Friday, April 20, 2012
Summertime in Oregon ...I love bragging about it!
Once again I get to answer another question for a visitor coming to Oregon this summer! I love this question because they are asking so much and I love to give them all the ideas I can about what they'll get to do here. It's one amazing place to be!
So, here is the question today: "I'm trying to plan a trip to the Oregon area with my fiance - we both have never been there before. She likes museums as she is an artist and also likes hiking, dining in nice but not super expensive restaurants and just exploring interesting, towns. I like cycling, looking in quaint towns, some antiquing, some hiking and exploring some wineries and walking around in fresh clean air! We would be coming to Oregon around the middle of August for about 10 days or so. We like staying at bed-and-breakfasts, although we could stay at various hotels. Perhaps seeing some theater if available and reasonably priced, . Can you suggest some itineraries we might consider? We need to relax some, while exploring around."
I am the Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador! The first thing about your question that caught my eye was the fact that you would like to check out some of Oregon's Bed and Breakfasts. I happen to be one of the Bed and Breakfast inspectors for our B & B organization, The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild. Their link is: www.obbg.org You can go to this site and find B & B's all over Oregon. Throughout this email however, I will only refer you and provide links to the inns I have personally seen and/or inspected.
Secondly, since I am the Willamette Valley Ambassador, I will provide you with many ideas and links to places I have been to and enjoyed throughout the valley. I do hope you plan to spend some time here however, all of Oregon is worth experiencing!
So, here we go...
I saw "museums" on your list and so my first recommendation would be for you two to check out our Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville. The link is:http://www.evergreenmuseum.org/ I have been there several times and if you've ever wanted to check out the Spruce Goose, this is its home! Also, you will certainly be in the heart of wine country in that area and so please check out several wineries while you are there! Here is a link to the Willamette Valley winery map: http://willamettewines.com/winery-map/ Click around on this site for more info and please feel free to ask for a hard copy of this pamphlet. A few of my favorite wineries are Sokol Blosser in Dundee not too far from McMinnville, Adelsheim in Newberg and when you are hopefully traveling down 99W south, you will be able to make a stop at Left Coast Cellars! Their link: http://www.leftcoastcellars.com/ I have to say that I am pretty partial to this place. A gorgeous long winding drive to the winery with stunning sights to see. Trees, vineyards, green rolling fields and once at the top, the wine is pretty sweet too! They opened a little cafe at this winery last summer and it's a pretty big hit for us wine lovers.
While you are perusing our valley, please don't be afraid to take a side road on a spur of the moment decision. That is my most favorite way to find new and interesting things to do. I love hiking and this is how I have found some of the best trails in Oregon! Near Corvallis, Oregon, you can find several hundreds of miles of hiking trails all cared for and maintained by Oregon State University. The link is here: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cf/forests/mcdonald/ Please don't forget your cameras and all that "safety" hiking gear because you'll want to spend a whole day or more hiking these trails.
Once your hiking day is over, please head to my most favorite pizza place in the Willamette Valley. American Dream in Corvallis: http://adpizza.com/ Go to the one on 2nd Ave. in Corvallis as it has this awesome roof top dining area where the atmosphere alone after a long day of hiking in the summertime can be quenched with deliciously cold beer and yummy pizza! Here is another link that will be very helpful in finding more places in Corvallis that include art and galleries too! http://www.visitcorvallis.com/index.php?action=thingstodo&type=Arts%20and%20Culture Enjoy perusing this website!
You can also rent bicycles in Corvallis at Peak Sports: http://www.visitcorvallis.com/index.php?action=transportation&type=Bicycle%20Rentals This area of the Willamette Valley is right in the middle of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway ( http://rideoregonride.com/inspiration/itineraries/scenic-bikeways-a-unique-way-to-see-the-state/ ) and so our roads are conducive to an even, moderately paced ride and the sites... amazing! If you wanted to, you could rent bikes and ride over to Albany which is only 12 miles from Corvallis and enjoy their museums and try a burger at First Burger on First Avenue! Locally grown food and locally raised beef and man oh man... the most delicious fried pickles can be found at First Burger and the Albany Regional Museum and the Carousel Museum are only blocks away. Let me know if this sounds like fun and if you'd like, I could set you up for a personal Carousel Museum tour where you can see first hand how the volunteers are hand carving and painting several animal in preparation for the end of a 15 year carousel making project. It is truly an amazing and magical place for anyone let alone artists from all over the world!
By the way... a few notes about antiquing here. Carlton, Oregon which is closer to Dundee and Newberg, has some pretty nice antique shops and also, if you do ride or drive over to Albany, check out the Albany Antique Mall. Two stories and many booths filled to the brim of vintage goodies. This mall is the stop for tons of folks traveling the interstate 5 going north and/or south.
Also, you can find in almost every town in Oregon a local theater group. For example, in Albany, the Albany Civic Theater will be showing "Children of a Lesser God" in August! Here is their link for more info: http://albanycivic.org/actsched.html Also, check out this very cool drive in movie theater in Dallas, OR. The Motor Vu Drive In: http://www.dallasmotorvu.com/ This place isn't too far from Left Coast Cellars off hwy 99W!
One more place I'd like to tell you about and then I'll start my list of places for perfect lodging choices. Brownsville, OR is a great "little" town here in the Willamette Valley. There is a very cool pioneer museum and the town is easily walkable. Randy's coffee house often has local bands playing music and along with his coffee and cinnamon rolls, it's a favorite locals hangout. I highly recommend The Brownsville House B & B. Their link: http://www.thebrownsvillehouse.com/ Please take your time and peruse this website because you get to choose who you have breakfast with! Choose an artist, a grass seed farmer, the mayor among so many more! I love this idea and Bob and Cyndi, the innkeepers, are great too!
Here is a list of B & B's I have either stayed at, inspected or visited in the Willamette Valley:
I know of tons more so if you want to look for yourself, please go to the site I gave you above, The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild (www.obbg.org)!
I hope this helps and sorry it's so long but you had a very fun question and I got to elaborate and brag about our stunning Willamette Valley. I do hope you stay a while here and enjoy yourself immensely! Please let me know if I can help you further.
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador