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Willamette Valley to Ashland

Orlando, Florida
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Willamette Valley to Ashland

What is there to see/do on the drive from the Willamette Valley to Ashland? Any interesting stops/sights along the way? We are a multi-generational group with Grandma, 2 sets of parents,and 4 teenagers. Also, any recommendations on lunch stops? We are planning on packing a cooler and a picnic is an option.

Thank you for any suggestions!

Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Where in the Willamette Valley are you starting from...and when?

From Eugene, we usually stop for breakfast southbound and dinner northbound at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville. We don't gamble and can't stand the smoky casino, but the cafe next to the casino has great breakfast specials and evening buffets. The restaurant on the opposite side of the freeway (next to the gas station/truck stop is smoke-free and has more a more relaxed and comfortable seating and a really good menu.

Even if you don't eat there (since you'll be packing your own picnic maybe) you might want to take advantage of their ice cream parlor.

Unless you're coming from as far north as Portland, this would be a pretty good half-way break. Roseburg would be the next place to the north to look and Grants Pass to the south....but by then you're almost to Ashland already.

Oregon Coast
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2. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

If you could give a starting point, it would be easier to suggest things to do and see. Just off the top of my head and not too far off the freeway . . . Silver Falls SP, Brownsville Museum, historic Jacksonville, Wild Animal Park in Winston, Oregon Vortex at Gold Hill, jet boat on Rogue River, Applegate Trail Museum in Sunny Valley, historic Wolf Creek Inn, Thompson's Mill state Heritage site . . .

These are not in any order, by the way ;-)

Orlando, Florida
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3. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Sorry; I was a little vague! Our current plans are to stay in the Newberg area and visit some of the wineries. (But we're not locked into Newberg-we would just like to stay somewhere convenient to the wineries.) We will then head down to Ashland the following day. We don't want to arrive too late because we will need to check into our hotel and then some of us are going to see a play that night. By the way, we will be there the last week in July.

Oregonpoppa, thanks-if the timing's right, we'll definitely look at the cafe in Canyonville.

Half-brit, thanks for the suggestions. One thing we have been looking at is Silver Falls-we don't have too many waterfalls in Florida and it would certainly be something unique. My only concern is if my mom (who can't do a lot of walking/hiking) would enjoy it? If we decide to visit Silver Falls, how much time would you recommend we stay there? Also, would it make more since to stay a little south of Newberg?

Newberg, Oregon
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4. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

K&R drive-in in Rice Hill south of Eugene is one of our favorite stops -- giant ice cream cones, plus burgers and other drive-in food at good prices. Tolly's in Oakland, just north of Roseburg is another good stopp. Traditional casual restaurant food in a setting reminiscent of an old ice cream parlor. Fun for all ages. Wolf Creek Inn close to Grants Pass is an old historic inn with very good food -- not too pricey, either. Historic Jacksonville has loads of good dining choices at all price levels. It's a great town to spend a half-day or more exploring shops, wine tasting rooms, etc. Wildlife Safari just south of Roseburg is another attraction that's good for all ages. Silver Falls is close to our home in Dallas, but does require a lot of walking to enjoy the various falls in the park. Staying anywhere from Salem to the southern 'burbs of Portland will have you less than a half-hour from dozens of Oregon's best wineries.

Eugene, Oregon
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5. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

It would take you too long to do the full loop at Silver Falls SP, even if your mom could do it. A lot of people park in the big lot at the top of the loop's first falls, South Falls, and go down the paved path to the falls and back up again. It's a bit of a climb up to the top, but I have no way of knowing it it would be too much for your mom.

The park is also at least a half-hour east of Salem, so you'd have to figure that driving time into your plans.

Bend, Oregon
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6. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Stop for ice cream at the K&R Drive Inn, in Rice Hill! Make sure you read up on "the stupid rules" first. :-) http://krdriveinn.com/

Another fun stop for everyone might be the Riverfront Park in Salem. There's a beautiful carousel with hand-carved wooden horses. Even grandma would enjoy a ride, right?

Agree that Wolf Creek might be a good stopping place, I remember stopping there as a kiddo. Fun general store and good food at the Inn.

Heaven on Earth (in Rhododendron? or Azalea? something like that...) is known for the "worlds largest cinnamon roll" if you are interested in that type of thing. The food is "just meh" in my opinion.

White Horse Coffee in Sutherlin is on my "to do" list but I haven't made it there yet.

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7. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Willamette Valley Vineyards is a nice place to wine taste in the Salem area. They have a beautiful outdoor terrace there overlooking the vineyards. In the Eugene area is King Estate. We like to have lunch there, the food and wine is excellent at King Estate.

If you like cheese, don't miss Rogue Creamery in Central Point. :).

Eugene, Oregon
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8. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Lunch at King Estate is, indeed, excellent and upscale...but pricey for a group as large as yours. It's located in Lorane, about 25 miles SW of Eugene. If you're visiting wineries up north, I'm guessing you will be looking for other pleasure pursuits on your way to Ashland, particularly for the teens.

Willamette Valley
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9. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Ditto icecream in Rice Hill. The place looks like a dump and if you didn't know about it you would never stop BUT it is what one does when traveling south! Yummy! It's also right off I-5. Some other suggestions are a ways off.

You could always look into a jet boat ride on the Rogue in Grants Pass. It's very pretty.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Willamette Valley to Ashland

Another vote for Wildlife Safari if you are in to that sort of thing... its a drive through wildlife park. but you might have those sorts of things in Florida... Or the short Jet Boat tour in Grants Pass.

If you are starting in Newberg, I might take the old Hwy 99 down, instead of I-5 through the Willamette Valley and connect with I-5 at Eugene. Its much more scenic than dreary I-5...

Another for for Rice Hill