Roam Guide / Oregon
This post is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. Inspired by the Camp Climb intimate intensive to the Oregon Coast we have written this Roam Oregon Travel Guide based on the shared experience of the innovative and creative women who attended the retreat. Fourteen dynamic women you’ll want to know, including:
Grounded and articulate life coach and mentor, Morgan Northway
Filmmaker, photographer and world traveler, Mo Speer of MSpeer Photography.
Entrepreneur and mama who loves essential oil and vino equally, Allyson Cheney.
Similarly to Ready & Roam, Camp Climb is a community resource for inspiration. They are a passionate and talented group of women led by the gracious connector of the like-minded, Emma Hicks. This January, Emma is leading a second Intimate intensive in Nosara, Costa Rica. These retreats bring together top notch leaders and attendees seeking growth, trust, and sisterhood. The experience promotes healing and tackles self care as it applies to building a brand. If you are interested in this incredible growth + travel opportunity, you can find out more on the Camp Climb website. If you want to know more about Nosara, check out this Roam Guide to Costa Rica.
“It truly was one of those experiences that has been challenging to put into words. It's a powerful thing to bring together a group of creative, driven, open hearted women and listen to each other stories, cheer each other on, put in the work to solidify the foundation of our businesses, and climb higher in our personal goals TOGETHER.” - Allyson Cheney
Oregon’s Pacific Northwest (PNW)
When to go?
When is it the best time to travel to Oregon? Oregon is truly a lovely place to visit at any time of year. The number of varied outdoor activities (within a two hour radius) is actually remarkable. And while the opportunities you can immerse yourself in may always be available to you, the weather will definitely change your experience.
The Camp Climb retreat took place in the spring so the tulips were in bloom, the mountains still had snow and the waterfalls were outpouring. Keep in mind you can still find yourself in a blizzard or on a icy trail, so be prepared.
“At the end of the day, we embraced the natural elements and loved indulging in them all.” - Emma Hicks
How to get there?
Many people fly directly into the Portland (PDX) Airport. While Portland is in the upper Northwest corner of Oregon, its a relatively central spot to begin exploring the area and you can easily move south along the coastline from there. We flew from all parts of the country, many of us choosing Southwest Airlines. Upon arrival we used AVR (Airport Van Rental) to secure a 15 passenger vehicle and from there traveled as a group. It was so convenient to be together but it was also surprisingly affordable. Priced at the same rate as a mid-size vehicle this would work equally well for two families. If your intention is to stay put in Portland for a few days, Uber is a good option (especially if you are splitting costs among travel companions). A second airport to consider is Redmond (RDM), near Bend. It’s larger than you might imagine and they’re adding direct flights on Sun Country from the Midwest this Fall.
“The drive north to Mt. Hood is breathtaking as you meander just 3 hours through varied temperatures and terrain” - Morgan Northway
Where should we stay?
In Mt. Hood,
The Woodlands house in the town of Sandy, was the perfect setting for the Camp Climb retreat. As the home of photographers, the space was ideal for workshops and the main-level setup accommodated a group very well. The property was both immaculate in its design and still very cozy. It felt like home with three beautiful bedrooms, two outdoor decks and the most charming greenhouse. Surrounded by 5 acres of beautiful forest, it was a magical retreat, where to be honest, you wouldn’t even need to leave. The ideal mountain location put us only 20 min. from Mt. Hood and 45 from the Portland airport.
“The woods and creek out back were so dreamy even the faucet water was delicious!” - Emma Hicks. “
“By far one of the best Airbnb's I have ever stayed at!” - Morgan Northway
In Cannon Beach,
R&R insiders highly recommend Starfish Luxury Rentals and we’ve rounded up four of their fabulous properties that you can book directly through vrbo; including this charming and affordable mid-century modern, this oceanfront house with incredible outdoor space, a scenic luxury house that sleeps 14, and finally this remodeled dog-friendly beach cottage near Haystack Rock. Something for everyone these are unbeatable, vetted accommodations to consider if you want to stay in Cannon Beach.
While the ladies of Camp Climb didn’t stay overnight in Portland, there are no shortage of accommodation options; and at Ready & Roam, we keep a pretty short list. Our first choice is the historic Heathman Hotel, first suggested by contributor Leslee Miller of Amusee. Her choice for her recent “grains and grapes” tour, this property is central to downtown, luxurious and affordable with only 150 rooms. Another hotel highly recommended by contributors is the Kimpton Hotel Vintage. It’s a gracious boutique hotel, in an ideal location with very high standards of service (and a great library lounge).
What should we do?
“Experiencing ALL that the outdoors has to offer is essential… the mountains, the beach… here are just so many “must-sees” within easy driving distance.” - Mariah Danielsen
This magnificent waterfall only 30 minutes from Portland is over 600 feet tall. Natural springs, rainwater and snow feed this beast year round and at the base of the falls you’ll find a historic lodge, restaurant and gift shop. If you want to get closer to the cascading waters, walk up the paved trail to the Benson Bridge. From here you can hike another mile on a very steep path to the top of the falls where the The Columbia River Gorge cascades to the rocks below.
“It was captivating and surreal to just stand and listen to this icon roar. The rainbow we saw on our way home from the waterfall was the most magical thing we encountered! We could literally see the end of the rainbow” - Emma Hicks
If you want to experience another beautiful waterfall, venture to Drift Creek Falls where you will also find one of the most incredible suspension bridges in the state. The 2.6 mile hike ‘out and back’ is heavily trafficked, but quite stunning and accessible year-round.
A hike in the mountains is an itinerary essential when you’re in Oregon. You will be rewarded no matter the effort. We hiked the Mirror Lake trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest during a snowstorm, and although it wasn't what were expecting, it was an amazing hike! The hike is known for easy access, well-maintained trails and nice spots to picnic. Of course the reflective mountain views and fresh air is also to be expected.
Cannon Beach is a spectacular place. You can go searching for sea glass, driftwood and agates, build a sandcastle or just take in the breathtakingly endless coastline. The town is also wonderful filled with quaint shops and galleries. The most recognizable landmarks in Cannon Beach include “The Needles” which are small rock formations not far from shore, and the famous Haystack Rock which is a seasonal haven for tufted puffins.
“I loved seeing Haystack Rock, an iconic place and a very moving experience to see it for the first time.” - Mo Speer
Just 10 minutes south of Cannon Beach you’ll find Arcadia Beach, with tide pools and a nice picnic area. Hug Point is nearby and it’s here you can hike down to the beach to find a unique waterfall or explore the caves. Check the tide tables and go at low tide to find an abundance of mussels, anemones and starfish.
Rtip: If you are looking for a longer hike along the coast, just two hours south of Cannon Beach you’ll find a 4.5 mile moderate sea-level hike to God’s Thumb. Out and back this trek will take you through meadows and spruce forests and offer spectacular views of the Pacific along the way.
Did you do any shopping?
A couple of us made a point to stop into favorite Portland flagship, Bridge & Burn. Offering men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, home goods and local favorites, this distinctively responsible manufacturing shop also has a great blog. Others stopped into Will Leather Goods to check out their unique Portland location with great travel goods and major patio goals.
Where should we eat in Oregon?
We hired Oregon-based, personal chef Garrett Northway for all our breakfasts, as well as our arrival and departure dinners.
“He was 10 out of 10 amazing, and the food was so divine!” - Emma Hicks
We did venture a few miles from The Woodlands House one night to have pizza from Nuts on Sports in Boring, Oregon.
In Cannon Beach,
Pelican Brewing in Cannon Beach is incredible with it’s casual modern vibes. The staff was more than accommodating and the food is delicious. Try the veggie flatbread pizza or the fish & chips. They make a great apple/cinnamon hot tea if you’re not going for the craft beer. You should also seek-out the super casual Moe’s Restaurant, where they offer great views, and a “family style” clam chowder. Bonus is there’s a playground next door if you have kids in tow. A final option is Newman’s Restaurant nearby. It’s on the fancy side (if you aren’t staying in the area it’s maybe not an option) but it’s worth it.
Portland’s food and libation culture will lead you to some of the city’s most coveted restaurants. You can enjoy a taste from a variety of Portland’s legendary food-carts, many of them centered around 'Portland's Living Room’ in Pioneer Courthouse Square. You can start your day at Voodoo Donuts, then have a delightful lunch at Jo Bar & Rotisserie only to return later for some live jazz. You can also savor a perfectly paired wine dinner at Bluehour Restaurant in the heart of the city’s Pearl District. Take in a cocktail in the green room before moving on to an incredible meal at the Multnomah Whiskey Library. Alternatively you can enjoy “the Randy sandwich or buy the makings of a fabulous charcuterie board from Olympia Previsions Southeast.
Rtip: With five locations scattered around Portland, you’re likely to be near a Boxer Ramen when you’re hungry. Warm up with the spicy red miso ramen and an order of pot-stickers, and you’ll be back out exploring in no time.
Where can we grab a drink?
Stumptown Coffee with multiple locations in downtown Portland was our go-to coffee shop. They make delicious coffee and have an awesome ambiance. If you are in Cannon Beach the place for caffeine is Sea Level.
While in Portland you likely find yourself at a craft brewery. With over 70 breweries just inside the city limits, it won’t be hard to book a privately led brewery tour by one of the city’s most talented brewmasters. Our friends at Bikabout can help if you are interested in a good bike route and rental in Portland and we’ve heard great things about the new Bike Adventures App. Recommended breweries to consider include, Deschutes, 10 Barrel Brewing and the Wolves and People Farmhouse.
“I’m definitely a big beer girl (born and raised in Wisconsin) I always look for ways to try local craft beer.” - Mo Speer
What is the one can't miss item on your itinerary?
The answers to this question might vary, but overall the consensus is anything that brings you closer to nature.
“Hiking in Mt. Hood was my favorite experience. We ran into a blizzard but it that only made it more magical.” - Mo Speer
Tell us something we don't know?
We saw ALL types of weather during our stay; from sun soaked sandy beaches to snowy mountain tops; from the green wooden canopy that felt like a rain-forest, to the icy trails of Mirror Lake. It's an extremely diverse place (in more ways than one) and it should be approached with an open mind.
“Who knew they could have so many seasons in just one day.” - Morgan Northway
What should we pack for the trip?
The northwest Oregon coast has the perfect light jacket weather any time of year, and the culture and climate in Oregon will always allow for hiking boots, colorful neck scarves and light shirts for layering. BUT, it’s being at a cabin in the woods that screams comfy clothes, hot tub swimsuits and stocking hats. For this trip, the Camp Climb ladies made particular note of bringing a Turkish towel which served dual-purpose as both a cozy throw and an airplane pillow. A stylish belt bag was ideal for being hands-free on excursions, and they mentioned that a versatile Gigi Pip hat was “perfect among varied weather patterns.”
“Duck boots, rain jacket, sweatshirts, leggings, vest, repeat” - Angie Knakmuhs
Use Promo Code READYROAM for free shipping on any of the amazing custom bags from A Well Worn Story.
Click here to see everywhere our Roam Guides suggest you check out in Oregon.