Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can't-Miss-It! The Oregon Edition

Here it is... my can't-miss-it travel guide for Oregon with kids!
This one features Portland, Cannon Beach, Tillamook, and a little further south on the Oregon coast. Here goes. . .

For our Memorial weekend 6'th year wedding anniversary, we took the kids on a romantic (ha!) trip to Oregon! We started with our friendly neighbor city only 3 hours south of us: Portland!

*Can't-Miss-It place to stay:
To save some money and still stay in a nice hotel, try a hotel in Vancouver, WA, which is very close to Portland. We booked a family suite at the Heathman Lodge (I found a deal on it through one of the daily deal sites a few months ahead of time, score!!!), and that ended up being our most relaxing night of the whole trip, since there was a separate bedroom with a queen bed for the kids. So we were able to close the door, keep the baby in the main living area with us, and enjoy some peace and quiet after the older kids fell asleep!

The room actually had a tempurpedic bed and an awesome, HUGE jetted tub in the bathroom!

Our kids were ALL about the pool (the whole weekend, all they talked about was going to the hotels to go swimming. They love to swim!) So after swimming I filled up the tub, poured in some bubble bath, and turned on the jets to take a warm bath. I'd love to soak in a tub just like that every single day!!! The funny thing was how fast the bubbles multiplied with the jets going. The tub was completely overflowing with bubbles!

*Another Can't-Miss-It place to stay:
McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland. We actually didn't stay there this time, but we stayed there on a previous trip without kids and it is just the coolest! It's a historic elementary school, converted into a hotel, and each room is a former classroom! Our room had a chalkboard in it and everything. You can watch movies in the auditorium (free if you stay there!), hang out in the restaurants and brewery, and use the outdoor saltwater soaking pool.

*Can't-Miss-It for cheap lodging:
Definitely use the name your own price feature on Priceline! We put in a lower price than we thought we would get, and ended up staying in a nice Courtyard Marriott for super cheap just outside of Portland!

*Can't-Miss-It attraction:
Stunning Multnomah Falls! I've been here a few times now, and I just keep coming back! It's very close to Portland, and just beautiful!

Our family at the falls!

Um, what is she scared of? This picture cracks me up!

*Can't-Miss-It Portland Eats: A unique breakfast, lunch, or brunch at Pine State Biscuits. I heard about this place from the Food Network, and I knew I had to try it! The biscuit sandwiches were incredible, with tons of different toppings! I was wowed!

*Can't-Miss-It Attraction: The Portland Rose Festival!
Come during the festival (from Memorial weekend through the month of June) to see all the beautiful roses in bloom like we did. . .

Except. . . the roses weren't blooming. Yep, not a single one. We saw a bunch of leaves.
Here's what we DID enjoy at the rose gardens, however:
*A beautiful sunny day with a great view of the city

*Some really beautiful flowers (may not be roses, but they were pretty!)

*The Rose Garden Children's Park! I had no idea this was here, but it was a REALLY awesome park with a huge playground! My kids loved it!

*Our next Can't-Miss stop is. . . Tillamook!
Home of my favorite cheese (and yours too, right?) This is such a fun stop on an Oregon coast trip!

{Ain't it the truth!}

Plan on staying here for a couple of hours. That gives you enough time to tour the factory (not really an actual tour, but they have big windows where you can see them making the cheese), taste the delicious samples, and then get lunch or dinner in their restaurant and most definitely have some ice cream! I love the wide range of flavors they have available, and so did the kids!

*Can't-Miss-It rest stop. . .
One of the most beautiful spots on the Oregon coast, Paradise Cove!
(Yep, that's really all that was there. Paradise Cove??? I don't think so!)

*Moving right along to. . . Cannon Beach!!!

I had never been here before and was very excited to see this beautiful beach! And it truly was beautiful! But I would recommend going to this beach in July or August, because it was windy and COLD! So we didn't actually play on the beach or use the sand toys we brought. Everyone was just too cold! We took some pictures and then got out of there. Such a shame, because it was so gorgeous!

Haystack Rock!

{Here we are, freezing on the beach! At least it wasn't raining!}

*Definitely do not miss stopping in the adorable little Cannon Beach town! I liked it much better than Seaside, which is just a few minutes away. We ate lunch at Morris Fireside (this is actually buy one get one free entrees with the Prime Card is you have one!), and we loved the Cannon Beach Bakery!

And your kids will not LET you miss Bruce's Candy Kitchen. Whoa, this was a sugar and sweets overload! They had every sweet thing imaginable, and the place was popular and very crowded. Don't forget to load your kids up with sugar right before a long car ride down the coast. Great idea, really!!! ;)

We ran out of time to do much in Lincoln City or Newport, but we did stay in a beautiful resort very close to those cities. I found another daily deal for the Salishan Spa and Golf Resort in Gelenden Beach. What an amazing place! The entire grounds were landscaped perfectly, and most of it looked something like this:Link

Our Premier room was really nicely furnished, with a cozy fireplace and beautiful views through our windows. We didn't get to use the golf course or the spa, but our family's absolute favorite thing was their AWESOME pool. It was most definitely a resort-style pool! HUGE, in a large greenhouse, and such a perfect temperature. We loved it so much we swam there at night and then again the next morning before we checked out! It's one of the best hotel pools I've seen. Our little fishies had a blast!

The Oregon coast is so great, I'm sure this guide could go on and on and on! But those are a few of the things we did and loved on our weekend of exploring Oregon! What should we do next time? I love new ideas!


  1. As part of my newly installed basement utility sink and challenges with the hot water supply coming from my furnace, I had a water pressure gauge installed on the water line in the house.

  2. So fun to read about! You know how I love to travel. We just booked a 7 day cruise out of Galveston for 30 OCT. Do you guys want to come? My in-laws are coming that week so we decided to do a cruise with them.

  3. I didn't know Tillamook had a restaurant. We just got ice cream while we were there.

    The other falls you went to is called Wahkeena Falls. It's actually the next blog post I'm working on. We went there too and hiked the 1/4 mile to the upper drop. The spray was so intense it was difficult to take a picture.

    There are tons of waterfalls in the Columbia River gorge, but most require a hike so they'd be difficult to do with kids. But Horsetail Falls and Latourell Falls are both vehicle accessible.

  4. I'm with you - I love the Oregon Coast! Thanks for some great ideas next time we head down that way!!!

  5. Looks like such a fun trip! When I was growing up, my family used to go camping along the Oregon Coast. I hope to do the same with my own family!

  6. Such beautiful pictures! My favorites are the spa bath ones! I'm glad you had so much fun!

  7. WOW, this is a great post and mostly made me hungry. :) I love Kirsten's scared face, so cute! And Tillamock, hahaha! Love that you went there!

  8. We took a trip to Oregon when I was little, and I thought it was going to be awful. (What, a cold beach?) It turned out to be one of my favorite trips!

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