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.

Ashland, Oregon

Ashland Wine Tasting: Shakespeare and chardonnay, a fine pairing in Southern Oregon

written by Kevin Max vines • wine • tapas There is no better place in America to combine bold wines and the boisterous Bard than in Ashland. So far south in Oregon, Ashland feels as much northern California as it does Southern Oregon. Climate doesn’t strictly respect state borders, but the climate for wine growing in Southern Oregon does have its boundaries. There are warmer Spanish tempranillos and cooler pinots, with syrahs and chardonnays in between. The stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival bud and bloom with wit, sarcasm, churl and charm. Spring and summer in the Southern Oregon tasting rooms and vineyards bring a full-bodied intensity with a note of drama and an air of openness. For visitors who have never been to Ashland, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful hills and rolling terrain surrounding it to the west, south and east. It’s on the faces of…

Trip Planner—The Dalles

Trip Planner—The Dalles. Nestled at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, The Dalles sits in a region rich in history, affords breathtaking scenery and is the perfect place for epic outdoor adventures.

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…