Should I stay or should I go?

This spring break, if you are not leaving the country, why not explore Portland, or take the 173-mile trip up to Seattle. After all, it is only about a three hour and twelve minute drive (at the speed limit).

From March 23 to April 15, Seattle will hold a family carnival called “Whirligig” where parents can let their kids blow off some steam. An all-day pass for the event costs $5.

One stop on you list might be at the icon of Seattle, the Space Needle. You can dine while looking out over the city or just take a look from the observation deck. Admission to the observation deck is $11 for adults and $5 for kids 5-12 years of age.

If you miss Portland on your visit you can go see the Blazers play the Sonics on March 23, at Key Arena.

Driving to Seattle yourself will cost around $21-27 round trip in gas(depending on your car and how much lead is in your foot).

You can also rent a car and then drive to Seattle. A rental economy car costs from $25 to $53 per day. You can get a luxury car starting at about $59 a day.

Another way to go is to take a Greyhound bus to Seattle. Greyhound offers a one-way price of $23 or a round trip of $40. If the bus isn’t your style then take Amtrak from Union Station here in Portland. A one-way Amtrak ticket to Seattle is $36 and a round trip is $65.

If neither of those modes of transportation suit you the airlines are always present. United, Delta and Alaskan Airlines all have flights to Seattle starting at $109.50.

Once you get to Seattle you are going to need a place to stay. The hotels range greatly from the Wyndham Seattle Airport at $56 a night to the Alexis Hotel at $185 a night for standard and $215 a night for the suites. Many rates in between these can also be found.

Instead of spending money on gas, tickets and hotels; you can stay home and find many events in the Portland area.

The Portland Parks and Recreation Center sponsors drop-in volleyball and basketball games at various community centers in the Portland-Metro area. Volleyball is held Monday through Friday; basketball runs Monday through Sunday.Portland Parks also sponsors cross country skiing at Mt. Hood, which runs through March 31, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Oregon Zoo and OMSI have upcoming events for the family. The Zoo has a event called “Bear Fair” on March 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also recent newborn and acquired animals to see. OMSI will hold shows in their Omnimax theater: “Whales” and “Journey into the Caves.”

The Portland Spirit and her sister ships are also available for you to dine and cruise the river. A dinner cruise costs $52 and runs nightly from 7 to 9:30 p.m. They also offer lunch and brunch cruises. The lunch cruises are priced at $28 and run Monday through Saturday.

Sundays the brunch cruise costs $36 and runs from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Any of the lunches and brunches can add a sight-seeing package for $15.

Saturdays also are Club Dance Cruise nights. From 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. the yachts are dance clubs for people 21 and over. The club cruises cost $10.