We woke up early and got a head start on our day. We decided we wanted to try and make the entire 12 hour drive in one day. We originally had planned on driving half way and arriving to Seattle in the morning, but considering all the things we wanted to do in Seattle, we decided we could do it.
And we did.
The drive was so interesting. We passed through so many different terrains, almost desert-esque at times, to Southeastern Washington, which was lush with vineyards and so many hop farms, which were amazing to see.
We started listening to a Podcast, Sword & Scale (thanks, Ashlee!) This made the drive so easy and dare I even say, enjoyable. It is for true crime lovers and at points extremely creepy. There are 70 one hour long episodes. It may last us the whole trip!
We arrived in Seattle right around midnight. We were happy to see our La Quinta and rest up for the next day.
We are friends with a couple that live in Seattle, they just moved there from North Carolina. We could not wait to hang out with them and they were so gracious and made the whole day amazing.
First, they picked us up from our hotel. Hello, private tour guides and chauffeurs! It was fabulous. We told them that we wanted to go to Fremont, Elysian, and Pike Place Market, but other than that it was up to them. They did all the navigating for us, so no backtracking and they planned the day. This was so nice, since we have been planning everything!
We headed down to an area and had brunch at Skillet Diner. This was so, so good. Ethan had grits, pork belly, and eggs. I had an amazing breakfast sandwich on brioche with brie, bacon, arugula, and so much more deliciousness. Ethan had a Seapine Brewing Company IPA, which was amazing, and I had a delicious mimosa.
From here, we went our first brewery of the day Optimism. This was such an amazing space. We were some of the first patrons, so it wasn’t crowded, but I can see how it would be the place to be on Friday/Saturday night. We shared a 15 beer flight. I loved the lighter beers they made, my favorite being Zest.
Next, we went to Elysian, the Tanglewood location. I got a flight here and tried some of their flagships, as well as the one-offs. We didn’t stay here too long, we headed off to the Market. I knew Pike Place was going to be crowded, I was expecting it, but it was really crowded. Jocelyn knew of a perfect parking spot, that was close, cheap, and no one else knows about it, so it is never crowded. We walked through the public library, which is architecturally stunning and then headed to the market. We watched them throw fish and an octopus, perused the flowers, fresh veggies, and were mesmerized by the size of the fresh fish. We stopped at Beecher’s and there was no line, so we split some macaroni and cheese, and it was SO GOOD.
From here, we went to Fremont Brewing Co. They had a bottle release that morning, so I was really hoping for some leftover bottles, but no such luck. However, they did have the beer on draft, Ethan and I both fell head first for the beer, Rusty Nail. We drank some on the patio and enjoyed the scenery and company of our friends. We walked to Outlander Brewing next. They had a lot of really great experimental brews with unique flavors, we shared a flight here and headed out to dinner, Brouwer’s Cafe. We had gotten this recommendation from a friend in Raleigh and Drew & Jocelyn had been here before and were itching to go back. I can see why, it was amazing. They had an awesome vintage bottle list and killer food. We split an enormous cheese tray as an appetizer, it was by far, the best cheese tray I have ever had. It was more than enough for 4 people, probably more. We also ordered a 2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout to split. I had a seafood cioppinio and Ethan had steak frites. We had the best time.
Drew and Jocelyn delivered us back to our hotel room and we played with the dogs, watched TV, and were out for the night.
What a great day, thanks to Drew & Jocelyn 🙂
We woke up eager and excited to head to Portland, well more specifically Tillamook. We were headed to deGarde Brewing Company first. This 4 hour drive was absolutely gorgeous. I could not believe Oregon’s beauty. We stopped in the Tillamook forest and took pictures and were stunned by the beauty. This was Sunday, so we had to make it to deGarde before they closed. We were very hungry, so we stopped at the Old Oregon Smokehouse. I seriously had the best clam chowder there, that I have ever had and Ethan thoroughly enjoyed his halibut and chips. We walked over to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and did the self-guided tour with ice cream in hand, by the way, marionberry pie ice cream is life-changing.
We drove to our original destination, deGarde. First, we facetimed our good friend, Ben. This is his favorite brewery, so we had to show him what it was all about. They have a great on site consumption list, we opted for the Purple Raz Bu. We shared about half of it and then gave it to the table next to us. It was so tart and juicy, but we had to get back on the road.
We drove the hour into Portland, unpacked quickly and headed to Upright Brewing. This was a very interesting spot. It was in the basement of a building, so an unassuming location, and had live folk music playing. It was a small spot, you were right in the brewery and there was no bar. A man standing by some taps and then some tables around. We had our beers and then left to go to Tin Bucket. This is a great spot. It is a bottle shop/bar collaboration. They also are the collaborating force behind deGarde’s famous beer, Broken Truck. We had missed the mimosas made with that by a mere 2 hours. I was so upset. We tried a few on draft beers, Prairie Paradise for me, and 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewery for Ethan. We completed a great in-person trade here and had to hit the next brewery before they closed, Sunday hours.
Hair of the Dog was next. We shared a flight and had to get some dinner. We had planned on grabbing food here, but they were literally out of everything. We used our handy friend, Yelp and found Taylor Railworks. This was such a cool space. We sat at the bar and watched them prepare our food. We split a Breakside IPA and enjoyed fresh shrimp, crab, fried chicken, and fresh pasta. We really enjoy restaurants that let you watch the preparation, it is so interesting.
From here, we headed to Great Notion Brewing. This was by far our favorite stop in Portland. Everything was perfect. We loved the beers and the staff. We finished a beer and told them we would see them tomorrow.
We woke up really early, 6 AM, to go wait for a beer release. Our tip had been wrong, and they weren’t releasing it until 12, but we decided to hit Voodoo Donuts while we were up. The bright side of this was that there was no wait, at all. Apparently, there is usually an hour + wait, the downside was all the people outside of Voodoo donuts. Portland seems to have a bit of a homeless problem. This is a cash only establishment, so you will get asked for money, by a ton of people. I was glad Ethan was with me.
We headed back to the hotel, to rest, blog, hang out with the dogs and get ready for the day. We headed out to lunch at Rip City Grill a food cart near downtown with excellent smoked tri-tip sandwiches and salads. We then went and picked our beer from the store for the release and then headed back for the Aerial Tram. This was a very short ride, a few minutes, maybe, but had stellar views. Portland has so many bridges and I had been wanting to get a photograph of all of them, but couldn’t figure out a good way, this was it. It was beautfiful. We went and checked out the International Rose Test Garden afterwards. This is where all of the people had been hiding, I thought it was strange, we hadn’t experienced any crowds, they were all here, and for good reason. It was beautiful and smelled amazing. We walked around and found a private bench to sit on and just enjoy the scenery.
From here, we headed to The Commons Brewery. This was beautiful brewery, specializing in Belgians. As soon as we walked in, we knew we were in a great space. We saw all sorts of North Carolina brewery t-shirts. There were two other couples there one from Charleston, they were leaving right after this brewery, and another couple from Charlotte. It was so fun. We enjoyed a flight and chatting with them and headed to Cascade Brewing Co.
At Cascade, we shared a few samples here and a cheese plate. This was a great spot, it was open air and the tables were on big barrels, one of the bartenders (that we met earlier in day) made us one of her special blends that was incredible.
We headed back to Great Notion for dinner and drinks for our last spot in Portland. I had an amazing kale salad and Ethan had a burger. We were chatting with the staff, getting tips for our drive the next day and in walk our friends from Charlotte! We hung out here until closing and then headed to a fun beer bar, before calling it a night.
We woke up and drove 1 hour to Hood River, Oregon. Another beautiful drive.We stopped at the famous Multnomah Falls. The dogs loved the short hike up to the top and so did we.
We had a recommendation from another friend in Raleigh to stop at Double Mountain for pizza and IPA’s, so we did. We got there right around lunch time and shared pizza, salad, and delicious IPAs. We walked to Full Sail Brewing, and were slightly disappointed. We thought it was going to be right on the water, regardless, we shared a beer and went on our way.
We headed to Pfreme, which everyone had told us to go to. This was right on the water and we really enjoyed the krieks and sours. We ran into some people at the bar from Cascade and asked them if we should go to Logsdon or Boneyard, with our time constraints, we could only do one. They told us without a doubt to go to Logsdon. This is where things got a little shaky. We should have just gone right back up the block to the tasting room. Well, Sir Master Google, told us it was ~30 minutes away. We headed out. We passed through so many fruit orchards and headed up winding beautiful roads until we arrived at Logsdon. I later found out this area was called “The Fruit Loop.” It was apparent that it was not open to the public, but we drove up anyway. Ethan hopped out of the truck and started chatting with the brewers, turns out this was the old tasting room and now they just brew here. Instead of sending us back to town, they gave us a private tour of the brewhouse, barrel cave, and let us try tons of beer of the tanks. This was one of the coolest experiences we have had the whole time. We thanked them profusely and headed to Bend.
This drive was another beautiful drive, we went around a mountain covered in snow, and then were almost in desert terrains. Bend was so, so beautiful. We headed out to Crux, when we first arrived. This was almost like a park. It was so packed for a Tuesday night. It had beautiful views of the mountains and the sun was setting while we were there over the mountains, it was so amazing.
We headed out to Deschutes for our last stop of the night. We got a spot at the bar and ordered dinner, I had an amazing steak salad and Ethan got wings. Our friends from Charlotte were here, as well! We hung out with them, sampled a flight and headed home.
We woke up early, knowing we had a big day ahead of us. First up, a 6 hour drive to Chico. Once again, beautifully breathtaking. We crossed over an area in Northern California with the most beautiful lake, turquoise waters, bright red rocks, and in between huge mountains. I have to go back. There were boats everywerhe, and I wanted to be on one.
We headed into Chico, CA and had lunch at Sierra Nevada. This was a beautiful space. It was so cool to see the original and the similarities between the new one that just opened in Mills River, NC. We shared a flight with lunch and got back on the road, another 3 hours to Santa Rosa. We drove through beautiful Sonoma on our way to Bear Republic. We split a flight here and headed to our hotel. We checked in and headed to Russian River, where we were shocked to find a line out the door of about 30 people. We waited our turn and ordered a pizza and the famous 22 beer flight. This was a bucket list brewery and we had so much fun! We got our bottles to go and headed to the hotel room.
I woke up so early. I was so excited I could barely contain it. We were celebrating my birthday a day early in the vineyards. We drove into Napa Valley, via steep winding roads and then steep declines. We checked in to the most adorable inn, The Vintage Inn. I know this is by far the nicest place we have stayed or will stay. It may actually be my favorite hotel, ever! We walked over to The Bottega and grabbed a super light lunch before our first wine tasting.
First up, Cakebread Vineyards. This is one of my favorite chardonnay wines and I knew I had to go here on my birthday. We had a private reserve tasting and then got to tour the private barell rooms. From here, we headed to Opus One. They do not offer a tour, but instead a beautiful area to drink a glass of wine. The bartender was chatting with us and decided to give us an amazing tour into the barrel collection room, which was stunning and unlike any other barrel room we have ever seen.
We head to Sequoia Woods next, which was not planned, but was still open and did not require reservations. We really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere here. We went back and relaxed for 3 hours, before heading to our dinner/ my birthday present at The French Laundry.
This dinner was one for the books and a big check off of my bucket list. We enjoyed fresh truffles, duck foie gras, wagyu beef, lamb, champagne and wine pairings, and so many desserts. We got a private tour of the kitchen being renovated and the current temporary kitchen. We also got a photo in front of the 5 Michelin stars in the kitchen. I was absolutely on cloud 9 the entire night.
Next we are heading further down the West Coast, by the next update we will be in St. Louis! As always, send any recommendations my way!
Happy Traveling, The Barbee Housewife