How can we turn this travel night into a road trip easter egg?
March 9, 2012 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Where should we spend one night on the road between Waldport, OR & Seattle?

My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip around Oregon and Washington, and we're looking for somewhere beautiful, cool, weird or any combo of the above to stay for an afternoon and night on our way to Seattle from Waldport, OR.

We need to check out of our Waldport rental by 10 AM on a Thursday and don't want or need to arrive in Seattle until about noon on Friday. If possible, we'd love to make this necessary dawdling part of our greater journey. We'll have a rental car and don't mind going out of our way inland or whatever (but recommendations for a stop further up the coast are definitely welcome, too.)

Basically, we're unremarkable in every way and like everyone else in the world, we enjoy good food and delicious booze. We like nature but are just an average amount of outdoorsy. We like all manner of cultural stuff, high and low-brow, and like quirky towns. So assume we're a blank slate and throw me your best.

Note - we're flying into Portland and will be spending two days there at the beginning of our trip, so we'd probably prefer not to retrace our steps too closely unless there's something truly tremendous in the immediate surrounding area that shouldn't be missed.
posted by superfluousm to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
Best answer: To avoid Portland, go north on 101 -- Manzanita, Cannon Beach, or Astoria would all be good overnight points. Manzanita is small but so cute; Cannon Beach is a bit larger with nice scenery and more restaurants; Astoria's the oldest city on the NW coast and both quaint & quirky. The drive from Astoria to Seattle (taking Highway 30 over to I-5) will be about three and a half hours on Friday morn, traffic willing -- do you really need to be in Seattle by noon? You could certainly dawdle a lot more on 101.

If you like aquariums, stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport on your drive north, at least for a few hours.
posted by lisa g at 7:21 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Stay near Mt St Helens?
posted by annie o at 7:35 PM on March 9, 2012

I second Cannon Beach, Manzanita or Astoria. If you get the tides and weather right, it's fun to rent beach bikes in Cannon Beach and zoom up and down on the sand. Actually, they're more like trikes... or adult big wheels, he calls them "funcycles." Just don't go into the surf!
posted by amanda at 7:54 PM on March 9, 2012

third cannon beach, manzanita, or astoria. i love all three towns.
posted by violetk at 8:06 PM on March 9, 2012

Cannon Beach.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:32 PM on March 9, 2012

Response by poster: In case it makes a difference, I should clarify we will have just spent four nights in the Newport/Waldport area on the coast, so we definitely will have gotten our beach time in - do Cannon Beach and Astoria have a significantly different vibe than further south where we'll be coming from?

Thanks for the suggestions so far!
posted by superfluousm at 9:12 PM on March 9, 2012

Best answer: Astoria is great - you can explore the historic downtown, see the column, and have beer and good grub at Fort George brewpubs. I think that it does have a different vibe than the beach towns.
posted by matildaben at 9:26 PM on March 9, 2012

yes, astoria then. it definitely has a different vibe then the other towns on the coast.
posted by violetk at 9:41 PM on March 9, 2012

Best answer: Manzanita & Cannon Beach are beach towns, but Astoria isn't -- it has more of an old-port/artsy/historic vibe. I've heard good things about the Cannery Pier Hotel (spendy, though), and I enjoyed my stay at the Commodore.
posted by lisa g at 9:50 PM on March 9, 2012

Best answer: Fort George Brewery is also there. Pretty good food and above average beer. You can climb the Aster column for the view. I also think that there might be a park for watching boats come and go through "the bar." This is a rather treacherous area where the Columbia River enters into the Pacific. If you're lucky you can see bar captains go out to a big cargo ship, board, navigate the bar and depart on the other side.
posted by amanda at 7:27 AM on March 10, 2012

Bar stories.
posted by amanda at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2012

any interest in history? maybe visit Ft. Clatsop near Astoria? See if a yurt's available at Ft. Stevens state park
posted by at at 4:40 PM on March 10, 2012

Best answer: Would Mt. Hood be hugely out of your way? Our regular stopover between Seattle and Bend is the Timberline Lodge, AKA the exterior of the hotel from The Shining.
posted by Artw at 9:52 PM on March 10, 2012

second the cannery pier hotel in astoria. i've stayed there and loved it. the view is amazing from the river side and the hotel staff are lovely.
posted by violetk at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all! The port city/historical vibe of Astoria sounds awesome - Cannery Pier Hotel booked (definitely a splurge, but what can I say, this New Yorker is a sucker for an in-room fireplace.)

Artw, I stayed in the Timberline once with my parents on a road trip as a kid and I recall it being amazing. I think it'd put us in a bit of a time crunch for this trip, but for the later benefit of anyone who stumbles on this question, the place is gorgeous.
posted by superfluousm at 12:32 PM on March 17, 2012

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