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posted on February 8th, 2016

48 hours in Portland: Easy getaways

In part three of my insider’s guide to Portland, I’ll take you on a quick spin around the surrounding hills and dales. Grab a car and grab a camera, you’re in for a feast for the senses.

Western Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River marks the Oregon/Washington border, and the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most majestic places in America. If you have a half day to get out of town, head up the Gorge and explore some of Oregon’s greatest sites all within about 90 minutes of downtown Portland.

My favorite route is to head to Vista House on the way to Multnomah Falls (there are other great falls along the route as well). Next head up river to Hood River for lunch and shopping. If you are into man-made marvels, you can also stop at the US Army Corps of Engineers Bonneville Lock and Dam, a project from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and a National Historic Landmark.

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Wine tasting in the Willamette Valley

After California, Oregon has one of the best wine regions in the country. Oregon wine country begins about 30 minutes outside of downtown and continues down a corridor featuring dozens of beautiful and delicious stops. If you’re driving, make sure to designate a DD before you head out.

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My favorite hidden gem is Domaine Serene. The tasting room is on the expensive side, but the grounds can’t be beat. I also enjoyed the drive from Dundee to Carlton, which is a little farther off the highway but a fun stop for food and drinks. Learn more about the region from this regional wine map and these suggested tasting routes.

Choose your own adventure

Portland is a wonderful city with plenty to do for any visitor. Whether you’re looking for brunch or a hike around waterfalls, there is something extraordinary nearby. Check out parts one and two of my series for the complete picture.

Enjoy your visit!

Eric is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, travel, and real estate blogger. When he's away from the computer, he's out flying planes, riding bikes, and DJing the occasional dance party.