Best Road Trips From Portland: Driving Distance Getaways
We get it: as great as Portland is, with its bars and restaurants, hangouts and nightlife, sometimes you need to get out of town for a bit, even if it’s just for a day or a weekend. This can be especially true in winter, when the city is under an oppressive sheet of gray skies and drizzling rain, and you need an escape to somewhere snowy or at least less humid. Luckily, there are plenty of areas within driving distance to make a hasty retreat, and we’re not just talking about tourist spots like Cannon Beach or Timberline Lodge. Keep in mind that traveling on Oregon’s highways in the winter can lead to unpleasant or even dangerous conditions, especially with the pandemic still raging. Be sure to check weather advisories before hitting the road and take COVID-19 precautions seriously.
Distance from Portland: One o’clock
Traveling to wine country is often thought of as a summer getaway, but there’s something lovely about visiting this little town in the winter, especially if snow has recently fallen. More than a jumping-off point for the hundreds of surrounding vineyards and wineries, McMinnville offers plenty of dining options like the Community plate and the Neapolitan pizzeria Pizza Capo. Of course, he is located directly in wine country, which means it’s an easy getaway to some of the best wineries in the state, with unique winter views of snow-capped vineyards.
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Distance from Portland: One hour, five minutes
Sure, Hood River is an obvious destination for a day trip from Portland, but normally people come for windsurfing and other summer pastimes, so avoid the tourist crowds and head you here in the winter. Beer from breweries like pFriem and Dual Mountain as good in February as it is in August, and there are plenty of trailheads within a few miles of town. It’s an easy place to spend a long weekend away from the noise of the city, while still having the comforts and conveniences of a city.
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Distance from Portland: Two o’clock
Eugene is best known for being home to the University of Oregon and the tens of thousands of students who attend, but it’s more than just a place to catch a Ducks game. Winter offers the opportunity to go truffle hunting in the many woods that surround the town, after which you can sample some of Oregon’s finest cider. WildCraft, which buys all its fruit locally. Those looking for an elegant evening can visit the famous Marlet restaurant or have a cocktail and sushi from Akira. Sy’s Pizza is a real New York-style pizzeria, and the beer stein rivals any tap house in Portland. Just be sure to avoid Rennie’s Landing, Max’s, or the Webfoot unless you really want to hang out with college kids. Those looking for more outdoor pursuits will find that the hills and trails around town are frequently used by runners.
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Distance from Portland: One hour, 15 minutes
On the snowy shores of Mount Hood, Government Camp is an endearing alpine village that serves as the starting point for many excursions to Mount Hood. Obviously, skiing and snowboarding are the main draws here, but there are also plenty of winter trails for hiking, snowshoeing areas, and even horse-drawn sleigh rides. Those who prefer après-ski activities to actual skiing will be delighted by the town’s dining options like the Glacier Haus and Blueberry Inn, as well as beers from the Mt Hood Brewing Company. The Mt Hood Cultural Center educates visitors about the history of the area, as well as its geography, geology, and other interesting facts.
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Distance from Portland: Two o’clock
A historic fishing and cannery town near the mouth of the Columbia, Astoria is home to some of the most dangerous shipping waters in the country. Although the city’s history, which goes back far beyond Lewis and Clark or its namesake John Jacob Astor, is fascinating, you don’t need to know it to enjoy your trip. Start by visiting the Astoria column. From its base, you can admire breathtaking views of the city, the bay and the river. But those who want to climb the 164 steps of its spiral staircase will be rewarded with incredible views of the coast and the countryside. Then head back downtown and grab a pint of Buoy beer while admiring the river on the huge transport ships, watch a musical performance at Fort George Brewery, or enjoy Bosnian food Drina Marguerite.
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Distance from Portland: Two hours, 15 minutes
The aptly named Long Beach in Washington offers a number of worthwhile destination sites – the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is anything but disappointing, one of the oldest lighthouses on the West Coast and a crucial tool for the region known under the name of cemetery. of the Pacific. The beach, however, lives up to its name – with nearly 30 miles of uninterrupted sandy beach, it is said to be the longest beach in the country. In addition to strolling the shore and exploring the surrounding woods, visitors can sample the spirits of Drifting Distillery and visit the Cranberry Museum, which features cranberry bogs and the history of the fruit and its role in the Pacific Northwest.
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Distance from Portland: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Not far from Sisters, Oregon, Suttle Lodge & Boathouse is a sprawling series of cozy lodges on the shores of scenic Suttle Lake. In winter it is a paradise of pure snow and pine trees above crystal clear waters. It’s hard to beat a hot toddy or an Irish coffee at Skip, the cocktail bar set up in the warm lodge after an afternoon of snowshoeing in the wilderness. Moreover, the Hoodoo Ski Resort is less than 15 minutes away, making Suttle Lodge an ideal base for a weekend ski trip on something that isn’t Mt Hood.
Distance from Portland: 2 hours, 55 minutes
At this point, Cannon Beach and Seaside are a no-brainer when it comes to Oregon Coast travel, but Yachats is still relatively underrated. Forget the white sand beaches or the surf, Yachats is synonymous with wild and pristine beauty. Its incredible rocky coastlines are geological wonders, as well as a great place for tidal pooling. However, be sure to exercise absolute caution when visiting the coast and check all advisories regarding the risk of sneaker waves, which are extremely serious. After enjoying the incredible coastline, you can return to the quiet town to visit the shops, galleries and restaurants.
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Distance from Portland: Four hours, 30 minutes
Almost on the California border, Ashland is one of Oregon’s best-known and most-visited small towns for a reason: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Despite the past few years, between the pandemic and the brutal fires, OSF has struggled, but it has persevered and remains one of the most famous theater companies in the world. Besides the legendary theaters, Ashland also offers pristine wilderness for hiking, while skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes of Mount Ashland. Thanks to Shakespeare Festival tourism, the town offers an abundance of dining and dining options, including a superb prix fixe menu at the More and cocktails and Izakaya food at sakana.
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Distance from Portland: Three hours, 10 minutes
That’s right, good old Seattle – it’s much closer than it looks, perfect for an overnight trip or a long weekend. You can take the classic route and visit the trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood before visiting the iconic Pike Place Market, where vendors still toss fish into the air right in front of the very first Starbucks. Then you can take a ferry to Bainbridge Island to eat at harbor pub. Or you can branch out, head to Ballard or Mt Baker for a weekend or visit residential West Seattle with its cafes, shops and condo-lined waterfront; it is relatively easy to access from the south via I-5. Wherever you end up exploring, a weekend in Seattle is the perfect way to remind yourself how much you prefer living in Portland.
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Distance from Portland: Five hours, 45 minutes
Oregon is full of beautiful and gorgeous lakes, and while Crater Lake gets the most attention, Wallowa Lake shouldn’t be overlooked. It is especially beautiful in winter, surrounded by snow. The park offers yurts and campsites year-round, but those looking for more amenities can find them at Wallowa Lake Resort Where Wallowa Lake Lodge. Nearby is the charming town of joseph, named after Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce Tribe, it is perfect for quiet getaways from the city with its cafes, restaurant and surrounding wilderness. Oregon beer lovers can find Terminal Gravity Brewery a few more miles up the road from Enterprise.
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Distance from Portland: Three hours, 15 minutes
Bend is perhaps Oregon’s favorite vacation destination due to the amount of outdoor activities available year-round. In winter, everything revolves around snowy recreation, from alpine skiing to cross-country skiing, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sledding and tubbing. But even those who prefer a quiet night to a busy day outdoors will find the city appealing, especially if that night includes a beer or two: Bend is also famous for its breweries like Graveyard, Falls, Bend Brewery, and Crux Fermentation.
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Distance from Portland: 14 minutes (depending on traffic)
Does that really count as a road trip if it’s just across the river, and when thousands of Portlanders commute to work every day, and vice versa? We’ll let you be the judge – the fact is, Vancouver offers its own exciting scene away from the familiarity of your usual Portland haunts. Perhaps most exciting is the rapidly developing waterfront with its many bars and restaurants overlooking the other side of the majestic Columbia River. Don’t say you’re from Portland.
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