Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Summer in the Willamette Valley! The Albany Carousel Project... an end to a means!
Here's another great AskOR question that I had the pleasure of answering today:
"My wife & I are coming to Hillsboro to spent a week getting to know Oregon. Staying in Hillsboro each nite but want to see nature, landscape, natural wonders and experience the culture. Hope to come back to NH with hundreds of pictures and memories. Can you recommend sites to see without breaking the bank? We will have a rental car all week!"
I am the AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador and I am happy to suggest some places here in the valley that you will totally love! I also love photography so I can suggest all my favorite spots to take that perfect picture.
First of all, from the Hillsboro area, I would take a day trip through the Willamette Valley via hwy 99W. The scenic views are amazing and the hundreds of wineries that dot the countryside are perfect for pictures! Our wineries are very friendly so it's not unusual to stop for a taste and photos and enjoy walking through the vineyards. You will be here when the grapes are still pretty small but on the cusp of vineyard greatness so, enjoy all the green and the vines on your drive!
I love to hike so I am recommending a few places where there is no cost or little to no cost to explore. Silver Creek Falls for one is a place perfect for a short easy hike or a strenuous one, whichever you prefer. Waterfalls abound so enjoy every minute. Here's the link: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php Also, another place for the best hiking and the most green forest that I know of in Oregon, is the McDonald Dunn Forest: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cf/forests/mcdonald/ There is an "old growth" area there is so green and mossy and beautiful that you will swear you are on a movie set. It doesn't even seem real but it is as you will see. Small creeks and graveled trails will guide you over the sweetest bridges and around the foliage and flowers and you will want to spend hours there with your camera.
While you are in that area, you won't be far away from Albany! Boasting the most in number and the most in varied styles of historic homes and buildings of any other Oregon city, Albany has a great self guided walking map that can be picked up at the Albany Visitor's Assn. office. www.albanyvisitors.com It is not unusual to find photographers hanging out in our historic districts or up on the hwy 20 bridge taking pictures of our beautiful Willamette River all throughout summer.
If you make it to Albany, stop at the Albany Carousel Museum and Carving Studio: http://www.albanybrassring.com/ There is no fee for entrance and you'll get to see a carousel being hand carved and painted by volunteers from all over the region. It's quite an amazing place and the animals are as alluring as the volunteers that love having their pictures taken with the pieces they are working on.
I hope I gave you some ideas and hope you get a chance to experience it all. Please let me know if I can help you with more ideas. Have a great trip and thanks for your question!
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador