Ever since our trip to Oregon last month, I have been trying to figure out a way to share what a wonderful and worthwhile road trip Oregon is and to give some more concrete details of the routes we took (that turned out to be amazing) and the recommendable places that we stayed. If there is a recommendation missing for a particular day it is because our accommodations were just okay, but we aren’t going to suggest it. Click on the map below to see all of the our favorite landmarks in more detail, and read below for more of the nitty gritty on which route to take and hotels that we loved.
Leg 1: Fresno to Redding
We knew we had to cover quite a bit of ground on this first day, but we also didn’t have any major plans in Redding so we made sure to take our time and stop at a few fun places along the way. This is also not a scenic drive so we routed our trip based on the ease of the drive.
Day 1 route: HWY 99 north ~> HWY 120 west (in Manteca) ~> I-5 north (in Manteca)
Leg 2: Redding to Bend
This day started off very smoky as there was a fire burning in southern Oregon. Unfortunately we missed some of the beautiful scenery because of the smoke. However once we got a little ways into central Oregon it cleared and we really enjoyed the drive and the stops along the way.
Day 2 route: I-5 north ~> HWY 97 north (Weed, Ca) ~> HWY 62 north ~>HWY 138 east ~> HWY 97 north
Leg 3: Bend to Portland
This was one of my favorite days on the road because I had no idea what to expect and was totally in awe of the ever changing landscapes. With volcanoes on the horizon the entire drive, we also passed through desert canyons, saw Smith Rock from the road (would have stopped if time permitted), and eventually made our way into lush forests as we neared Mount Hood and Portland.
Day 3 route: HWY 97 north ~> HWY 26 north (in Madras) ~> I-84 (in Gresham)
Day 4: Day in Portland
Day 5: Day trip to Multnomah Falls from Portland. Route: I-84 east from Portland, exit 31 on left to access best Multnomah Falls Parking; continue on I-84 east to next turn off, East Historic Columbia River Highway (west). Return to Portland on I-84
Leg 4: Portland to Newport
I was arguably the most excited about this travel day because of my childhood love of the Goonies and our planned stops in Astoria and Cannon Beach. Again, the views were spectacular and now we were along the Oregon Coast taking in yet another beautiful landscape. We also managed to squeeze in a stop for dinner and a self-guided tour at Tillamook. Such a full day but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Day 6 route: From Portland I-5 north ~> HWY 30 west (in Kelso) ~> Exit to Astoria (for Goonies fun ~> HWY 101 south (exit for Cannon Beach, Tillamook, then all the way to Newport)
Day 7: Day in Newport
Leg 5: Newport to Brookings
Though we were starting to feel the ware of the driving and the trip at this point, we still were absolutely loving the amazing stops and time together exploring Oregon. We made sure to focus on the journey rather than trying to get to our destination early. There is so much to stop and see along the way and we were grateful that we took the time to see so much of it (though not nearly all of the things that were there). We also were thrilled with our hotel in Brookings. It was the perfect calm end to a long day of driving. The kids played on the beach while we waited for a pizza to be delivered for dinner. This was another fantastic day.
Day 8 route: From Newport ~> HWY 101 south (exit for all of the amazing coastal views and sites – see below) all the way to Brookings
Leg 6: Brooking to Fort Bragg
Day 9 route: From Brookings ~> HWY 101 south ~> HWY 1 south (in Leggett) ~>HWY 271 to Drive Through Tree ~>HWY 1 south to Fort Bragg
Leg 7: Fort Bragg to Fresno
Day 10 route: Use Google Maps to find your best option for the day you are traveling.
Get home safely and on a route that is least crowded. We used Google Maps to determine which route was our best bet to get us home as quickly as possible. This 8 hour drive was the longest of the trip. We were all tired, sad that the trip was over, and not ready for work the next day. Nevertheless, we would do it again tomorrow if given the chance! 😉 I hope this helps plan a trip to Oregon or just inspires you to go somewhere new! Happy travels!
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Hi! I am Kendall. I am a wife to my best friend and a mommy to a 3 and a 5 year old. I had the opportunity to be home with my kiddos for nearly two years while taking a leave of absence from teaching high school social studies. I started this blog with the hope that it would help me make the absolute most of the remaining free time with my kids. And now that I am back to work we try to maximize our weekends and semi-annual vacations. We love our home in Central California and want to share all of the wonderful places where we wander. My husband, Rob, and I also love to explore new places and cultures when we get the chance and we are hoping to pass the travel bug onto our children. We will be sharing all of these adventures and hope you’ll follow along.
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