An innkeeper’s guide to Christmas fun just outside of Portland
With December right around the corner, now’s the time to get your holiday decorating, gift shopping, wine buying and relaxing in. Yes, you can do all this with relaxation on a weekend getaway to the Willamette Valley, just 20 miles southwest of Portland.
On the way out to wine country, we highly recommend getting into the spirit – the wine country spirit, that is – by stopping in at Raptor Ridge Winery off of Hwy 219. They have an amazing view on a crisp winter day of four mountains in the distance, not to mention a cozy tasting room where you can enjoy exploring their fine wines. At this time of year they also have several gift bottle collections for the wine enthusiasts on your list. After that, drive up the road a bit to visit the House of Whispering Firs. This festive house nestled in the woods of Newberg has local, artisan goods with everything from
holiday wreaths and Christmas tree decorations to mosaic tile wine racks and magical, whimsical garden accessories. Next, check into your room at Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast and then head in to town for dinner at one of Newberg’s fine dining restaurants.
In the morning, enjoy your delicious gourmet breakfast and then take a trip downtown to shop on Newberg’s 1st Street. Here you’ll find shops like Pulp & Circumstance for one of a kind jewelry, accessories, Oregon-made gifts and more. For clothing, we love vintage finds at Velour, and on-trend items at Nikki Jane’s Boutique. Now that most of your shopping is done, take respite in at least one more winery. Conveniently located right off of 99W and at the foothills of Parrett Mountain, you’ll find the beautiful Rex Hill Winery. A luxurious space reminiscent of the inside of a castle, this tasting room gives you a feeling of royalty. Take a load off and enjoy their sparkling, chardonnay and pinot noir wines because next on our journey is a Christmas extravaganza.
Finally, we come to real star of this excursion. Sleighbells Farm & Gift Shop. A bit farther down 99W towards Portland, you’ll make a left on Chapman Road and take a winding driveway up to a gorgeous setting of rolling hills abound with Noble, Nordman, Douglas and Grand Firs. You may cut them yourself, pay a small fee to have them cut for you, or pick one right off their covered lot. There’s so much more to do though! Sleighbells has a darling gift shop that will bring out the kid in every adult! Wreaths, village sets, rooms and rooms of every sort of Christmas decoration. You will be jumping with J-O-Y. Free hot chocolate and coffee can be found in the cozy café, but if you’re hungry there’s food trucks on the weekends delivering yummy, decadent holiday treats like apple pie fries, corn dogs, and kettle corn. Santa will also be making an appearance several dates in December, so if you’d like to coordinate your trip with the jolly St. Nick, check the schedule on their website.
See, we have it all figured out. Just follow our lead and we promise you’ll get it all done with time to spare! Happy holidays and we hope to see you soon!
By Liz Bethell, Assistant Innkeeper