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Williamette Valley

Vancouver, Canada
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Williamette Valley

My wife and I are driving down in mid June from Vancouver, BC.for a week to two week trip. Apart from a weekend in Portland, while there we drove to Canon Beach ,this is our first holiday to Oregon.

We are staying the first night in Olympia, Washington, then two nights each respectively in Lincoln Beach and Klamath Falls. This is visit Crater Lake.

I then want to journey though the Williamette Valley. Looking at the map I am considering making our first stop after Klamath Falls at Cottage Grove. Does that seem a good idea?

I would be very grateful for any suggestions as to where we should visit in the Williamette Valley . If at all possible I avoid Hwy. 5. I am very much a tourist and I enjoy scenic routes. I prefer to keep my drives to four or five hours maximum.

Thank you for any advice I can be given.

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Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Williamette Valley

Unless you have a reason to go to Klamath Falls that you didn't mention, I don't understand why you'd want to go there. Even in mid-June, when the other roads into Crater Lake MIGHT be open, I'd still recommend the southern entrance. I think you should look at coming down the coast to Reedsport and then turning east on #138 to Roseburg; or on #42 from Coos Bay to Roseburg, then south on I-5 to Grants Pass, Medford or Ashland for the night....leaving Crater Lake to the following morning.

I can understand your aversion to I-5, but if you've never been on this stretch of it I think you'll be surprised at how interesting and beautiful it is. Besides, your north-south options through the valley are poor to none.

On your way back north, you can stay overnight in Cottage Grove or in the Eugene-Springfield area. From Eugene you can take #99 up through Corvallis to the main wine country (although you'll find ample vineyards and wineries in the area from Cottage Grove to Eugene on the west side of I-5).

If your week or two timefram would allow for it, I'd suggest going all the way down the coast to Crescent City and seeing the redwoods; then taking #199 east to Grants Pass. It wouldn't add that much time to what I've already described and would eliminate having to repeat the Grants Pass/Roseburg leg of the trip on I-5.

Also, I'm betting our coastal experts will want to talk you out of Lincoln Beach (did you mean Lincoln City?) and into Newport, or Yachats.

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Oregon Coast, OR
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Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Williamette Valley

Oregon Poppa,

Thank you very much for your reply. I had no particular reason for going to Klamath Falls. I will do what you suggest instead of going to Klamath Falls. I looked at a map after I posted and I had started considering going to Cresent City for at least one night.

The reason I chose Lincoln city is that it seemed about as far as I want to drive from Olympia. The hotel we have booked (The O'dysius)seems to be pretty nice too.

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Oregon Coast
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3. Re: Williamette Valley

The O'dysius is quite nice, but just to let you know, it is not oceanfront. It sits back about two short blocks or so, and the ocean views are over other buildings. When you said Lincoln Beach, I thought you meant you were renting a house in Bella Beach or similar . . .

The coast down to Crescent City and south is lovely, and you'll see redwoods, of course.

As far as wandering around the Willamette Valley, can you get an AAA map? Those are pretty decent and show a lot of back roads. We often take side roads and back roads, and nearly every one of them always connects to another road, and they are all in decent shape and reasonably wide.

The only thing to keep in mind is that there are not very many bridges that cross the Willamette River. There is a ferry just north of Salem, off Hwy 221 that is fun - it's called the Woodland ferry and runs 24/7.

Hwy 99 is the "old" highway, prior to I-5, and 99W is quite scenic. There is also a 99E north of Salem, that is the old road up to the area east of Portland.

South of about Cottage Grove, old 99 is mostly gone, since I-5 covered over much of it. I suggest you stay in Canyonville, and then you can drive a lot of back roads that wind through the foothills. In Canyonville itself, you can see a little tiny stretch of the old, old old road . . . it is south of of town, just east of the freeway.

To get to Canyonville from Grants Pass without going on the freeway, head east on Hwy 234 to Shady Cove, then follow 227 around. That is a nice drive.

Wolf Creek off I-5 is a good stopping place for lunch, or even to stay there. The Wolf Creek Inn is the oldest lodging in continuous use in Oregon, and the restaurant is good.

You might also be interested in visiting Silver Falls, east of Salem. A nearby town is Silverton, which might also work for an overnight.

Hwy 38 between Reedsport and the valley is a lovely scenic drive, and there are a couple of small wineries in Elkton. Stop at Scottsburg - ocean-going schooners used to go all the way up the Umpqua River to here.

Hope this has helped :-)

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Eugene, OR
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Eugene, Oregon
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4. Re: Williamette Valley

http://www.oregon.com/covered_bridges

traveloregon.com/Explore-Oregon/Willamette-V…

http://coveredbridges.stateoforegon.com/

half-Brit offered some great off-I-5 suggestions. If you like covered bridges, you might like to combine your meandering with bridge seeing.

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5. Re: Williamette Valley

>> There is also a 99E north of Salem, <<

That was supposed to be "Eugene", oops ;-)

Covered bridges, that's a good idea!

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Eugene
Eugene
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Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Williamette Valley

There aren't many quick ways to travel N/S through the Willamette Valley- but there are some beatiful routes that you sometimes can miss while blasting through- as most people do...

Another idea for routes is driving the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway- sure your not biking, but it does travel through some nice country.

http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/BIKE/

If you want a faster route-I might consider traveling from Portland/Oregon City down Hwy 99E(nice section along the river) to Willamette Misson State Park and take the WheatlandFerry across thw Hwy 221 and on to HWy 99W

Note that this Ferry can close in the summer due to low water levels- but hopefully shouldnt be a probelm in June.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Oregon+City,+OR&daddr=Matheny+Rd+N&hl=en&geocode=FR8ZtAIdWiux-CmlvBM1pnmVVDGtlb634_FmIQ%3BFaYEsAIdqn-q-A&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&dirflg=h&sll=45.09255,-122.994862&sspn=0.085315,0.153637&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=13

June is also prime Strawberry season so make sure to stop by and one of the numerous fruit stands...

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Oregon
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Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Williamette Valley

sorry the nice secitoon on Hwy 99E is between Oregon City(stop and see Willamettte Falls!) and Canby

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Oregon
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Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Williamette Valley

Inadvertently I must have removed the "Get notified by email when a reply is posted" from my inquiry. Consequently I didn't know I had received any replies other than Oregon Poppa's. I apologize for my tardiness in thanking each of you for taking the time to answer my questions.

I am disappointed about the O'dysius not being on the beach. I will mull that over and consider staying somewhere else.

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Oregon Coast
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9. Re: Williamette Valley

Although I have not stayed in any Lincoln City hotels, I know there are some nice ones directly on the beach. If it helps you with your decision any, the O'dysius is also located right near to a busy restaurant, which itself is next to a day-use parking lot . . .

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g51947-Lincoln_City_O…

(also click the B&Bs/Inns tab)

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Lincoln City
Lincoln City
Oregon Coast, OR
Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Williamette Valley

Apparently I cant leave a message to you Hex- but no problem!! :)

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