If you’re looking for great long weekend getaway, I’ve got just the place! Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge.
I surprised Mark with a little trip after Christmas, and it was just perfect.
Ready for Our Weekend Getaway!
We flew from Anchorage to Portland on a red-eye. I wouldn’t recommend that. Since we arrived in Portland at 6 am but couldn’t check in to the hotel until 4 (and they are pretty strict about that check-in time), I had planned a whole days’-worth of excursions for us along the Oregon coast. After our first scheduled stop, we actually had to pull over into a turnout along the road and take a nap! Neither of us could drive, and it just really made the day NOT so enjoyable.
So, if you do this trip, take a day flight, arrive mid-afternoon fairly rested, and the trip will be great.
First, the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I was really excited about this for some reason . Well, for one, I love cheese! Two, I use a lot of Tillamook products. And three, TripAdvisor has rated it a number one activity in the greater Portland area!
I don’t know if it was because of the red-eye flight or the actual activity – but here’s my summation of it:
It’s a long drive to see cheese!!
We were disappointed because you don’t really see the cheese being made. The cheese product is in huge vats that could contain anything! (Later, we went to breweries and basically saw the same big metal vats!). We ate a very tasty breakfast in their cafeteria, which was reasonably priced and I’d highly recommend. It was still only 9 am, so we skipped the ice cream, but I hear that is a must-try.
Next, we continued up the coast to Cannon Beach, and I imagine in the summer and with some sleep, that it’s beautiful. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much open in December before noon, so [after the nap] we pretty much just kept on driving. We finally decided we’d head up to Skamania Lodge and the Columbia River Gorge to see if we could check in a bit early.
Columbia River Gorge
Skamania Lodge is located about 45 minutes northeast of Portland. It is a beautiful drive, with the Columbia River on your left, and mountains on either side. As you drive up to the actual lodge in Stevenson, the trees grow thicker and greener.
Mark parked the car while I tried to check in. The friendly staff said the room was not ready, and we could wait in the lobby or lounge. The lobby has a grand wall of windows overlooking the spacious grounds that lead to the river. Rocking chairs, tables and other small groupings surround a giant rock fireplace in the middle of the room. We chose the bar.
At the River Rock Lounge, we enjoyed some local beer and an early dinner. I had the pulled pork sandwich, which was delicious!
Finally, our room was ready. We checked in promptly at 4:00 pm. The good-sized room, on the second floor, had a sitting area with gas fireplace. The view was the same as the lobby – looking out at a large lawn (semi-covered with snow) that leads down to the river beyond. We were ready to call it a night (exciting couple that we are!), and fell quickly asleep in the comfortable king size bed.
In an upcoming post, I’ll share about our (really!) exciting day two on our weekend getaway!
Are you ready for a relaxing weekend getaway? Let me know if you have places YOU love below!