Washington and Oregon – Summer 2017

A total solar eclipse is coming!  A total solar eclipse is coming!  August marks the first time since 1979 that a total solar eclipse will be totally visible in a 70 mile-wide path across the US.  Sounds like a good enough reason for a vacation to me!

We researched, looked at maps, did some more research, looked at some more maps… and finally decided to travel to Oregon for the big event.  While we’re on the other side of the country, we figured we’d stop in Washington as well.  This crosses two states off of our “seeing all 50 states” bucket list item.


We’re saving most of our leave for our big trip to Germany later this year, so it’s just going to be a quick four-day trip.  As usual, I have a lot planned!  We’ll see what actually gets checked off of this list when we get there…


Day 1:

  • Take the light link rail into Seattle ($3, 45 minutes), find the hotel and check in.
  • Lunch at the Fremont Brewery or Norm’s Ale House
  • Theo Chocolate Factory Tour ($10; open from 10am-6pm).
  • Stop to see the Fremont Troll (apparently there’s a troll underneath a bridge?)
  • Dinner at Din Tai Fung

Day 2:

  • Miner’s Landing – pier filled with attractions and a ferris wheel.  10 min walk to…
  • Pike Place Market – famous market where fishmongers throw fish over customer’s heads; the market also has tons of other food stands, shops, cafes, candy, art.  There’s a Gum Wall as well.  I can’t decide whether it’s fascinating or gross.
  • Early lunch at Pike Place Market, then take the Seattle Center Monorail ($2.25) to…
  • Space needle ($22; book in advance).
  • Chuhuly Garden and Glass ($22).
  • Dinner somewhere
  • Kerry Park at dusk – views of Seattle and Mt. Rainer if the weather cooperates.
  • Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Day 3:

  • Breakfast at Sweet Iron Waffles
  • Pick up rental car.  Drive to Oregon.


Day 3, cont:

  • Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge – lovely viewpoints, numerous waterfalls.  This adds another 2 hours (easily) onto the drive to Portland, but is supposedly well worth it.
  • Drive to Portland; check into hotel.
  • Portland International Rose Test Garden
  • Rogue Brewery – hazelnut brown nectar.  Enough said.
  • Powell’s City of Books – a bookstore that takes up an entire city block.
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Cascade Brewery – specializes in sour beer
  • Dinner somewhere
  • If we’re still standing and up for something different – Glowing Greens Putt Putt, World’s Smallest Park, Salt and Straw Ice Cream.  But, the next day’s an early morning, so we’ll play it by ear.

Day 4:

  • Voodoo Doughnuts (yum!)
  • Drive to solar eclipse view point
  • Eclipse (praying for clear skies) and hiking
  • Drive back to Portland
  • Bagdad Theater and Pub – a movie theater that serves beer.
  • Anything we missed from Day 3.
  • Red eye back home.

Whew.  Even writing all of that down makes me tired.  I’m well aware that this is an ambitious itinerary.  We’ll see how much we get done, where we get distracted, and where our plans take unexpected turns.  Things will probably be cut from the list as we go along, but at least we have a plan to get us started!

Now if I could only stop singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart”… or in our case – “Total Eclipse of the Sun!”.


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