Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 8 & 9: Oregon Coast & Willamette Valley

After working out in the hotel fitness center on Thursday morning, Todd & I packed up our stuff and checked out of the hotel so we could spend our last couple days on the coast of Oregon. An hour and a half drive later, we arrived in Cannon Beach, Oregon at Ecola State Park. We had breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Cannon Beach, and Haystack Rock.

Beautiful beach

Haystack Rock is the biggest monolith in Oregon (it's in the back center) Part of Goonies was filmed here

Todd & I

No trip to the beach is complete without getting your feet wet in the ocean but the water was freezing!

We left Cannon Beach and headed about 45 mi south to Tillamook. Our main reason for stopping in Tillamook was to go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We took a self-guided tour and then had samples of cheese (we might have gone through the line more than once) and ice cream cones. The ice cream was some of the best I've ever had.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

Tillamook has been around since 1909

Watching the cheese-making process

Todd sampling some cheese

We got to try cheese curds or "squeaky cheese" because it actually squeaks with each bite you take

Caramel Crunch ice cream cone for me

Rocky Road for Todd

After Tillamook, we drove another hour south along the coast to Newport. Besides staying the night at Ocean House, a bed & breakfast right on the beach, we were also going to explore part of the city.

Ocean House

The view from our room.....we had huge windows overlooking the beach & it was amazing

The view of the back of the house...there was a private garden & path down to the beach

One of my favorite pictures from the trip....a view of the beach from the backporch of the house

Since we were in Newport, our first stop was to Rogue Brewery. They actually sell quite a bit of Rogue beer in Ohio so Todd & I had both had some of it before and really liked it and wanted to try more.

Bottles of beer lined up

To get to the pub, you got to walk through the brewery

Todd with taster tray #1

And then he wanted to try some more so he got taster tray #2 (which is #5 for the trip)

My glass of root beer

I wanted to try their Track Town beer but they didn't have it on tap

View of the bay from Rogue

After Rogue, we wanted some good, fresh seafood and took the recommendation of the B&B owner to try Local Ocean Seafoods on Yaquina Bay. All the seafood is caught fresh daily and you can even watch them prepare it in the kitchen. It was also an open air restaurant so you were pretty much sitting outside right by the bay.

Local Ocean Seafoods

Todd had tuna mignon wrapped in bacon and I had a fish wrap with their local catch of the day

Todd & I after dinner walking along the boardwalk

We even got to see (and hear) a bunch of sea lions

Friday was our last day of the trip so after a delicious homemade breakfast at Ocean House, we walked about a mile up the road to see the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Entrance to Yaquina Head State Park
Walking along Cobble Beach

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Our tour guide in the lighthouse was in character from the late 1800s, I thought he was creepy

View of the spiral staircase from the bottom

It was pretty hazy & overcast in the morning so we didn't have a very good view from the top of the lighthouse but the weather was perfect so it was a nice way to start the day.

We left Newport a little before noon to drive through Willamette Valley through Oregon's wine country and back to Portland for our red-eye flight back home. We ended up stopping at 3 wineries along the way and bought 4 bottles of wine.

Yamhill Valley Vineyard

Great view of their vineyard

Arygle Winery

Posing after our 2nd wine tasting

Our most expensive bottle of wine and one of the most delicious

Four Graces Winery

We made it back into Portland right around dinner time and since our flight wasn't until 11:00 PM, we still had several hours to kill. Portland is known for having a lot of food cart vendors and I really wanted to eat at one of them before we left but unfortunately most of them were already closed for the day when we got back into town. Instead, we headed to where else but another microbrewery.

Row of food carts in downtown Portland

Deschutes Brewery

One last glass of root beer

And one last taster tray for Todd
We arrived back in Columbus early on Saturday morning after a short layover in Detroit. Like any vacation, it's hard to believe it's over but it was one of the best trips yet. It's amazing the variety in scenery in Oregon, from the mountains to the ocean, and everything was beautiful. We packed a lot into a week and Hood to Coast was a great experience but we have another bigger trip coming up in less than 2 weeks that I'm very excited for!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow. so much going on! i promise that i've been reading but i went away for the weekend and couldn't comment!

i agree that no trip to the beach is complete without going in the water. wayyyy cold? yes. but WAY fun