• Weekend Getaway Idea: The Pacific Northwest {Oregon Coast}

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    If you’re looking for a change of pace {and coast}, the Pacific Northwest {or PNW for those of you “in the know”} is a perfect pick for a long getaway from Hudson County. On your trip, you’ll want to get touristy with the Oregon coast, known for its amazing sunsets, delicious seafood, plethora of breweries, gorg hiking trails, and the place where the Goonies found their famous buried treasure. Read on for awesome activities to put on your to-do list while visiting the Pacific Northwest  — a beautiful, less traveled part of the country.

    Arch Cape Coastline

    Transportation:

    Direct flights to Portland from this area are not always the easiest to come by {for cheap}, so you may need to connect somewhere if you are looking for better airfare. Once you get to the Portland airport, it’s about a 1-2 hour drive to the coast depending on where you are staying — but well worth the journey.

    When it comes to getting around the coast, there isn’t any mass transit nor is there Uber at the moment. Therefore, your best bet is to rent a car but with the beautiful scenic views, it’s hard to mind a drive along the coast.

    Where to Stay:

    For a large enough group of people {about 8-10}, consider renting one of the awesome houses along the oceanfront — prices are pretty reasonable when split between a large group, and a house offers the advantage of a kitchen for those mornings when you might be too {ahhhem} hungover to step out for breakfast. Air B&B always has some beautiful houses available.

    If a house isn’t your pick, there are a decent number of fancier resorts/hotels in the larger beachside towns such as Astoria or Cannon Beach which are likely worth the higher per night fee, or some not as fancy hotels/lodges, if you are just looking for a place to stash your clothes and sleep.

    Attractions/Things to Do:

    Sunset in Arch Cape

    Beaches:

    A vacation really wouldn’t be a vacation without a beautiful beach or two. This coast is known for its beautiful sandy shores — and there are more than a few here to check out:

    • Cannon Beach: If you’re looking to catch the best sunset on the Oregon coast, then we recommend Cannon Beach all the way. Situated right next to Haystack Rock, one of the more famous sights in Oregon and home of a large number of tufted puffins {you guys, they’re like tiny fat penguins}, make sure you buy some firewood and pack a cooler {bevs allowed}. If fire-starting is not your thing, you can even pay someone to start a bonfire for you {s’mores, hiii} and there are chairs on the beach already set up so you can just tuck in, sit back, and watch.
    • Not to be outdone, Seaside and Manzanita also offer beautiful beaches with some great places in town to shop for souvenirs and locally made goodies.
    • Astoria {home of the Goonies} is another beautiful sandy nook at the tip of the Oregon coast that is definitely worth checking out.

    READ: How to do Disney World {as an Adult} in Orlando, Florida

    Wine Tastings:

    There is no shortage of wineries dotting the coast, and you will hear the name “Willamette Valley” come up a lot as the place where Oregon sources their grapes. Many of these tiny wineries even offer their tastings for free {yes, free} and the selection ranges from dry whites to fruity berry wines {marionberry is a pretty popular fruit in this area — we don’t even really know what it is, we just know that it’s yummy}.  Here are a few spots to sample the local vino:

    • Nehalem Bay Winery, Nehalem: about 20 minutes from Cannon Beach, this tiny little nook tucked on the side of the highway offers a wide range of yummy wines to taste, from red to white and everything in between.
    • Flying Dutchman Winery, Otter Rock: a larger winery situated near Depoe Bay, the Flying Dutchman offers blush, whites, and dessert wines among their selections.
    • Buddha Kat Winery, Sandy: located near the charming town of Seaside, this winery has some adorbs tasting rooms and offers white, red and fruit wines.

    Hiking: Not for the faint of heart, Oregon offers some serious hiking trails, no matter what your level of expertise.

    • Ecola State Park offers a variety of trails, including the Clatsop Loop Trail which is a little over a mile out and back and leads right down to the beach — but be careful, it can get muddy at times so dress accordingly.
    • Saddle Mountain Trail is a 4+ mile hike up and back down Saddle Mountain — and when we say hike, we mean straight up. There are plenty of places to stop and rest as you sojourn to the top, but the climb can be quite steep at times to get to the summit {for those who are a little wonky with heights, this may not be the best trail for you}.

    Places to Eat

    Being by the water, we can almost expect the seafood to be fresh and delicious, natch. Popular dishes to get in this area are prawns {don’t worry, in the PNW they take all of the gross stuff off so it’s basically like eating shrimp}, clams, crabs and fish and chips {of course}. Here are a few recommendations for places to eat:

    Public Coast Brewing

    • Cafe Stephanie, Newport:  Offering everything from quiches for breakfast to delicious hot and cold sandwiches, this place is great to check out for morning or noontime — and we’re told their gooey cinnamon rolls are not to be missed.
    • Public Coast Brewing, Cannon Beach: Yes, the area is littered with breweries and this one is no exception. Featuring drool-worthy burgers {see picture} and awesome beers, this place even has something for the gluten free, offering gf onion rings AND fish and chips {yep, we were sold too}.
    • Tilamook Cheese Factory Visitor’s Center, Tilamook: Okay we had to throw this one in here- you will see Tilamook cheese and ice cream everywhere in this area and if you go to the dairy you can sample their cheeses for free {you guys!} or try any one of their 30+ ice cream flavors. And, oh yea, they make amazing grilled cheese sandwiches {of course} so this is a perfect stop off for lunch.
    • Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge, Cannon Beach: Featuring a bar and restaurant area if you want a nicer dinner, this place has an awesome selection of seafood {HG recommends the seafood stew, but be prepared to get messy} at a price that won’t put a hole in your pocket.

    See More: Weekend Getaway: Los Angeles, California

    HG Insider Tips:

    Haystack Rock

    • If you plan on traveling the coast, definitely rent a car —  mass transit doesn’t really exist in this area so it will be a lot easier to get around with a vehicle.
    • Whenever you plan on being out after the sunset, make sure to pack a sweater — temps drop at least 10-15 degrees at night.
      The sun rises early and sets late here, so be prepared for daylight until at least 9 pm, depending on what time of year you are traveling {yes, we were excited about that too}.
    • Things are definitely spread out on the coast {hey, it’s a big coast!} so you’ll want to look at the main towns offering food/lodging and situate yourself near one of those – otherwise you can be looking at drives of over an hour or two to get where you’d like to go.

    Have you ever been to the Oregon Coast? What did you do there?

    Let us know in the comments!

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Lauren originally hails from Nutley, NJ but is happy and proud to have called Bayonne her hometown for the past 5 years, where she can always find a beautiful park to walk or run in and a great place to eat. Lauren has a deep appreciation for a good bar, a great glass of red wine, and good food, and often frequents Jersey City for dining, where she worked for 4 years. Now working in NYC, Lauren still gets her Jersey City fix on the weekends or after work, and then goes back to her apartment where she lives with her husband, a Bayonne native, and her awesome kitty, Lola. You can also find her at yoga class in Jersey City or Hoboken, writing, or reading {and continually running out of space for all of her books} in her spare time.


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