What child of the ’80s didn’t love “The Goonies”? The friendship. The long-lost treasure. The Cyndi Lauper soundtrack.
From the moment Mikey set off to save the “Goon Docks” with One-Eyed Willy’s doubloon in hand and Haystack Rock as his guide, I’ve been looking for a chance to explore Oregon’s treasures. So when my husband’s childhood friend invited us to his wedding in Seattle, I knew this was my shot at a Pacific Northwest adventure.
With six days to explore, we decided to road trip from Seattle to the wine-rich hills of Newberg, Ore., with stops in Cannon Beach, Ore., and Portland.
Open 9–6 p.m. and 9–5 p.m. SundayFirst Avenue and Pine Place
Everyone will tell you to go to Pike Place Market. I’m no different. The massive farmers’ market overlooking Elliott Bay draws millions of visitors to its shops, stands and restaurants. While you may go for the famous “flying fish” or to take a selfie with the giant neon sign, stay for the atmosphere.
Give yourself plenty of time to get lost in the maze of crafts, flowers, antiques and food stalls — but especially if you want to check out the fish-throwing action at Pike Place Fish Market.
You can get your Starbucks fix at the original store, 1912 Pike Place, which is a mecca for coffee fanatics, so be prepared to wait.
- Before you go, check out the Pike Place Pocket Guides. The Market 101and MarketFront Walking Guides are helpful for orienting yourself and establishing a plan of attack.
- If you get overwhelmed, and even if you don’t, make your way back to the MarketFront Plaza for a breath of fresh air and a clutch ferry-watching spot.
- Want to avoid some of the crowds? Go early. The market opens at 9 a.m. and gets busiest around noon.
Open 6 a.m.–10 p.m.1401 Alaskan Way
We took advantage of the sunny weather and took a water taxi from Pier 52 for lunch in West Seattle. We returned and headed to Waterfront Parkbetween Piers 57 and 59, an area brimming with shops, street vendors and restaurants.
Tip: Look out for LED light shows on special occasions, like holidays and home football games.
Confession №1: I am a (seriously) picky eater, with a foodie family. Needless to say, it can be tough for us to please everyone. But even with most seafood and vegetables off the menu for me, Seattle was full of tasty surprises.
1660 Harbor Ave. SW
We wanted to get out on the water and eat delicious food we can’t get in D.C., where we live. At Marination Mai Kai, we got both. We snagged water taxi tickets ahead of time and hopped on the West Seattle-bound taxi from Pier 52. Marination, which started as a food truck and now has four locations, features Hawaiian-Korean flavors that will make your mouth water as you wait in line. We filled our picnic table and bellies with tacos, sliders, kimchi fried rice and fish ‘n’ chips. Everything was fresh and flavorful, but the kalua pork was the star.
Tip: If you’ve never had it, you can’t leave without trying kimchi or SPAM.
90 Yesler Way
With its charming rustic touches, Pittsburgh Lunch in historic Pioneer Square is a throwback in every way, offering an intimate setting and classic dishes with a kick, such as chorizo mac and cheese and wild caught tuna melts. Take it from this Southerner and skip the creamy cheesy grits.
1933 1st Ave.
After a morning of walking and window shopping in the downtown retail district, we stopped at Le Pichet to rest and refuel. The quaint wine bar makes you feel like you’ve stepped off the Champs-Elysees into a Parisian cafe. Charcuterie and cheese is served all day, with lunch available from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and dinner is served till 10 p.m.
5300 Rainier Ave. S, Seattle1716 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, Wash.
Sam Choy’s Poke is doing big things with a little truck. The rice bowls and reconstructed musubi were the clear go-tos for poke fans, but the garlic chicken’s bold flavors kept drawing us back. If you can’t catch one of Sam Choy’s three trucks, stop by its Seattle or Tacoma brick-and-mortars.
1510 Alaskan Way
Confession №2: I have a thing for paper. Pike Street Press, a print shop and design studio, is a great stop for specialty cards, postcards and prints.
1511 1st Ave.
If you like history, stop by Metsker Maps. It’s the largest map store in the U.S. and full of fascinating finds. Plus: Another chance to get unique postcards.
Between wedding activities and the beautiful weather, we didn’t end up having time to visit MoPop, Seattle’s vibrant museum of pop culture.
With Seattle in the rear view, my husband and I embarked on our adventure to Oregon’s pristine coast along the legendary Highway 101.
Tip:Pull over and take in the sights along the Columbia River at the Dismal Nitch rest area just before the Astoria-Megler Bridge on the Washington side.
When we came around the corner to our oceanfront hotel and I got my first peek of Haystack Rock, I gasped. Not just because I was excited, which I was, but because the 235-foot monolith is truly breathtaking. Haystack Rock is a protected sanctuary, whose tidepools are home to marine animals and a variety of birds, including puffins.
- For a better view of the historic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse that sits a mile offshore north of Cannon Beach, take a hike in Ecola State Park, which stretches along 9 miles of coastline with panoramic views.
277 Beaver St.
We snagged a table on the adorable porch for an early dinner so we could catch the sunset on the beach. The waitress offered us blankets to cozy up, and I got my first taste of Oregon wine. With heaping portions of homemade pasta — steamer clam linguine for him and gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes for me — plus fresh bread to soak it up, we regretfully passed on dessert.
316 N. Fir St.
Just down the street from Harding Trading is Castaways, a Cajun-Creole and Caribbean restaurant with rave reviews. It gets packed, so make a reservation.
No trip to Oregon would be complete without seeing the “Goon Docks” in real life. So we headed back up the 101 to Astoria. Before you start practicing your truffle shuffle, you should know that you have to admire the house on 38th Street from afar. The private driveway is closed to the public.
- You can visit the old county jail where the Fratellis staged their breakout in the film. Its now the Oregon Film Museum, open daily.
- Built in 1811, Fort Astoria (also known as Fort George) was the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. You can find the fort’s original footprint by following the green lines.
- Where Fort Astoria once stood, Fort George Brewery and Public House lives on. Stop by to sip a craft brew found only in the Pacific Northwest.
The drive to Portland is a dealer’s choice of scenic beauty. We stuck by the water, but if you’re missing trees, take the route through Clatsop State Forest.
Open 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily1005 W. Burnside St.
You can’t go to Portland with visiting the flagship Powell’s. The new and used bookstore takes up an entire city block. Don’t worry too much about getting lost or not being able to find anything, the store is brilliantly organized with nine color-coded rooms.
Tip:Keep your eyes peeled for staff picks hidden among the thousands of titles.
We were in Portland during a record-breaking heat wave, so we skipped our hike through Columbia River Gorge on a 102-degree scorcher to find some air conditioning at a movie theater.
For some serious ambiance, visit one of Portland’s independent theaters, where you can kick back with a cocktail and feel like an old-Hollywood siren.
- Hollywood Theatre:The historic nonprofit movie houseshows classics and contemporary films. Plus, it serves Salt and Straw ice cream. 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.
- McMenamins: The Baghdad theater’s beauty alone is worth the price of admission. Grab a seat in the balcony and your food and brews will be brought to you. 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
- Laurelhurst Theater:Built in the 1920s, the art deco theater and pubshows classics and second-run films. 2735 E Burnside St.
Between the soaring temperatures and wildfires, we decided to bail on hiking. About an hour outside the city off Interstate 84, Columbia River Gorge has miles of trails, waterfalls and recreational areas. It’s a moderate 2-mile hike to Multnomah Falls, the tallest in the state. If that isn’t enough, take the 5-mile loop that includes Wahkeena Falls.
Portland is a foodie paradise, which usually spells a nightmare for me. But with one of our groomsmen planning our meals, I knew I’d be in good hands.
- When it comes to creativity, Voodoo Doughnuts’cake and raised yeast treats — piled high with cookie crumbles, candy, cereal, even bacon — can’t be beat. Before you go, grab cash and milk, you’ll need both.
- While Voodoo racks up style points, Blue Star Donuts wins the taste test. The rotating menu offers gourmet doughnuts made daily from a classic brioche recipe.
3226 SE Division St.
You really only need to know two things about Pok Pok PDX: There will be a line, and it’s worth the wait. The quirky family-style Thai joint is the kind of place to sit back and let your server be your guide. Plan to get two dishes a person plus your choice of rice. Be adventurous — and go early, last seating is at 10 p.m.
- Must get: Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings would be my last meal. The traditional style has layers of flavor, but if you like heat, ask to get them spicy.
- Must get: Kung Op Wun Sen will make bean thread noodles your new favorite thing.
- Skip it: While the roasted chicken was good, the bold flavors in everything else made it forgettable.
- While you wait: After you put your name on the list, you’ve got a few options. Whiskey Soda Lounge is adjacent and hosts coordinate at both. We opted for the more low-key Richmond Baracross the street. Or pull the adult move and do dessert first at Salt and Straw a block away.
525 SW Morrison St.
I am not hip enough for Departure. Luckily, they let me eat there anyway, and it was hands-down the best overall meal of the trip. The club vibe made me skeptical, but the food delivered.
- Must get: Steamed Short Rib Bun, serving up a kimchi kick and melt-in-your-mouth beef.
1105 NW Johnson St.
Salt and Straw gets all the attention, but Cool Moon gets my vote. The shop makes all-natural ice cream in-store and offers 26 fascinating flavors on a rotating menu, plus sorbet for dairy-free friends.
We packed up the car early and headed west on Oregon Route 99 to make the most of our one day wine tasting in Willamette Valley.
You’ll need wheels to get around, so consider opting for a car service. While most offer a selection of pre-planned tours, many will follow your itinerary. Some even specialize in round-trip tours out of Portland.
Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily5000 NE Sokol Blosser Ln., Dayton, Ore.
Bellying up to the bar in the Sokol Blosser Tasting Room felt like having wine with friends. The laid-back atmosphere gives you latitude to explore the winery on your terms, whether that’s sipping by the glass on the porch or sitting down to a formal tasting. Reservations are encouraged, but we had no problem walking in.
- Must get: 2016 Estate Rose of Pinot Noir
Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily6555 NE Hilltop Ln., Dayton, Ore.
We picked Domaine Serene for the view, which even with serious wildfire haze was gorgeous. The estate has an air of grandeur, making it feel much more traditional. Choose from several wine tasting options, from food and wine pairings to a formal educational tasting to casual flights in its recently opened tasting room. You can also enjoy a tour of their winemaking facility.
- Must get: Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir
Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday111 E 1st St., Newberg, Ore.
Don’t let its garage look fool you, the burgers at this local roadside diner put Shake Shack and Five Guys to shame and the mac n’ cheese tastes like Mom’s. Don’t forget to leave room for frozen custard.
Open 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily100 SW 7th St A, Dundee, Ore.
The casual bistro focuses on local sourcing and wine pairings, offering an extensive list of Oregon’s acclaimed pinot noirs. We opted to split pizza and pasta to get the best of both worlds.
Katie Beasley Graphic designer and letterer