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Old 01-08-2019, 08:36 AM
 
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Hi. My wife and I live in Michigan and are considering Portland for our family vacation this summer. We have a 9-year old son and would be most interested in exploring the nature and wilderness surrounding the city, as well as the city itself. Can anyone provide recommendations on must-see sites as well as where we may want to stay in the city? We will be renting a house or condo for a week. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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You shouldn't miss Timberline Lodge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timberline_Lodge. IMO the best route is to drive east on the Historic Columbia River Highway stopping at Vista House and the various falls along the way to Multnomah Falls. Parking can be a HUGE problem so your best bet would be to do that on a weekday and start early in the morning. At Multnomah Falls join I-84 stopping at the Bonneville Dam (do not miss the fish ladder and hatchery), Hood River is noted for windsurfing find a place for lunch there. Take Highway 35 from Hood River south up onto a plateau noted for apple orchards (and wine grapes recently). Continue on 35 as it swings west and intersects with Highway 26 westbound, The road to Timberline Lodge is a few miles west. Eat dinner there. Return to Portland on Highway 26.

Looking west a day trip to Astoria (Highway 30) then south on Highway 101. You won't see much of the ocean from 101 until Cannon Beach. By way of preparation, your son might enjoy reading about the Lewis & Clark trip along the Columbia and south to the town of Seaside where they built a salt cairn. The Pacific Ocean shore is not for sunbathing. The best tourist route in 101 is southbound as you won't need to cross traffic for lookouts. Our beaches are all public.

The Mt. Hood National Forest has lots of day hiking trails. When I was a young adult a favorite was https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtho...52882&actid=50
This is too popular on the weekends. The Cascade Mountains are volcanic so there are hot springs. I think the best place for your family would be Breitenbush Hot Springs. No nonsense there: https://breitenbush.com/day-visit/

In Portland itself take a hike in Forest Park.

FYI there is a nude beach area at Rooster Rock State Park (off I-84) and another at Collins Beach on Sauvie Island. The latter got so wild alcohol is now forbidden. With a 9 yo I would avoid those places on warm weekends.


I will let others add as I need to run an errand.

Last edited by Nell Plotts; 01-10-2019 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:52 PM
 
Location: WA
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With a 9 year old kid:

1. Day trip or overnight trip to the beach. There are endless VRBO options out there. In no particular order I'd suggest (from north to south) Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Oceanside, or Pacific City. Seaside would be the most "touristy". Oceanside is the most off the beaten path. Some very fabulous state parks along that stretch of coastline that have nice hikes, in addition to hiking on the beach.

2. Oregon coast aquarium in Newport. Along with the Tillamook Cheese Factory, this is the 1st or 2nd biggest tourist attraction on the coast.

3. Columbia River Gorge excursion. Drive out Highway 14 on the WA side of the river, return on I-84 on the Oregon side, or do a detour around Mt. Hood from Hood River on Highway 35 where you'll find plenty of trails and hikes.

4. Mt. Saint Helens visitors center. Lots of hikes and outdoor sights in that area.

5. If you are outdoorsy people, Portland has lots of bike share rental bikes all over. Pick up 3 bikes and explore Ride #8 waterfront loop or one of the longer rides: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/trans...article/339920 In fact, OMSI (science museum) Oaks Park (vintage amusement park) and the Tram are all along the waterfront loop bike trail so you could visit all of them on a bike excursion, just leaving the rental bikes outside each one and hoping that they will still be there when you get out.

Inside Portland proper you can find a lot of lists of top Portland attractions with families. For example: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...nd_Oregon.html I would get a nice AirB&B that is in NW Portland or NE or SE Portland west of 39th Ave (Ceasar Chavez Blvd).
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Norwalk, CT
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We were just there last summer and rented electric (Pedego) bikes downtown - so much fun to cruise around town, and easy to ride up to the Japanese Gardens on the hill.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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If you opt for Item 3 cross over at Cascade Locks over the Bridge of the Gods. There is a legend about an ancient crossing at this location. https://oregonencyclopedia.org/artic.../#.XDjgKFxKiM8

Drive a few miles west and visit the Bonneville Dam (previously mentioned).

Items 1 & 2 are excellent. The only reason IMHO to visit Seaside, which can look like the Jersey Shore, is the Salt Cairn location which today is only memorialized by a plaque. The Salt Works | Discovering Lewis & Clark ®

As someone who actually saw Mt. St. Helens eruption the visitors center didn't adequately convey to me the explosive power of the event. I don't know how much this family wants to learn about the geology of the Pacific Rim tectonics but that is a good place to prompt curiosity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Volcanoes

The bike loop is a good suggestion. If the family finds their rental bikes gone at OMSI they can catch the MAX or just walk across the bridge to the OHSU tram.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:18 PM
 
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These are fantastic suggestions! Thank you! This gives me a lot to dig into as we plan our trip. My son loves history, so I love the idea of learning about the Lewis & Clark expedition along the Columbia.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:10 PM
 
Location: WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
These are fantastic suggestions! Thank you! This gives me a lot to dig into as we plan our trip. My son loves history, so I love the idea of learning about the Lewis & Clark expedition along the Columbia.
In that case put Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on your list. Right across the river from Portland:

https://www.nps.gov/fova/index.htm
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
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End of the Oregon Trail @ Oregon City. (See game)
Astoria. See book about John Jacob Astor, Astoria, and China Trade.
If you see Bonneville Dam, HoodRiver see if you can locate smoked Salmon & Sturgeon from the Tribal population. Central Oregon and Eastern Oregon is vastly different from the Valley and Coast. From the Coast to the other side of the Cascades ( ~150 miles), you can see every climate environment possible, except for tropical.
Visit as many McMenamins as possible.
Eat at food trucks, Hubers,

Last edited by leastprime; 01-11-2019 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
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Oyster House but only on the 1st day. This is because, you don't know how your system will tolerate raw Oregon/Washington oysters. Golden Horse for Dungeness Crab. Lovejoy Fountain Park and other fountains than style of many Oregon's waterfalls, drink from the many water fountains (unfiltered, unchlorinated/unfloridated-straight mountain spring water), Skip, Voodoo donuts-they're standard donuts but fancy decorations. Waterfront park activities, practically every summer weekend.
McMenamin.com for hotel rooms-very international visitors, inexpensive but good luck in finding a room.

readup on Sam Hill, Harriman, Great Northern Pacific Railroad, Union Pacific Railroads and Sam Hill's experimental Columbia Gorge Road, Chinese railroad builders.

Barlow Toll Road (it narrows down to about 30 ft and is the only pass mountain land pass into the promised land of the Willamette Valley) The alternative route is down the Columbia Rapids (see OregonTrail). The Willamette Pass and McKenzie Pass are inaccessible because of the Deschutes and JohnDay River canyons besides traveling over rugged lava beds in near desert conditions. The Santiam River canyons on the western side of the Cascades were also very rugged, not navigable by any boat or raft.

Skip Mt St Helens. It's 2 hours After you get off the freeway. You can see volcanoes within the city of Portland, 7 (?) of them.
Missoula Floods and the shaping of Portland and the Willamette Valley.

Last edited by leastprime; 01-11-2019 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:25 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Oaks Park in Southeast Portland is fun for kids. They have a picnic area, carnival rides, miniature golf and an old-fashioned skating rink with polished oak floors and, occasionally, live organ music.

The Oregon Zoo in Portland is also a fun family activity, and you can see all the sights from the Washington Park and Zoo Railway.
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