Willamette Valley Search Results

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We plan to be in the Willamette Valley for 2 days. Please suggest a town where we can say that would be convenient for touring the vineyards and sampling some good food without being too touristy.

Three places came to mind when I read your question.  They are McMinnville, Eugene and Albany!  Three very different Oregon towns each offering what you are looking for.  First of all, McMinnville is situated more in the Northern region of wine country.  It’s has a
bustling downtown with lots of restaurants and shops and very close to hundreds of wineries and vineyards.  One of my favorite places to visit when I’m in McMinnville is the McMenamins Hotel Oregon. Good food, beer, wine and lodging!  A couple of my favorite wineries are Adelsheim and Sokol Blosser.

Eugene is further south but also perfectly situated for wine tasting, touring without being too touristy and a place where you will find
delicious food!  The Inn at the 5th is a beautiful hotel located in the 5th Avenue Public Market in downtown Eugene.  Lodging here could afford you to be smack dab in the middle of all the GOOD food and shopping!  There is a wine tasting room also attached to the hotel. Two favorite wineries in the area are Sweet Cheeks and King Estate. And a few dining suggestions downtown: The Vintage and Sweet Life Patisserie. Our Daily Bread is found on the way to visit some of the wineries in that area!

Albany is smaller town of only about 50,000 pop.  Home to several delicious restaurants as well, it’s also home to Matt Bennett, a James Beard Award Nominated Chef!  He owns three restaurants downtown, one of which I send all of our visitors to who are looking for a true taste of the Pacific Northwest: Sybaris. Albany is also located in the middle between McMinnville and Eugene so a perfect spot if you are wanting to get as much as possible from all areas of the Willamette Valley.

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on August 17th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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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?

I really love your question!  I live in the Willamette Valley but have a loft in the Pearl District in Portland. The main thing you have to do in Portland is EAT!!!  Take advantage of one of the many great walking tours of the city.

From Portland, I would travel to and through the Willamette Valley on Highway 99W.  Staying off the interstate will give you the best experience.  Wineries are everywhere as well as the most beautiful B & B’s.
Check out www.obbg.org and use the interactive map to locate a B & B in wine country that  suites you.

There is a lot to see in the valley but our wineries are our main attractions as they should be.  Each one is unique and beautiful with qualities not found anywhere else.  A few of my favs:  Left Coast
Cellars, Van Duzer, Airlie Winery, Sokol Blosser and Adelsheim.   I also recently toured our Oregon Olive Mill in Dayton.  This place is great.  They give tours, offer olive oil tasting, shopping for edible items as well as locally made products, wine tasting and the views are pretty nice too!

A stop near McMinnville at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum should be on your list as well.  The Spruce Goose is housed here as well as many other very cool planes and space vehicles.  Totally worth the stop.

My biggest piece of advice is just to take your time when driving through the Willamette Valley.  Take a side road or two and you may be very happily surprised at what you find.  It’s a beautiful place so
enjoy it!

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on July 13th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I’m visiting Oregon this summer and want to hit the best flea-markets and swap meets Oregon has to offer. Any suggestions? – Sims J.

The two events that come to mind are my two favorite events that hit the Willamette Valley in early September.  I know you said you were visiting Oregon this summer, however, if you are able to extend your trip, it would be totally worth it!

First of all, Albany holds an event each year called, “Antiques in the Streets!”  It is held Saturday, September 8, 2012 – all day long!  This event is held every year on the Saturday after Labor Day.  It’s huge and with that and all the other antique shops in town, you are sure to fill your entire Saturday.

Another great location for antiques is Coburg, Oregon. The small town also hosts an Antique Fair every September. This year it is on September 9, 2012 the day after Albany’s and it is even bigger!

We have several hotels in Albany, however, there is a very sweet B & B in Brownsville called the Brownsville House B & B.  Cyndi and Bob have lived in Brownsville for over 30 years.  The perfect place to go to after Albany’s Antiques in the Streets and a just a short drive to Coburg the next day for their Antique Fair!  There are also a lot of B & B’s in Eugene just outside of Coburg for lodging as well if you choose to stay close to the Sunday fair.

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on May 15th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We are looking for places to go gold prospecting or sites to dig for gem stones along with camping. Will be taking a one year old, three year old and twelve year old with us. – Mary W.

I love your question because I have never considered “gold prospecting” but how fun that would be.  I found this awesome site about Oregon Gold for you to check out! It looks like so much family fun so if you go, please let us know how it goes! Also checked this site out gold panning website. It looks like it gives some gold panning info on the “how to” and “where to go!”

I have to say that I am not a camper but my son is and he loves Foster Lake in Sweet Home, Oregon.  Also, if you go to the Ranger Station in Sweet Home, they are always helpful and full of information for camping, hiking and many more outdoor activities in that area.

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on May 7th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

If you were going to get engaged in Oregon, where would you do it? – A.C.

You are in luck because I have a few ideas to  share with you! I happen to have a B & B in the Willamette Valley and we host many newlyweds so noting the locations our brides and grooms chose to “tie the knot,” can also be some of the most romantic places to “pop the question.” If I could give you just one answer, I would chose smack dab in the middle of a hazelnut orchard!  Off Highway 228 between Brownsville and Sweet Home, Oregon, you’ll find the sweetest orchard with old trees anchored solid in to the earth in the most perfect rows.  They have been there forever and their branches hang like arms in protection of something special and what a peaceful place. You will find many hazelnut orchards all throughout the Willamette Valley and just using Google, you can find more.

The Willamette Valley is gorgeous so choosing any outdoor venue would be  perfect. At Mary’s Peak after a nice long hike to the top, behind the falls at Silver Creek Falls, at Left Coast Cellars in between the rows of grapes or while enjoying a picnic at one of Linn County’s covered bridges.  Wherever you choose, I wish you luck and very romantic and memorable moment.

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on April 20th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We plan to fly into Portland in late July or early August with our 14 year old grandson who is intent on visiting the University of Oregon in Eugene. What activities might be in the area that he would be interested in seeing?

I love that your grandson is so intent on seeing the University of Oregon!  It’s a gorgeous campus so please be sure to take the whole tour!  As far as baseball games go, check out the University of Oregon’s baseball website. Also, please see my friends at the Eugene, Cascades and Coast Adventure Center in Springfield when you come to town.  There you will find tons of info on so many very cool things to do. From Portland to Eugene, please take the slow road, highway 99 and enjoy our scenery, hiking trails and perhaps a stop at our beautiful Silver Creek Falls.  You will be amazed to find such a place right here in Oregon.

Eugene is surely the place for fun and lots of outdoor activity to keep a 14 year old very busy.  Perhaps renting bikes at Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life and riding along the Willamette River would be fun.  Taking a picnic lunch and exploring by bike is one of the best ways to experience the city.
Also, if you need someplace for lunch or a dinner, check out of the McMenamin’s in Eugene as well. Delicious local food and something on the menu to please every age.

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on April 20th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We have three kids 5 and under. We want to go on a vacation and check out Oregon, but don’t know where to go? We would love some good ideas. We don’t mind camping, and we like doing things outdoors, but the kids might only last hiking for a couple of days and then be wiped out. – Sharp Family

Wow… you won’t believe the list of family friendly recommendations in the Willamette Valley. Here are some places to check out:

 

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on April 19th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Planning a trip through the west coast. From Portland to San Francisco. What we must not miss?

I’d check out Astoria and Canon Beach, see this blog entry. I would take I-5 to Hwy 38 to the coast and down to San Francisco.

Answered by Dave Strom on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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Any travel (food, lodging, wine tours) suggestions for the Thanksgiving weekend in Williamette Valley?

Thanksgiving is probably my most favorite time of year in the Willamette Valley. The leaves are in full fall color and it’s cool enough outdoors that a B & B would provide the coziest stay. Many B & B’s are taking guests over the Thanksgiving holiday. You can find one by checking out the FB page Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild. Also, check this link.

Answered by Debbie Lusk, Ask Oregon Portland Expert on January 25th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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