Portland with Great Golf Nearby

Portland with Great Golf Nearby

On the banks of the Willamette River lies Portland, Ore., a booming city with an abundance of cultural options. The city has undergone tremendous change over the past couple of decades with a profusion of corporate growth. Added are new luxurious hotel and restaurant options and the area is also home to many great golf courses. The Hotel Monaco is a great spot to stay at when visiting the downtown area.A nice golf side trip from here would be The Resort at the Mountain, just 45 minutes east of downtown and close to Mount Hood.

The Hotel Monaco is part of the Kimpton Hotels chain and is a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Portland. The hotel is closely connected to the nearby Portland Art Museum. A private art collection featuring Pacific Northwest artists can be found on each of the hotelís floors. A guided tour of the Art Museum or local galleries is available on request. Hotel Monaco has brought new meaning to the term ďpet friendly.Ē Art, who is a very friendly golden lab, greets all guests in the lobby and assures them that if they bring their own friend, they will be welcome. The hotel will provide everything your pet might need or want, including a pet masseuse. There is also a nightly wine reception hosted by the hotel.

The Red Star Tavern and Roast House are located just off the lobby and worth a visit. I dined on the wild salmon, which was excellent and tasted as though the fish had been caught that day. The Red Star features grills and wood ovens as well as great service. It is very popular with local residents for dining and cocktails. For more information on Hotel Monaco, visit www.monaco-portland.com.

When I visit cities, I like to get out and take long exploratory walks. I guess this comes from walking so many golf courses over the years. If you really want to stretch your legs, try heading up the famous Portlandís Rose Gardens. It will take about an hour from the Hotel Monaco and you will be rewarded with great views of the city. The Portland Zoo is located close to the Rose Gardens as well. For a shorter walk, try heading down the popular Riverplace Marina on the banks of the Willamette where you will find parks, shops and restaurants hugging the riverbank. A great restaurant option here would be the original McCormick & Schmickís. The company is actually headquartered in Portland. They have an extensive fresh seafood menu and the best location in the Riverplace Marina. You can dine indoor or outdoor and the service is excellent as well. I had Idaho trout crusted with almonds that was so delicious I can still taste it. For more information, visit www.mccormickandschmicks.com.

The Resort at The Mountain

The golf in the Pacific Northwest is among the best in the United States, especially during the summer months. The combination of good soil and plenty of rains mixed with some sun make for beautifully manicured greens at many of the courses. The Resort at the Mountain is just a 45-minute drive from Portland and features 27 holes to choose from. The setting is very scenic and the golf course is a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The Mount Hood National Forest frames the layout and offers spectacular views. The Salmon River runs through the property and can be heard throughout theFoxglove nine course. The Pine nine is one of the oldest layouts in Oregon and was built in 1928. The Thistle completes this golf complex, which can easily be walked. These three nines are classic in style and I found them to be quite enjoyable. With 27 holes, there is always a nine available, the routing allows for speedy play and the several large putting greens allow you to practice your short game. I found the course and greens to be in excellent shape.

The resort features 160 tastefully decorated rooms and suites with a Scottish flare. We stayed in a golf villa, which was brand new with all the comforts necessary. The property has a small village feel to it and is reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. We enjoyed dining at Tartanís Pub and Steakhouse overlooking the first fairway of the Pine course. The views of the dramatic mountains and the pastoral golf scene make this a must to experience and the food was also excellent. Mount Hoodís famous Timberline Lodge is about 15 minutes up the hill from the resort and there was still enough snow to keep the snowboarders happy even in July. For more information, visit www.theresort.com.