From the Portland Airport, to the Redwood Forest...
July 10, 2014 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I need to quickly firm up planning for our August vacation in Oregon and Northern California; we have about 10 days to spend and I haven't gotten very as far in terms of specifics. Degree of Difficulty: 16yo daughter and non-drinking husband

We have relatives in Salem, Eugene, Bend, and Eureka, although we may not hit all of them. The thought is to loop down from Portland to Eureka/Redwood Natl. Park, taking the coastal route down and the inland route back (or vice versa).

If it were just MrDrLith and I, it would be pretty easy because we're all about the national parks and mountains and craggy coastlines and quaint tourist towns and whatnot. Teen daughter, however, can only take so much of staring at big trees and big waves crashing up against big rocks. Last summer I done good by scheduling several activities that catered to her interests during our vacation in Estes Park CO: we did whitewater rafting, trail riding, rented ATVs, went on a guided fly fishing expedition, and a personally guided photo safari (she does enjoy photography and has her own Canon Rebel), and it was all good.

So, I'm particularly interested in adventurous suggestions along those lines. I won't say money is no object, but a spectacular experience that costs $150-200/head would be conceivable.

If you have additional suggestions about particular favorite routes to take, things to do, places to stay, stuff to eat, that is all welcome as well! MrDrLith does not drink, so sadly wineries and microbreweries and such are off the menu. Daughter likes to shop but is fairly conventional in her personal style, taste in music, etc. so shops that you might describe as "hip" or "funky" might not interest her.
posted by drlith to Travel & Transportation around Oregon (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If daughter likes history, there are several Lewis and Clark sites in OR.
posted by brujita at 10:44 AM on July 10, 2014

I'm sure you'll get a bunch of suggestions for this, but the first thing that came to mind is Sandboarding in Florence, OR
posted by jeffch at 10:53 AM on July 10, 2014

  • I've never been, but the Mt. Hood Adventure Park looks like it might be worth looking into.
  • The Wildlife Safari park near Roseburg might be something she'd enjoy.
  • I've done whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River in Oregon as a kid, and I know that there are plenty of other rivers in Oregon that are also good for that sort of thing, so if she enjoyed that, there are plenty of opportunities.
  • If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking out Silver Falls State Park. The falls won't be quite as impressive that late in the summer as they are in the spring, but it's still an amazingly beautiful place.

posted by Aleyn at 11:09 AM on July 10, 2014

I did a similar trip not too long ago. For the inland route, we went over to Crater Lake and enjoyed a bunch of stuff near there. I would recommend whitewater rafting on the Rouge River and Umpqua Hot Springs near Crater Lake (be forewarned there will be naked people, so maybe not cool with daughter?). Diamond Lake Resort is also near Crater Lake and has fishing, mountain biking and horse back riding. We by-passed Ashland, but it's worth checking out if you're interested in the Shakespeare festival or finding a nicer restaurant.

For the coast trip, I loved Gold Bluffs Beach, but that doesn't have anything specifically exciting other than big trees and crashing waves. Along the Oregon coast, there's some great seafood in Newport. I would recommend Local Ocean there. There's also neat tide pools just north of town with sea anemones and shellfish to gawk at/poke.
posted by ohisee at 11:11 AM on July 10, 2014

Don't be too quick to overlook brew pubs in the areas you're traveling; they can have some of the better food outside the metro area. Ones that come to mind at Ft George brewery in Astoria (my personal favorite coastal spot complete with shipwrecks and abandoned forts) and Crux over in Bend (but Bend has some pretty good food overall, if you're out that way).

Also, if you're even passingly into coffee, there are quite a few good little roasteries out in Bend and too many to choose from in Portland.
posted by furnace.heart at 11:13 AM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, if ocean fishing is more your thing, there is no shortage of people in any of the coastal towns to take you out. Depending on when exactly you are going, you might be able to go out whale watching as well.
posted by ohisee at 11:15 AM on July 10, 2014

Go climbing with a guide at Smith Rock (near Bend). Gorgeous place, great fun.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:42 PM on July 10, 2014

Everybody's teens are different, so here's a list of possibilities - are are things my teens enjoy...

- Wander down the Gorge for a day and go whitewater rafting, try a windsurfing lesson, SUPing... I don't know if they do kiteboarding lessons, too, but they might. I'm pretty sure bicycles can be rented locally, too.
- Stop for a few minutes at Multnomah Falls if driving I84 just because - pictures.
- If she does aquariums or roadside attractions, there's the Oregon Coast Aquarium, plus at Lincoln City there's Ripley's, The Wax Works, and the Undersea Gardens.
- Evergreen Aviation or its waterpark?
- The adventure park at Skibowl
- Oaks Park has some rollercoasters...
- If any of you are readers, don't miss Powells. Even if you don't buy anything, you'll be agog... and most readers end up wishing they could just live there. (If I had a nickel for every time I've heard someway say that, lol.)
- If you go to the beach, don't just stare at it, beachcomb.
- I've heard Yay and Nay both from teens about the Enchanted Forest.
- If you end up near Tillamook and she likes ice cream, stop by the cheese factory, take the few minutes self-tour, try some squeaky or regular cheese, and get waffle cones from Tillamook Cheese Factory.
posted by stormyteal at 6:46 PM on July 10, 2014

« Older Horrible Networking Experience -- Should I Keep...   |   Help my mom not get screwed out of her pension Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.