Apologies for the late post; we meant to get this out in September but we got behind! We hope you enjoy.
What to do when family comes to visit for a short trip? Maximize the time!
There are a couple classic Oregon things to check out on any visit. However, it can be tricky to get them all in given the large travel distances. Not a problem with personal aviation. Easily accessible general aviation airports coupled with the free courtesy cars make it incredibly easy to squeeze 3 days of fun in one day!
Oregon Coast Aerial Tour
The Oregon coast has been the backdrop to many famous movies (who remembers Goonies!). The drive along highway 101 is certainly amazing, but the view from the air is indescribable. To view the Oregon coast from the air gives a whole new dimension to the size of the mountain range and scale of the ocean. Pictures just don't give the experience justice.
It's hard not to go to the Tillamook Creamery and cheese factory at least once in your life. It's got a decent restaurant on-site (with just about any food you can imagine cheese going on top of), amazing ice cream to choose from, a fully stocked store with all the cheese you could want and plenty of photo opportunities.
Most of us are used to getting to the coast via a long drive. However, there is another way! Right in Tillamook is a municipal airport. It's a gorgeous flight over the Tillamook Bay and only a few minutes to the creamery.
Even better than that, there are a couple FREE courtesy vehicles at the airport. That's right, completely free. No rental fee. No rental contract. No drivers license asked for. In fact, you don't even need to pay for the gas. Just grab the keys by the office and go.
Who doesn't like driving around in a retired police cruiser?
Oregon State Fair
Next stop on the tour was the Oregon State Fair. We flew from the coast to the Salem airport, grabbed the free courtesy vehicle and headed out to the fairgrounds.
If you have kiddos, there are plenty of rides and sweet things to indulge in. For us, we were sans-kids so we stuck to the animals because fuzzy, cute animals never get old.
Being the state fair, there are always a few surprises.
We weren't able to find the owner's of these sheep, so we couldn't ask what the head coverings were for. Maybe they help keep the sheep warm after they had been sheared?
These "animals" were quite popular. Lots of selfies going around.
With bellies full of kettle corn and churros, we decided it was time to head back and catch the last rays of sunshine as we departed Salem.
Cascade Mountains Sunset Tour
We wrapped up our day of touring Oregon with a sunset tour over the Cascade Mountain range. The vibrant sunset colors with the clear skies were a perfect ending to a fun, busy day.