All in a Day's Drive: Oakland and Sutherlin

      OAKLAND, Ore. There's still a little summer left and now is a great time to venture to a few small towns in Oregon.

      Two neighboring towns in Douglas County offer plenty of charm just off I-5.

      If the wild blackberries aren't enough to lure you off the interstate, then some of the other sights around Douglas County just might.

      "That's sometimes the best way to take a road trip is just to take off and see what happens, what adventures we can find," Martin Snoey said.

      The Snoeys are on a return voyage to their home in Seattle, but stopped for a quick snapshot of the Rochester Bridge just outside Sutherlin. But they'll find other photo ops as well in nearby Oakland, including 120-year-old storefronts and original painted murals ads on the brick walls.

      "They'll jump off the I-5, even though we're only a little two mile detour off the highway, once they find it and they see it, they stumble onto this gem along the I-5 corridor and they just love it," Nellie Edelman said.

      Edelman manages Tolly's Grill and Soda Fountain in Oakland.

      The vintage soda fountain turned restaurant and bar first opened in 1968 on Locust Avenue and has been luring in families with its atmosphere and its milkshakes ever since.

      "I can do a chocolate, a vanilla, a strawberry, a black walnut," server Michele Karpontinis said as she rattled off milkshake flavors.

      When you stop in at Tolly's, you can saddle up to one of 10 stools right in front of the soda fountain. That's where the action is.

      But with several choices, the hardest part may be making up your mind.

      "I can turn that into a pineapple or blackberry or strawberry," Karponitis said.

      "We serve a huge slice of German chocolate cake with a big scoop of ice cream on it," Edelman said. "People will travel from miles around just to come for our German chocolate cake."

      Finally, if you're seeking a place to cool off, you can hop in the water or climb onto a boat and enjoy the serene waters of Cooper Creek Reservoir.
      "It's just a great place for picnicking and hanging out and going boating," Tyler Carson said. "There's a lot of boating around here and skiing."

      And you can find these roadside attractions all in a day's drive.

      In about two weeks, Sutherlin will host its annual Blackberry Festival, which includes a car show, a mud volleyball tournament and a blackberry cook-off.

      You can find more information at the event webpage.