Remote vacations will be all the rage as the unlockdown begins.
Outdoor recreation is slowly beginning to reopen in Oregon with social distancing rules. Playgrounds and restrooms remain closed, but some public campgrounds will be allowed to open on June 9. Until then, there are still plenty of places in nature where you can be far from crowds. Why not hide away on a vineyard or alpaca farm? Here are getaways to inspire your Memorial Day weekend and beyond.
Leaping Lamb Farm and Farm Stays: Owner Scottie Jones, who wrote “Country Grit: A Farmoir of Finding Purpose and Love,” conducts private tours at her farm in Alsea, on Oregon Highway 34 west of Corvallis. Watch lambs romp, pick berries, collect eggs and breathe fresh air on this 1862 homestead, then stay the night. The lodging staff is taking extra safety and cleaning precautions. Book via Priceline
The 1895 farm house, which sleeps 12, starts at $300 a night, depending on travel dates, and the two-bedroom cottage that sleeps six starts at $250 a night. Wake up when you want. Jones says the alarm clock is a lazy rooster. Check out other Oregon farm stays on Airbnb, from a five-person bunkhouse at Wine Down Ranch in Prineville (about $90 a night depending on travel dates) to a one-bedroom apartment on an alpaca farm in Hillsboro (about $80). Priceline has a McMinnville farm house for rent with four bedrooms, but reviewers say bring earplugs because of road noise. Find quiet hotels across Oregon at a discount.
Tiny Houses to Check Into
People who don’t want to walk down a hallway to their hotel room are renting standalone micro houses, says Deb Delman, co-owner of Caravan-The Tiny House Hotel in Northeast Portland’s Alberta Arts District. When guests arrive, they find everything is within reach inside the five compact dwellings, which are spaced apart around an open courtyard. Each tiny house is fully furnished with an efficient seating area, kitchen, two beds and a bathroom with a flush toilet, shower and hot-and-cold running water. Hotel rates of $125-$185 a night are being temporarily discounted. The family-friendly Vintages Trailer Resort has refurbished retro travel trailers with an outdoor grill and no contact check-ins. For Father’s Day, The Vintages is offering dads 20% off already discounted prices.
Campers and RVs for Rent
Release from the long lockdown may inspire a road trip. You can ride your own wheels or rent a roomy RV, sleek Airstream or colorful camper van, through a company or private owner, a la Airbnb, RVs are in Oregon’s DNA. Wally Byam, who founded Airstream in 1931, was born in Baker City. Holiday House modern travel trailers were dreamed up by Medford’s David Holmes of Harry & David fruit basket fame. The canned ham-shape Alohas started in — you guessed it — Aloha and Timberlines hailed from Sandy. Outdoorsy, which matches owners with renters, offers mobile homes that are kitschy, cute or cool. Last-minute bookings have increased and many renters are first-timers, according to Outdoorsy spokeswoman April Cumming. June bookings are averaging eight or more days. A road trip in an RV or camper van can be more affordable than traveling by air, especially with low gas prices. The average Outdoorsy rental is $121 a night, says Cumming. Outdoorsy owners can recommend uncrowded RV parks or places to boon dock off-the-grid. Many owners will deliver the RV or camper to a site, thoroughly clean it and set it up for a contact-free key exchange.
Some Outdoorsy examples: 1976 Modernized Airstream land yacht sleeps four ($90 a night, based in Medford). 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a high roof sleeps two ($165 a night, based in Beaverton). 1989 Dream Machine full camper sleeps four ($165 a night, based in Portland). 2019 Lightweight Aero teardrop trailer sleeps two ($65 a night, based in Sherwood). Harvest Hosts offers its members camping options at more than 1,000 wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, golf courses, museums and other unique attractions.
Other Unique Stays
Getaway has tiny cabins in nature to rent outside of Portland as well as Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Mount Adams Outpost is an 80-acre property with handcrafted, dog-friendly hideaways for two to four people. Each one has a fire pit, grilling grate and a picnic table.
Hipcamp lets you book a camping spot on ranches, farms, vineyards and land preserves. For example: A solar-powered cabin on 20 acres of private woodlands 16 miles away from the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington. Four miles from Hood River is The Society Hotel in Bingen, which has cabins with a kitchenette with a microwave, a fridge and a stovetop. Also nearby is Sunshine Mill, a historic mill turned Quenette Winery and Copa Di Vino tasting room in the Dalles.