Are you trippin'? (Part 1)
Road trippin' that is....
The sun’s out, gas is cheap (relatively speaking) and if you read my previous blog about prepping your car for spring, you should be primed and ready for a gorgeous spring drive. Over the next few weeks I will be posting different, local drives for spring and summer ranging from short jaunts to all-day trips. All of them will have you out in the sunshine, exploring our beautiful county and sometimes beyond. Think of these drives as you would a "choose your own adventure novel" (if you remember those) because all of the stops are optional as well as the amount of time you stop for. I have estimated how long you might stop at each destination for reference purposes.
Part 1 : Wine, eats, elk & salt
Recommended drive day: Saturday
Things you will need: a full tank of gas, travel companions (if desired) and a sunny disposition (though this drive might put you in one regardless).
The Umpqua River Scenic byway includes wineries, forests, rivers, farmlands, the Pacific Ocean and, of course, elk. Lots of elk. I have pointed out some stops along the way to break up the journey which includes restaurants, wineries, shopping and the aforementioned elk viewing. Without suggested stops, this trip will take you about an 1hr and 30min to reach the final destination of Reedsport, OR. I have included maps and/or turn-by-turn directions for your convenience.
If you plan on making the suggested stops, I recommend leaving at 9:00am so that lunch and dinner are appropriately timed. If you would like to test drive a vehicle or chat with one of our friendly sales associates about your next purchase, someone will be here at 8:30am to help you. You might as well; our dealership is the starting point of every journey in this series. (Wink.)
Clint Newell Auto Group to Kruse Farms
Travel time: 10min. Estimated stop time: 20min.
Starting at our dealership, located at 1481 NE Stephens St in Roseburg, OR, head west on Garden Valley until you feel you are exiting the town and entering the country. Then veer left onto Melrose Road. To your left, you will see one of our most loved, local produce stands, Kruse Farms (opens mid April). I suggest you stop here for some local road snacks you might be needing later. Their Marionberry pie is incredible, though I don’t recommend eating pie in the car. That sounds messy. (But if you get messy we can detail your car for you at our dealership.)
Kruse Farms to Melrose Vineyards
Travel Time: 5 min. Estimated stop time: 40min
Keep heading toward the country on Melrose Rd. Turn Right on Melqua Rd. where you will soon arrive at Melrose Vineyards. Their tasting room in a 100-year-old barn not only houses delicious wines, but breathtaking views. Stop in for a quick sip if you so desire! (Clint Newell Auto Group does not endorse driving under the influence. Please have a designated driver if you plan on indulging.)
Melrose Vineyard to Henry Estate Winery
Travel time: 15 min. Estimated stop time: 40min
Head North on Melqua Rd until you reach a “T” in the road, then turn right on Hubbard Creek Rd. On this road, you will pass Henry Estate Winery on your left. This is the oldest winery in the area dating back to 1880 which is when they first started producing wine. Stop in for another sip if you’d like. Their Verasion is very popular and perfect for spring. (Again, Clint Newell Auto Group does not endorse driving under the influence. Please have a designated driver if you plan on indulging.)
Henry Estate Vineyard to The Lighthouse Center Bakery and Café
Travel time: 1 min. Estimated stop time: 60 min
Hoping that you are hungry after all those sips and have saved your local snacks for the longer stretch of the trip, the next stop is right around the corner. Continue on Hubbard Creek Rd, go over the river, continue straight on Fort McKay Rd and to your left you will see your next stop. The Lighthouse Center Bakery and Café is a perfect lunch spot and even has a patio to enjoy the sunshine. Their soups and breads are made from scratch, almost everything is organic and everything is vegetarian. It’s all so delicious that you probably won’t notice the lack of meat. I don't.
The Lighthouse Bakery and Café to Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
Travel Time: 1hr 6 min. Estimated stop time: 30min
Now that your bellies are full of fresh, local goodness, it’s time to start the long leg of the journey. (I didn’t want you to get “hangry”.) Continue westward on highway 138. Along the way you’ll be hugging the beautiful Umpqua River so make sure you take a gander out your window… Safely please. Those roads can be curvy. In a beautiful hour or so, you’ll come face to face with local fauna at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area just before you hit your final destination. If you stop, please don’t try to feed or pet the wildlife. This 1,040 acre sanctuary is home to around 120 Roosevelt Elk. The best time to view these majestic creatures is in the morning and evening so if you would like to wait until the return trip to make this stop that’s quite all right with me. You are indeed choosing your own adventure.
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area to Reedsport, OR
Travel time: 5min Estimated stop time: As long as you want! Just remember it’ll take around 1hr and 30min to get back home to Roseburg.
Drive about 5 min along the same highway and you’ll end up in the quaint, coastal town of Reedsport. Here you can tootle up and down the streets visiting local shops until you decided it’s time to enjoy the sunset on the water and a delicious bite at a local restaurant. To work up an appetite, some local attractions include: Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Antique Shops, Umpqua Discovery Center, The Umpqua River Lighthouse and The Tsunami Gallery. For dinner, The Harbor Light Restaurant has great reviews for American food (and my mom loves it), as does the Sol De Mexico for something a bit spicier and for seafood or steak, I’ve heard great things about Remy’s.
I welcome you to post pictures along your journey in the comment section of the Facebook post including this blog on our Clint Newell Auto Group Facebook page. We would love to see the fun you had!