Day trippy

Get Out of Your Dreams and into a Car

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Multnomah Falls, a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Silvia Cardullo/PSU Vanguard

While the charming city of Portland is filled to the brim with kooky coffee shops and all kinds of hip happenings, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get away every once in awhile. With the help of fresh and innovative means of transportation like Zip Car and ReachNow, you can turn any typically rainy day inside into a trip you’ll never forget.

Multnomah Falls

No Oregon trip guide could be complete without Multnomah Falls on the roster. I mean, it’s Multnomah-freaking-Falls. Just a 40-minute drive east along the Columbia River, this gorgeous, 611-foot-tall waterfall is a go-to for tourists and Oregonians alike. Feel free to bring your furry friends along for the ride, just as long as they’re kept by your side on a leash. And if the hike up to the falls leaves you feeling famished, swing on by the Multnomah Falls Lodge, where you can get breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even Sunday brunch.

The Coast

Spend the day with your toes in the sand along the Oregon coast! While it’s no secret that Oregon beaches are perfect for stunning photographs, the coast lends visitors much more than just an edgy backdrop to match an even edgier Instagram aesthetic. According to Travel Portland, you can watch from the Neahkahnie Mountain Viewpoint while up to 20,000 gray whales migrate between Alaska and Mexico during the winter and spring seasons. Along with spotting these striking creatures of the sea, people from far and wide can hike around Ecola State Park, go fishing in Astoria and even camp at Nehalem Bay State Park. With a hell of a list of things to do and places to explore, the two-hour drive is well worth it. After all, the West Coast is the Best Coast.

Seattle

If you’re into Portland’s city vibes and buzzing atmosphere but want to change things up a bit, head up north to Seattle, home of the fictional—(but oh so talented)—Meredith Grey and the birthplace of our beloved Starbucks. Behold the Space Needle in all its towering, pointy glory or slap a piece of chewing gum onto the famed Gum Wall. It’s about a three-hour trek by car (depending on traffic), but the sights are lovely and there’s a plethora of things to do around and about the city. Bored with Seattle? Keep going north until you hit Vancouver!

Ashland

Located five hours south of Portland, Ashland provides a variety of fun and quirky opportunities for adventure. Are you a beer connoisseur? Indulge in a beer tour. Love the outdoors? Hit the river for tubing and whitewater rafting, or go geocaching around Mount Ashland. Do you adore theater? Stop by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and watch your favorite plays in action. Whatever you and your friends are craving, Ashland has a little bit of everything stuffed into one beautifully quaint town.

How to Get There

To any Portlander who would love to get away but does not own a vehicle: Don’t fret! There are plenty of modern and reliable options at your disposal.

For shorter journeys like Multnomah Falls or the coast, ReachNow is your go-to. You can pay by the minute or go with flat rate pricing, which will allow you to save money that could be better spent on touristy tee shirts or other knick-knacks acquired during your expedition. ReachNow specializes in Beamers and Minis, so if you’ve always wanted to drive a BMW but didn’t want to decide between maintaining it or buying a house, here’s your chance.

As for trips to far-ish away lands like Seattle and Ashland, Zip Car would be an excellent option. You can choose from 10,000 cars, reserve a vehicle for as little as an hour or as long as a week, and gas and insurance are both included in the rental price. Just sign up, become a member, and zip your way around Oregon.

If driving isn’t your thing, there’s always Lyft or Uber. These two options are for sure the priciest on the list, but if you’re willing to splurge or bring some friends to split the costs with, definitely go for it. They’re convenient and will enable you to focus on your company, rather than being stuck watching the road from behind the wheel. Bonus points for involving your driver in your trip!

Whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go and however you want to get there, just don’t forget to come back home.

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