We have a day and night to get from Portland to Eugene, what could we see on our way? –Linda
I am the AskOR Willamette Valley expert and I am happy to give you a few suggestions for enjoying our gorgeous region! First of all, for lodging, I would check out www.obbg.org if you are thinking you might enjoy a night in a B & B along your route. If you would like to wine taste or if you are in to seeing some of the most beautiful country in the world, take hwy 99W out of Portland south all the way to Eugene.
On your route, enjoy our small towns and villages and know that in each and every one of them you’ll find something good to drink and delicious local food to enjoy. You’ll be going right by the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum near McMinnville: http://www.evergreenmuseum.org If you have ever wanted to see the Spruce Goose, this is its home!
Traveling further south along this route, you will come across my favorite place for local beer and food in Amity, OR at The Blue Goat Cafe: http://amitybluegoat.com Save room for dessert because it’s really good!
A great place to stay if you want an in between Portland and Eugene place is Corvallis. A vibrant bustling town home to Oregon State University. Take the campus tour if you’d like or take a hike! My most favorite Oregon hiking trails are nearby. The Mc Donald Dunn Forest: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cf/recreation/trails.php I hike here a few times a month and there’s always something new to see. You can do just a few miles or take a longer route as you choose. My reward for working hard on these trails is a bite to eat at either Block 15 or American Dream Pizza on 2nd Ave. both in downtown Corvallis.
- Block 15: http://block15.com Enjoy locally brewed beers from all over the valley!
- American Dream: http://adpizza.com My fav place for pizza in the valley!
You can choose to skip over to Albany from here on hwy 20 right out of downtown Corvallis and enjoy their darling downtown area before heading again south on to Eugene again via hwy 99. A few tidbits about Albany… they happen to boast the most in number and varied styles of historic homes and buildings in the entire state of Oregon! Worth a stop for some photos of the gorgeous vintage abodes and a trip to the Albany Carousel Museum and studio is awesome: http://albanycarousel.com A few places to dine if you choose to eat in Albany:
- Calapooia Brewing Co.: http://calapooiabrewing.com Best Class V burger around!
- Sybaris Bistro: http://www.sybarisbistro.com Award winning twice nominated James Beard Awary chef using all locally grown ingredients before it was cool! Delicious!
- Sweet Red Bistro: http://www.sweetredbistro.com Great for a coffee break, lunch or dinner!
Well… this is my short list. I am happy to provide you with more info but this could keep you busy far longer than a day and a night. Hope you enjoy your planning and your trip. Thanks for your question!
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The museum in Oregon City, which involves the lives and journeys of some of the early settlers from the east, is very well done. Definitely worth a visit. My husband and I visited there about 5 years ago. There is plenty that would interest kids as well.
Other questions about Willamette Valley
- We’ll be staying in Corvallis for about a week and are most interested in seeing Oregon’s natural wonders. How much could we jam into our itinerary?
- I want to combine a trip to Portland with a visit to the Willamette Valley. What would you plan to see and how should we travel from Portland to the Willamette Valley?
- Can you recommend affordable hotels near wineries in the Willamette Valley?
About Ask Oregon Expert Debbie Lusk
Debbie Lusk loves Oregon and everything there is to experience here. She may be found on the back of a black mare riding through wine country with saddle bags full of Oregon wine, or enjoying a cold beer at a local Willamette Valley microbrewery. She's smitten with Oregon and plans to enjoy it all one bite at a time! All her experiences can be found on her blog, Sweet Bliss.