Trip Planners

1859’s Trip Planners are your source for exploring the great state of Oregon. Whether you are a local looking for a weekend family getaway or just visiting, each article is an insider’s guide to the best trips in Oregon.

Union County Oregon

Trip Planner — Union County

Union County is a mix of rugged beauty, farmland hospitality and a few surprises written by Catie Joyce-Bulay Of Oregon’s thirty-six counties, Union may not be the sexiest—you won’t find any sweeping beaches, hipsters or third-wave coffee, and the only haystacks are made of actual hay. What you will find is a nature lover’s playground spanning a diverse landscape, from high desert shrub steppe to rugged mountains, where three national forests converge over three mountain ranges, lush farmlands sprawl across valley floors and genuine local hospitality echoes the pioneering spirit of the Oregon Trail. DAY 1 MOUNTAINS • BREWS • BOUTIQUE HOTEL Oregonians are probably most familiar with I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge, but it’s no less scenic once it parts ways with the river. The stretch crossing into Union County is one of my favorite drives and a perfect example of how incredibly beautiful overlooked Eastern Oregon can…

Union County, Oregon

Trip Planner: Union County

Union County is a mix of rugged beauty, farmland hospitality and a few surprises written by Catie Joyce-Bulay OF OREGON’S THIRTY-SIX COUNTIES, Union may not be the sexiest—you won’t find any sweeping beaches, hipsters or third-wave coffee, and the only haystacks are made of actual hay. What you will find is a nature lover’s playground spanning a diverse landscape, from high desert shrub steppe to rugged mountains, where three national forests converge over three mountain ranges, lush farmlands sprawl across valley floors and genuine local hospitality echoes the pioneering spirit of the Oregon Trail. DAY 1 MOUNTAINS • BREWS • BOUTIQUE HOTEL Oregonians are probably most familiar with I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge, but it’s no less scenic once it parts ways with the river. The stretch crossing into Union County is one of my favorite drives and a perfect example of how incredibly beautiful overlooked Eastern Oregon can…

Trip Planner — Wine Country of Newberg and Chehalem

written by Sheila Miller Seems like these days, the world has discovered Oregon’s Willamette Valley and its wine, but the epicenter always seems to be McMinnville. There are so many other little outposts around the region. We decided to focus our tour in Newberg and Chehalem and see what the rest of the world might be missing. DAY 1 COFFEE • DOWNTOWN • WINE TASTING Most tasting rooms open at 11 a.m., so that’s when it’s apparently OK to start drinking wine. Get acquainted with the town of Newberg by enjoying wine right in the downtown core—you can get to the views tomorrow. Start in an industrial district a few minutes from downtown Newberg, and since it’s early, you can grab a coffee from Caravan Coffee’s roastery. The shop is a longtime favorite in Newberg, ethically sourcing its beans and making a great cup of coffee. You can tour the…

Northwest Destination: Touring the Tri-Cities

Learn your atomic history and so much more in Eastern Washington’s biggest surprise written by Kevin Max This trip marked the first time I had spent meaningful time in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland). I came for the history and the story of the Hanford Site B Reactor and found an engaging culture all around Hanford. If you’re as fascinated with the history of WWII as I am, the Manhattan Project National Historic Park at Hanford nuclear site is on your agenda. Schedule your tour in advance, as the free four-hour experience begins with a short film at the visitor center on the edge of the park before boarding a bus to the site 40 stark miles northwest. The experience still feels a little cloak and dagger more than seventy years after its mission began. One of three pieces of the once-secret Manhattan Project—the other sites are Oak Ridge, Tennessee…

Trip Planner: The Northern Oregon Coast

The northern coast of Oregon is more than just Haystack Rock written by Sheila Miller Picking your favorite part of the Oregon coastline is like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream. It’s all pretty great, and some of it depends on what you grew up with. This spring, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit. As a native Portlander, I spent my youth near the northern border of the state. But there are wonders as you leave your comfort zone. I set out to find them on the Northern Oregon Coast. From Gearhart to Garibaldi, we spent some time exploring the northern Oregon coastline. It’s a lovely drive filled with hidden gems. Along the northern coast, Highway 101 winds through lush, green state parks and then cuts inland to Nehalem Bay, passing boat marinas and small antiques shops and running parallel to a railroad track…

Spokane

Northwest Destination: Spokane Rising

Spokane is the right jumping-off point for outdoor adventure and sophisticated city life written by Cara Strickland If you’re looking for an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, you’ll find it in Spokane. Five ski resorts, seventy-six lakes and five national parks are within driving distance, a river runs through the city, and the Centennial Trail offers 37 miles for hiking and biking with a mountain backdrop. If you’re feeling a little less extreme, you can stroll through one of Spokane’s many parks, including the crown jewel, Manito Park, which boasts 90 acres of gardens, a conservatory and a duck pond, plus two playgrounds for your little ones. Bring a picnic and enjoy the rose garden or get some zen in the Japanese garden. Just a couple blocks away, you’ll find Rockwood Bakery, a staple of Spokane’s historic South Hill neighborhood, known for its freshly made, decadent baked goods and quiche. Just down…

Trip Planner: Redmond

Central Oregon’s oft-overlooked city is getting cool before our eyes written by Sheila Miller Not so long ago, downtown Redmond was crowded—but not in a good way. Thousands of vehicles traveling north and south on U.S. Highway 97 drove right through the middle of downtown on Fifth and Sixth streets. Semi trucks coughed plumes of diesel and horns honked all day—downtown Redmond a decade ago was not a place you lingered. But ten years can mean a lot of change, and Redmond has made great strides. Today, this is a city center that has been reborn. There are vestiges of the old city—a Sears Hometown store still holds a prominent place in the downtown core and the Historic New Redmond Hotel is undergoing what may seem like never-ending renovations. But around the corner is a city-operated ice rink, Centennial Park with its green space at the center of downtown, and…

Angel Face in Portland

Libation Vacation – Plan your next trip around your favorite spirit, wine or beer

Drinks are a natural part of life on vacation. But what if the vacation was … all about the drinks? We cooked up three perfect libation vacations—wine in the Willamette Valley, beer in and around Bend, and booze in the big city. written by Amira Makansi and Sheila G. Miller What are you looking for in a wine tasting experience? Clearly, great wine tops the list. But there are other factors, too. What about quality of service? Sweeping vistas? Ambience? And that ever-elusive je ne sais quoi?   Wine in the Willamette Valley In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, unique wineries and diverse identities abound—to such an extent it can be difficult to narrow down your tasting list. But on a weekend getaway when time is limited, choosing your top destinations is paramount. Here are five diverse establishments worth a visit on your next escape to the Willamette Valley. If you’re coming…

Oregon’s Adventure Coast

written by Sheila G. Miller Growing up in the Portland area, the Northern Oregon Coast was easier to access than other coastal areas. That was where I learned that sweatshirts were beach gear and “laying out” was something for other coastal states. But in all my years as an Oregonian, I had hardly set foot on the Southern Oregon Coast except to drive through on my way elsewhere. That changed this fall, when I spent a few days in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston. This area of the coast, like other parts of Oregon, was greatly impacted by the timber industry. In 1947, just three years after Coos Bay gave up Marshfield as its name, The Oregonian called the city the “Lumber Capital of the World.” As Oregonians know, that came to an abrupt end in the 1980s, and the area has been searching for its next big thing…