The Painted Lady, in a charming Victorian house, is perhaps the finest dining we’ve got in these parts. With a formal eight-course meal focusing on fresh, local ingredients, this is the place to celebrate that special occasion. Any dietary preferences? Let them know when you make reservation. Dinner Wed-Sat 5-10. Reservations required. $$$ 201 S. College St (503) 538-3850
Chef Dario is passionate about the cooking he learned from his northern Italian family. Lunch Thurs-Mon. à la carte dinner Thurs and Mon. Willamette Valley Winemaker dinner Fri, Italian wine dinner Sat. Pizza & Gnocchi all day Sunday. Reservations required via Open Table or by calling. $$ 714 E 1st Street (503) 438-6211
Northwest fresh, wine country cuisine with a bit of a hipster touch. The Tavern on Edwards serves light bites, craft cocktails and local beers, wines and ciders. Restaurant side opens earlier and offers more breakfasty items as well as Tavern menu. Tavern Wed-Sun 4-10, Restaurant Wed-Sun Midday-10. $$ 720 E 1stStreet (503) 487-6133
The restaurant of the Allison Inn features local cuisine including produce from their own kitchen garden. The modern approach to Northwest fare is accompanied by an extensive wine list, including many by the glass. Lunch and Dinner Daily until 10. Reservations required. On Open Table $$$ 2525 Allison Lane (503) 554-2526
If you’re looking for some light bites, the sandwiches, salads and nachos at the Tavern might hit the spot. Their wine list has local options, but they also carry a wide variety of international wines if you need to take a break from Oregon wines (it happens, it’s ok!) Fri-Sat 12-10 Sun-Thurs 2-10. $ 408 E 1st Street (503) 554-1704
This food cart pod houses an assortment of food carts including Thai, Caribbean BBQ, Filipino Fusion, Mexican and burgers. Eat in their covered, heated sitting area or bring dinner back to the B&B and enjoy on the deck. $ 910 East 1st Street
A cozy, casual fine dining option centrally located amid tasting rooms, The Dundee Bistro anchors its menu in wood-fired pizza, house-made pastas and creative bistro entrees. Truffle fries are a favorite, as appetizer or side dish. The full bar and scrumptious desserts round out the offerings. Lunch and Dinner Wed-Sun 12-8. $$ 100 SW Seventh Street (503) 554-1650
One of the cornerstones of Wine Country, Tina’s has evolved with the area using local, seasonal ingredients to give direction to the French-ish Northwest menu. Tina’s has a slightly smaller menu than other area restaurants, but the choices are creative and tasty. Don’t be surprised to notice a table of winemakers discussing the day’s work. Dinner Wed-Sun 5-close. On Open Table $$ 760 Hwy 99W 503-538-8880
A quaint wine country market serving gourmet sandwiches, salads and wood-fired pizza, Red Hills Market is an easy (& fun!) break between winery visits. Also have plenty of options for to-go picnics or stay-in B&B dinners. Gluten Free pizza crust is available. Local beers are also available for those who need a wine break. Open Daily 7am-8pm. $ 155 SW 7th St (971) 832-8414
If you love mushrooms, the Joel Palmer House is the place to be. Creative and traditional dishes highlighting many different types of mushrooms are presented in a formal dining experience. Mushrooms in dessert, oh yeah! Dinner Tuesday-Saturday. On Open Table $$$ 600 Ferry St, Dayton (503) 864-2995
Running a small dining room with personalized service, Chef Jean-Jacques and his wife Deborah bring French bistro fare to the Willamette Valley. From the white truffle fondue to the coq au vin, you almost feel like speaking French as you leave. Lunch Wed-Fri, Dinner Wed-Sun On Open Table $$ 729 NE Third St, McMinnville (503) 474-1888
With a menu of Northwest-inspired cuisine from Spain, La Rambla presents a full range of hot and cold tapas for easy sharing, while a selection of entrees is also available. Dessert is tasty as well… Curt always gets the Churros con Chocolate. Lunch and Dinner Daily. On Open Table $$ 238 NE Third St, McMinnville (503) 435-2126
Italian cuisine is done the Italian way at Nick’s, a wine country landmark since 1977. Fresh made pasta and house-cured meats are some highlights from Nicks, which has a back room for more casual gatherings. Lunch Tues-Sun, Dinner nightly. $$ 521 E. Third St, McMinnville (503) 434-4471
Uberlocal, Thistle has earned praise for the approach of “only what the local farmer brings in the morning gets on the menu tonight”. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday. $$ 228 NE Evans Street, McMinnville (503) 472-9623
It’s the Northwest funkiness you were looking for. The pub grub is also available at the rooftop bar or the cellar and is good McMenamin’s fare. Lunch and dinner daily. $ 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville (503) 435-3154
Part antipasti-part gourmet sandwiches, all fabulous, with live music on Saturdays. Gluten-free bread available. Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30-3, Dinner Fri-Sat 5-8, Sunday Brunch 10:30-3. Reservations recommended. $ 119 W Main Street, Carlton (503) 852-6656
The Great Outdoors, Shopping & Museums
One of the big attractions to wine country are the many wineries and vineyards. Wineries of the Willamette Valley are open year round, pouring great wines and specializing in Pinot Noir. Guests wanting to explore will find this list of unique and independent stores along with local museums and activities a great place to get started.
Chehalem Glenn Golf Course – One of the most challenging courses in Oregon, the Chehalem Glenn course has a lot of long carries. At least that was what a golfer taught me to say. It’s not a fancy-schmancy course, but it is built on six inches of sand, so it runs well even after a rainy day.
Champoeg State Park (pronounced shampoo-ey) – The first provisional government in the Pacific Northwest was established here in 1843 when settlers voted to start the Provisional Government, beginning the breaking away from the Hudson Bay Company. Within the 516 acres of the park are historic Robert Newell House, the Butteville Store, a living history Farmstead as well as bike and hiking trails along the Willamette River.
Willamette Bikeway – Starting at Champoeg State Park, the whole bikeway goes south to just North of Eugene, but a 30-mile moderate round trip is from Champoeg State Park to Willamette Mission State Park. Click here to view bike trails.
Vista Balloon Adventures – Take an early morning adventure soaring above the valley in a hot air balloon. Help inflate the balloon, take an hour-long breath-taking flight – perhaps involving a “splash and dash”, then enjoy breakfast with the crew.
Lafayette’s Antiques – Although we wish Lafayette were a cuter town, the ratio of antiques per capita is off the charts. Shops include an old school house packed with variety from 400 dealers, the wholesaler who imports furniture at great prices and the cute place Kristin gets unique Fiestaware pieces from.
Downtown Newberg has some great shops, art galleries and eateries to meander, like Linear, Art Elements, Newberg Bakery and Social Goods Market.
Durant at Red Ridge Farms – Switch up your tasting experience to tasting olive oil from olives grown here on 17 acres in the Willamette Valley. Red Ridge Farms also has a nursery and lavender field and is home to Durant Vineyards.
Chehalem Flats Farm Market – Owned and operated by local farmers, Chehalem Flats brings local farm products to you on Saturdays and Sundays.
Newberg Wednesday Market – On Wednesdays from 4-8pm starting the last week in May running through the last week in September has a variety of produce, local artisans and ready-to-eat food available.
Pulp & Circumstance – A gift boutique specializing in local artisan goods, paper products and candy! Located inside a Victorian house, this is a darling store in downtown Newberg that you won’t want to miss.
Hoover-Minthorn Museum – Yep, that Hoover. This oldest standing home in the Newberg township housed President Herbert Hoover and his Quaker aunt and uncle in his youth and later, Dr. Minthorn, the first president of Friends Pacific Academy (today’s George Fox University). The house has been restored using the furniture that was in President Hoover’s bedroom and Minthorn family furnishings.
George Fox University – With 108 acres and over 2,000 students, George Fox University is a proud member of the Newberg community. The theater, music and art departments offer great experiences for the public.
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum – Two massive buildings house these displays which center around Howard Hugh’s Spruce Goose and a Titan II Missile. There is also a theater and indoor waterpark on the grounds.
Columbia River Gorge (starting point: 1 hour 10 minutes) Washington and Oregon were split many eons ago by the Columbia River and the Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age. Left behind are dramatic canyon walls, waterfalls and a lazy river. Drive the whole Mt Hood Scenic Loop out through the Gorge, then circle around Mt Hood to make your way back. Along the way, detour to the Historic Columbia River Highway for a panoramic view of the Gorge at Crown Point Vista House and check out some of our waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls – our largest waterfall in Oregon. There are hiking loops at Multnomah Falls and its neighboring falls. For the engineers and fish counters out there, the Bonneville Dam has a good tour explaining the energy production that has tamed the river since 1938.
Oregon Coast(1 hour 30 minutes) A day trip from here to the Central Coast will take you to Lincoln City, and then either south to Newport’s Oregon Coast Aquarium and the sea lions who have made the bay their home, or north to Pacific City and Tillamook, home to Tillamook cheese and ice cream (tasting!). Whichever way you head, there are pullouts for great views of the rugged coastline and lighthouses.
Silver Falls State Park (1 hour 15 minutes) Take scenic back roads east of the Willamette River through fields of clover, wheat, nursery stock and hops. When you need to stretch your legs, you’ll be at the 8.7 mile Trail of Ten Falls. If you’re not up for the whole hike park at North Fall and do a 3 mile loop or park at South Falls and do a 4.5 mile loop.
Oregon Garden (55 minutes) Nearby Silver Falls State Park, the 80-acre garden consists of more than 20 specialty gardens, including a 9-pond wetlands habitat that filters the nearby town of Silverton’s waste water and uses it for irrigation throughout the garden. The conifer garden highlights Oregon species, while for the Tropical House showcases plants from elsewhere. The Gordon House, the only home in Oregon designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is just next door to the garden.
(45 minutes) Most of what you’ve heard about Portland is true: an eclectic city with lots of distinct neighborhoods. Some highlights include:
Powell’s City of Books where you can find new, used and rare books. With 68,000 ft2, it’s just darn big yet they ran out of room and had to put the Technical books across the street. Take my advice and pick up the store map at the info center.
People watching supreme and handcrafts from local artisans are at Portland Saturday Market (and Sundays, too!) and Voodoo Donuts, for although there is considerable competition (see: Blue Star Donuts, Cocodonuts) for donut supremacy, Voodoo is who gets the national press.
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