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Sharing a Common Vision: Intergenerational Photography on the Oregon Coast

Program Number: 20910RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/22/2014 - 6/27/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Astoria, Oregon
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Photography
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 12 - 16 years of age.

Historic lighthouses, wave-battered shipwrecks, emerald green rainforests and the oldest town on the West Coast will be your inspiration and a local photographer will be your director as you and a grandchild explore the rugged Oregon Coast and lower Columbia River. Daily lessons and engaging hands-on workshops in digital photography get you ready to capture incredible images of stunning sunsets and breathtaking sunrises, while friendly critiques encourage you to grow.


• Visit historic locations like Lewis's and Clark’s winter encampment at Fort Clatsop, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse at the mouth of the Columbia River and Astoria, the oldest town west of the Mississippi.
• In the classroom and in the field, your photography instructor provides lessons on digital photography fundamentals and advanced techniques.
• Field excursions place you and your grandchild in locations of incredible natural beauty at the best time of day to make memorable images.

Activity Particulars

Each day begins with sunrise shoot, ends with sunset shoot. Walking two miles over uneven terrain, loose sand, rocky trails, uneven city sidewalks and paths.

At least one adult for each child.

Coordinated by Coastal Journeys Unlimited.


Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River near the Pacific Ocean, is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies and a significant historic region at the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Victorian homes overlook the town and waterfront.

Riverside hotel on historic waterfront. Airport shuttle available for a fee.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Express
  Astoria, OR 5 nights
 Holiday Inn Express
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Holiday Inn Express is located on the bank of the mighty Columbia River adjacent to the remarkable Astoria-Megler Bridge. Great photographic opportunities exist right in front of the hotel!
  Contact info: 204 West Marine Drive
Astoria, OR 97103 USA
phone: 503-325-6222
  Room amenities: Air Conditioning, Refrigerator, Microwave, 27 inch TV-DVD Player, Coffeemaker, Hairdryer, Ironing Board & Iron, High Speed Internet Access, Dirct Dial Phone with voice mail, Free Local and 800 Number access Calls
  Facility amenities: Indoor Heated Pool, Whirlpool, Smoke-free, Business Center, Fax, Copy, High Speed Internet Access; River views, Exercise Room, Game Room, Guest Laundry, GIft Shop
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for reservations Additional nights available by calling hotel directly.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for reservations Additional nights available by calling hotel directly.
  Check out time: 11:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4 p.m. Check in at hotel front desk, 5 p.m. Orientation You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express that night.
  End of Program:
8 a.m. Breakfast You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Hotel has free parking on site.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Astoria, OR
  Nearest city or town:  Astoria
  Nearest highway: Highway 101
  Nearest airport:  Astoria Airport in nearby Warrenton
  From End of Program
  Location: Astoria, OR
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

To Astoria


From Train Station




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Northwest Point Bus
phone: 800-442-4106
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$18 but check to confirm rates
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:





100 miles


Bus departs from Portland's train station in downtown Portland. If you are travelling to Portland International Airport you will need to either take a taxi to the train station or use Portland's MAX light rail. For MAX information, visit For bus schedules, rates, and other information visit:




From Airport




None - Car Required
phone: NA -0/0-
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Varies depending on vendor
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


2 hours 




100 miles


Rental cars are readily available at PDX. The drive to Astoria is pleasant and scenic, and parking is available at the hotel.

Driving Directions
  Portland to Astoria by Car There are three good routes from Portland to Astoria. Option #1: From Portland International Airport (PDX), follow I-205 North into Washington State and onto northbound I-5. Exit at Longview Exit 36 and follow the Highway 432 & 433 signs. Cross the Columbia River at Rainier and follow Hwy. 30 west to Astoria. Drive time is approximately 2 hours. Option #2: Take I-205 South from PDX. Take Portland exit onto I-84 Westbound. at the terminus of I-84, merge onto I-5 North and take the I-405 exit. Cross the Willamette River on I-405 (enjoy the view!) and take the Highway 30 (St. Helens) exit. Follow Highway 30 through Northwest Portland, Scapoose, and St. Helens to Astoria. Drive time is about 2 hours. Option #3: Follow I-205 to I-84 and I-405 just as you would for Option #2, but take the Highway 26 exit from I-405 and follow 26 West through the Coast Range to Highway 101. Head North on Highway 101 to Astoria.
Elevation Note: All activities at or near sea level.

Equipment Requirements: Digital photography equipment including DSLR or compact camera capable of manual exposure control. Many compact cameras, especially point-and-shoot cameras, do not allow for manual control of exposure. It is important that you understand the controls of your camera and be able to adjust the settings of your camera to make the most of the photography sessions on the program. If you or your grandchild do not have cameras capable of manual control, you will have limited options for creative control.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation
(Sunday, June 22)
 Arrive To: Independent arrivals to Astoria.
 Afternoon: Orientation at 5 p.m. in hotel meeting room.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Photography Class, Astoria Riverfront Photo Walk, Photo Scavenger Hunt, Fort Stevens State Park
(Monday, June 23)

Note: Photo walk and scavenger hunt will involve walking on a level path and boardwalk through the town of Astoria. Total walking distance will be about 3 miles depending on the route chosen for scavenger hunt.

 Breakfast: Sunrise photography session along the river in front of the hotel.

Breakfast buffet in hotel.

 Morning: Learn how to take better pictures with a hands-on lesson in photography. Everyone should bring their cameras. Following the class, we will embark on a photo walk along Astoria's historic waterfront ending in Downtown Astoria for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch you and your grandchild will explore Astoria on an engaging photo walk. Prizes will be awarded to those who complete the hunt with a grand prize awarded to the team with the most artistic images.
 Dinner: Dinner is a local restaurant.
 Evening: Fort Stevens State Park is located just south of the mouth of the Columbia River. There are several historic bunker complexes at the fort and we will explore one of them before visiting the rusting hull of the sailing ship Peter Iredale. This famous shipwreck will be the subject of the evening sunset shoot. Bring warm clothing and a tripod.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Astoria Bridge Sunrise Shoot, Astoria Column, Fort Clatsop National Park, Seaside Photo Walk
(Tuesday, June 24)

Note: Both Fort Clatsop and Seaside will involve walking. The fort has gentle pathways and Seaside is a city with sidewalks, a boardwalk and a nice beach. Depending on time and weather, we may walk up to three miles total.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast we will travel to the highest point in Astoria to photograph the Astoria Column. This wonderful spire offers sweeping views of the lower Columbia River, the northern Oregon Coast, and the Washington State side of the Columbia. Following our time at the Column, we will head down to Fort Clatsop, part of Lewis & Clark National Park, where a replica of the Corps of Discovery's winter fort will be our muse. The fort sits in a lovely forest with plenty of opportunities for photos of all kinds.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will explore Seaside and its famous boardwalk promenade.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: After dinner, the group will gather for a friendly critique. Your instructor will review projected images from everyone in the group and provide gentle tips and honest accolades.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Astoria Bridge Sunrise Shoot, Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park, Haystack Rock Sunset Shoot
(Wednesday, June 25)

Note: Ecola State Park has several nice walking paths, but great photos can be made a short distance from the parking lot. At Oswald West State Park, the path to the beach is a gentle grade of 1/2 mile to a great walking beach. The return hike is also 1/2 mile with a gentle grade. The sunset shoot at Cannon Beach will require a walk on the beach of about 1 mile total. There will be extended periods of walking and standing throughout the day.

 Breakfast: Once again, we will greet the sun along the banks of the Columbia River before breakfast. Perhaps a passing ship will provide just the composition you've been waiting for. Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast the group will travel down the Oregon Coast to Ecola State Park. There opportunities for seascapes, nature and possibly even wildlife photography will keep everyone busy. Ecola is a favorite location for Hollywood movie producers who have used the rugged headland in several notable films including Kindergarten Cop.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Cannon Beach.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will continue down the coast to Oswald West State Park, where a 1/2-mile stroll through an ancient rainforest will bring us to one of the most scenic beaches on the west coast. It's a popular spot for surfers, so keep your eyes open for action photo opportunities.
 Dinner: Dinner in Cannon Beach at a local restaurant.
 Evening: After dinner, it's a long walk down lovely Cannon Beach to iconic Haystack Rock where the sunset will dazzle you. Be ready to make the best sunset shots of the trip here. This location is amazing! We'll stay well after sunset to catch the changing light, so be prepared with warm clothing.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Astoria Riverfront Sunrise Shoot, Digital Workflow Workshop, Critique, Mystery Location
(Thursday, June 26)
 Breakfast: The final sunrise shoot of the trip will find you back out on the banks of the Columbia looking for that last masterpiece. Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast we'll break out the laptops and tablets for a final workshop on digital workflow. You should have a laptop or tablet capable of handling digital images. The instructor will be demonstrating Adobe Lightroom, which you can download a trial version of at With the instructor's help you will work on images from the week in preparation for the final critique.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, sit back and enjoy the final critique of the trip as the instructor once again provides gentle feedback to help you and your grandchild improve. Following the critique we'll travel to a mystery location for the final shoot of the trip.
 Dinner: We'll celebrate a great week with a wrap up dinner at a great local restaurant.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Independent Departures
(Friday, June 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Independent departures. Check out deadline is 11 am.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Photographing Oregon

Author: Greg Vaughn

Description: When it comes to photographing the Oregon Coast, Greg Vaughn's book is inspiring, informative, and comprehensive. As a bonus, the rest of the state is included!

The Photographer's Guide to the Oregon Coast

Author: David Middleton & Rod Barbee

Description: This is a decent guide to the scenic wonders along the Oregon Coast. Not as useful as Greg Vaughn's book, but certainly worthy of a look if you are going to be photographing the coast.

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