Nestled between Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and the beautiful Coast Range, the Willamette Valley is home to two-thirds of the state’s wineries—and so much more. Your days can be spent jumping from a tasting room to a whitewater-rafting adventure to a hike through old-growth trees that ends at a pristine waterfall. And you can even look for ornaments hidden throughout the Willamette National Forest, which also doubles as a contest entry.
Throughout the Willamette Valley’s many thriving downtown districts, you can spend your afternoons browsing local shops filled with handmade creations and farmers markets selling fresh produce and local crafts. Or you can enjoy an urban wine tour, visit a historic museum or play with the animals at a sweet farm stay.
Spark joy on a loved one’s face this holiday season by giving them a gift that transports them to the Willamette Valley. Here are some ideas to get you started. Don’t worry, there’s no harm in treating yourself, too.
Shopping Districts in the Willamette Valley
For the wine lovers on your list, you’re in luck. You can splurge in Newberg, where visitors can “Wake up in Wonder” to explore the charming, walkable downtown area — filled with spots for locally made gifts, fun eateries and coffee spots. Make your way through charming Dundee, Dayton and McMinnville for more wine-focused treasures. Along the Interstate-5 corridor, find vibrant downtown districts filled with locally owned shops, like those in Salem, Corvallis and Eugene, where dozens of businesses are filled with one-of-a-kind gifts. Find handmade art created on-site, jewelers and home decor to decorate for the holidays. Antiquers will have a blast finding treasures in downtown Canby, Mollola and at Albany Antique Mall in downtown Albany. Many businesses offer online shopping and gift certificates for those who’d rather do their shopping from home.
Home Gifts in the Willamette Valley
Holiday markets in the Willamette Valley highlight the region’s many farmers, baristas, soap makers and painters at the annual Salem Holiday Market and Eugene Saturday Market. For the coffee enthusiasts in your life, pick up some coffee beans from Steel Bridge Coffee in Salem, which offers regional delivery, or Farmers Union Coffee Roasters in Eugene, which ships right to your door. Plant lovers can never have too many succulents, so find the perfect botanical gift at Kraemer’s in McMinnville, Uflora in Newberg, Dahlia Home & Garden Store in Canby or Johnson Brothers Garden Market in Eugene. Indulge in that new (or used) book smell at independent bookstores like Third Street Books in McMinnville, The Book Nook in Canby, Smith Family Bookstore in Eugene or Browsers’ Bookstore in Albany.
Shoppers in Corvallis have a lot of spots to choose from, including unique home goods from Seoul Sisters Boutique and Restyle, troves of vinyl records from PreAtomic Records, and something for the history buffs in your life will appreciate something from the Corvallis Museum gift shop. Find artisan candles, bath salts and more at Ritual + Fancy in Newberg. For locally made art, check out the Salem Art Association’s ceramicists, jewelers, woodworkers and more at the Bush Barn Art Center gift gallery. You can also find local art at Art-O-Maddic Gallery and Gifts in Canby and the Corvallis Arts Center.
Clothes and Designs in the Willamette Valley
For the savvy dresser in your life, find fashion pieces from Willamette Valley designers like POC-owned eco-clothing brand Sweet Skins or crochet sweaters at Black-owned Made With Sol, both in Eugene. Pick through a trove of local artisan products and curated home and garden items at The Arbor in Salem, NewTwist in Eugene or Newberg’s Pulp & Circumstance.
You can find the perfect fedora from the Northwest Hat Co. in Eugene, or head to Newberg to find one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories from Nikki Jane’s Boutique and vintage T-shirts at Velour. If you’re looking for a present of athletic gear, head to Lux Athleisure in Corvallis, whose mission is to empower women to reach their fitness goals.
Food and Drink in the Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is world-renowned for its pinot noir, with delightful tasting-room opportunities year-round, including winter’s cellar season. Grab a gift card to a tasting-room experience, or pick up a few bottles from Beacon Hill Winery in Gaston, Black-owned Maison Noir Wines in McMinnville or Hispanic-owned Valcan Cellars in Corvallis. Shop for your family and friends, but make sure to snag some for your own holiday meals. Or give the gift of a winery meal from Field & Vine, hosted at several Willamette Valley wineries.
Craft distilleries and breweries also shine in the valley. Spiritopia offers apple brandy, whiskey and ready-to-go cocktails at their tasting room north of Corvallis, while Xicha Brewing in Salem pours house-brewed European ales and lagers paired with crave-worthy tacos. You’ll find locally-made spirits and dairy products at Canby’s TMK Creamery and Distillery.
Sweets make the perfect gift, so be sure to check out Barbara Storey’s Rum Cakes in Independence and Burst Chocolates in downtown Corvallis, which has been making gourmet chocolates for 80 years, or opt for the decadent truffles from Euphoria Chocolate Company in Eugene or Puddin River Chocolates in Canby.
Stuff the stockings of the cheese lovers in your life with handcrafted cheeses from Briar Rose Creamery in Dundee, Don Froylan in Salem, which is known for queso fresco, or a gift certificate for a grilled cheese at Salem’s So Cheesy. Buy a meal for your foodie family and friends at Silverton’s Mac’s Place, which is known for live music, and The Old Oak Oven for those comfort-food cravings. DIYers will love the gift of a cooking class from The Kitchen at Middlegroun Farms in Wilsonville.
Experiences in the Willamette Valley
Book a trip for a loved one by purchasing a gift certificate or membership to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, or the Albany Regional Museum. Treat your friends to a wine tour experience via A Vineyard Wine Tour or Dirty Radish, a Black woman-owned operation. Adrenaline junkies will love a gift certificate to get on the water with Springfield-based Oregon Whitewater Adventures or to take to the skies on a hot-air balloon ride with Vista Balloon Adventures out of Newberg. For the cyclists in your life, earn brownie points with a guided trip with the pros at Cog Wild Bicycle Tours, which offers tours in Oakridge or Westfir Lodge & Cascade Outdoor Center, located in the mountain-biking capital of Oregon. Oregon Traveling Tours hosts group excursions through the Mid-Willamette Valley from the comfort of a private van.
Surprise the kids with tickets to some of Eugene’s top attractions: the Adventure! Children’s Museum, the Oregon Air and Space Museum, and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. For adults in need of some stress release, gift them some time at Springfield’s Escape the Room Oregon, Western- and Bigfoot-themed rooms at Escape Mololla or try your hand at ax throwing at Salem and Springfield’s Oregon Axe.
Hotels in the Willamette Valley
There’s nothing better than a comfy bed to lay your head on after a long day, and the Willamette Valley is home to many unique places to find the perfect present of a good night’s rest. A farm stay at Sweet Springs Family Farm Bed & Breakfast in Cottage Grove is great for animal lovers, while a gift certificate to the Graduate Eugene is sure to be memorable, as each guest room showcases elements of Oregon’s lush landscapes and unique character. Your secret Santa will definitely appreciate a relaxing night at McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville or a getaway to Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde. Find other gift-certificate options and great hotel deals at Expedia and the Willamette Valley Visitors Association.
For more ideas and information, visit the Willamette Valley Visitors Association.