Summer has always been sacred in the Pacific Northwest.
Portlanders endure chilly falls, grey winters and soggy springs with the promise that if we can make it to July, we’ll be rewarded with three glorious months of sun.
Now that a post-pandemic future is just within reach, we’re more than ready to absorb the sweaty pleasures of the season.
We know Oregonians are ready to break out of quarantine and ditch the same four walls they’ve been staring at for 15 long months. But lingering travel restrictions abroad and an absurd spike in airplane brawls is reason to keep your vacation a bit closer to home. Good news: In Oregon, you can hop behind the wheel, hit the highway in any direction and within hours—or, in some cases, just 45 minutes—end up at a destination that will allow you to live out those hot vaxx summer daydreams.
In this issue, we’ve provided ideas for four 36-hour getaways, along with detailed itineraries to help you make the most of every moment. In addition, we’ve hunted down unique accommodations to serve as your home base that are unlike anything you’ve likely stayed at in the past.
If it’s adventure you seek, we’ve found a rustic lodge (page 14) on the banks of the wild North Umpqua River, where you can ride the whitewater and pluck a steelhead from the rapids. In the mood for something more tranquil? Book a deluxe tiny home (page 15) along the cliffs bordering Lake Simtustus in Central Oregon, where you can waste an entire weekend doing nothing but bobbing about in the reservoir or your personal hot tub.
There’s no shame in aiming to stay buzzed for a long weekend straight, either. You can accomplish that goal now more easily than ever by booking a secret loft (page 12) over a winery tasting room in the Willamette Valley. And it wouldn’t be summer without a jaunt to the coast. Forget the tourist traps and make it as authentic as possible by sleeping in one of Astoria’s storied fishers’ bars (page 11).
In between trips, there is still much to be done in and around Portland. So we’ve also rounded up a list of favorite pastimes (page 17) that have reopened, each with new features worth exploring.
After a tumultuous year, it’s time to find comfort in the rocky ravines, sparkling lakes and swift rivers that make this state so remarkable. We hope this issue helps you make your pandemic escape plan, and then experience summer in Oregon like you never have before.
—Andi Prewitt, Assistant Arts and Culture Editor