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.

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…

WEEKEND WANDERINGS: SOUTHERN WILLAMETTE VALLEY

We are exploring the wonders of the Southern Willamette Valley. written by Jen Stevenson EN ROUTE Junction City, known for its popular 57-year-old summer Scandinavian Festival, also has a robust wine-tasting scene, so take a scenic detour off the interstate, rochambeau to see who gets designated driver duty, and start sipping. Sample estate pinot noirs and pinot gris at Walnut Ridge, where the 25 acres of dry-farmed vineyards are surrounded by bucolic pasture land and forest, then continue up the road to Pfeiffer Winery, a former chicken ranch and sheep farm where you can sip small-lot pinots in the peaceful water garden. A cork’s throw away, a personable flock of Katahdin-Dorper sheep graze the vineyards at rustically charming appointment-only Antiquum Farm; book the tour and tasting a few days ahead of time. Five minutes north, find lushly landscaped Brigadoon Wine Company. Uncork a bottle of riesling, unpack your picnic and…

WEEKEND WANDERINGS: MID WILLAMETTE VALLEY

Exploring the Mid Willamette Valley written by Jen Stevenson EN ROUTE As you fly south for the winter (weekend), detour east of Salem for a slice of caramel apple pie at the Willamette Valley Pie Company, or meander on to charming small-town Silverton for cinnamon roll pancakes and crispy fried chicken with brown butter syrup and Sriracha honey atop a golden buttermilk waffle at Gather. After a lovely late-fall hike in Silver Falls State Park, tuck into a piping-hot smoked pork shoulder and pineapple-topped Pine & Swine pizza at The Old Oak Oven food cart. Then cross the street to Silver Falls Brewery for a pint of Catamount Trail Ale. A few miles north, in Bavarian-esque Mount Angel, Oktoberfest may be over, but you can still wash down authentic handmade German-style bratwurst, bockwurst and knockwurst with an authentic German beer at Mt. Angel Sausage Company. EAT + DRINK In the…

The giant sequoia of Queen of Angels Monastery

The giant sequoia of Queen of Angels Monastery written and photographed by Betsy L. Howell More than 700 miles from its native range in California, a 125-year-old giant sequoia tree welcomes visitors to the Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel. In 1893, Sister Protasia Schindler found the seedling growing beside the railroad tracks. She immediately dug it up to plant next to the monastery’s entrance. Many years later, she said that if she’d known how large it would grow, she never would have planted it so close to the monastery. The tree now dwarfs the building as well as the other trees on the grounds, including one of its progeny planted in 1982. In 2004, the giant sequoia was designated an Oregon Heritage Tree. This honor is bestowed for an individual tree’s historical significance, accessibility to the public, and general health. The Benedictine Sisters at Queen of Angels welcome…