One of my lovely readers sent me a message saying she was going to be in town and if I could e-mail her some suggestions for cool things to do around here. Well, I tried I really did, but her spam blocker hates me soooo....
How 'bout a post for everyone! Let me know when/if you're in town if you want to stop by for a cup of coffee and a tour of the garden, I'd love to have you over!
PS: Welcome newest readers Rosey Pollen and Toni!! You're invited to come visit anytime too... =)
"Cannon Beach: Is really great even if it's a little commercial. There are a lot of fun touristy shops, wine merchants, restaurants, glass blowers, quilt and yarn shops, surf shops, etc.
Tillamook: If they're on the coast they should stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and take the tour. It's fun and the cheese curds (aka Squeaky Cheese) are the BEST! You can only get it there - not sold in stores. What a shame, it's awesome. It's kinda cheesy, salty, chewy, squeaky... fun food.
Of course there's Crater Lake which is completely worth the drive to; it's sort of an isolated spot in the SE part of the state. The Crater Lake Lodge is wonderful...it's such a neat place we talked about having our wedding there. They should still most certainly make the visit if they can.
BEND, OR: This is a great town... I lived here for a while and there's so much to do! Loads of easy paved hiking trails to serious crampon hiking trails. Kyaking down the dechutes, rock climbing, downtown has lots of quaint shops and resturants. Sir Francis Drake Park is a nice place to have a picnick lunch and watch families play with their kids and dogs. I think their website sums it up nicely, "Bend is a land of extremes and contrasts - desert and forest, lava and snow, volcanoes and plains, rustic and urban hip. Everyone here mixes and mingles in a big happy soup pot of snowboarders and professionals, families in shorts and sandals and couples in casual chic, locals and visitors. Maybe that's why people in Bend are so friendly - because most of them were visitors first, too."
The High Desert Museum is just south of Bend and worth an afternoon. They'd really get a feel for the area with a visit here... and just down the road from there is Lava Butte that has a short easy flat (paved) walk through the base of it. Above which they can drive up a 5,000 foot extinct cinder cone and get a beautiful view of the east side of the Cascade Range (Mt. Hood, The Three Sisters, etc) and the whole surrounding area. It's pretty breath taking!
And of course PORTLAND! There's a lot to do here in the City of Roses. It's such a garden intensive area it's worth checking out the Japanese Garden with it's spectacular view of Mt. Hood (and Timberline Lodge) or the Chinese Classical Garden in China Town. It's close to the Pearl District (the sleek art / metro neighborhood) as well as downtown where they can take the streetcar to places like Nordstroms, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Starbucks, etc... Or they can take a walk along the river bank or check out Saturday Market. There are farmer's markets all over town and don't forget Last Thursdays in the Alberta neighborhood. It's an open art market that's really more like a living carnival with food and art and fire artists and all sorts of very interesting people. There's also first Thursdays in which all the downtown art galleries open their doors, it's much more respectable and perhaps a bit less fun. ;^) Portland is also known for it's hand crafted brews, there are too many pubs to choose from but if you leave me a post I'll try to pick the best. McMenamins is probably another must do that's completely unique to the area. I'd pick the Edgefield if you had to go to just one. They're a hotel, spa, gardens, glass blowing, winery, distillery, hot tubs, pitch n' put, pub, grub fun kinda place all with its own very unique aesthetic.
I can't begin to go into all the cool stuff to do around here so I'll end with my favorite day drive out of Portland up the Historic Columbia River Gorge. You must stop and see Multnomah Falls with it's easy paved hiking path through the woods. Also the Bonneville Dam and Fish Ladder. And if they get tired of the RV they can stay at the Skamania Lodge. If nothing else they should stop and have lunch there. It's just a neat place. "