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Travel Guide: Oregon Road Trip

Updated: Dec 23, 2022


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My husband and I are fairly outdoorsy people. Not obnoxiously outdoorsy, but we do like to hike and enjoy the outdoors during our vacations. Some of our favorite vacations have involved hiking in the mountains and kayaking adventures. I have always wanted to go to the Pacific Northwest but there are so many amazing places to visit. We locked in on a road trip through the northern half of Oregon. We started out trip in Portland and then traveled to Cannon Beach, Eugene, and Bend.


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PORTLAND + MOUNT HOOD

Portland is a great starting point for a roadtrip through Oregon because it is centrally located and it is easy to get to many other areas of Oregon from there. Although Portland is known for hipster bars and unique shops, we really just wanted to immerse ourselves in nature right from the start. Once we rented a car, checked into the hotel, and we got ready to head off to Mount Hood.


TRILLIUM LAKE

A friend recommended kayaking at Trillium Lake so this was the first thing we wanted to do while we were here in Oregon. This was our only full day in the Portland area, and making the drive out to Mount Hood did not disappoint! We got to the lake fairly early so we were able to put our names on the waitlist for a double kayak. We spent our time paddling around the lake and enjoying the views. Hours after our flight landed, we were in the mountains on a kayak in the middle of a lake... it was perfect. This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!



WHERE TO EAT

XLB - I wanted to try some traditional Swiss cuisine while we were here, so we headed over to Stadthaus for some rosti and local beers. Rosti is a traditional Swiss dish made of fried shredded potatoes, onions, cheese, all topped with a fried egg. This restaurant had a large patio, was located in a cute area of town, and had a decent sized menu.

Migration Brewery - we stopped here because it was conveniently located to our hotel and the highway. It was a great surprise. We didn't plan to come here but it was a good option for something convenient with a variety of food and beer.

Case Study - One of the most important parts of our trips is finding amazing coffee. This place was decorated with plants and had a great variety of espresso drinks.

Mountain Moka - we actually went here twice during our trip. Once, when we drove out to Mount Hood and once on our way back from Bend to Portland. I didn't think it would be that good, being in such a small town. It was just what we needed on our road trip.




CANNON BEACH

We knew we wanted to check out the coast while we were in Oregon, so Cannon Beach was the next stop on our road trip. It ended up being the best part of our trip! Read on to find out why it was so great!



WHAT TO DO

Ecola State Park - Hiking in the forest full of ferns and magical views of the rocky coastline... If you're in Cannon Beach, you have to check it out. This is also the spot where my husband proposed! It was so crowded in the main park area, but once you got into the trail, there were very few people, which made for the perfect proposal spot!

Beach bonfire - We ended the night with a bonfire at the beach. We went to the local store and bought a lighter and s'mores. We drank some local wine, roasted marshmallows, and watched the sunset.




WHERE TO EAT

Public Coast Brewery - We stopped here for an early dinner. The beer and burgers were good and they had a lot of options. It was perfectly located after a day at Ecola State Park.

Sea Level - We stopped here in the morning for coffee and some breakfast to go. The quiche and pastries were delicious and the shop was very cute.

Insomnia Coffee - We went here a couple times during our stay because it was right across from our hotel. We are early birds, so we always got in quick, but later in the day the line got pretty long!



EUGENE

I don't have much to say about Eugene. Sorry if you live there or you love it.... but we didn't particularly like it. We stayed here while passing through from Cannon Beach to Bend, but honestly I probably would have rather stayed in the Portland area for another night.


WHAT TO DO

Abiqua Falls - Sooo, we didn't actually make it here. This hike whooped our ass in all honesty (don't listen to the people on All Trails doing this hike in flip flops...) When we got there, we parked at the way top because we didn't think our rental car could make it down the rocky hill (mistake number 1). Once we finally found the trail marker (we went right instead of going left down to the waterfall (mistake number 2.) The minute we got down the cliffside, we found ourselves in the middle of a river. Wearing gym shoes instead of hiking boots (mistake number 3) was not a good idea. I took one step, slipped and fell on the rocks, spraining my wrist. We didn't know how much it would swell, so we hiked back up the mountain. Holding onto the ropes to pull myself up with a sprained wrist was not ideal! Maybe one day we'll go back a little more prepared. The pictures look beautiful! Check out the photo below moments before I ate s**t on the rocks.




WHERE TO EAT

The Wheel APizza Pub - great wood-fired pizza and beer to go with it. The atmosphere was great

Coffee Plant Roasters - It didn't look like it was located in a good part of town but the espresso was fantastic!


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BEND

Our last stop of the trip was Bend. We rented an airbnb on the riverfront which included kayaks and a private beach. It was perfect for our last day. We were also very determined to do some more hiking (and hopefully not sprain anything else this time.)



WHAT TO DO

Salt Creek Falls - this was a spontaneous stop we made on our way from Eugene to Bend. We were a little bummed after not getting to see Abiqua Falls so we made sure we stopped to go see one. This waterfall was such a great spot and we were so surprised because we didn't hear much about it.

Tumalo Falls - this waterfall is very well known and whenever you research Bend, it makes the list. It was very crowded but luckily we didn't have to park too far. We park was beautiful and the hike to the falls was fun. It was so hot that day, so we kept our hike short but it was fun standing under the waterfall!




WHERE TO EAT

Spider City Brewing - by the time we got to Bend, we were starving. We looked up food trucks in the area and we found a BBQ food truck parked at this brewery. The food was fantastic and the beer was very refreshing.

Lemon Tree - great brunch spot conveniently located downtown. We go there early to put our name on the waitlist. Everything was fresh and the portions were big.

Bos Taurus - We wanted to splurge on one fancier dinner to celebrate our engagement on the trip. We made a reservation here and had some of the best steak we have ever had. You even get to choose your own steak knife which was something pretty unique!

Thump Coffee Roasters - We can back to this spot multiple times on our trip. We loved the traditional macchiato and espresso from here. They also had some great pastries!

Lone Pine Coffee - Very trendy restaurant which looks like a cool place to do some work and hangout. We got some iced coffee here after spending the day in the heat.





SEE PHOTOS YOU LOVE?

Head on over to my Society6 page to purchase some travel photos.


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