My latest explorations of the Pacific Northwest included my first ever visit to the great state of Oregon! To say I was looking forward to this trip would be under playing how excited I was because ever since last year’s trip to the San Juan Islands and Seattle I had been itching to get back up the Upper Left!
Three of my girlfriends and I flew into PDX, rented a car and headed out to Astoria, then down to Newport and finally to Portland with various planned and unplanned stops around the way. We totally lucked out on the weather. Every single day of our trip was clear and cool.
On our first day we drove from Portland to Astoria. Astoria is tiny port city on the mouth of the Columbia River right where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. Why did we pick Astoria? Well, have you heard of the 80’s movie The Goonies? The movie was set in Astoria and filmed there along with other classic films like Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy and many others.
We had booked a room at the Cannery Pier Hotel which didn’t disappoint. Our room had a balcony overlooking the Astoria-Megler Bridge that connects Oregon to Washington.
During our time in Astoria we drove around and explored the cute town, walked through the little downtown area and visited the Astoria Column from where the views were breathtaking. We learned about the adventures of Lewis & Clark and about the old Scandinavian community hailing from Finland that’s been in Astoria for generations.
Our next stop was Sunset Beach. We were there fairly early in the morning and had the beach to ourselves. This is a beach that you can access by car and drive right on to the shore. The sand is hard packed so you can also easily walk right up to the water. Beaches with this type of coastline topography are common in Oregon, but they aren’t in Southern California so we really enjoyed these stops.
After Sunset beach we drove down to Ecola State Park for epic views of Cannon Beach which was probably my favorite stop because THE GOONIES!!! Oh and also because it was absolutely majestic and the perfect mix of ocean, water, sky, mountains and trees.
Other stops we made along the way included Seaside, Tillamook (Cheese Factory), Cape Kiwanda, Lincoln City, and Depoe Bay where I finally got to see whales!!!
What I didn’t know about Oregon is how serious they are about coffee. There were tiny structures like this with drive thrus all over the place. We were stopping at least twice a day for coffee simply because coffee is so abundantly available. We also enjoyed our fair share of chowder on this trip. Another exciting aspect of this trip was seeing the “fall colors” the picture below was taken outside a dounut shop in downtown Portland. Things like this are especially exciting for someone like me who hails from Southern California because we don’t really get a true “fall”. This was such a great trip that I can’t wait to plan my 2019 visit to the Upper Left a.k.a. the Pacific Northwest.