Pacific North-West Explorer 2015 – guided, fully-vegan culinary and sightseeing tour – short and long  options available

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Otis Beanery and Vegan Fusion are proud to offer you a fantastic opportunity to sample the sights and savour the flavours of America’s beautiful Pacific North-West. On our small group tour from Portland to San Francisco you will enjoy the finest contemporary vegan cuisine while being escorted through both iconic cities and stunning scenery. From dramatic coastline to Crater Lake,  from family-run wineries to funky food carts, your senses will be thrilled by the best of the North-West.

There are 3 options:
Full Tour – 18 days, 17 nights, Portland to San Francisco – $3,900
– Fri 18 September to Mon 5 October 2015
Compact 1 – 8 days, 7 nights, Portland to Eugene, OR – $1,900
– Sat 19 September to Sat 26 September 2015
Compact 2 – 8 days, 7 nights, Eugene, OR to San Francisco – $1,900
– Sat 26 September to Sat 3 October 2015

Tour Highlights

  • 3 vegan cooking workshops hosted by top chefs

  • behind-the-scenes encounters with food producers and processors

  • quirky style of Portland, Oregon, #3 in Happy Cow’s top ten vegan cities of the world

  • breathtaking Columbia River Gorge & Mt Hood

  • spectacular views and wildlife along the Oregon Coast from Astoria to Florence

  • quiet charm of Eugene and the Willamette Valley

  • superb mountain scenery at Crater Lake

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Ashland

  • Segway tour of the historic town of Jacksonville

  • walk among the tallest trees in the world at Redwoods National Park

  • close-up view of elk during rutting season

  • full day to explore the major sights of San Francisco by bike or hop-on hop-off tour

  • Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge

  • World Veg* Festival in San Francisco

  • accommodation at carefully-selected quality hotels, B&Bs and even a farm-stay in Talent

  • winery, brewery and distillery visits

Tour Itinerary – 18d / 17n Pacific North-West Explorer (Compact packages as indicated)

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Day 1 – Friday (18 September 2015)

Upon your arrival to Portland International Airport (PDX) or Union Station we will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. (Other arrival points may be possible, please ask).

The day is free until the early evening. We will have a tour briefing and introduce you to the other members of the group over dinner at the award-winning Blossoming Lotus fully vegan restaurant.

We will be staying at University Place Hotel or similar in downtown Portland.

Meals included: D

 Day 2 – Saturday 19 September 2015 (Start of Compact 1 tour package, pick up from airport)

Breakfast at hotel.

We have a morning bike tour to take us on a funky tour of inner Portland with beautiful houses, hipster cafes, street art and crossings of the Willamette River. The route will include Sweet Pea vegan bakery for morning tea as well as the farmers’ market.

For lunch we recommend the vegan food carts at 3rd St & Washington where you can find everything from wholesome bowl meals to vegan bacon cheeseburgers.

You have the afternoon completely free to continue exploring Portland: attractions include the International Rose Garden with its stunning array of rose varieties, retro and indie shoppingPowell’s World of Books, the Pearl District and much more.

Our dinner recommendation tonight is at the Portobello Vegan Trattoria who have both seasonal specials as well as Italian classics like arancini and tiramisu. For something more casual there’s the all-vegan Veggie Grill with burgers, salads, sweet potato fries and desserts.

Meals included: B

Day 3 – Sunday

This morning free. You have bicycles at your disposal or could go on the Know Your City walking tour of downtown Portland. Other attractions include the Lake Oswego ‘Gallery Without Walls’ sculpture park, indoor ice skating at the Lloyd Center and inner city distilleries.

In the afternoon we have our first cooking class. Chef Deb Kay will prepare a multi-dish extravaganza in a 6-hour class is part hands-on and part demonstration.

Meals included: B, D

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Day 4 – Monday

Breakfast at hotel.

Today we have a day trip to the Columbia Gorge region. We will travel the old Highway 101 and stop by the Vista House for majestic views, then on to the USA’s second highest permanent waterfall, Multnomah Falls.

For lunch you will have various options in Hood River. We will spend a few hours in this pleasant town so you can take the Full Sail Brewery tour, visit the downtown wineries (Naked and Vines 1852) or just mosey around.

Weather permitting we will drive up Mt Hood to the Timberline Lodge before returning to Portland. On the way we will stop to pick some delicious seasonal fruit at Mt View Orchards. If Mt Hood is inaccessible we will return via the scenic Washington side of the Columbia River.

Our dinner recommendations tonight are Harvest At The Bindery, a farm-to-table restaurant featuring foods of the Pacific Northwest region, and The Sudra, an Indian-inspired vegan bar and restaurant.

Meals included: B

Day 5 – Tuesday

Breakfast at hotel.

After a tour of the pioneering supermarket Wholefoods, which has lots of vegan goodies of all types, we say farewell to Portland and head to the coastal town of Astoria.

After a picnic lunch at the Astoria Column with panoramic views of the town, we will take a wildlife and history cruise around the mouth of the Columbia River.

Our accommodation is at the wonderfully atmospheric Grandview B&B in Astoria.

Dinner options are waterfront dining at Bridgewater Bistro or one of the brew pubs like BuoyFort George and Wet Dog.

Meals included: B

Day 6 – Wednesday

Breakfast at hotel.

This morning you have some time to wander around historic Astoria, the oldest US settlement on the west coast. We then head south along highway 101 with impressive views of sea-stacks, bays and headlands on the Pacific Ocean coastline. For lunch we will have a picnic at Oswald West State Park. We continue on to Lincoln City via the 3 Capes scenic route.

Our accommodation is at Siletz Bay Lodge, very close to the beach, or similar.

Dinner options are very ethnic tonight with Jasmine ThaiNepali Kitchen or Puerta Vallarta Mexican.

Meals included: B

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Day 7 – Thursday

Breakfast at hotel.

Starting late morning we have a cooking class at the Lincoln Culinary Center. Along with chef Sharon Wiest we will prepare a three-course lunch, with matched wines.

In the afternoon we depart for Newport with a stop at Depoe Bay Whale Watching Centre and then the delightful Yaquina Bay lighthouse.

Our accommodation is at Inn At Nye Beach or similar.

Dinner options include the eclectic ‘world beat cuisine’ of Cafe Mundo and Kam Meng restaurant with homestyle Chinese claypot cooking.

Meals included: B, L

Day 8 – Friday

Breakfast at hotel.

We head further south along the coast with a mid-morning forest walk at Cape Perpetua.

For lunch we will have a picnic at Heceta Head with its picturesque lighthouse.

Afterwards we will have short stop to look at carnivorous pitcher plants, then we can enjoy an afternoon coffee break in the quiet town of Florence.

Accommodation at Broadway Inn, Eugene.

For dinner we will take you to the restaurant of your choice, Sizzle Pie (pizza) or Laughing Planet (various dishes in casual macrobiotic style). If you’re feeling indulgent you can sugar up with some vegan crunk at Voodoo Doughnut.

Meals included: B

Day 9 – Saturday 26 September 2015 – (End of Compact 1 tour package, transfer to airport) (Start of Compact 2 tour package, pick-up from airport)

Breakfast at hotel.

The morning is free for you to explore the pleasant Eugene city centre and the numerous produce and craft stalls at the Lane County farmers’ market. There are plenty of vegan choices available at market food carts for your brunch or lunch.

In the afternoon you can take a bike ride along the Willamette River trail, visit the Oregon Space Museum, check out some art galleries or do a walking city tour of wine cellars and distilleries.

For dinner there are a few options including Cafe Yumm and Pizza Research Institute.

Meals included: B

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Day 10 – Sunday

Breakfast at hotel.

This morning we drive through Diamond Creek Wilderness up to the rim of Crater Lake, one of the most spectacular natural formations in the USA. We will have time for a short walk along the rim trail encompassing numerous panoramic points.

After our picnic lunch we continue deep into southern Oregon the pretty town of Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

For our early dinner we will take you to the restaurant of your choice: Agave (Mexican) or Pangea (exotic/world cuisine). There are many vegan-friendly restaurants in Main St.

At 8pm we have two choices of live theatre from the Festival: Much Ado About Nothing (William Shakespeare) and The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas).

Our accommodation is in the nearby Talent district at the very relaxing Shady Grove Farm. Yes, you are welcome to help feed the rescue animals!

Meals included: B

Day 11 – Monday

Breakfast at farm.

You have the morning free to explore the quiet town of Ashland.

For lunch we can recommend the brilliant Ashland Food Co-op and a picnic in Lithia Park right in the centre of town.

After lunch we head through Applegate to visit Sanctuary One animal rescue centre and permaculture garden, and then Whistling Duckorganic farm.

For dinner we can recommend Sesame (Asian style), Wiley’s World (pasta & noodles) or you can choose from the many restaurants in Ashland with vegan options.

Accommodation at Shady Grove Farm.

Meals included: B

Day 12 – Tuesday

Breakfast at farm.

This morning we will have a tour by Segway of the tiny but charming town of Jacksonville, most of which is a National Historical Monument. The tour includes an induction/training, helmet and of course all the fascinating sights in this former gold-rush and frontier town.

We take a very short detour to Medford where you can stock up on exotic snacks and more at Trader Joe’s and then have lunch at ChipotleShinsei Sushi or elsewhere in the main shopping district.

After lunch we will have a brief visit to the family-run Crow And Bear Winery. Heading east we will also stop for a short walk at the Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside, located in an area which is recognised as one of 200 biologically outstanding ecoregions in the world.

We cross the border into California and in the late afternoon we will arrive at Redwoods National Park where we are accommodated at Elk Meadow Cabins.

As there are no nearby restaurants, chef Alan will prepare you a wholesome two-course meal and deliver it to your cabin.

Meals included: B, D

Day 13 – Wednesday

A breakfast pack is provided for you to enjoy at leisure in your cabin.

Today we will spend all day among the sheer majesty of Redwoods NP with a morning walk, a picnic lunch and an afternoon walk. Highlights include the Lady Bird Johnson trailFern Canyon and the spectacular Big Tree.

Accommodation at Elk Meadow Cabins.

For dinner we are heading to the restaurant at the Redwood Hotel Casino at Klamath.

Meals included: B, L

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Day 14 – Thursday

A breakfast pack is provided for you to enjoy at leisure in your cabin.

Today we head south and have a morning coffee stop in the sleepy town of Eureka. We then continue through the beautiful tall forests of California along the spectacular Avenue of the Giants. We’ll have a short walk to the Mahan Plaque, among other things the location of a sasquatch sighting.

For lunch you can have your own picnic or buy something from The Peg House.

Our drive continues and we will have an afternoon break at the delightful Muir’s Tea Room.with it’s luxurious vegan assortment of petit fours, fairy cakes, pastries and more.

Finally we arrive in San Francisco with a crossing of the Bay into Richmond and on to our accommodation at the relaxed Coral Reef Innon the island of Alameda.

For dinner tonight our choices include the stylish restaurant and wine bar Encuentro (Mediterranean-inspired, modern cuisine), Souley Vegan soul food and Burma Superstar vegetable-strong Burmese cuisine.

Meals included: B

Day 15 – Friday

Breakfast at hotel.

In the morning we have a cooking class with vegan Iron Chef Lisa Books-Williams. Together we will make a two-course lunch with local ingredients.

After lunch we have a tour to Alcatraz, the legendary island that has been a Civil War fort, a military prison and one of the most notorious federal penitentiaries in US history.

For dinner we have the option of Herbivore modern vegan cuisine, Cafe Gratitude (latter day hippie) or Cha-Ya (Japanese).

Meals included: B, L

Day 16 – Saturday 3 October 2015 – (End of Compact 2 tour package, transfer to airport)

Breakfast at hotel.

Today is a completely free day. We will provide you with your choice of a ticket for the Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour or a bicycle for you to explore San Francisco at your own pace. From Chinatown to the famous cable cars, the sights of one of the USA’s iconic cities are all within reach. You could also have a quiet stroll downtown, visit the Saturday farmers’ market at the Ferry Terminal, or take the LGBT political history tour of the Castro district.

For dinner you can enjoy the raw or cooked vegan dinner at the World Veg* Festival or we will take you to nearby restaurants that have vegan options.

Meals included: B

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Day 17 – Sunday

Breakfast at hotel.

Welcome to the 16th World Veg* Festival! You have a whole day of displays, talks, demonstrations and great food at the festival.

Our dinner recommendations include Pena Pachamama with vibrant South American cuisine and live music, and Enjoy classical Chinese cuisine vegan-style in Chinatown. Towards the Mission district there are more great offerings at HerbivoreGracias MadreIndochine Vegan and Hella Vegan food truck.

Meals included: B

Day 18 – Monday

Breakfast at hotel

Transfer to San Francisco airport, Oakland airport or Embarcadero train & bus terminal throughout the day as required

Meals included: B

Full tour – US$3,900 pp twin share all inclusive, single supplement available (+$550)
Compact 1 or 2 – US$1,900 pp twin share all inclusive, single supplement available (+$250)

The tour price includes:

  • transfers from airport or bus / train station at start (Portland or Eugene) and end (San Francisco or Eugene) of the PNW Explorer full or compact tour
  • accommodation full tour 17 nights or compact tours 7 nights twin share  or single (supplement payable) in carefully-selected quality hotels or similar standard B&Bs
  • vegan meals as specified in the daily program notes
  • land and water transport as specified in tour program
  • entry fees where applicable
  • tour guide and assistance
  • souvenir apron

Food Notes:

  • breakfast will typically be a hotel buffet with particular attention paid to vegan requirements
  • lunches and dinners where included are as specified in the program. Circumstances may require change of preferred restaurants.
  • all meals specified as included in the tour are vegan at the request of Otis Beanery. At some venues it may be possible for tour guests to order non-vegan options at their own expense.
  • at food cart pods, markets and in some of the lunches, tour guests will be provided with transport to and from the site and will then buy their own food: you will be free chose from the many delicious vegan offerings available from various options. Otis Beanery has made this arrangement so that guests can have the broadest possible choice. We will endeavour to let you know in advance what you are likely to find so that all tastes can be catered for. In some circumstances there may unavoidably be limited options
  • where lunches are specified as ‘picnic’, you will have an opportunity to purchase beforehand the items you wish to consume. Picnic locations have been selected for their attractiveness and the availability of toilets and other facilities. In the case of rain, strong winds or other inclement weather we will need to alter our plans. You will be advised at the time of the arrangements.

Tour price does not include:

  • transport to Portland  or Eugene at start of tour, nor transport from Eugene or San Francisco at end
  • transport other than as specified in the program
  • items and expenses of a personal nature (e.g. hotel mini bar, laundry, etc.)
  • tips and gratuities
  • meals, snacks, alcoholic and other beverages not specifically listed in tour program
  • souvenirs
  • medical insurance. It is recommended that all tour participants purchase comprehensive travel insurance that is valid for the USA.

Limited spots available on these tours!  Please email info@otisbeanery.com with any queries.