I have put together some ideas of self guide driving tours you can do from Portland. The driving routes are pretty standard routes most people would take from Portland, maybe a couple back-roads that are different. Where to stop on the routes may not be the standard tourist spots. I have chosen spots that either tie in with my Theme tours or are spot I find of exceptional interest. Basically these are places that if I would to have family or friends come to visit that wanted to know the area I would take them to.
This tour is a nice drive to experience Mt. Hood’s south side area. It includes some places of scenic beauty that are easy access and some place where you can learn about the history of area. And of course includes Timberline Lodge.
My route on the Columbia River Gorge only covers 31 miles but this stretch of highway packs a lot into it. You will find great scenic beauty, drive on the first national scenic highway, see tall waterfalls, big fish, a big dam and of course spots that tie in with may Theme Tours.
This route takes you to Astoria, Oregon. The first settlement in the Oregon Territory. There is a lot you can see in Astoria but there are also interesting place to visit on the way. There are spots that tie in with explores, fishing, timber and settlement.
Heading southwest on hwy 6 leads you to the coastal town of Tillamook. Along the way you past through an area of some of the worst forest fires in Oregon’s history and a forest center that remembers those days. Once at the coast you can see the site of the “town that washed into the sea”, the last hanger that held the blimps from WW 2, a creamery with a new visitor center, and a drive up the Oregon coast to Cannon Beach before returning to Portland.