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What’s New in Our Cities?

Posted on: May 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
World of Speed Museum

The World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville, Oregon delights car and culture buffs alike.

The Tualatin Valley is blooming with more than just flowers as new attractions make their spring debuts. That’s right, there are fresh new tasting rooms, museums and more popping up all the time. Help us usher in newcomers with a visit—and maybe a drink or two. Below, catch the details on exciting new additions to Cornelius, Forest Grove and Wilsonville.

Cornelius: Dion Vineyards Tasting Room

Dion Vineyards’ Tasting Room is a new attraction for a long-celebrated vineyard. Dion Vineyards has made the northern Willamette Valley and its fertile slopes of Laurelwood soil its home for more than 30 years, spanning three generations. Now, the estate embarks on a new chapter as it sets roots beyond the soil with a new tasting room in the charming town of Cornelius.  
Location: 33155 Reidweg Road, Cornelius
Hours: Open June thru November, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $15 tasting

Forest Grove: Bull Run Cider Tasting Room

Bull Run Cider’s Tasting Room fits right into the friendly college-town vibe of downtown Forest Grove. Bull Run Cider is rapidly growing in production as more people fall in love with its not-too-sweet ciders; it was only a matter of time until their popularity gave way to a tasting room, as well. Looking for a late night hang out? Bull Run Cider is a safe bet, serving up cider brews until 1 a.m.
Location: 2225 Cedar Street, Forest Grove
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cost: varied tasting and by-the-glass costs

Wilsonville: World of Speed Museum

World of Speed is a car lover’s paradise that appeals to those less enthused by hot rods, as well. World of Speed doesn’t just tell the story of American automobiles, but the history and culture surrounds it. Mid-century modern décor, rock-and-roll music and racing stimulators in actual race cars delight every taste. The Holiday Inn Portland South is just a skip away, making this fun stop even speedier!
Location: 27490 SW 95th Avenue, Wilsonville
Hours: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Mondays)
Cost: $5 to $10; Simulator tickets $10

Taste what’s new in the Tualatin Valley—and then tell us about it with the #tualatinvalley hashtag!

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National Hamburger Month with Hillsboro’s A&W Burger Family

Posted on: May 15th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Meet the locals! Come say hi to Hillsboro's A&W Burger Family,

Meet the locals! Come say hi to Hillsboro’s A&W Burger Family.

Happy National Hamburger Month! To commemorate the occasion, let us introduce you to Hillsboro’s infamous family of four: the A&W Burger Family. The four fiberglass statues are nostalgic reminders of 1960s drive-in culture. The family came to town in the ’50s via the A&W restaurant franchise. The Burger Family earned their namesake not only by their home in front of one of America’s quintessential burger joints, but also because each holds a burger that is—quite literally—larger than their already ginormous heads. To wash it down, the Burger Family also holds frothy mugs with vanilla foam spilling over the rim.

As A&W retired the Burger Family from their locations in the ’60s, the Hillsboro community couldn’t bear the thought of this mainstay attraction fading into the abyss of the American consciousness. After two moves around town, the Burger Family now enjoys its permanent home outside of the Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center (953 SE Maple St., Hillsboro, OR 97123) welcoming the community and visitors alike. The Hillsboro Planning Commission even designated the family as an official “Cultural Resource,” citing the little clan as “unique remnants” of a bygone era.

Pause for a moment of nostalgic reminiscing with the Burger Family, then head over to the “home of the jumbo burger” at Helvetia Tavern. Their burgers aren’t as big as the Burger Family’s, but they’re close. Or bite into a grass-fed burger at the Cruise In Country Diner, where all of the ingredients are regionally grown.

Learn more about the A&W Burger Family’s story, or access vintage articles about Hillsboro’s favorite fiberglass family!

Forest Grove Cornhole Weekend Trip

Posted on: May 11th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments


Some people play cornhole religiously. Others can’t imagine a tailgating outing without it. And some don’t even know what the heck it is (though you might know the game by its other monikers: corn toss, bean toss or simply bags). No matter which of these camps you fall into, use the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole as excuse to extend a Portland trip, make a weekend getaway or entertain out-of-town guests.

Here’s a run-down of the cornhole fun, with a few suggestions mixed in:

Friday, May 29
Drive the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route for scenic views right from the start. When you come across a charming college town, you’ll know you’ve made it to Forest Grove. A few wheel turns and you’ll be at one of the area hotels. Be sure to use cornhole hotel deals to receive a $20 gift card!

After check-in, get into the athletic spirit with the McMenamins Grand Lodge and its casual disc golf course. Your arm will be primed for the Oregon Cornhole Championships Kick Off at the Grand Lodge, which runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. “Luck of the Draw” cornhole tournaments and free play.

Beer connoisseurs should hit up Waltz Brewing, Forest Grove’s first brewery whose taproom works double-time as a vintage record shop.

Saturday, May 30

A full day of cornhole demands a hearty breakfast, which means a Maggie’s Buns cinnamon bun is in order—these buns are larger than the hole in a cornhole board!

Rise and shine—it’s the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole (8:30 a.m. start at Pacific University’s Stoller Center; $30 entry fee). No experience is necessary to vie for the cash prizes! The beer garden will provide the perfect spot for relaxing between games.

Win or lose, celebrate a day of good competition with Bull Run Cider. You’re in luck as the new tasting room, open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., includes music and food carts on Saturdays.

Beyond this itinerary in the ever-cute Forest Grove, we’ll give you five more reasons to play in the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole. Register now!

Tualatin River Bird Festival Itinerary

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Ca-caw! Hoot hoot! Tweet tweet! No matter how we say it, the May 16 Tualatin River Bird Festival at Sherwood’s Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is coming to. Novice and veteran wildlife watchers love event, which is heightened by our itinerary for it!

Friday May 15
The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport is excited to host attendees of the Tualatin River Bird Festival—read their tips!

Near the hotel is Cabela’s World’s Forestry Outfitter for last minute, tax-free outdoor gear. Then, head to Hayden’s Lake Front Grill for upscale classics and a sunset view of the Tualatin Commons and its shimmering lake.

Rise with the sun for phenomenal wildlife watching at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Rise with the sun for phenomenal wildlife watching at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Saturday, May 16
5:30 a.m. Guided Birding Trail
Meet the early birds with a guided walk-and-talk with expert Ted Buerger, FWS. Watch the world and all of its wonderful creatures wake-up and begin the day.

7:30 a.m. A Buzz of Your Own
That’s not a buzzing bee, it’s you getting your coffee fix at Sherwood’s Symposium Coffee and its baristas that have that magic latte touch.

8:30 a.m. Bird Fest Paddle
Go from dirt trails to waterways with the Tualatin River Bird Fest Paddle in Tualatin. Have a kayak or canoe view of neotropical migrant birds, including black-headed grosbeaks and lazuli buntings. Register for this event!

Noon: Feed Time
No worms for you! Head to Fat Milo’s Family Kitchen for biscuits and gravy because—after that paddle—you deserve it!

 

Catch a glimpse of heron and neotropical migrant birds.

Catch a glimpse of heron and neotropical migrant birds.

Rest of the Day: Festival Time!
Take full advantage of the Tualatin River Bird Festival and its decoy painting, archery, guided nature walks and more. What will you do first?

7 p.m. Dinner
Rally for dinner at Tree’s Restaurant. The treehouse-like setting fits into your day exploring the lush Tualatin Valley. Plus, this Creole cuisine is awesome.

Sunday, May 17
Ready for more nature goodness? A hike at Cooper Mountain Nature Walk is just the place. Cyclists can hop on a bike and traverse the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, starting at Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro.

Explore nature in an agricultural sense with Buds to Bottles at Gaston’s Plum Hill Vineyards. Plant your own Pinot Noir! For $25 year, the vineyard will tend to your vines and when the vines mature, you will receive a case of your own unique wine! Sip it while dreaming of your next visit to the Tualatin Valley.

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Five Places to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Posted on: May 4th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
peppers mexican food

Pepper’s Mexican Grill is a Hillsboro favorite, known for its house-made salsas.

With Cinco de Mayo, we are salivating for a fiesta-themed lunch, happy hour or dinner. To be honest, though, the quest for good Mexican food is a signature part of any foodie’s vacation. Oregon’s Washington County has a vibrant Hispanic population that gives way to culinary hotspots. Thus, we present five can’t miss Mexican food spots in Beaverton and Hillsboro where you can enjoy during Cinco de Mayo and beyond:

Uno: Pepper’s Mexican Grill (976 SE Baseline St, Hillsboro)
As a 2015 Tualatin Valley People’s Choice Awards finalist, this authentic Mexican restaurant is as beloved as they come. House-made salsas and a full bar (for the requisite margarita) pair perfectly with the Pepper’s sampler platter, where you get to try a little bit of everything (hello, nachos, quesadillas, flautas, tamales and shrimp!)

Dos: Amelia’s Mexican Restaurant (105 NE 4th Ave, Hillsboro)
Rustic Mexican food in a cozy setting. Yes—that’s Amelia’s. This Hillsboro favorite has well earned its fan following with consistently stellar Mexican fare. Hungry? You won’t be after chowing down on the Burrito Loco, which weighs a whopping 2.5 pounds; though, some of that may be “water weight” from the signature green tomatillo sauce smothered all over it.

Tres: Ochoas Lupitas (9549 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton)
Ochoas Lupitas is a stand-out food truck. The small kitchen pumps out a large menu, including the ultimate late night treat: $1 tacos. Get the authentic cabeza, lengua and tripas varieties, too. Top each taco with picks with perfectly pickled jalapenos, onions and carrots.

Cuatro: Pepita’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (4190 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton)
Entering the unassuming storefront, patrons are gleefully surprised at Pepita’s ornately decorated interior. From piñatas to streamers and stained glass, every inch of the walls and ceiling is plastered with splashy flare. The standard taco plate is elevated with perfectly marinated meat. Any day can feel like Cinco de Mayo with a margarita or Mexican hot chocolate flavored milkshake.

Cinco: Salsa Market (4265 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton)
Follow your nose. The street outside smells of the cinnamon sugar baked goods lovingly made there. Besides dessert, Salsa Market is serious about marinated meat. Pick from the vast array of marinades, which pair splendidly with a bag of spiced, dried mangoes.

With these five faves, you’re never far from good Mexican food!

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The Best Mother’s Day Events in the Greater Portland Region

Posted on: April 24th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Mom. Mother. Mama. Mommy.

No matter what you call the woman who helped raise you, it’s time to show her some special love this Mother’s Day. Luckily, there is no shortage of Mother’s Day events in the Tualatin Valley. Choose from brunch, wine, high tea and active Mother’s Day celebrations.

 

Celebrate Mother's Day with brunch and fabulous wine at Plum Hill Vineyards.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch and fabulous wine at Plum Hill Vineyards.

 

Hillsboro Mother’s Day Events

Garden Vineyards Mother’s Day Brunch
12960 NW Dick Road | May 10, varying times | $20-$35
This stunning estate opens its grounds for a leisurely brunch based on century-old farm recipes. Eat a sustainable, hearty lunch of eggs, slow cooked pork and Bing cherry sauce

Hippie Chick Quarter and Half Marathon
Hillsboro Hops Stadium | May 9, 8 a.m. to noon | $79 registration
The only thing better than crossing the finish line alongside your mother is having a mimosa placed in your hands right after.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse
McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse | May 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | $16-$27
The cozy McMenamins’ spot has the famous octagonal barn—a perfect rustic-chic backdrop for your Mother’s Day pictures.

Tea’s Me Mother’s Day Tea
1601 B. SE Road | May 9-10, varying times | $25 per person plus $5 gratuity
Choose from the High Tea or a Crab Louie option—both are super fancy and will have your mother feeling like an absolute queen.

Portland Mother’s Day Events

Run Like a Mother 5k
Cook Park | May 10, 8 a.m. start | $40-$45 registration
For super active moms, start Mother’s Day with a heart-thumping 5k, followed by live entertainment in the park.

Nature Days: Roger Tilbury Park
965 NW 93rd Avenue | May 10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Free
Little ones will love exploring local habitats, viewing how mother-child relationships play out in the wild.

Gaston Mother’s Day Events

Mother’s Day Brunch at Plum Hill Vineyards
6505 SW Old Highway 47 | May 10, noon to 2 p.m. | $35 per person
This friendly winery offers a five-course brunch paired with delicious wines from the vineyard.

What brunch, booze or beautiful view will you share with your mother this Mother’s Day? Any celebration in the Tualatin Valley will be sure to be a memorable one.

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An Eco-Chic Itinerary

Posted on: April 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

environmentally friendly itinerary near Portland, Oregon

Happy Earth Week! How do you keep your travel sustainably-poised? In Oregon’s Washington County: the Tualatin Valley, you can travel one environmentally-minded spot to the next, ranging from wineries to museums to restaurants. Extend your trip or plan a few extra days after visiting Portland to partake in our eco-chic itinerary,which can be completed year-round. Bonus points to those who complete it using an electric vehicle, which is easy when using our list of EV charging stations!

Environmentally Friendly Science Museum

The Tualatin Valley is home to a magnificent ecological history of volcanic proportions! To see what we mean, visit the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, which has recently been named as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Prepare for a sustainable future by learning about the amazingness of the Earth’s past via thunder eggs, petrified wood, quartz, agate, jasper, metallic ores and gems.

Environmentally Friendly Restaurants

A healthy, earth-friendly cheeseburger?—yes please! A quick drive from the museum, the Cruise In Country Diner feels like a blast from the past with ethics focused on the future. Indulge your nostalgia for old-timey diners with classic milkshakes and juicy burgers. Every ingredient that goes into the food here is sustainable and often locally grown or raised.

Environmentally Friendly Wine Tasting

Drinking red can be oh-so green with a jaunt along the Sustainable Wine Trail. Going beyond mere organic practices, Cooper Mountain Vineyards and Montinore Estate employ biodynamic farming practices. This approach means that high-quality wine is produced through the utmost respects of the vineyard’s unique ecosystem.

Environmentally Friendly Lodging

If stargazing is on your end-of-day agenda, then book a cabin at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. In the morning, you’ll wake up to sweeping views of the valley and easy hikes that start, essentially, out your cabin’s front door.

Camp like a Girl Scout at L.L. "Stub" Stewart Park with many badge worthy activities at your fingertips.

L.L. “Stub” Stewart Park offers eco-friendly lodging with the best views of the Tualatin Valley.

We hope to see you at one of our environmentally-friendly attractions soon! Share your tips for traveling sustainably in the comments below.

Five Reasons to Play in the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole

Posted on: April 1st, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Playing cornhole is one of the early joys of warm evenings in the Tualatin Valley. We’re ready to take our love of the popular tailgating game to the next level with the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole, coming to Forest Grove May 29-30. Need a reason to join us? We’ll give you five.

We'll give you five reasons to register for the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole, coming this May to the Greater Portland Region!

We’ll give you five reasons to register for the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole, coming this May!

 

1. Be as serious or silly as you want to be
The Oregon State Championships of Cornhole is a rather official sounding title—and rightly so! That said, the tournament is equally invested in participants having a great time. If you love to play cornhole in your backyard, at your favorite bar or when tailgating, then you’ll love playing in the Championships, too.

2. Cash prizes!
Being good at cornhole can really pay off—literally! There will be cash prizes for each division: singles, doubles, juniors and women-only. You’ll take home more than just pride.

3. Stay the night and win
Even if you don’t win money, you can at least still save money. Book a room at a participating hotel and receive a $20 Visa gift card. Saving money and a great weekend getaway? It’s a win-win for everyone!

4. Cornhole and craft beer are a great pair
The first 50 players to register by April 30, 2015 will get a FREE 32oz growler and a coupon for a FREE growler fill during the tournament weekend. Learn about the Tualatin Valley’s booming craft beer scene before you come.

5. It’s the perfect excuse to take a weekend getaway
There will surely be time for exploring during your stay. Take a joyride on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route or a joy-zip at one of our forest zip lines: Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour and Tree to Tree Adventure Park.

P.S. Use the #ORcornhole hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to show us pictures of you practicing for the Championships. We’ll be sending fun prizes to our favorite hashtag users!

Frozen Food Month

Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Frozen Food Month, Chamoyada from Beaverton's Ome Calle

For Frozen Food Month, try a spicy-sweet Chamoyada from Beaverton’s Ome Calle.

Get ready for a brain freeze because it’s National Frozen Food Month! Whether it’s ice cold or perfectly slushy, the Tualatin Valley’s frozen food game is on point. The Greater Portland region ranks as the 10th top-consumers of ice cream (businessinsider.com). That stat alludes to even more frosty treats that Oregonians—and visitors!—eat here year-round. Start licking your lips for these cold confections:

Snowy Shaved Ice: Momo’s Hawaiian Shave Ice (2020 NW Alocleck Drive, Hillsboro)
Move over snow cone! The real deal shave ice is in town and you cannot compete. The superiority of shaved ice comes from the special equipment that finely shaves a solid block of ice into a snow-like fluffy dream. Because of its consistency, the “snow” absorbs flavored syrup fully and perfectly. At Momo’s, we go for the Tigers blood variety (don’t worry, it’s just strawberry coconut!) with a “snow cap” of sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top

Pretty Popsicles: Ome Calle (12795 SW Canyon Road, Beaverton and 19503 SW Boones Ferry Road, Tualatin)
Ome Calli is the purveyor of all things Mexican frozen treats. From ice cream to popsicles to the famous Chamoyadas, which is a spicy-sweet frozen fruit slush (think plum and apricot chamoy flavor with mango). The refreshing drink is topped with pickled fruit, Mexican gummy candies, and chili powder. As if that’s not a powerhouse dessert all on its own, the mega-drink is finished with a popsicle of your choosing dunked into the center of your cup. Voila!—frozen upon frozen goodness! For a more refreshing—and less sinful—dessert, get a popsicle on its own in a surprising flavor like hemp or cucumber.

Grand Gelato: Strada (10124 SW Washington Square Road, Tigard)
Of course when it comes to frozen treats, we cannot forget about gelato. Enter, the restaurant Strada. The concept? Street food of Italy. A no brainer? The salted caramel gelato. Afterward, hunt for Italian-inspired fashion at the nearby Washington Square.

Moo-rific Milkshakes: Smith Berry Barn (24500 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Hillsboro)
Since this frozen treat comes out of a straw, beware of the brain freeze! Still, the milkshakes at Smith Berry Barn cannot be beat. Try a caffe umbria espresso milkshakes for a milky buzz. Come berry season, lookout for more fruit-packed options made from farm-fresh berries.

International Day of Happiness

Posted on: March 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Celebrate the International Day of Happiness on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.

Celebrate the International Day of Happiness on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.

What makes you happy? For the International Day of Happiness, now is as good a time as ever to ponder that question and make plans to do more of what makes you happy. Of course, we wish you many endorphin-producing days while visiting the Tualatin Valley. Whatever makes you happy, find it with us.

Meaningful Experiences with People You Love
Add to your memory bank with loved ones via new thrills in the Tualatin Valley. Hold hands—giving each other courage—to zip across the treetops at Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour or Tree to Tree Adventure Park. For an all-eyes-on-you endeavor, check out the Venomous Reptile Museum. You and your favorite traveling companion will feel more on display than the actual reptiles—an exhilarating experience you surely won’t forget!

Excite the Senses
What’s that amazing smell? This tastes delicious! The air feels so good. Oh yes—the Tualatin Valley is a delight for all five senses. Take a drive on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route for tastes, smells, sights and sounds from our vineyards, farms and restaurants.

The Mind-Body Connection
A happy body leads the way for a happy mind. Take care of yourself inside and out, even when on a trip! Exercise is never a chore on the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. Cyclists pedal thru lush farmland, quaint downtowns and intriguing nature areas. Beginner cyclists (and walkers) may prefer the more mellow section of the bikeway, found on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

A Good Night’s Sleep
Get rest and get happy—it’s that simple sometimes. A good dose of the dream state can help individuals find happiness in waking life. For downright delectable sleep, book a room at one of the Tualatin Valley’s premier accommodations.  

Wishing you lots of happy!

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