Christopher Lay, his wife Savvy Him and their daughter Reina (3).
While visiting relatives in Oregon, the family took an impromptu trip to the coast. Surprisingly, booking a hotel room last minute worked to their advantage; Christopher got a great rate at the Best Western in Bandon (USD 110 per night) and was also able to swing a free upgrade. The family stayed four nights in Bandon, in a condo with a view of the nearby golf course and the ocean from their balcony. Next, they drove to Newport Bay for two nights and stayed at the Hallmark Resort (USD 150 per night). Their suite faced the Pacific Ocean, providing stunning views during the day and on moonlit nights. On the last day, they drove to Tillamook to visit the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory before returning to Portland. All reservations were booked online.
The overall cost of a week on the coast of Oregon for a family of three was less than USD 1,500 (includes hotels, car rental, meals and incidentals). The family rented a mid-size crossover SUV, which normally goes for USD 150-200 per week. Discounts are usually given to customers who rent a car for longer amounts of time. Gas for the car cost USD 80 for the whole week, including a roundtrip drive from Portland to Bandon.
A roundtrip plane ticket from Beijing to Portland costs USD 1,200 per adult, with a child ticket costing about 10 percent of an adult ticket. The total cost is around USD 3,500 for two adults and one child.
The Best Part
The best part of the trip was getting away for a relaxing week without anything to do but watch the sunset. Christopher enjoyed the solitary of the beach and looking for agates and petrified wood. For Reina, the best part of the trip was playing in the sand, eating ice cream from the Tillamook Cheese Factory and bottle-feeding a Bengal tiger cub.
Most Unexpected Moment
The most unexpected event happened while walking through the Wildlife Safari Park, located south of Bandon. There, they spent a few moments with a pair of 3-week-old black panthers, as well as a pair of 3-month-old Bengal tiger cubs. Because they were some of the first visitors in the park that day, Reina was able to bottle-feed one of the cubs. Reina also loved Max, the talking macaw.
The Worst Part
While every restaurant on the Oregon coast had a kid’s menu and a box of crayons or something to keep Reina entertained while waiting for the food, Reina is not a fan of typical American kid fare, such as burgers and hot dogs.
Hotels had indoor pools, but the family mostly played on the beach and relaxed in their hotel rooms watching the Food Network, playing games and reading books.
If you plan a trip to the coast of Oregon, leave some flexibility in your schedule to explore and extend your stay. During the week, even in the summer, most places have vacancies, but make sure you have something booked in advance if you are staying on the weekend.