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Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

London
Level Contributor
25 posts
87 reviews
Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

We are thinking of doing a road trip in Oregon and possibly Washington next Sept/Oct and would have 2 weeks and possibly a day or two more. Would it be crazy to attempt both Oregon & Washington in that timeframe? Obviously happy to do some driving since it is a road trip after all but we don't want the amount of driving to become too onerous and detract from this being a holiday.

We are looking for a mixture of what Oregon & Washington (time permitting) have to offer - coast, lakes, mountains, plus explore Portland, etc. We like walking but definitely wouldn't describe ourselves as hikers.

Would appreciate some feedback as we are open to suggestions and just embarking on the research for this trip.

Thanks

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
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9,978 posts
200 reviews
1. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

Washington and Oregon are huge states. You could spend a couple of weeks in either state and not see all there is to see. Most tourists only visit the westernmost areas from Seattle south to Portland, the Oregon coast and Columbia River Gorge. Include Olympic National Park and the San Juans and you've added another whole week. And you've still left out more than two thirds of the states. So, you have to decide what interests you the most, what "must see and do" boxes you want to check off. Then we will be better able to help you design an itinerary.

Fishers, Indiana
Level Contributor
978 posts
107 reviews
2. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

My son and I spent a little over two weeks in Oregon and Washington this past summer. Our trip included three days at the US Track and Field Championships in Eugene and a two day detour to Vancouver, Canada for the Women's World Cup Soccer Final.

Throw out those trips and we were there for a little less than two weeks. Here is what we did:

Portland - for 2 days, including a Timbers soccer match (yeah we went a lot for sports)

Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood day trip from Portland (third night in Portland)

Seaside on the Oregon Coast for one night

Cape Disappointment in Oregon including the Lewis & Clark interpretative Center

Mount St Helens for a day

Mount Rainier for a day

Seattle for four nights including a Mariners baseball game

If I recall correctly we put about 1300 miles on the rental car - that did not include the trip to Vancouver, but did include Portland to Eugene and back and a half day trip from Eugene to Forence. The longest "hike" we did was probably 45 minutes or so in Mount Rainier National Park

I did not regret doing anything that we did. Our vacations typically are fast paced.

I wish we had another day at the Oregon Coast and one more day to explore Portland

As Poppa indicated, take a look and make your list. You can see a lot in two weeks - you won't see everything, but the I-5 corridor (Portland to Seattle) and areas within an hour or so of it proved to be quite memorable for us.

Enjoy the planning.

Level Contributor
39,292 posts
1,019 reviews
3. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

Sounds like a fun trip ysuindy! :)

London
Level Contributor
25 posts
87 reviews
4. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

Appreciate your responses as both have given me food for thought as we embark on our planning and working out our must-sees.

OregonPoppa kinda confirmed what I suspected. We don't want to push too much into one trip and come away feeling we short-changed ourselves

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

Unless you are serious hikers I would skip Olympic NP.

I suggest you head south from Seattle hitting Rainier, Mt St Helens. Then to Portland and Columbia Riv Gorge. Then to Oregon coast, starting at Astoria or Lincoln City. Inland at maybe Reedsport. You need to decide how much time you want to spend in Central Oregon. I suggest at least two night near Bend. so you have a day to get there and a day to move on.

Are you planning to fly in/out of Seattle? Or do you plan to return to London from another city?

Edited: 29 October 2015, 01:21
Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,896 posts
102 reviews
6. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

As mentioned, you won't see everything, but with 2 weeks you could do the highlights of the western and central parts of both states.

I respectfully disagree about omitting ONP even if you are not hikers. Unless you have mobility issues, there is plenty to see without having to do hardcore hikes. We are over there often, and while we are hikers, our inlaws who live there are not and we still get out with them and do things. We love ONP and all that it has to offer!

Without knowing how often you would be up changing hotels, you could do a loop in some fashion like this. ONP for 2-3 days to see the highlights, Seattle for 2 days, Mt Rainier for a day, Portland for 1-2 days, OR coast for 2-3 days, central Oregon (Bend/Crater Lake area) for 2-3 days, and the Columbia River Gorge for 1-3 days, and then Mt St Helens on the way back to Seattle.

Obviously cut out what does not interest you, and add in other areas that do:) That still gives you a few days to play with, so you might want to stay in certain areas even longer.

Enjoy!

London
Level Contributor
25 posts
87 reviews
7. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

We would probably be flying into Seattle, or another vague notion we had was to fly to San Francisco (if we can get airmiles flights on Virgin), get train (Coast Starlight) to either Portland or Seattle, and then start road journey from either location once we'd narrowed down what we wanted to do/see.

Re ONP, I was reading about that area yesterday in a guide book and it seemed like a place of interest. We do enjoy walks for up to 1 1/2 hours so figured there'd be walks we could do.

Appreciate both suggested itineraries and they certainly give us something to look at and digest

Renton, Washington
Level Contributor
5,171 posts
8. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

Visit www.kaleberg.com and click on the ONP tab. Scads of pictures and descriptions. Then go to www.visitonp.com for more.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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33,178 posts
6,438 reviews
9. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

We have taken several week to week and a half trips to Oregon and Washington and seen a lot. The drive from Portland to Seattle is about four to five hours.

Given our numerous trips to the area, our current top 10 is:

1) Oregon Coast - do at least 2 to 3 days here. Our favorite things to do in this section are:

a) Maritime Museum in Astoria

b) Lewis and Clark National Park (there are various sections between Astoria and Cannon Beach area); the fort and salt works was most interesting to us.

c) Tillamook - quick Visit to see the Tillamook Cheese Factory

d) Lighthouses - numerous; it depends how interested you are in them, but tour at least one.

e) Sand Dune area in Florence (in particular we like

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51867-d33…

f) If coming in the summer 1/2 day ride on Jerry's Mail Boats is quite fun to do

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51887-d64…

Then Crater Lake - There is a both a boat tour and guided tour around the lake; make a reservation in advance if interested. There are various roads to take to get across to the eastern side. We often stop in Ashland Oregon to see the Shakespeare Festival There (however it might not be something high on your list so you can do that at home.)

From Crater Lake head up to Timberline

http://www.timberlinelodge.com/

Then include the fabulous Columbia River Gorge till you get to Portland. The Columbia River Gorge is stunningly beautiful. It can fill a full day to 2 to 3 days of exploration.

So if you give yourself a week or so in Oregon, it would give you a week in Washington.

Some of the highlights in Washington is to see the

Mt, St. Helens Visitor Center - this will take a couple of hours on your way north. You might want to do Ranier National Park. Stay at the lodge in the park.

www.mountsthelens.com/visitorcenters.html

Then to Seattle If you have not been there before we find the City Pass very useful to see many of the highlights. The Chihuly Glass Gardens is amazing also - its right by the Space Needle.

http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/

I would give Seattle two to three full days.

Then take a ferry across and see some of the Olympic Park area. Note: It depends heavily if its foggy or sunny. If foggy, many of the attractions such as hurricane ridge are a no go.

nps.gov/olym/…visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm

Depending on the weather its one of the reasons why some say go - if its clear, its stellar.

If its foggy, its foggy and cannot see much.

Those are our favorite things and with some careful planning you can include some or all of these highlights. There is a lot of other things to see in both Portland Washington but you will need to prioritize.

I would go for 2 and do some detailed planning of what you want to see. If you like wineries and craft beer for instance, carve out a day or two to do that.

If you are into hiking, you want to carve out more to do hiking in several areas.

So it depends largely in part what you want to see and do and include in your two week itinerary.

Both states have enough to just one in two weeks.

But with some careful planning two weeks works.

Portland by the way has very good restaurants....worth going to at least one. The Portland group is so helpful in letting you know what ones are good. Be sure to make reservations if interested.

Have a great trip. Just wanted to share some of the things we have enjoyed in the two states.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,896 posts
102 reviews
10. Re: Would Oregon & Washing be too much for 2 week road trip?

A correction to post #9. The normal drive time between Portland and Seattle is 3 hours, not 4-5. We live in both areas and make the drive every single week, and have for years, so know this from literally hundreds of times of driving this route.