows the shoreline through quaint villages and rugged vistas. Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium, a state-of-the-art marine museum, draws countless tourists to the former home of Keiko the whale.

To the north, in Washington State, you can view the geographical wonder, Mount St. Helens, by driving up Interstate 5 to Highway 503. The interpretive center, a little over an hour north of Portland, is definitely worth the trip. The volcano remains intermittently active since its 1980 erruption, so you might even witness one of her towering steam plumes.

An hour to the east of the city, on Highway 26, lies Mt. Hood, the silent snow-capped giant guarding Portland year-round. Timberline Lodge, an arts-and-crafts-style ski chalet, handcrafted in 1937 by WPA artisans, at the mountain's tree line, is a charming destination for lunch. You'll likely see the resident St. Bernard drowsing in front of the massive stone fireplace.

Timberline Lodge
Timberline Lodge

Back in Portland, there may be time for some neighborhood browsing. Antique hounds will appreciate Sellwood and Multnomah Village. Free spirits will have fun in the Hawthorne District or along North Mississippi Avenue. Art lovers can check out the galleries in the Pearl District. On weekends, under the west end of the Burnside Bridge, the Portland Saturday Market offers handcrafted goods, street food and live music.

Portland is famous for its innovative cuisine that embraces regional sustainability. Have a gala farewell dinner on your final evening in one of Portland's hallmark restaurants such as Bluehour, Higgins or Nostrana. Newer places garnering national acclaim with innovative menus and creative chefs include Grüner and Little Bird. Some visitors will prefer the more eclectic but equally delicious scene at Le Pigeon or Beast.

Afterward, check out the edgy Portland music scene in the downtown nightclub district. At the gorgeous Crystal Ballroom, a beautifully refurbished dancehall with an authentic bouncy wooden floor, music lovers can experience a wide range of acts from salsa bands to disco revues to rock-girl power-trios. Then say goodnight and sweet dreams to Portland, the Northwest's city of creative living.

For more information, visit Travel Portland at the www.travelportland.com.

 
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* Aquarium and Mt. Hood images from the Official Tourism and Meeting Website for Portland, Oregon

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(Updated: 08/31/11 SG)

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