In Portland, we are privy to some of the best eateries, scenery, and oddities in the country, but the appeal of the region extends far beyond our city limits. This week, the Grocery Getter team will be taking some time off to enjoy the Greater Northwest in one of its most alluring seasons, and we encourage our customers to do the same. Our proximity to many of the area’s bustling cities and natural wonders makes last-minute getaways possible. Here are some of the destinations our team enjoys escaping to most.
OREGON COAST – BARVIEW JETTY
Clearly, the coast was not not going to make this list. The unparalleled beauty of the Oregon coast is really the only reason you need to make a trip there a priority, but we’ll detail the other perks anyway. For one, a satisfactory coastal trip can be completed within a day. You can pack up Saturday morning, drive west on Highway 26 for an easy hour-and-a-half drive, enjoy breathtaking vistas, and still return home in time for dinner. If you’re going to make your way to the seaside for more than day, we suggest checking out Barview Jetty. This campsite is nestled only a few hundred yards from the ocean and is in close proximity to the area’s nearby towns and attractions. While you’re there, make your way to the picturesque Cape Meares Park, enjoy fine food and drinks at Blackbird—one of Manzanita’s hidden gems, or divulge in cheese samples at the Tillamook Cheese Factory Visitor’s Center.
OREGON COAST – OSWALD
Just north of Barview Jetty is the lush Oswald West State Park. Containing a diverse range of natural beauty, this destination is the perfect option for individuals seeking an outdoor adventure. Within the limits of the park, visitors can explore quiet beaches, old growth forests, and waterfalls.
THE CASCADES – LARCH MOUNTAIN
If you head away from the coast, you’re just as likely to strike gold. Among the forest’s many hidden treasures includes morel mushrooms. Our love for this delicacy makes mushroom scavenging a favorite pastime. To score big on your quest for morels, we suggest Larch Mountain. Of course, you can have success across the Cascades. Here are some other tips for becoming a successful morel hunter:
- Look in locations with an elevation over 2,000.
- Seek out areas that have recently been impacted by fires.
- Read up on the different types of morels, as you’re likely to encounter two varieties in the wild. When ingested, one type can cause digestive distress.
PUGET SOUND – SEATTLE
Seattle has long cast a shadow over our humble city, but we can’t fault them for it. Instead, we enjoy opportunities to escape into bustling, urban life. With traffic on your side, you can reach the ‘Emerald City’ in just over three hours, making it a great weekend destination spot. Activities like Pike Place Market and Seattle Center are renowned for a reason, but if you’re going to spend a couple of days here, we recommend branching out into some of Seattle’s neighborhoods for a more authentic experience. Ballard showcases cuisine from some of the region’s leading restaurateurs, including Ethan Stowell and Tom Douglas, as well as eclectic shops. Tucked between historical industrial infrastructure and modern high rises, you’ll find gems such as Walrus & Carpenter, Luca, and the Ballard Sunday Farmer’s Market.
To enjoy some of Seattle’s scenery, venture to Discovery Park, where Cliffside vantage points, lighthouses, sprawling fields, and beach access are only a short hike from the parking lot.
EASTERN OREGON – ALVORD DESERT
In the mood for solitude? We’ve got the perfect spot! Located east of Steen Mountain, the Alvord Desert—once an expansive body of water—is an exceptional camping destination. The journey isn’t for the faint of heart, as it requires nearly 7 hours of travel by car—an hour of which occurs on a harsh, gravel road, but these barriers keep this secret spot hidden from the public, rewarding the brave with nearly unoccupied playa that spans the horizon. The desert is on public land and is open to campers at no cost. Nearby, you’ll find the charming Alvord Desert Hot Springs, where visitors are welcome to take a dip and bask in the serenity of their environment.
Before you leave, be sure to check out The Fields Station. Located just south of the desert, this general store and hostel is an adorable all-in-one facility that provides lodging, gas, classic American cuisine, and other basic necessities.
This list only scratches the surface of the natural diversity and cultural hubs to explore in the Pacific Northwest. If you’ve got a case of wanderlust, we’re happy to customize your weekly order accordingly! Just let us know what your transportation and lodging accommodations are, and we’ll create a tailored delivery of organic produce that will work for your trip.
What are your favorite vacation spots?