Have you considered visiting Oregon? Are you a fan of wine tasting? Need a break from the big city? The Willamette Valley is calling your name!

As the seasons change and the rain in Oregon begins to let up, allowing the sun to shine, we’re entering the perfect time of year for a visit! Our rolling hills are lush and green, and our moderate climate promises ideal vacation weather. Beyond our major cities, Oregon boasts a vast and diverse wine scene that rivals California’s famous Napa Valley. In today’s article, I’ll guide you through planning your next trip to the Beaver State!

Getting Here

Flying into Portland International Airport is a breeze. As a major international airport, it welcomes visitors from anywhere! PDX prides itself on featuring only local businesses, ensuring you’ll experience the best of Oregon hospitality throughout your stay.

On your way in or out, Capers Café or Capers Market is the perfect pit stop! Whether you want to start off with a sip of Oregon wine at our wine bar or grab a few bottles to take home, we’ve got you covered!

Getting Around Oregon

Transportation-wise, the airport offers rental cars and connects to our city light rail, the MAX. This provides you with two convenient ways to get into the city. Once you’re there, you can book wine tours that will take you out to wine country for the day!

Where to Stay

In the city, you can enjoy a stay at the brand new Ritz-Carlton. Situated downtown, you’ll be within walking distance of food and shopping. However, if you prefer to head straight out to wine country to relax among the peaceful orchards, there are plenty of options available.

Looking for 5-star luxury? Try the Allison Inn & Spa. For those seeking a private retreat, Airbnb offers many choices including entire houses. Lastly, there is evern cozy tents or RV parks, catering to campers visiting wine country during our warmer and drier months.

What to Eat

All the main winery towns have expansive and growing downtown areas. That means that no matter where you are, you shouldn’t be too far from a delicous meal! I’ve made a list of some great stops, but there are many many more to choose from.

McMinnville

Quick Stop: Alchemist’s Jam is a super cute bakery in the middle of downtown. Small town bakery feel, with delicously fresh options!

Full Meal: Humble Sprit, has a menu that celebrates the seasonal bounty of the Willamette Valley, focusing on provisioners using practices like regenerative farming and small-batch craft.

Dundee

Quick Stop: Red Hills Market, it is the perfect stop if you are just passing through and need a break. Delicous food that is made fresh, and pleanty of snacks for the road.

Full Meal: Tina’s, it is fine dining in the heart of the Willamette Valley. They use locally sourced ingredients, and embrace a seasonal menu including wild caught meats.

Newberg

Quick Stop: Food Truck Pod! Satisfy everyone with choices, at Newbergs food truck pod.

Full Meal: Forage Cafe has wood-fired pizza, which might just be the perfect meal at the end of your day in wine country.

Carlton

Quick Stop: Carlton Bakery is a great stop for pastries or a light meal. A great choice for snacking before embarking on your winery tours for the day.

Full Meal: Earth & Sea has a passion for locally sourced and sustainable food. They believe in sustaining the earth & sea while also supporting their local economy.

Where to Go Wine Tasting

Your best resource will be this map from Willamette Valley Wines. It’s interactive, and will make planning your winery hopping easy!

Things to consider:

  • Do you need an appointment?
  • Do they allow kids or pets?
  • Do they have a minimum spending requirement or will they waive the tasting fee if you buy a certain amount?

Final Travel Tip!

During your free time, Oregon offers great hiking! Part of why our wine is so good is because of our rich landscape. Oregon does well to preserve the land and maintain green spaces, perfect for exploring during your downtime. Offering everything from day hikes to intense backpacking, there is something for everyone!

A weekend in the Willamette Valley promises a delightful blend of scenic beauty, culinary delights, and world-class wines. Whether you’re exploring the charming downtown areas of McMinnville, Dundee, Newberg, or Carlton, or immersing yourself in the serene vineyards and orchards, there’s something for every traveler to enjoy. Don’t forget to take advantage of the fantastic wine tasting opportunities and picturesque hiking trails that showcase Oregon’s natural splendor. With its welcoming atmosphere and diverse offerings, the Willamette Valley is the perfect destination for your next getaway.