Archive for October, 2009

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A Visit to Southern Oregon

October 30th, 2009

The next stop on our road trip around Oregon is sunny Southern Oregon. The region is home to a bustling theatrical town, Ashland, which features the Tony-Award winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The country’s deepest lake – and Oregon’s only national park — Crater Lake wows with its crystal blue water, while the huge marble cave and pristine hiking trails have drawn visitors to Oregon Caves National Monument for 100 years. Lovers of the outdoors will appreciate Southern Oregon’s world-class fishing and rafting rivers, year-round golf and mountains for skiing, biking and hiking. And these are just a few of many features of picturesque Southern Oregon.

During a visit, you might find yourself enjoying a multitude of farms and wineries around Medford, driving through Wildlife Safari in Roseburg, taking a jet boat ride in Grants Pass, or savoring a weekend at the Oregon Chocolate Festival (held every March).

Check out the video above for a peek at road-trip-ready snacks and treats made in Souther Oregon.

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The Intertwine: 4-T Experience

October 27th, 2009 — a handy online guide to Portland’s regional network of parks, trails and natural areas — highlights a wide range of visitor-friendly outdoor experiences. Here’s an excerpt of one such experience, submitted by our friend Janet Bebb of Metro. Enjoy.


OK, we’re proud of our ways of getting around without a car, perhaps even obsessed. The 4-T experience plays this obsession out with real spirit. We start downtown . . .

Continue reading >>

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Family-Friendly Halloween in Portland

October 26th, 2009
Holiday House on 51st & Alameda St.

Everything is ready!  The pumpkin is carved and  the children’s costumes are made (thanks, Ba Ngoai!), and even the front yard is looking festively frightful.   On October 31, whether you are celebrating the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, All Souls’, or the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (the origin of Halloween),  it’s going to be fun to play dress up and make-believe.

There are several spooktacular family-friendly events in Portland so don’t wait until dusk to go out trick-or-treating. Make it a whole day of celebrating since this year Halloween falls on a Saturday. Here are my top picks:


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October 22nd, 2009

I recently met up with an old college friend for the first time in about 20 years. We first went to Japan together in 1976; she’s been there pretty much ever since.

We caught up … marriages, kids, yadda, yadda, yadda. She told me about her career in Kyoto. It sounded very impressive.

Impressive, but not necessarily enviable.

No mistake about it, I LOVE Kyoto. It’s my second favorite city on earth. Ever the Portland booster, though, (courtesy of a profound passion rather than mere professional self-interest) I think I may have even beamed as I told her of my work here at Travel Portland, how I have the best job ever: getting to show off the most cozy, comfortable, progressive and genuine metropolis — warts and all — on our weary little rock. Ah-men.

My friend’s response: “Yes, I’m sure. (Sniff, sniff.) But isn’t it a little, well … small?”

What now? (more…)

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Sweet, sweet sea meat

October 20th, 2009

Christian and AJ on Nehalem BayMy pal Christian — an Indiana native and fellow fan of The Deadliest Catch — flew to town last Saturday. His mid-morning arrival left plenty of time for AJ and me to take him out to Wheeler for an afternoon of crabbing on Nehalem Bay.

The happy result: In the three-hour run-up to high tide, we spotted a bald eagle, enjoyed the fall sunshine and pulled in six Dungeness keepers (or, as my brother would say, “sweet, sweet sea meat”).

It’s about a two-hour drive from Portland to Wheeler, which has become one of my favorite spots on the coast, thanks in large part to Jim Neilson, the kind owner of Wheeler Marina. In the years I’ve been going to Wheeler, Jim has freely dispensed encouragement, insider’s tips and straight-shooting assessments of weather and crabbing conditions.

Jim’s boat rentals include all the gear and bait you’ll need. He’ll send you out with a license, and send you home with a great memory — and, with any luck, a few Dungies.

Reservations and conditions: 503.368.5780.

Directions: From Portland, go west on Hwy. 26, then south on either Hwy. 53 (a bit narrow and curvy) or Hwy. 101 (a bit more spectacular, right along the coast).

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Taste Your Way Around Portland

October 16th, 2009

As we previously blogged, Oregon Bounty is underway. This food extravaganza gives you an opportunity to experience Oregon-grown products all around the state. We’ve taken some of the Greater Portland experiences and turned them into guides on Check them out and share your tips on places you’ve tried.

10 Greater Portland Can’t-Miss Foodie Finds

10 Greater Portland Can’t-Miss Foodie Finds — view the complete guide here.

Artisan Producers of Oregon Bounty

Artisan Producers of Oregon Bounty — view the complete guide here.

Eat, drink and enjoy Oregon Bounty to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content!

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New statewide bicycling website

October 14th, 2009

BikeSpokes_webA tip of the hat bike helmet to our friends at Travel Oregon, whose new online resource,, was named Communication Arts’ “webpick of the week.”

The bicycle-centric site provides interactive maps of visitor-friendly rides throughout Portland — and around the state. The site also links riders with bike shops, bike maps, tour companies and shuttle services across Oregon.

The official launch date is Oct. 21, but you can take it out for a spin now.

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If this video does not make you hungry…

October 9th, 2009 just published a fantastic feature on Portland’s food carts, accompanied by a video that is literally making me salivate… it being right before lunch and all.

Portland’s Food Cartropolis: the whirlwind tour

I think it’s time to eat!

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Next Stop: Willamette Valley

October 5th, 2009

Next up on our road trip around Oregon: a visit to the Willamette Valley.

The Willamette Valley is the heart of Oregon’s agricultural region. Nestled among its rolling hills are more than 200 wineries and the adventure driven-areas of Eugene, Cascades and Coast.

During a visit, you might find yourself hiking to spectacular waterfalls in the Cascade Mountains, strolling along endless public beaches on the Oregon Coast, kayaking white water on the McKenzie River, or cycling through Oregon wine country.

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