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Old 05-23-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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Looking for new vacation ideas for myself and a 13-year-old and 3-year-old. We live in Portland but have never visited eastern Oregon much (only driven through).

Can anyone recommend some towns to visit or some recommendations overall anywhere on the eastern side of the state? We are tired of dealing with surprise rain (even in summer) west of the cascades. Would like some reliable sun for a change!

I'd like to stay in a quaint, historic town that offers places to eat and walk...bike (I pull my youngest in a trailer)...a museum....hang out. We aren't into the big tourist attractions so much but more of causally exploring an interesting place. We also have a small dog but don't have to take him.

Thanks in advance for some town names, if possible. Happy with southeast, northeast..or anything in between.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
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First read through this thread and we will be happy to answer any additional questions:

//www.city-data.com/forum/orego...-roadtrip.html
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
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I forgot to mention, the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway is a good way to get to Baker City:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/SCENI..._time.pdf?ga=t
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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your kids are probably gonna be bored. maybe you should get a sitter to take them to the enchanted forest while you go see whatever is compelling you to visit Eastern Oregon.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
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Shaniko and Sumpter are both kind of fun for kids, but only for a couple of hours. You could try to visit some other Ghost Towns too, maybe camp out.

You can find a list of all Oregon Ghost Towns here and links to their locations in Google Earth/Maps.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Portland Metro
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OK, technically this is central Oregon, but have you considered staying at Sunriver? You'd be near the High Desert Museum and Newberry Crater for some fairly easy and scenic hikes. A few good lava tubes to explore that are close by. When you get tired of all of this, Sunriver has swimming and other stuff for the kids and lots of bike trails. Also you'd be close to Bend for some city activities, and Sisters is quaint, albeit kind of fakish-quaint.

You didn't mention wanting to stay at a resort, but if you need to balance out what the kids want with what you want it's not a bad compromise. And it's not a really flashy "resorty" type of resort, in my opinion. Also there would be lots of sun.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
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I live in Pendleton, and it's a great place for families. We have a children's museum, a fantastic art center that has many free classes for kids, and all classes for teens are free. There's a nice downtown area, although I must admit that I don't see nearly as many bikes here as in PDX. LOTS of hills! Lots of sun, only 3-4 hours away from PDX, great aquatic center (cheap too), and tons of parks. Walla Walla, WA is about an hour North, and also a very nice place...

Here's a few links:
Pendleton Center for the Arts Home
Pendleton Family Aquatic Center & Til Taylor Wading Pool | Pendleton Parks, Recreation and Cemetery (http://www.pendletonparksandrec.com/aquatic - broken link)
Welcome to Pendleton, Oregon in Umatilla County! | Pendleton Parks, Recreation and Cemetery
http://www.cmeo.org/
City of Pendleton, Oregon*
Pendleton Chamber of Commerce*||*Welcome to the Real West!
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:54 PM
 
110 posts, read 457,427 times
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Default Enchanted forest??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1208 View Post
your kids are probably gonna be bored. maybe you should get a sitter to take them to the enchanted forest while you go see whatever is compelling you to visit Eastern Oregon.
Some of our best memories of family trips are the stops at hole-in-the-wall cafes or tourist traps along the way to our destination. It's all what you make of it. Besides, amusement parks in the summer with heavy crowds is not always the best idea! I usually shoot for a Monday in September for places like that!

The point in taking my kids east was to mainly enjoy a dry, sunny trip. Every summer, we head to the Oregon coast and end up under dreary skies for a week and then the sun will usually show up the day we head home! Never fails!

So...I'm determined this year to have some reliable sunshine and see a different terrain than what we see west of the cascades. The little bit of eastern Oregon I saw on a road trip years ago was beautiful. I figure if I can find a fun hotel (with a pool, perhaps) and spend some time visiting some small, historic towns, it could be fun.

Again...it's all what you make of it!
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThanksABunch View Post
Some of our best memories of family trips are the stops at hole-in-the-wall cafes or tourist traps along the way to our destination. It's all what you make of it. Besides, amusement parks in the summer with heavy crowds is not always the best idea! I usually shoot for a Monday in September for places like that!

The point in taking my kids east was to mainly enjoy a dry, sunny trip. Every summer, we head to the Oregon coast and end up under dreary skies for a week and then the sun will usually show up the day we head home! Never fails!

So...I'm determined this year to have some reliable sunshine and see a different terrain than what we see west of the cascades. The little bit of eastern Oregon I saw on a road trip years ago was beautiful. I figure if I can find a fun hotel (with a pool, perhaps) and spend some time visiting some small, historic towns, it could be fun.

Again...it's all what you make of it!
I totally agree. Some of my fondest memories on family vacations were the road trips TO the destinations rather than many of the over the top destinations. My Dad used to drive 4 kids to Disney World & Daytona beach in Florida every single summer. It took 20 hours or more and it was hell while we were doing it, but looking back on it I can't imagine missing out on all that quality time, stopping in on random small towns and just enjoying the adventure.

To me, this never ending cycle of things "to do" while on vacation in fake cookie cutter resort towns just doesn't cut it for a multi dimensional family.

Cheers to you!

---
Eastern Oregon has A LOT to offer.

1) John Day in the North East(ish). There you have Painted Rocks, Sheep rock and another site who's name escapes me.
2) To the South East (ish), you have the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes (Where you can rent ATV's, etc.), Fort Rock State Park, Hole in the ground, etc. all within a couple miles.
3) I've never been, but I hear the town of Joseph is amazing as well. It is apparently a western cowboy town without trying to be a western cowboy town. Also, I've heard the mountains up there remind many people of the Alps, with their peaks, lakes and grass lands....


Also, if you're in for a real adventure and don't mind taking a drive into more central Oregon, take your kids camping at Crater Lake NP. Can't beat that ANYWHERE.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Mountains of Oregon
16,420 posts, read 19,847,764 times
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We have had a Great Time exploring Crater Lake. It's Awesome, very beautiful. You can fish free there. Don't need a license.

At Prospect, there are some wonderful views of the "Wild & Scenic Rogue River". We always get a delicious soft ice cream cone there. Beautiful chipmunkies running playfully around.

At Lost Creek Lake there is Joseph Stewart campground, & a pretty COOL fish hatchery to see.
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