Monday, April 16, 2012
Cool routes, places to get beer, good food and go hiking in OREGON!
I love this question because I too LOVE BEER!
"Planning a road trip from the Bay Area to (and through) Oregon on my way to Vancouver. Would love some recommendations on cool routes to take, places to stop, food to eat, beer to drink, hikes to go on, etc. Thanks for the help!"
I am the Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador and I love your question. I get to tell you about all of my favorite stops and places to play, eat and drink beer!
I have a B & B in the Willamette Valley and you are taking the same route most of our guests throughout the summer take so I can certainly help you plan some fun here. First of all I hope I can entice you stay a few days or longer.
From the Bay Area, you may want to mosey on in to Oregon and check out Jacksonville. I am the Willamette Valley Ambassador but I love Jacksonville too and can recommend a few places for lodging and dinner so if you choose to check it out, a great place to stay is the Touvelle House B & B. Their link is: http://www.touvellehouse.com/ The guys are great and can certainly recommend a great place for dinner but if you wanna try the best Italian in the area, check out Pasta Piatti at http://www.pastapiatti.com/ in Ashland, OR not too far away and well worth the drive from Jacksonville.
Once you are on the road again heading north, you will want to get off the interstate. You can see and enjoy so much more from the side roads. A couple of awesome and must see spots are Crater Lake (east of Medford, OR), Eugene, Corvallis and then you will be in the true heart of the Willamette Valley! Hwy 99 is a great route and will take you through some of the most beautiful country you have ever seen. If you choose to stop in Eugene, you must have a beer at Ninkasi. Here is the link: http://www.ninkasibrewing.com/ Ask for the tour too! One of the fastest growing breweries in the state and one fun fact... they use more hops in their beer brewing than any other brewery in Oregon! Yes... I took the tour!
If you are in Eugene and you are hungry for some pizza and more beer along with some music and culture, check out the Granery. Their Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/GranaryPizzaCo If you are wanting to lodge in Eugene, I have a recommendation! The Inn at the 5th is right next door and is a new hotel and it's pretty gorgeous! From a simple room on up to a plush room with a jacuzzi tub... it's your choice! It's totally worth the stay in Eugene!
Taking hwy 99 on up north, you pass through cities along the way that will entice to stay a while longer! Albany, Corvallis, Rickreall, Amity, McMinnville and so many more places and guess what... I can tell you where to eat and get a really good beer in each one of them! First of all... in Albany, check out Calapooia Brewing Co. (http://calapooiabrewing.com/ ). In Corvallis, check out Block 15 ( http://block15.com/ ). In Rickreall, check out ( http://www.leftcoastcellars.com/ ) for wine and food... no beer but the wine is awesome! In Amity, you have to eat at the Blue Goat Cafe, ( http://amitybluegoat.com/ ). I just discovered this place and wow... it's my favorite right now among all the places I get to check out to eat and get a good beer! McMinnville is a "must stop" city and please check out a McMenamins restaurant at the Oregon Hotel! (http://www.mcmenamins.com/HotelOregon ). There is nothing better than sitting on the roof top at this place and eating a burger and some tots and my fav, a Ruby Pale Ale. Tons of choices for food and beer here and a great place to spend the night too!
A few ideas for hiking: http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-eugene-oregon This link takes you to many places and some I have been to and some I have not but you will not be disappointed in the views! Also, my favorite place to hike is near Corvallis and is the McDonald Dunn Forest. The link: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cf/forests/mcdonald/ This is seriously an unbelievable place. Hundreds of miles of trails right outside Corvallis and you must not forget your camera! By the way... if you do this hike, you have to go to American Dream Pizza in downtown Corvallis and have a pizza and beer on their rooftop patio. It's kind of routine for me and I look forward to the "after the hike" treat every time.
I hope this info helps! Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you about our Willamette Valley. I would love to entice you to stay longer!
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador