Tag Archives: scenic byways

The Historic Columbia River Highway between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth State Park has reopened.  This section of highway has been closed since the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.  Visit TripCheck.com for current road conditions.  Winter weather may force closures of the Historic Highway.  You can now drive The Highway between Exit 22, Crown Point and Vista House to Exit 35 off of Interstate 84.

Imagine crafting a national treasure on a landscape so beautiful that each viewpoint is protected and people come from all over the world to marvel at its perfection. This is the Historic Columbia River Highway.  Whether you are seeing it for the first time or you know every inch by heart, each time you drive, bike, or hike along the Historic Highway, you begin the journey anew.

Construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway began in 1913 and was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the modern age.

As its name implies, the Byway is incredibly rich in cultural history.  This stretch of the Columbia once served as fishing and meeting grounds for the many indigenous peoples of the Columbia Basin.  Oregon Trail Pioneers also traveled down the Columbia in the mid 1800s.

When the highway first opened in 1916, Teddy Roosevelt praised its scenic grandeur and remarkable engineering. And The Illustrated London News went on to call it “the king of roads.” With its mossy stone walls and graceful viaducts winding past dozens of waterfalls, this All-American Road still reigns as one of the world’s most glorious drives.’

Oregon has more designated scenic byways and tour routes than any other state.  The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is the only State B&B Association and a welcoming inn awaits you as you travel the backroads.  Enjoy our series of scenic bikeways, byways, and tours posts, helping you to create amazing getaways and tours in Oregon.  Thanks Travel Oregon for sharing this information

Start planning your road trip through the Columbia River Gorge by booking a room at either a Portland or Mt Hood Region bed and breakfast of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

McKenzie River Koosah Falls

These Scenic rides/drives can be taking in your car or on your bike. Either way there is an Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member inn where you can rest your tired bones at either end.  Plan either your two or 4-wheeled vacation in Oregon on one of Oregon’s Scenic Drives in the Central Cascades.

Oregon is the only state in the nation with a Scenic Bikeways program.  These routes were created, inspected, ridden and officially approved by Ride Oregon Ride and those cyclists who have made Oregon a bike friendly state at the head of the pack.

Fall foliage is amazing on these routes though Oregon Central Cascades and you’ll want to hit them before the first snows fall.  I’ve included links for both the McKenzie River Scenic Bikeway and the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway.  Both allow you to start your journey in Sisters, Oregon, at the Long Hollow Ranch before heading over the McKenzie Pass to inns along the McKenzie River. Finish the 82 mile ride by taking the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway back to Sisters.  Lava fields, snowcapped peaks and rushing rivers mark this 82-mile loop around two of Central Oregon’s Cascade Mountain passes.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

West Cascades Scenic Byway

The West Cascades Scenic Byway

‘The 220 mile West Cascades Scenic Byway runs north to south, skirting the northern half of Oregon’s Cascade Range and follows four great rivers through timeless forests, where you’ll discover adventure and renewal along the way.’

Time to start planning that Oregon Fall Road Trip. Oregon has more designated scenic byways and tour routes than any other state.  The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is the only State B&B Association of B&Bs and a welcoming inn awaits you as you travel the backroads.  I am presenting a series of blogs to assist you in creating create amazing getaways and tours in Oregon.  Thanks Travel Oregon for sharing this information.

‘A Scenic Alternative to the Freeway. Contrary to popular belief, cruise control on Interstate 5 is not the only way to travel between the Portland and Eugene areas. If you’re in no hurry, this journey through the colorful western Cascades makes getting there all the fun. Especially because, in addition to the open road, there are miles of rivers and trails to explore.’

Consider making this a two, or three, day trip.  Take your time and enjoy the fall colors, lush forests, and spectacular views of snow capped mountains.  Begin your journey after a hearty Northwest Breakfast at an Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild in the Portland area, travel south toward Sisters then finish up in Vida, Oregon, at the McKenzie River Round House.  Sections of this Scenic Byway are closed during the winter months so plan your trip before the snow falls.

You’ll travel past the beautiful blue waters of the Upper McKenzie as it tumbles over waterfalls and through lava flows. From the junction of US-20 to the junction with OR-126/242, it shares the route with the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Three Capes Scenic Drive

Three Capes Scenic Drive and Three Oregon Bed and Breakfasts

Three Capes Scenic DriveThree Capes Scenic Drive is a spectacular one with dramatic cliffs, old growth forests, crashing waves, hidden beaches, and historic lighthouses.

This gorgeous byway connects three amazing capes: Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, and Cape Meares, and loops around on a lovely inland stretch of highway 101.   Along the way, you’ll pass incredible sea stacks, sand dunes, pristine beaches and charming seaside towns, two of which are home to Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member inns.

At Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast in Oceanside fall asleep to the sound of the surf and wake up to a delicious hot breakfast.  Oceanside is a cozy little hideaway located just off the Three Capes Scenic Route.  Built upon a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Oceanside offers the ambiance of a quaint European Village.

Also in Oceanside: turtlejanes bed and breakfast offers two beautifully appointed bedrooms with spectacular views, king-size beds, private bathrooms with heated floors, and blackout shades on the windows.

Located just offshore is the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, the first National Wildlife Refuge established west of the Mississippi.  Three Arch Rocks is home to the largest breeding colony of tufted puffins and the only site on Oregon’s North Coast for pupping steller sea lions.  A tunnel through Maxwell Point affords access to Tunnel Beach, Agate Beach and other secluded beaches.

Sandlake Country Inn, an historic Farmhouse on the Three Capes Scenic Route provides luxury and privacy with 3 large rooms and a separate romantic cottage situated on a babbling brook with the Pacific ocean a short mile away.  The quaint town of Pacific City is just 10 minutes south where you will find  Haystack Rock, restaurants and the famous Pelican Brew Pub.

The drive only takes a couple of hours in total, but you’ll want to plan on taking some extra time to explore along the way, perhaps create a multi-day adventure, allowing our innkeepers to be your hosts.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Oregon Outback Scenic Byway

Oregon Outback Scenic Byway ~ A View into Oregon’s Past and Dynamic High Desert Scenery

Oregon Outback Scenic BywayRecently we took a road trip on one of Oregon’s 26 Scenic Byways, Oregon Outback Scenic Byway.  This byway takes you through a slice of the Great Basin, an isolated diverse landscape, where lush green forests of the Oregon Cascades are replaced by sagebrush and stunning rock formations.

See striking evidence of mysterious rock formations left behind by volcanoes at Fort Rock.  The Abert Rim is a 30-mile-long fault escarpment, one of the nation’s longest and most continuous fault escarpment that rises more than 2,000 feet above the Byway.

Take a few minutes to stop at Picture Rock Pass, named for ancient Indian petroglyph-decorated rocks that are within walking distance of the highway.  I discovered these while seeking Geocache GC18MWG ‘Between Basins’.  Yes, I am a cacher and, as everywhere in Oregon,  there are plenty for you to hunt for.  Don’t miss Lakeview Geyser Earthcache GC23CK7, the Old Perpetual Geyser.

Picture Rock Pass offers panoramic views of the lakes and forests. Stunning Winter Rim divides forest and desert and as the Geocache ‘Between Basins’ suggests, ancient lake basins.  The Paisley Caves, discovered in the cliffs above the Great Basin, have revealed fossils and evidence of human habitation as long as 14,000 years ago.

We also took advantage of a soak in the mineral baths of Summer Lake Hot Springs.  You won’t want to miss that.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Oregon Coast Birding

North Oregon Coast Birding

“The northern coast of Oregon stretches from the mouth of the historic Columbia River south to fog-shrouded Cascade Head, an area of broad tidal estuaries and rugged headlands that flank stretches of sandy beaches.”  This from the North Coast map of the Oregon Coast Birding Trail   From Astoria, to Seaside, the town of Tillamook, to Lincoln City.  Close to 375 species of birds have been recorded on the Northern Oregon Coast and quite a few Oregon Bed and Breakfasts are awaiting your arrival.

Start your Oregon coast adventure at an Astoria Bed and Breakfast overlooking the mighty Columbia River.  Astoria’s historic Downtown is minutes from the floodplains and open wetlands of the lower Columbia River ecosystem.

The Necanicum Estuary is one of the best sites on the north coast to watch shorebirds during migration.  The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway winds through flooded pasture, river frontage and estuaries surrounding Tillamook Bay Estuaries, bays, plentiful river systems, coastal rainforests and an extensive watershed ecosystem offers unmatched bird watching opportunities.

Heading down the coast toward Lincoln City is the Cascade Head Nature Preserve where spectacular sitka spruce forests end with views of the Salmon River Estuary.  Roosevelt elk graze the open grasslands that are habitat for the endangered Oregon Silverspot Butterfly.

We’ve mentioned only a couple inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfasts inns on the Oregon Coast. You can certainly inn hop from Astoria to Port Orford and stay at member inns along the way.  Take your pick, grab your binoculars and be prepared to be dazzled by the abundance of wildlife and spectacular scenery on the Oregon Coast.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share Oregon, it’s environment, culture, and heritage with you. Get to know our State like a local; stay with one of our nearly 100 hosts in any one of our many regions. Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats.  Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, taking in Oregon Geotourism, for a World Class City experience, or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

windmills of sherman county

Windmills of Sherman County GC1X205

The Windmills of Sherman County, GC1X205, is a geocache with expansive views of Oregon’s Windfarms.  Head east on I-84 out of Portland, through the Columbia River Gorge, where the spectacular river canyon opens up to the rolling high desert wheat fields of the Columbia Basin.  It is stunning, big skies and vast views.  Rock formations left over from the Ice Age Missoula Floods, floods that shaped the landscape and the Columbia River Gorge.  And wind, sometimes gentle but often times strong.  The perfect place for hundreds of wind turbines.  Oregon’s goal:  to capture 20% of our energy needs from the wind.

Traveling south off the Interstate into the heart of Oregon, along the John Day River, be sure to explore the three units of the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument.   Take a Journey through Time on a scenic byway into ancient Oregon where paleontological research is ongoing.  Millions of years ago the west coast states, Oregon, Washington, and California were sea beds and the fossils discovered throughout the monument are evidence to that.

Plan your road trip around an Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild Member Inns located in Central Oregon.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Elkhorn Scenic Byway

Elkhorn Scenic Byway

The Elkhorn Scenic Byway ‘packs plenty of sights into a 106-mile/171-kilometer loop through the mountains west of Baker City, long the lucrative hunting grounds of the Plateau Indian tribes and, later, where miners came to seek their fortunes. The true treasures are the Elkhorn Mountains and Baker Valley themselves, rich in beauty and history.’ Travel Oregon

The byway passes through farmlands along the Powder River before climbing up into a beautiful area of mountain lakes and outdoor adventure

Start and end your journey at the Baker City Blue Door Inn.  The inn has four comfortable guests room, two with private baths, and all are comfortably air-conditioned and include robes, luggage racks, fresh filtered water and chocolates upon arrival.  Guests sit down to a hearty buffet breakfast in the formal dining room after a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a morning treat.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Thyme and Tide

Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast in Oceanside, Oregon

Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast provides a relaxing and romantic getaway in beautiful Oceanside, Oregon.  Nestled between Cape Lookout and Cape Meares set out to explore the scenic Three Capes Scenic Drive. Fall asleep to the sound of the surf and wake up to a delicious hot and hearty breakfast.  Pacific Ocean Beaches are but a mile away.

The two third floor guest suites at Thyme and Tide have been designed with your comfort in mind, each with large private bathrooms, queen beds with memory foam mattresses and fine linens.  Amenities include free WiFi and parking.

A small upstairs common area exclusively for guests offers travel information, books, games, microwave popcorn, a coffeemaker, and a refrigerator stocked with complimentary Tillamook ice cream.  Freshly baked treats are available in the late afternoon/evening.

So much to do near Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast in Oceanside:

  • beachcombing, tide pools, clamming, whale watching, bonfires
  • biking, hiking, waterfalls and forests
  • kayaks, canoes, horses
  • lighthouse, museums, wine tasting, brewpubs
  • the list goes on and on

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the US.

Start planning your Oregon Road Trip. Oregon has more designated scenic byways and tour routes than any other state.  The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is the only State B&B Association and a welcoming inn awaits you as you travel the backroads. Thanks to Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation for sharing this information.

Listed in an article of the deepest, longest, tallest, etc., record-setting places to visit in the US are two Oregon Locations:  the deepest canyon, Hells Canyon and the deepest lake, Crater Lake which will be mentioned in a future Scenic Back Road blog.  Both are also listed as one of the 7 Wonder of Oregon.  Oregon geotourism at its finest!

‘A Mile-Deep Gorge and Two-Mile-High Mountains. Oregon’s northeast corner has always been wild and untamed. From the unfathomable depths of Hells Canyon to the 10,000-foot peaks of the Wallowas, much of it remains inaccessible. The middle of this incredible drive is usually closed by snow from October through May.

Joseph is the premier small town for art and culture and is home to art galleries, unique shops, interesting restaurants and the delightful Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast, a member of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.  The Bronze Antler features three cozy guestrooms and a modern Asian Suite with many upscale amenities.

Surrounded by an acre of lawns and gardens and bordered by the Wallowa River, the garden setting of Belle Pepper’s Bed and Breakfast is as lovely as the home.  The inn is located just one block from Joseph’s charming main street.

Winter and spring guests will enjoy unencumbered snowmobiling, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing opportunities.  But if it’s the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway you’d like to travel now’s the time to start planning your summer trip.  A reminder:  The center section of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is seasonal – it usually closes in early November and doesn’t open again until May or June depending on the snowpack.  If you’re planning to drive entire Byway, check in with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Office at (541)426-4978 or 426-5546 or by visiting their website.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.