December 10, 2015
Flight: Orange County, SNA - Portland - Orange County, SNA
Starting point: Irvine, CA
Budget for 2 people: $850 ($20 flight - we used our points, $240 hotel, $70 car rental for 2 days, $150 gas, $320 food, $50 other)
- Day 1: flight to Portland, explore downtown
- Day 2: drive to Crater Lake National Park (600 mi, 11 h round trip), visit Bend on the way
- Day 3: Multnomah Falls (30 mi, 40 min); Oneonta Gorge (2 mi, 10 min); Cannon Beach (120 mi, 2.5 h one way)
- Day 4: Portland, flight back home
We landed early in the morning, checked in the hotel and went to eat in Boise district. Saw some busy streets, crowded places and a lot of young people.
Then we rushed to the Japanese Gardens as we heard that they are super beautiful. They are nice, but I would say that there is nothing special. The park around it is a good place for walks.
We explored the downtown afterwards, walked along the river to the Chinatown and Pearl district for dinner and beer. I think most of all I enjoyed hiding from the streets in nice breweries. Food and drinks are definitely good.
Our stop #1 was Bend - cosy small town, nice river walk, nice people around. I felt much more comfortable here. We spend there an hour walking along the lakes.
Then we drove to the Crater Lake National Park. We called it "Local Lake Tahoe" :) Similar colors but more people per square meter. Beautiful nature, but not worth 6 hours drive. Only if you have the same crazy idea to visit all US national parks as we do.
Stop 1: Multnomah Falls
If you’ve been to Yosemite you won’t be impressed. But if you’re into waterfalls and forests you’ll like it. The area has several hikes and different waterfalls so you can choose how much time you want to spend there. We only took a picture and drove to Oneonta Gorge which I personally find more interesting.
Stop 2: Oneonta Gorge
We were not prepared to see what we saw. To go inside you need to be prepared to step into the water and climb over some wet trees. I definitely recommend spending some time and exploring the area, but bring special shoes and clothes to be ready to become wet.
Stop 3: Forest Park
Buildings and people around this area are much nicer. The park is very big and has many hiking trails, mostly used by locals.
Stop 4: Cannon Beach
Beautiful beach, beautiful place to stroll during the sunset time..
We planned to spend more time in Portland. We heard a lot of the city and had really high expectations but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. The city is very dirty with many homeless people everywhere, and they are willing to talk to you while you are trying to eat. We ate famous Portland donuts, walked around the downtown and left to the airport early..