When you want to go somewhere new but don’t have more than a day, or don’t have a lot of money to spend on a vacation, you’re in luck. Portland is within two hours of more gorgeous scenery than we can name. Here are five of our favorite escapes, in no particular order…
Seaside/Astoria. Like many coast towns, Seaside and Astoria are close enough together that you can visit both in the same day without any trouble. It’s a bit cold this time of year to take a walk on the beach, but you can still take the Goonies tour (the movie was filmed in Astoria), warm yourself with clam chowder, and get a giant bag of taffy. Intrepid surfers don full-body suits and surf there year-round; take lessons, if you’re braver than we are.
Mount Bachelor. Downhill or cross-country ski, toboggan, snowshoe, snowboard, or read a book while drinking warm cider and cocoa by the fire in the lodge while the rest of the family does all that active stuff.
Hood River. A beautiful little town with charming restaurants and shops, Hood River is a great place to visit, especially if you want to stay overnight in one of the gorgeous bed-and-breakfast locations on the outskirts of town.
Eugene. Often referred to as Portland’s younger sister, Eugene may not seem to be much of a “getaway”. However, with its vibrant music and theater scene, hiking within spitting distance of downtown, and a Voodoo Doughnuts location that doesn’t have an hour-long line at all times of day, it’s worth checking out.
Multnomah Falls. Hiking during the cold winter months may not be your idea of a fun time, but Multnomah Falls is spectacular this time of year. Many of the falls freeze over, giving the illusion of time standing still. Bring your warmest gloves and your camera to marvel at the beauty of nature so close to home.
Where would you like to go if you only had a day or two to stay? Have you taken a day trip to any of these locations, and if so, what did you do?