If you live in Portland, Oregon, you probably already know how lucky you are. With so many beautiful places to visit within a couple of hours of Rose City, it's easy to play tourist, without having to drive a long distance or fly to get there. Here is a look at three of the best "staycation" ideas for residents of the state's largest city.
Astoria is about a two hour drive northwest of Portland, following the Columbia River just before it empties into the Pacific Ocean. While it's an easy day trip from the city, spending a night and enjoying all it has to offer is the best way to see it.
For an extra special stay, consider the historic Cannery Pier Hotel with luxurious amenities, including a view of the majestic Columbia River. Each room offers a private balcony, fireplace and gorgeous hardwood floors; the hotel offers spa services for those who want the ultimate in pampering. Rooms start at $189 per night. Stop in to the Blue Scorcher Bakery Café for a perfect cup of coffee and a delicious homemade organic treat. It's quintessential Astoria.
Astoria is steeped in history and character with Victorian homes sitting atop the hillside overlooking the waterfront. It offers a wide variety of attractions including museums and antique shopping. A favorite in town is the Flavel House Museum, set in a grand Queen Anne-style residence built in 1885 by Captain George Flavel.
Don't miss the famous Astoria Column. From here, you can take in some spectacular views of the city as well as the river, the Pacific Ocean, snow covered volcanoes of the Cascade range and Saddle Mountain.
North Bonneville, Washington and the Columbia River Gorge
North Bonneville, Washington is just an hour from Portland, yet a world away. Consider a staycation at the luxurious Bonneville Hot Springs Resort in the famed Columbia River Gorge region, one of the most lush areas of the country surrounded by some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world.
Spend the day, or stay the night, as the resort offers lodging that includes all of the amenities you expect from a high end luxury hotel, including a fine-dining restaurant, and even miniature golf. Here you'll find heated mineral pools with cascading waters that are said to soothe both the "heart and soul." It's the perfect place to relax your cares away. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage or one of many special skin treatments from facials to wraps.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is renowned for its magnificent beaches; it's just an hour and 40 minutes west of the city, making it an ideal vacation spot for Portlanders. With lots to explore, it's well worth spending the night. Listen to the sounds of the ocean waves crashing at night by staying at one of the many luxurious oceanfront hotels.
Stephanie Inn offers views of the Haystack Rock and is perfect for a romantic getaway. Rooms include a jacuzzi and fireplace, and start at $369 per night.
The town of Cannon Beach offers world class shopping and high end art galleries, but it's the outdoor scenery that impresses most. Explore Ecola State Park and hike the Clatsop Loop Trail through the magical coastal forest and take in the breathtaking ocean views, or discover a wide variety of marine life in the tidal pools at Haystack Rock. In the evening listen to local music at one of the many taverns, or take in a show at the Coaster Theater.