Town & Country Autumn Escapes

Photo © Christian Heeb

by Roy Stevenson

With the intermingling of deciduous trees and evergreen forests, Northwest landscapes display some of the most striking and diverse shows of fall color in the world. Brilliant mantles of fiery reds, orange and gold glow against the deep green backdrop, transforming a hazy summer setting into a vibrant autumn palette… if you know where to go.

Prospect, Oregon

The fall color spectacle changes depending on where you are on the scenic Rogue River. Drive along Highway 62 or 230 to view more crimson, gold and green. Stop along the riverbank for a romantic picnic, serenaded by the sounds of flowing water.
There’s no shortage of strolls through the Rogue River National Forest around the small rural community of Prospect, Oregon. A 12-minute walk from the Prospect Historic Hotel takes you to Pearsonay Falls. Or take a short drive to Crater Lake.
Stretch out on the grass of the Prospect Hotel lawn during the Music in the Mountains festival (late September) and listen to folk, country and bluegrass music while sipping local beer.

At the Prospect Historic Hotel (prospecthotel.com), rooms are uniquely decorated with period furnishings. Luminaries, such as Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Zane Gray and Jack London, may have slept in your room. For more information about visiting southern Oregon, go to southernoregon.org.

Hood River, Oregon

The spectacular Columbia River Gorge reveals leaves of every color. Drive along I-84, or choose the Columbia Gorge Scenic Byway where you’ll see the fall color from up on high.

An hour’s drive from Portland, the riverside town of Hood River is full of shops and galleries, and the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum provides the ultimate classic aircraft nostalgia trip.

The Celilo Restaurant serves locavore dishes in a romantic atmosphere with an extensive Northwest collection of wines. The 3 Rivers Grill, perched high above the street, provides fine cuisine for upscale diners with great views of the town and Gorge.
To explore the agriculturally rich valley between Hood River and Mt. Hood, drive the 35-mile Fruit Loop through 14,000 picturesque acres of orchards and farm stands during fall harvest.

If your drive includes an overnight, Columbia Cliff Villas (columbiacliffvillas.com) features boutique lodging with views of the Columbia River Gorge; the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel (columbiagorgehotel.com) offers elegant accommodations with period furnishings, also above the gorge; the Oak Street Hotel (oakstreethotel.com) and the Hood River Hotel (hoodriverhotel.com) offer charming rooms and suites right in town; the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn (hoodriverinn.com) has waterfront rooms and dining, complete with a riverside deck.
For more information about Hood River, visit hoodriver.org.

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