B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Saturday, 15 Jul 2017: Arrive Portland, Oregon; Welcome Dinner (D)
Arrive in Portland no later than 4:00pm. Should you arrive earlier in the day, go exploring or relax. The tour begins at 6:00pm in the lobby of the hotel. We will make introductions and then enjoy a Welcome Dinner to get better acquainted. Overnight Portland - 6 nights
Sunday, 16 Jul 2017: Walking Tour; International Rose Test Garden and Japanese Garden (B)
We begin today with a walking tour of Portland and see why this city is regularly recognized as one of the best places to live. We'll meander through fascinating neighborhoods until we reach the waterfront. It's then off to see why Portland's moniker is City of Roses. With great views of the skyline, the Portland International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park is a must-see. The garden, with it's intoxicating lovely smell, features more than 7,000 rose bushes and began as a safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I. Nearby is the tranquil Portland Japanese Garden, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Asia. The space includes a tea house, meandering streams, intimate walkways and an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.
Monday, 17 Jul 2017: Columbia River Gorge (B,L)
Today we experience the soul of the Columbia, the grand river of the American West. Just a short drive from Portland, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is an 80-mile stretch of river, where basalt bluffs tower above the water. We will drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the first major paved road in the Pacific Northwest as well as the first designated scenic highway in the US. There is a 5-mile stretch of road known as the “waterfall corridor” — which boasts one of the largest concentrations of spectacular falls in North America. Thanks to its unique geography, the Gorge boasts a world of wine in just a 40-mile stretch. We'll stop in for a taste or two before returning to Portland.
Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017: Mount St. Helens (B,D)
The monumental 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was the deadliest volcanic event in US history. Today we'll drive to within a stone's throw of Mount St. Helens to view the blast zone, learn about the devastation that occurred and see how the ecosystem is recovering more than 35 years later. We'll walk out on the viewing deck and take a stroll along one of the trails and feel the energy of the mountain as it continues to puff with steam. There are other opportunities for short hikes that will allow us to see the recovering landscape up close. We'll return to Portland late this afternoon.
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017: Explore Oregon's Pacific Coastline (B)
After breakfast we depart for a day exploring some of the 400 miles of Oregon's famed Pacific coastline. You have undoubtedly seen pictures of the Oregon coast with sea stacks rising from the sand and the surf, the most famous of which is Haystack Rock. We begin in Astoria at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. We'll then make our way south toward the lovely town of Cannon Beach, which National Geographic named one of the "world's 100 most beautiful places." Upon return to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is free.
Thursday, 20 Jul 2017: Portland Foodie Experience; Farewell Dinner (B,L,D)
This morning is at leisure. Perhaps you'd like to sleep in or set out exploring why locals desire to "keep Portland weird." Early this afternoon we head off on a Portland "foodie" tour, tasting our way around one of Portland's trendiest neighborhoods. Afterward, you might enjoy strolling the historic Old Town, charming McCall Waterfront Park or Pioneer Courthouse Square, known as "Portland's Living Room." Our Farewell Dinner will give us a chance to talk about the tour and say goodbye to new friends.
Friday, 21 Jul 2017: Return Home from Portland (B)
Sadly, our time together has come to an end. Based on the departure time you provide WTT, your Tour Leader will organize travelers into small groups so you can ride-share to the airport if you wish.