A slow year for travel by any measure, I feel fortunate to have been able to get out and about with my family. While there were many planned trips that didn’t happen this year, we were able to make the most of a trip to the Pacific Northwest. I already talked about the first part of our trip, mostly in and around Seattle, we also went to Portland and the Oregon coast for a few days. This post will discuss the latter part of this trip.
Bellingham and environs
After Seattle, we headed north to visit some friends, and get out of the city for a few days. Along the way we enjoyed more outdoor activities, including picking blueberries, another fun way to enjoy the clean air. Plus fresh blueberries are easy to pick and really tasty.
We also enjoyed few more short little hikes in parks around Bellingham.
A few days in Portland
While I’m don’t qualify as a hipster, I have long enjoyed Portland Oregon. I used to travel there fairly often for work, but that’s not the case anymore, so while looking for a way to extend our trip, Portland was an easy choice to use as another base for our trip. While the summer of 2020 was a time of much unrest, and there were frequent protests, especially around the justice center in Portland. While our hotel (Hyatt Centric Portland) was only a few blocks away, I didn’t venture out late a night, and never heard anything going on. If not for some boarded up windows, it would be hard to know anything was going on. I may write a separate post on the hotel, which I quite enjoyed, and actually returned there later for a work trip to the city. A brand new hotel, decent location, but 2020 is quite a strange time for a hotel to open.
We did some short hikes in the expansive Hoyt Arboretum not far from the city center, and adjacent to the famous Japanese and International Rose Test gardens. Easy access, feels almost like wilderness. Hard to believe you are in the city limits of a major metropolitan area.
One day we ventured further, out to the pacific and the Oregon coast. Our route took us through Astoria, and as children of the 1980s, had to hit up a few sites from the movie Goonies.
The Goonies house, and various other sites are within a few blocks of each other in Astoria. Note that this is private property, so please respect the owners, and keep your distance.
We also went to Ecola state park, not too far away, just on the coast. These rock formations have been used in various movies including Goonies, Point Break, Twilight and Kindergarten Cop. Oregon doesn’t get hot weather, even in the summertime. Still, the beaches along the coast are beautiful, and a popular place for people to spread out. Cannon Beach was another nice spot we visited that was among the busiest places we saw on our trip.
While I love Portland, from the tasty food, and excellent beer, we also enjoyed going out to the coast and the opportunity to explore nature more than just staying in the city for this part of our trip.
In a challenging year, we tried to make the most of a trip where we traveled as safely as we could. I’ve long enjoyed the Pacific Northwest. Sharing one of my favorite places with my family was fun, and we were able to find a good balance of activities for all of us. On the way home, we flew on Alaska back through Seattle. The open middle seats make for a nice way to travel. We had 2 rows to ourselves on each flight.
It wasn’t an exotic trip by any means, but I think we made the best of a difficult situation. Hopefully travel in 2021 will be safe and easier for all.