Don't drive; vacation at home

By Robert Elan of Portland, Oregon. Robert describes himself as "a teacher and artist."

If your idea of vacation is to “get away” from the stress of your daily routine, relax, enjoy new surroundings, sit in a café, settle down with a good book, relax at a spa or try a new restaurant or a museum, then why not just stay in Portland?

AAA is encouraging the idea of “Staycations” to fight high gas prices. Yet, as a motor club, they are still encouraging us to drive, drive, drive. Cottage Grove, Deschutes River, Hells Canyon, Wineries near Eugene and so on.

A country drive may be pleasant and river rafting exciting, but so many other options are closer at hand. Look at a map of Portland and see just how much you haven’t done right here. People come from other places to enjoy many of the things we take for granted.

So if you are stressed about your vacation because it’s suddenly more expensive and you’re feeling economically insecure, just stay put and consider some local options. By staying local you avoid the hassles and stresses of long lines, reduce your carbon footprint, save money and support your neighborhood businesses like restaurants, coffee houses, pubs and small shops. All the above contribute to the economic, cultural and environmental health of your community. And with less time traveling you have more time to relax and play. Consider some options:

Cottage Grove? Hells Canyon? Thanks AAA, maybe another time...

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    "Staycation" was first termed (according to many Canadians in Western Canada) from a extremely popular Canadian TV sitcom called "Corner Gas". The espisode is tiltled "Mail Fraud" and is accessable through the Corner Gas web site or the Canadian Television (CTV) website.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    From the Wikipedia "Corner gas" page:

    "In the third season episode “Mail Fraud” Brent LeRoy created the term “staycation” to explain the act of taking a vacation without actually leaving home. This term is now in use on many pages on the internet."

  • James X. (unverified)

    I agree with John Hodgman: Holistay is better. As far as Portmanteaus go.

  • (Show?)

    I'm evil. We're driving an RV to Chicago this summer. (!!)

  • trishka (unverified)

    good post, excellent suggestions.

    cuz, you know, we ALL live in portland.

    ::rolls eyes::

  • Buckman Res (unverified)

    Considering that gas prices are projected to reach as highs as $12/gallon in the coming years this is one consumer who will take advantage of “low” gas prices and make a looooong road trip to see America this summer.

    See you at the national parks!

  • Kitty C (unverified)

    Yes-Please do stay in Portland-Don't come to Medford or Ashland. The gas prices are high, the roads are crowded, and the restaurants are full.

  • (Show?)

    We'll still likely take a trip to visit Abby's grandparents out by Bend and maybe a trip to the coast. It's a chance for us to get away from everything for a few days and either visit with family we don't get to see often or spend some time playing on the beach. I grew up on Texas' Gulf Coast, and I miss the beach... and we haven't been since a few days before school started last year.

    But unless we come into a lot of money, I don't see us taking the trip we wanted to - a road trip to visit my family in Texas, with stops at the Grand Canyon and San Antonio on the way there and Dallas on the way back.

  • MCT (unverified)

    What with gas prices and airline debacles....looks like we are not free to move about the country anymore.

    As a homebody, and pet owner who would not dream of putting my dog in jail for the time I'm gone (think about it folks...what a totally foreign and frightening act of abandonment to do to a loved who has the thought process of a very young child!).....I rarely go for overnights. But there are a lot of things to do in a day's drive in the NW, or maybe a one night stay. The whole state is eye candy compared to so many other states. You'll never be bored. One of my favorites is a drive to Oysterville in WA. Or a trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

    It's kind of fun to plan ahead, start the drive early and fill your day with stuff you like to see, do and eat....we often take a lunch but splurge on a nicer dinner before driving home.

    I'm all for sticking around the homestead, but if I go I can actually feel good about supporting local merchants and boosting the economy where it's been hard hit. We also always try to spend our meager travel $$ with small family owned businesses, instead of big box and corporate chain stores. I've always wanted to drive up to Roslyn WA...just to see where the old TV show Northern Exposure ws filmed. Talk about a town that got a boost and then got left in the dust.

  • (Show?)

    thanks Kitty, good to see that spirit of Tom McCall lives!

  • VisitTheBest (unverified)

    Best Websites Guide - Best Search Engines Collection - Best Tools and Widgets.The complete homepage package for the internet users Only on Visitthebest.

  • LiberlImage (unverified)

    We plan to never leave the yard - with the excess walking and production of carbon dioxide from venturing out . .

    Ok, more seriously, I think people need to take a more serious look around locally when it comes to recreation. One doesn't need to leave town to have a good vacation! (Even if you don't live in Portland.)

  • (Show?)

    A friend was at the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce a few days ago, and they are really worried about the impact on the local economy because they are worried that Portlanders won't come down the coast. I'm all for staying local, but "local" to me means that the Oregon Coast is a good alternative to Southern California or Mexico in terms of the carbon footprint.

  • PlayCricket (unverified)

    You can also do like the Dutch do and make a fortnight of slowly meandering across the countryside, bicycle caravan stylee.

    This area is ideal. You can take the Spring Creek Trail to Gresham, SAM from Gresham to Sandy (or bike the new "extension"), and miles of bike trails from there throughought the Mt. Hood forest.

    The yerts at the State parks are awesome.

    Gresham and Troutdale are full of great little places to try out all the gear. Ride up to Corbett and fly back! A million possibilities...

guest column

connect with blueoregon