Sometimes you want a little bit of everything in a road trip, from mountains to beaches to woods. We’ve partnered with family traveler Erin Bender of Travel With Bender who reveals it’s possible to have it all this Memorial Day.
Memorial weekend is the perfect time for a road trip. But you can’t decide on a route. You don’t know whether you want mountains, beaches or woods. It can be so confusing. However, there is one gorgeous road trip that covers them all. We covered the entire Pacific Northwest in 14 days, but I have the perfect driving mini itinerary to see Oregon’s amazing sights in a 4-day Memorial Weekend Getaway.
Portland, OR to Crater Lake, OR
On your first day, fly into Portland early, grab that rental car and hit the road. It’s only a 4-hour drive until you reach one of the most magnificent views in the entire Pacific Northwest. Crater Lake’s effervescent blue mirror-smooth water, the wispy white snow-capped mountains, the verdant swaying trees, you will fall in love.
The West Rim Drive closes seasonally, so visit the official website for the latest road openings. If they are still snowed under, then you could do this itinerary in reverse and leave Crater Lake until last.
Crater Lake, OR to Redwoods, CA
3 hours 40 minutes
Take the morning to complete your road trip out of the mountains and into the woods. The Redwoods in Northern California is home to some of the world’s tallest trees, stretching to over 350 feet (106 metres). Walking in the shadows of these ancient giants stirs the soul, compelling a response of awe and wonder.
After spending a gorgeous afternoon exploring the woods, you can attempt to make it to the southern Oregon coast for sunset or head to Crescent City for the night.
Redwoods, CA to Coos Bay, OR
2 hours 40 minutes
Today is a day to spend less time in the car, but still behind the wheel. Head north out of the woods and up the Oregon coast. Try your hand (and foot) in an adventurous dune buggy in Coos Bay with SpinReel. Traversing the steep coastal sand dunes on a white-knuckle ATV will leave a permanent smile on your face.
Spend the afternoon at any number of beaches along the coast, playing in the sand, swimming in the water or just enjoying the sunset.
Or, if you are looking for an indoor activity, try your luck at The Mill Casino.
Coos Bay, OR to Portland, OR
If you have to head back home today, you can drive straight up I-5 to the PDX airport. If you have one more night, make your way leisurely up the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway towards Portland.
Stop in Woodburn for outlet shopping or in Portland for a mouthwatering box of sweet treats at Voodoo Doughnut. Grab a hotel for the night in Portland before your flight back home the next day. Or if you want a little more nature, drive 45 minutes east of Portland to Multnomah Falls.
Nothing beats a Voodoo donut
This is a small taste of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer. This journey holds dozens of breathtaking moments that will leave you yearning for more. There are waterfalls to discover and freaky beaches on the Washington coast that have to be seen to be believed. So, next time build in a little extra vacation time to explore more of the amazing natural beauty in a region repeatedly described as heaven on earth.
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