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Dog-Friendly Places in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: February 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
ghost and wine glass

Ghost, Plum Hill Winery & Vineyard’s dog, takes a sniff of wine!

What do you love most about your pet? It’s Love Your Pet Day—and one of the best ways to make your pet tail-wagging happy is by taking him or her on vacation to the Tualatin Valley. Oh yes, your dog will relish all the new smells and spots that are perfect for a mid-day frolic!

Dog-Friendly Hotels
Think beyond camping when it comes to taking your pet on vacation. Why not?—there are affordable and plush hotel options waiting for you here. Book a room at one of our pet friendly hotels.

Dog-Friendly Nature Spots
Get ready for an epic game of fetch at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. Open year-round from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, an off-leash dog park provides the perfect romping grounds for pooches of all sizes and breeds. Set atop a steep-sloped hill, your dog can run up-and-down-up-and-down to his or her heart’s delight.

If an on-leash nature walk is more your style, take your four-legged friend on a stroll through the Fanno Creek Trail. Afterward, the nearby Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub has a dog-friendly patio where your pooch can relax and you can unwind with a brew or two.

Dog-Friendly Vineyards
While there won’t be any Pinot in the doggy bowl, many of the tasting rooms in the northern Willamette Valley are either pet friendly or have dogs of their own. If you’re planning to bring your dog wine tasting, then please call ahead to check each winery’s pet policy. If you’re traveling sans pup, but need your dog fix while visiting, then come give some pats to Ghost at Plum Hill Winery and Vineyard.

Looking ahead into the summer, look out for the dog-friendly, bi-weekly concerts at Oak Knoll Winery, as well as August’s Canines Uncorked event with thirteen wineries waiting with wine for you and treats for the furry companions.

We know that, truly, every day is Love Your Pet Day and the dog-lovers of the Tualatin Valley are ready to help you celebrate.

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Lunar New Year in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley

Posted on: February 18th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Meet some goats at Heart 2 Heart Farm in honor of the upcoming Lunar New Year's zodiac sign.

Meet some goats at Heart 2 Heart Farm in honor of the upcoming Lunar New Year’s zodiac sign.

As the Tualatin Valley is one of Oregon’s most culturally diverse regions, we cannot help but jump into the coming Lunar New Year festivities. Look below for some ways to celebrate the Year of the Sheep!

Lion Dance
To fully embrace and welcome the Year of the Sheep, take part in the Lunar New Year Lion Dance at Uwajimaya (February 22, noon to 3 p.m.). The beloved spot for all foods and goods from Asia partakes in the Lunar New Year with a traditional Chinese Lion Dance—it’s a joyous affair! While you’re there, pick up some red envelopes and delicious, imported candy to give to loved ones for good luck in the New Year. The red envelope is especially important this year as Chinese culture often regards a Year of the Sheep as one that promises prosperity.

New Year’s Meal
A traditional Lunar New Year meal is either fish or dumplings. A quick drive from Uwajimaya, some of Oregon’s best dumplings await. Du Kuh Bee specializes in both Chinese and Korean homemade dumplings. Get a taste of the pork and chive goodness waiting inside the perfectly cooked dumpling dough. The pan-fried fish offers a nice balance and variety of texture to your New Year dining experience.

Meet Some Sheep!
As it is the Year of the Sheep—which also includes goats and rams—why not visit the farms of the Tualatin Valley and meet some furry friends? After all, the Year of the Sheep is often considered the zodiac sign that is nature’s special child with its gentle blooms and winds.

At Heart 2 Heart Farm, a gaggle of cute goats are eager to meet new friends. This sustainably-minded farm and homestead includes four goats—all of different breeds. So, come say hello to Poppy, Princess, Hoppy and Nibbles.

Whatever you do for the Lunar New Year, we wish you a happy and prosperous Year of the Sheep, that includes a trip or two to the Tualatin Valley!

 

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Uwajimaya.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Uwajimaya.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Founding Fathers Food Tour

Posted on: February 16th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route would remind President Washington of Mt. Vernon!

The Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route is as beautiful as Mt. Vernon!

Did you know that George Washington was a foodie? During his presidency, Washington hosted an official dinner at 4 p.m. sharp every other Thursday, often inviting legislators of all different regions and stances. In spite of his wooden dentures, the president and his wife would serve lavish courses, accompanied by good wine and beer. In honor of President’s Day, we’ve put together a Tualatin Valley food tour with America’s founding fathers in mind.

Soup Starter
Turns out, the first president was a peanut lover! A common course at his Thursday dinners was a savory peanut stew. So, we’re pretty sure good ol’ Washington would be delighted by the African peanut stew from the Native Foods Café at Bridgeport Village. This nutty stew includes one of Washington’s other favorite ingredients: sweet potatoes!

Fresh Fish Main Course
The showstopper dish on the presidential table was often roasted fish. If George Washington could magically travel in time to today’s Tualatin Valley, then he’d surely be a fan of the char-grilled pacific swordfish at Hall Street Grill. The accompanying butternut squash puree would remind Washington of the winter squashes grown at Mt. Vernon.

Cherry on Top
We all know the folktale of George Washington and the cherry tree. Well—no lying—there are amazing tastes of cherry all over the Tualatin Valley! Beaverton’s decarli restaurant often creatively works cherries into the menu with cherry compotes, house-candied cherries in its charcuterie or balsamic roasted cherries over a perfectly-cooked pork chop.

Aperitif
Washington’s diaries say that the president preferred port wine, which even stained his dentures. For a decadent treat, try A Blooming Hill Vineyard’s Pinot in a Port-style, VXX. The raised sugar with a Pinot Noir concentrate creates a smooth aperitif with yummy raisin flavor.

While George Washington himself can’t experience the delicious wonders of the Tualatin Valley, you certainly can! And while you’re at it, take a drive along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route!

Information about George Washington sourced from Smithsonian Magazine’s “Dining with George Washington.”

P.S. Play a President’s Day Two Truths & a Lie with us!

March Madness in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
With the NCAA Basketball Championships coming to Portland, make time for beer, disc golf and other fun in the Tualatin Valley.

With the NCAA Basketball Championships coming to Portland, make time for beer, disc golf and more in the Tualatin Valley.

March Madness is coming to Oregon! It’s free throws, jump shots, and layups galore as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships hosts its second and third rounds at Portland’s Moda Center. Because you’ll be saving your pennies for good seats and all the foam fingers you can get your hands on, save money with affordable yet deluxe hotel options in Oregon’s Washington County: The Tualatin Valley. Just 10 minutes from downtown Portland, your basketball weekend just got a whole lot more convenient, relaxed and affordable.

The Moda Center’s games are March 19 and March 21, which means March 20 is sitting pretty for a Tualatin Valley adventure. After waking up at one of our choice lodging options, explore a side of Oregon outside of the sports arena.

Beer Tour
The Brewery Hotel Deal from the Hilton Garden Inn of Portland/Beaverton can aid you in discovering Beervana. Upon check-in, you’ll receive a 22-ounce bottle of local brew and the option to a discounted registration for the Brewcycle’s PDXonFoot: Underbelly to Beerbelly Tour. This walking tour is accompanied by beer tastings, beer history (the best kind of history if you ask us) and a tour of the infamous Shanghai Tunnel!

Disc Golf
As the Basketball Championships have you watching superstar athletes at the top of their game, you may be inspired to work up a sweat yourself. Enter, disc golf at the McMenamins Grand Lodge. While disc golf and basketball differ in necessary agility, both do require hoops! We hear a pint of McMenamins’ Rubinator ale is a perfect pre-game ritual, ensuring a loose arm for all that Frisbee-throwing.

Food Nerd
The Tualatin Valley is the perfect grounds for those who are a triple threat: a sports nut, foodie and culture nerd all in one. Is this you? If yes, make March 20 all about the Geek-Chic Tour. Peruse sports memoirs at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, have the best Korean dumpling at Du Kuh Bee, and revel in digital-age artifacts at the VintageTek Museum. After a day of exploring your diverse interest, unwind and rest up for the last day of basketball shenanigans—getting a good night’s sleep at the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland-Beaverton.  

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Valentine’s Day Itinerary

Posted on: February 4th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

 

Just outside of Portland, plan a heart-shaped itinerary for Valentine's Day in the Tualatin Valley.

Just outside of Portland, plan a heart-shaped itinerary for Valentine’s Day in the Tualatin Valley.


Whoo—we have a big weekend coming up, don’t we? Over four short days, experience the first Friday the 13th of the year, Valentine’s Day, and a luxuriously long weekend with President’s Day. Seize this trifecta with the perfect Oregon getaway to Oregon’s Washington County: The Tualatin Valley!

Friday, February 13th
Welcome! Now, first thing’s first. Check into your hotel room, which you (of course) got a great deal on by booking one of these romance hotel packages. Next, head to happy hour at Bootleggers Whiskey Bar. Prohibition-era drinks and the signature meatballs will shun away any bad Friday the 13th vibes.  

Saturday, February 14th
Start your Valentine’s Day with a sweat at the My Muddy Valentine 5k. Single? Stick around for the speed dating with other runners.

Add some sudsy love to your romantic day with the Zwickelmania Oregon Brewery Tour. To make things super simple, the Orenco Taphouse (near the Orenco Max Station) is the starting location for a shuttle that will make a loop to five local brewery tours. Get the shuttle schedule here.

After your afternoon of beer, switch gears into a more theatrical state. Bag&Baggage theater production presents Cabaret Cupid’s review of romantic songs and dance at Venetian Theatre & Bistro, which conveniently also serves a chandelier lit dinner.

Sunday, February 15th
You’ll have time to cover all your boozy bases this weekend, especially with the Valentine’s Wine Loop. Make a day of vising five northern Willamette Valley wineries special wine tastings and pairings.

Next, the McMenamins Grand Lodge allows you to carry out a relaxing evening in one little hub. Get a couples massage at the Ruby Spa, take a dip in the soaking pool, grab a burger at the Ironwork Grill and watch a new movie in the old-world charm of the Compass Room Theater.

Monday, February 16th
Happy President’s Day! Celebrate the long weekend with a joy ride to the Cruise In Country Diner. The rockabilly décor is old school, but the chef’s take is new school with organic and sustainable produce. Have a slice of cherry pie in honor of George Washington!

Don’t forget to Instagram you whole weekend with us, entering the Winter Wonder Instagram Contest. Use the #mytualatinvalley hashtag to enter!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Nature Passport: Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Interpretive center

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The Tualatin Hills Nature Park is an nature oasis in the heart of Beaverton.

The Tualatin Hills Nature Park is an nature oasis in the heart of Beaverton.

The casual outdoorsman may revel in the now growing number of hours of daylight as we turn the corner in the winter months. The Tualatin Valley finds plenty of ways to mix the wintertime blues with deep forest greens. Simply order a free copy of the nature passport. Tuck this nifty guide into your backpack for on-the-go exploration, including park information and wildlife watching tips for the 727 square miles of blissful wetlands, refuges, forests, rivers and parks in Oregon’s Washington County.

Among the sixteen featured nature areas in the passport is the Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Center. No matter the month, listen to the soft splashes of beavers and river otters along the Cedar Mill and Beaverton Creeks. While these creatures travel the waters, you traverse the 5 miles of paved and soft surface trails. Can you spot a black-tailed deer or ponderosa pine? If yes, then snap a picture of it and share it with us (using the #tualatinvalley hashtag!).

In addition to the 222 acres of wildlife—in the heart of Beaverton no less—be sure to stop by the Tualatin Hills Nature Center (formerly the Tualatin Hills Interpretive Center) for year-round resources. Field guides and educational displays add even more meaning to your outdoor adventure, while stuffed animals and children’s books add more fun.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Interpretive Center
Location: 15655 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, OR 97006
Phone: (503) 629-6350)
Trail Hours:  Dawn to dusk, daily
Interpretive Center Hours: February-November, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; December-January, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Past Nature Passport Blog Posts:
Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Cook Park
Cooper Mountain Nature Park
Fernhill Wetlands
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Loop
L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park
Magness Memorial Tree Farm
Rood Bridge Park
Tillamook State Forest

Order your Nature Passport and share your pictures with us on Twitter and Instagram. Tag your photos with #WaCoNature and the #tualatinvalley.

Where to Find the Best Soups in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: January 16th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Take home a soup-y souvenir with a vintage bowl from Rose City Modern.

Take home a soup-y souvenir with a vintage bowl from Rose City Modern.

On a blustery day, nothing fills the stomach and soul quite like a piping hot bowl of soup. In honor of January’s claim to National Soup Month, we are diving into the greater Portland region’s soup scene. Get a ladle and dip into our soup roundup!

Café Classics & New Creations
When Banks Café says it has fresh soup, it means it. Freshly-cut herbs from the café’s garden prove it. The über crisp ingredients take soup mainstays—like broccoli-cheddar and roasted red pepper—to the next level.

South Store Café is the quintessential lunch spot, offering daily soup specials. One favorite is the chicken and artichoke, which offers familiar flavors in a new and tasty way.

Old Deli Style
East Coasters revel in the Jewish deli standards at Sherwood’s Rose’s Restaurant and Bakery. Of course, no Jewish Deli would be complete without a piping hot bowl of chicken soup with a fluffy matzo ball plopped in it.

Asian Spice
Portlanders are known to break-away from their urban streets for Beaverton’s authentic Korean food. The Oregonian even dubbed Nak Won as the best spot for kalguksu, with knife-cut noodles floating delicately alongside thin ribbons of zucchini and tofu. For a truly special dish, the Duk Man Doo Gook cooks dumplings to perfection in savory broth.

Got a cold? Pho will kick it. Vivi’s Vietnamese Noodle House simmers fresh beef bones, ginger, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon into a replenishing broth. Vegetarians can enjoy the flavorful tamarind soup.

More is More
Can’t decide which soup to have first? Start with a three cup sampler at Fresh Thyme Soup Company. The soup shop has old-time favorite, as well as specialties on rotation: chicken, peaches, and cream; chicken and pear; and mulligatawny topped with raisins and coconut.

Speaking of soul-satisfying food, put gourmand tendencies to a good cause at this weekend’s Meals on Wheels Crab Feed in Beaverton and North Plains. A $35 surf-n-turf meal will go toward millions of nutritious meals in the greater Portland area. Detox from the feast with soup!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Taprooms and Growler-Fill Stations in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
A super sleek set-up of taps at Portland's new Wine & Growl in

A super sleek set-up of taps at Portland’s new Wine & Growl in

Beer connoisseurs are privy to the thought that draft beer is better than bottled beer. While we’re not knocking bottled beer, there is some science to explain the often superiority of beer from the tap versus the bottle:

  • Kegged beer requires less pasteurization because it’s kept cool throughout its storage. With fewer pasteurization ingredients meddling with a beer’s flavor, draft beer is more aromatic than its bottled counterparts. 
  • Much like wine and other spirits, beer is often negatively affected by light and oxidization. A keg keeps beer in a darker environment with less air, resulting in suds that tastes exactly as the brewmaster intended.
  • The spout of a tap or keg has better aerodynamics for pouring that delicious, carefully rationed foam.

Now that we’ve sold you on the merits of beer from the tap, it’s time to plan a beer getaway! Explore the ever-growing list of taprooms and growler-fill stations in the Tualatin Valley. Oregon’s beer crowd is enthusiastically trying locally crafted beers—straight from the tap! Here’s a sampling of some of our favorite places for a pint or growler-fill:

Garden Home Growlers- The beer and cider options rotate on a weekly basis. So, there’s always something new to try.

Growler House- This cozy spot is dedicated to bringing a welcoming watering hole that fits in with the surrounding, adorable small-town vibe.

McNally’s Taproom- It’s Oktoberfest year-round at this German-inspired beer hall, complete with pretzels and frankfurters.

NW Growlers- This taproom stays true to its name with 30 taps of beer from, you guessed it, the great Northwest.

Orenco Taphouse- With easy access via the Orenco MAX station, you can try beer, cider and even wine from one of the 20 rotating taps.

Tapphoria- Experience beer bliss with a tap lineup that will make any beer-lover proud.

The Growlerie- With communal tables and a friendly vibe, grab a tasting flight after a movie at the nearby Cinetopia Theater.

Wine & Growl- A sleek mid-century modern lounge serves up today’s best brews.

Make this bar crawl even better by booking a Brewery Hotel Package!

What Others Are Saying about the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
See the diversity of things to eat, see and do in the Tualatin Valley.

Enjoy the diversity of things to eat, see and do in the Tualatin Valley.

As much as we love sharing our favorite tips and attractions to the Tualatin Valley, we get giddy when we come across others—visitors, travel writers and locals alike—feeling compelled to share their experiences in Oregon’s Washington County. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite links from the past few months. Happy internet surfing!

Food & Booze

Outdoor Adventures

Explore Our Towns & Farms

  • The writers at Willamette Week are urban-dwellers to the core, but even they can’t resist Beaverton’s charm! They detail their favorite spots for Korean food, espresso ribs, and newt-tastic hikes in the “Happy Beaverton Day” article.
  • The blog Urban Fringe Living celebrates the corners of the world—like the Tualatin Valley—that are the crux between urban and country living. We love the photo essay of Smith Berry Barn!

If you come across some great writing about the Tualatin Valley (or if you’ve written your own!), then we want to hear about it! Share a link to the content in the comments section.

Post-Holiday Detox

Posted on: December 31st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

holiday detox collage
Confession: I ate a five day old Christmas cookie for breakfast. Like so many of us, I’m going to keep munching on sweet treats and sipping bubbly until the clock strikes midnight. Even if eating healthy isn’t part of your 2015 agenda, you might at least be ready for a break for all the decadent holiday spreads. See below for tips on a post-holiday detox in the Tualatin Valley; but it’s really more a refuel. You won’t be deprived of anything—simply replacing the junk with the utterly good.

Joyous Juice
La Vida Veggie has got some Life Force, literally, as that’s the name of their favorite made-to-order juice. The blend includes orange, kale, cucumber and celery. This Latin-inspired vegetarian spot also has chewable menu items, as well, like the savory walnut meat tacos or “kale obsession” salad. Hey, the restaurant’s motto isn’t “peace, love and kale” for nothing!

Voracious Vegan
Sweet Lemon Vegan Bistro was founded by lifelong vegans ready to share their love of healthy fusion cuisine at this Bethany area restaurant. Think wholesome soups packed with nutrient-rich vegetables and ultra-satisfying noodle dishes.

Magnificent Massage
If you ask us, a massage is a crucial part of any “detox.” Visit Ruby’s Spa at the McMenamins Grand Lodge for a massage and allow your body to release all the tension from the previous year, followed by a dip in the mineral soaking pool. You’ll feel like a new person for the New Year. Of course, there are a plethora of other spa options in the Tualatin Valley to choose from, as well.

Welcome Well-being
RoseSpring Center for the Healing Arts thinks big picture when it comes to physical and mental health, relaxation and general well-being. The holistic care practitioners can guide you through a rejuvenating day of massages, dance and even energy healing!

P.S. Take a look at our New Year’s resolutions you can keep.