Stroll through 12 fragrant acres of purple blooms at Lavender Lake Farms in Independence.

America’s road to independence was a challenging one, but Oregon’s is a sweet road trip. This month, we invite you to visit Independence. Located in the Willamette Valley just an hour south of Portland, this little town will give you plenty to celebrate (so if you feel like clapping, cheering and waving a flag, we won’t stop you).

Hopped up: Formerly the “Hop Capital of the World,” Independence once saw more than half of the world’s hops pass through town. Today you can get a taste of locally grown heritage hops at Rogue Ale’s Chatoe Rogue tasting room and hop farm. Tour the hopyard and farmstead nano-brewery on the weekends at 3 p.m. or by appointment. Taste specialty farmstead beers at the tasting room, and enjoy the views of the fields and orchards.

Down by the riverside: The Willamette River Trail, a 5-kilometer loop trail in town, offers excellent bird and wildlife watching opportunities as it winds through the river’s riparian zone. The trail runs from the Riverview Park Amphitheater to the North Riverfront Ballfield Complex and passes by the town’s off-leash dog park along the way (so bring your four-legged friend).

Fields abloom: Stroll through 12 fragrant acres of purple blooms at Lavender Lake Farms. The gift shop carries a variety of handmade organic bath products, lotions, essential oils, honey and culinary items. Check out the U-pick acreage, and don’t miss the Oregon Lavender Festival, July 13-14, 2013, when Lavender Lake Farms and others open for a special celebration of art, photography and flowers.

Eats and treats: Freshly baked breads, pastries, cakes and gluten free options will keep you perched at Ovenbird Bakery way past the breakfast hour. And the home cooked burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads at Andy’s Café make it a great lunch spot.

Sleepover: Spend the night at Rogue Brewery’s Hop ’N Bed, a 100-year-old farmhouse located on the hopyard farm and near the Willamette River. The house sleeps up to 12, and dogs are welcome (there’s even a dog menu at the tasting room.) But please don’t chase the chickens.

About the Author: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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  1. David Clyne says…

    Great piece. This is an incredible find for folks. Beyond the above write-up, people will find a wonderful 5K Willamette River Trail loop, another coffee shop/bakery, Lion’s Share (excellent gluten-free) and lots of other eateries. You can also relax in a state of the art 8-plex theater at the end of a fun day or a different local pub.

    Written on July 5th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
  2. Rod Killen says…

    Nice article. May I add that the last week of September is always our Independence Hop & Heritage Festival? Friday, September 72 we start the evening with The Ghost Walk. Marilyn Morton, author of the upcoming book on the Ghost Walk, trains hosts to take groups throughout the downtown. Saturday is entertainment with great music, a Fresh Hops beer tent, and Saturday closes with Fireworks at 9 PM. Sunday is our now famous Longboard Larry’s Roadtrip to Rogue. http://www.independencehopandheritage.com

    Written on July 13th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
  3. Rod Killen says…

    For those who do not have September 72 on your calendar, well September 27 will work as well. See you at the Ghost Walk. Come on down after work.

    Written on July 13th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
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