The Pacific Northwest is full of places to explore, and while winter in the region means a chilly and mostly cloudy few months, there’s no need to spend the whole season at home. While curling up on the sofa with your Nooktas and a good book is the perfect way to spend the colder months, Oregon is full of spots that are just too perfect to explore for a weekend getaway.
Astoria, Oregon - Old School is So Cool
Our Astoria Wool House Slippers are an ode to this iconic Oregon city, nestled in the mouth of the Columbia River. As the oldest city in the state, it’s rich with history. Visit Fort Clatsop, where famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark spent a winter. Ride the iconic Astoria Trolley, or take a stroll along the riverfront.
Wildlife enthusiasts, be sure to stop by and visit the California sea lions, who can usually be found basking on the Port of Astoria docks. If you love the outdoors, be sure to drop by Fort Stevens State Park, where you can see the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a ship which ran aground in 1906.
When you are ready to take a break from exploring the town, stop by Buoy Beer for some drinks and grub. This microbrewery was established in 2013, and is a staple in Pacific Northwest craft beer scene. The view from inside their dining room and bar is one of the best on the entire Oregon Coast, and that's saying something!
An excellent place to spend your weekend getaway is at the Cannery Pier Hotel. The accommodations are luxurious, and the sunsets can’t be beat. Plus, this boutique hotel was ranked one of the Top 25 Hotels for Romance by Tripadvisor, and one of the 25 Best Hotels in the West by Sunset Magazine.
Before you leave, make sure to stop by Bow Picker for fresh fish and chips made with locally caught albacore tuna! However, make sure to get there early - it is so good, the lines can get really long and they sell out quick!
Newport, Oregon – A Chic Little Fishing Town
Located along Oregon’s central coast, Newport has been a beloved spot for visitors since the late 1800s. There’s plenty to do for those who appreciate the treasures of the Oregon Coast, which is the namesake of our Newport Wool House Shoe. The Oregon Coast Aquarium can’t be missed, and features marine life native to the Pacific Northwest, as well as an underwater walkway. Take a stroll along the Historic Bayfront district, which features plenty of food and attractions. If you’re a seafood fan, there will be no shortage of food options for you to try. You can probably recognize the silhouette of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, which features two observation decks.
The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area features miles of hiking trails, as well as paved pathways that are accessible for the whole family. You can go on a tour of the Yaquina Head lighthouse, which is the tallest along the Oregon Coast. The beaches are excellent for spotting wildlife, including whales, in the right season. Newport is also great for hitting the water by kayak, or with a surfboard. Golf enthusiasts, be sure to pack your clubs, and hit the links at the Agate Beach Golf Course. And of course, no trip to Newport would be complete without visiting the sea lions, who have made the docks on the Bay Front their home.
Skamania Lodge & Area – Pretty Close to Heaven
Cross the mighty Columbia River into Washington, and spend a weekend in the charming town of Stevenson. That’s where you can find the Skamania Lodge, the upscale resort settled on 175 wooded acres. It features surreal views of the Columbia River Gorge, and its location can’t be beat. It’s just minutes from the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum, where you can learn about the rich history of the area. It’s also just two miles from the Bridge of the Gods, a fixture of the Gorge (don’t forget to bring $1 for the bridge toll). The mountain resort has plenty of on-site activities, such as a hiking area, zipline, and pool. If you’re looking to unwind, take a trip to the spa, and enjoy your meals at their selection of restaurants. Their Sunday Champagne Brunch is known far and wide as a favorite.
Aside from the Skamania Lodge itself, there are plenty of things to explore in the area. Spend time on some of the many hiking trails near Stevenson, such as the Wind Mountain trail, just a few miles down the road. It’s a fairly steep incline, but the views at the top make it all worth it. Or cross the Bridge of the Gods and explore the Oregon town of Cascade Locks, where you can usually buy salmon on the side of the road. If the weather is nice, pack a lunch and enjoy your meal along the banks of the Columbia.
Timberline Lodge & Skiing – Get your Après On
The majestic Mt. Hood has much to offer for a weekend getaway. Timberline Lodge & Ski Area is nestled on the south side of the mountain, and offers winter fun for the whole family. The lodge itself was built in the 1930s, and is located along the gorgeous Mount Hood Scenic Byway. The lodge is spacious and cozy, featuring gorgeous stone and timber work. There are several dining options, including the Ram’s Head Bar, Wy’east Cafe, and Blue Ox Bar. Of course, there’s the Cascade Dining Room, where you can catch breathtaking views of the mountain itself.
There’s a swimming pool(below), mountain hot tub, sauna, fitness room, game room, and lending library. Skiers and snowboarders can hit the trails or terrain park, and in the summer, mountain bikers can ride the trails. If you’re heading up in the winter, make sure to check the road conditions, as you’ll likely need to use traction tires or chains.
Joseph, Oregon – Totally Underrated & Gorgeous
An option a bit off the beaten path is the town of Joseph, and if you haven’t visited this place, be sure to add it to your list. It’s located in the foothills of the Wallowa Mountains, and offers breathtaking natural wonders. There’s plenty to do when it comes to outdoor activities and scenic recreation. You can take a trip to Wallowa Lake, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and the Hells Canyon Recreation Area. In the winter you can go cross-country skiing, or head out on a snowmobile. They even have a dog sled race in late January each year!
As far as Joseph itself, spend time in the downtown area, which includes a distillery, brewery, and plenty of quaint and unique local shops. The city is also a hub for bronze artwork, and many bronze statues can be found all over Joseph. For those interested in the native history of the area, take a visit to the Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Area, which is a part of the traditional lands of the Nez Perce Tribe. You can walk the trails, and visit the gravesite of Old Chief Joseph, a Nez Perce leader. Plus, the quaint Wallowa County Museum offers more details about the history of the Nez Perce people.
Just because it's cold, and snowy and rainy doesn't mean you have to hide indoors all winter long. Pack your outdoor gear, load up the car and hit the road for the weekend. Don't forget your cozy wool lounge wear to relax in after your day of exploring. Nootkas wool slippers are light weight and super easy to pack, making them perfect for a quick weekend trip. Keep your feet toasty and happy while you're exploring the cozy hotels and lodges we've suggested. Happy travels!