My Northwest

Okay, this page in progress, but I have been meaning to do it for a while. I love the Northwest; here is a brief guide of the short tour to see the best of my home state... I love my home and have all these favorite places and trips I love to make. This is my way of getting to share!

Anywhere if you find a farmer's market, stop. The produce is as appealing to the eyes as the pallet.

Day trip 1 - from Portland, make an easy loop up the Columbia River gorge and see the waterfalls, Hood River's orchards and beauty, then come back by Timberline Lodge, making a full loop around the mountain.

For the falls (about 8 waterfalls, the tallest at 680ft., Multnomah Falls, has a lodge with good food, a snack stand and a short walk to a iconic bridge half way up, and a viewing platform at the top). Get off I-84 at Corbett and take the old highway until  Horsetails falls. The falls loop has a beautiful road, the old senic Hwy. made for model Ts!

This website lists this favorite tour, but I just drive it myself at my own pace;  - it has good information about the sights so no point in re-writing it! Same with

hood river Then drive to Hood River for amazing orchard fruit (spring and fall are best) on the so-called fruit-loop drive , food, views and watching the wind surfers. This is the site of internationally famous windsurfing. I love stopping at Taco Del Mar for lunch. Kerrit's is here, too, and has an outlet sale in November. Rasmussen Farm is our traditional outlet for Mantha's birthday in October, but they have stuff all summer. It's a simple, fun family-friendly place.  Clear Creek Distillery  is also in Hood River - I know them from their artisan Pear brandy with a pear grown IN the bottle, truly beautiful.
  Haystack Rock, Copyright Elijah Park Photography         
Now I plan my rout this way to time dinner and sunset at my beloved Timberline Lodge. Even though I love heights, that 6-7 mile road off the highway is not my favorite - but it's worth it. Especially when the Indian paintbrush is in bloom.  We usually bypass the admittedly fine restaurant in favor of soup and sandwiches in the Ram's Head bar overlooking the old fireplace. A game of chess or cards works out well if you want to linger here.... I don't recommend overnight stays, though, there are better places. 

  Day trip #2:  For another loop, I suggest a day at the beach, and Cannon Beach is my favorite. It offers tide pools, nicer shops for browsing and a lot of food options. Camp 18 is a great breakfast or lunch stop on your way with solid food, beautiful setting and fun logging memorabilia. Seaside has a more touristy or spring break feel with lots of gadget shops, arcade and boardwalk but it is also home to my favorite restaurant, the Vista Sea Cafe. I highly recommend the beer bread, clam chowder (lots of potatoes, very creamy) and salad, which has made me love red onions and its superlative creamy subtle ranch dressing. So dinner at Seaside after a day at Cannon is worthwhile. 

The Tillamook Forestry Center is wonderful and the Tillamook Creamery can be overcrowded but lunch and ice-cream are really good there. 


If you are spending the night, then I recommend Depot Bay for whale watching and charm, Newport for the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and not to bother with Lincoln City, it's boring and drab.

#3, Oregon's wine loop - another easy day's trip from Portland is a winery loop. Basically we just head out towards Newberg and stop wherever we feel like it but if you want something more structured, look at the Oregon Wine Council’s website.   While you are there, be sure and stop and view Devonwood, Oregon's best dressage facility - I've never called ahead but we've had no problem just stopping, press the gate show numbers listed on the gate and going in.

 Day trip #4, Portland: From a local. Actually, it's sad; a lot of locals miss these sights.  (this list in incomplete)

Moonstruck Chocolate. it's got to be the original 608 SW Alder St., it's charm, petite size (about like a large bathroom), and great people watching while you nibble your chocolate and maybe sip a coffee are unmatched by the more commercial outlets of the other locations.  Moonstruck Chocolate is inernationally famous and even this non-chocoholic loves to stop here.

The waterfront promenade: A beautiful stroll and some wonderful food: my favorite is Newport Bay for dinner, request to sit upstairs where the view is lovely

The Meadow Gourmet chocolate, sea salts anad flavored salts, wine and fresh flowers (If you're in BattleGround, WA, stop by  Blue Castle Coffee , too!)

Or Stanford’s for chocolate milkshakes as a pick-me-up.

Bamboo Grove Hawaiian grille - a unique and outstanding lunch or dinner stop (I favor Kalua Pork, VERY generous servings of tasty addictive Hawaiian food), we're regulars there.

The Garden at Elk Rock and Military lane - outstanding quiet garden now owned by the Episcopalian Diocese, and a replica Manor built in the 20's. The surrounding neighborhood is of lovely old houses when architecture was really art, not butter stamps.

Obliation Papers and the Pearl District. Obliation is a beautiful store that is a experince I treasure. Hand crafted papers, letter-pressed items, cards and stationer's goods, just to enter and stand there is a pleasure.  The Pearl has been getting a major facelift and it's so far got a good atmospere. Hopefully they don't ruin it.  Also home  to Bridgeport Brewery and Rogue Ale. I don't like beer unless it's in bread or batter but I'm still proud of our breweries. They makea fun atmosphere.  And you can tell by the Pearl's resturaunts the ethnic diversity we have here in Portland.

If you want to go further, the Oregon High Desert Museum, and Sisters and Bend's obsidian fields, history and scenery are wonderful. Renowned breweries, too.

Still to come (notes for myself):

favorite shops:

favorite restaurants, snack stops and gourmand's happiness 

Jon and I are frusterated food critics!  <G>


Urban Fondue