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Golf’s Next Superstars at the WinCo Foods Portland Open

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments
Expect blue skies, a green course and colorful spectators at the WinCo Foods Portland Open.

Expect blue skies, a green course and colorful spectators at the WinCo Foods Portland Open.

When people think of Oregon, they often think green. And this is not just because of the trees. There are also our premiere—and indeed green—golf courses. Tiger Woods even had a breakout performance at the 1996 US Amateur Championship at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Eighteen years later, one of the caddies from that record-book match, Scott Harrington, will re-enter the same green as a competitor for the inaugural WinCo Foods Portland Open (August 18-24, 2014). Northwest native Scott will be joining 155 other top-notch golfers vying for one of the 25 PGA Tour Cards on the historic and beautiful Witch Hollow course.
 
Who knows? The WinCo Foods Portland Open may unveil the next Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth or Russell Henley. Golf lovers are encouraged to watch and see which PGA hopefuls have their magic moment on the Witch Hollow course. The tournament’s executive director, Jeff Sanders, said “The drama and excitement of the regular season ending Web.com Tour 25 Card event will bring back memories of Tiger Woods electrifying and historic three-peat at Witch Hollow in the 1996 US Amateur. Come watch the stars of the Web.com Tour compete at one of the best venues in the Pacific Northwest.”

The golfers are playing for the big bucks, but you don’t have to break the bank to watch. Ticket prices start at $15 and kids 17 and under are admitted free. Beyond golf, the WinCo Foods Portland Open will continue the fun after tee time with live music, as well as a free Sunday morning pancake breakfast. What’s more, your golf mania will be going to a good cause as WinCo Foods has committed to give 100% of all ticket sales revenue to charities and youth organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
 
While you’re in town for the competition, you might as well do a little golfing of your own with the “It’s Tee Time” golf package, which include an ultra-comforting stay at the Grand Hotel at Bridgeport.  Good news! This is an ever-green package; so, it’s good to save for a fall golf getaway, as well.

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Rosebuds & Cornhole

Posted on: May 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
After enjoying the Portland Rose Festival, you'll compete in the Oregon Cornhole Championships with rose-tinted glasses.

After enjoying the Portland Rose Festival, you’ll compete in the Oregon Cornhole Championships with rose-tinted glasses.

Whether you’re more of a gardener or tailgater, June 6-8 is going to be amazing with both the Portland Rose Festival and Oregon Cornhole Championships. The mix of urban festival and town sport makes a great start-of-summer getaway.

Friday, June 6
After partaking in Portland Rose Festival activities, escape to our vineyards and valleys for even more fun.

When booking your accommodations—be sure to use cornhole hotel deals to receive a $20 gift card! One option is the McMenamins Grand Lodge, which is the location for the Oregon Cornhole Championships Kick Off (8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; free). Play social and “Luck of the Draw” cornhole tournaments, heightened with McMenamins signature brews and bites. While exploring the property, peek into the Alice Meek Inkley Room. The room is named after the woman whose portrait hangs there. In her painting, Alice holds—fitting to the weekend—a rose!

Saturday, June 7
Rise and shine—it’s time to play, toss and win at the Oregon Cornhole Championships (8:30 a.m. start at the Stoller Center; $20 entry fee). No experience is necessary to vie for the cash prizes! Learn more!

If you get knocked out of the running early, then make a consolation prize out of the North Plains Smokehouse Summit: Brews, Blues & Championship BBQ (noon to 9 p.m. on Commercial Street at Main, North Pains; free). The summit is more than BBQ. Enjoy a craft beer garden, live blues music, car show and poker run. BBQ die-hards can plan their visit around the schedule of judging events.

Sunday, June 8
Counteract the savory goodness of last night’s BBQ with Maggie’s Buns. The famous cinnamon buns are larger than a cornhole!

There are still plenty of Rose Festival shennanigans to be had, but we bet you’ll be tempted to stay in Oregon’s Washington County so that you can stop and sip the Rosé over smelling roses. Try the light and dry sparkling Rosé from Apolloni Vineyards

P.S. Register early for the Oregon Cornhole Championships!

Ride Beyond National Bike Week

Posted on: May 12th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

May is a lot of things. It’s flowers from April showers, that we then gift on Mother’s Day. It’s the smell backyard barbeques with cornhole set-ups to match. As May is National Bike Month (and this week is National Bike Week), May is also the time to plan an epic cycling trip.

You never forget how to ride a bike. More so, make unforgettable memories while biking Oregon’s Washington County. There’s a stretch of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway for everyone in every skill level, as well as expert cycling shops to help you get the gear you need.

Happy National Bike Month!

Happy National Bike Month!

 

Use National Bike Week to prepare for the Beaverton Banks & Beyond Bicycle Tour. It’s three months away—the perfect amount of training time! Use the itinerary below to make your bike time double as vacation time.

Friday, August 22
You may not want to drink before the ride, but at least pick a bottle to pop open after tomorrow’s race. The Urban Decanter offers a collection of excellent Northwest wines.

Fuel up for the ride with Izgara Middle Eastern Cuisine. A protein heavy meal of hummus and schwarma is more than filling. Plus, Friday night is a popular one as a lively belly dancing performance weaves through the tables.

Settle in for the night at the wonderfully eccentric and cozy McMenamins Grand Lodge.

Saturday, August 23
It’s race day! At 7 a.m., check in (though register here beforehand for $25-$40). The NW Bicycle Safety Council welcomes novice to advanced riders along a scenic 100-mile, 86-mile, 64-mile or 32-mile bike tour of farmlands and forest.

After showering , you’ll be ravenous, yet jovial. This is the perfect combo for jesters and turkey legs at the Oregon Renaissance Festival.  

Sunday, August 24
Before heading home, soothe the toxins from sore muscles with a massage and mineral pool soak at the McMenamins Grand Lodge’s Ruby Spa. Continue the healing process at Hippocra Teas. The staff there is well versed on healing tonics.

P.S. Check out even more upcoming bike events R&R, Pedal by Pedal.

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Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway: Wheel Turn #3

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Unger's Farm Store is just one of the breathtaking rest stops along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway

Unger’s Farm Store is just one of the breathtaking rest stops along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway

We’re back with our second installment in the “Wheel Turn Series” of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. As a review, you can cycle backwards and read the previous Wheel Turn #1 and Wheel Turn #2.

After fueling up on strawberries from the Unger’s Farm Store, hop back on your bike to round the curve of SW Johnson School Road. At the cross roads, follow the trees on SW Tongue Lane; though it will be your nose and eyes that will be working overtime. The scent and view of dense trees lining the edge of the Forest Hills Golf Course is nothing short of intoxicating. Bonus: the forested ridge keeps wayward golf balls from flying into bicycle spokes.

Turning right onto SW Golf Course Road, cyclists are prompted with a choose-your-own-adventure moment.

Option 1:
The left-hand turn onto SW Blooming Fern Hill Road takes you off of the scenic bikeway, but wine enthusiasts can’t resist a  visit to A Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery. Tiny yet mighty, the vineyard’s tail-wagging greeters lead visitors to the tasting room. Cutting back onto the bikeway on SW Fern Hill Road, cycle past the beautiful Fern Hill Cemetery (a slice of Oregon Trail history!).

Option 2:
Cycle the beautiful span of SW Golf Course Road, peppered with seasonal farm stands. We’re suckers for a pit stop at Blooming Nursery. With 1,800 varieties of perennials, herbs and garden pizazz, you might be tempted to balance a bulb kit on your handlebars for the rest of the ride.

No matter your path, the ride will be amazing. Every stretch has something unexpected and undoubtedly beautiful. Tune in next month to see what the fourth “wheel turn” has in store.

In related news, a pioneer of our beloved Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway recently received some major props. The Washington County Visitors Association’s Stakeholder Development Manager, Allison George, received the Oregon Tourism Development Award for her passionate work in developing and launching Oregon’s 10th scenic bikeway. The award celebrates innovative practices, sustainability, and creative problem-solving. Way to go, Allison!

Drum Roll for Cornhole

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
cornhole shot 500

If you can throw a bean bag, then you could be the first Oregon Cornhole Champ!

Cue drum roll please…Who’s ready for some bean bag tossin’? Get ready for the inaugural Oregon Cornhole State Championships!

Yes—cornhole! Or maybe you know it as “corn toss,” “bean bag toss” or more generally that tailgating game.  Like a game of horseshoes—but with corn bags and wooden boxes instead of horseshoes and steel stakes—this party game has evolved into a sport of its own with practiced artforms, friendly competition, and a fan community to boot. Whether you’re a cornhole ace or total newbie, the Oregon Cornhole State Championship is a strong contender for a fun and totally unique weekend getaway.

Get your toes beanbag wet: Pre-tournament festivities
Join the
Kick Off Party at the McMenamins Grand Lodge (Friday, June 6, 4-9 p.m.). Before all the hubbub of the championships, come play in a low-stakes cornhole match. There will be free games, as well as “Pay-as-You-Play” options (that can lead to some awesome prizes). Loosen your arm—and your courage—with a pint or two of McMenamins’ Rubinator brew before tucking yourself in for the night in the historic hotel. Reserve your room now!

Serious Bean Bag Tossing: Tournament Day
Even cornhole players with a laissez-faire approach can vet for top spot in the Oregon Cornhole Championships at Pacific University (Saturday, June 7, 8:30 am. to 11:00 p.m.). And hey—why not put yourself out there and give it a shot? Especially since the tournament is only $20 per person, which includes a one-season membership to the American Cornhole Organization (ACO). Play solo or as part of a doubles team.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Cash prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in the two categories.

Singles:
1st place: $250
2nd place: $125
3rd place: $50

Doubles (per team):
1st place: $500
2nd place: $250
3rd place: $100

Who knows? Maybe you’ll have the day’s lucky arm, winning yourself a “golden ticket” entry into the ACO World Championships of Cornhole. And even if you only throw duds, you’ll surely leave with a great story of a totally unique weekend. Register now!  (Must be an Oregon resident with valid Oregon ID to participate as a competitor in Saturday’s tournament.) 

And don’t forget to find places to stay while on your cornhole competition adventure!

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Ask a Local: Steve Vuylsteke

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Steve Vuylsteke knows good saké—and the best of Oregon’s Washington County!

Steve Vuylsteke knows good saké—and the best of Oregon’s Washington County!

When it comes to vacation planning, nothing is more valuable than the local scoop. So, we turned to Steve Vuylsteke, President and CEO of SakéOne. Steve leads the only saké brewery in Oregon, utilizing the area’s high water quality to make premium sake. As a 55-year local of Oregon’s Washington County, he has the ultimate tips.

What makes SakéOne so special?
It’s America’s original craft saké brewery – the first one dedicated to making exclusively premium chilled saké.

What’s your favorite cocktail to make with SakéOne saké?
It’s simple to make and enjoy – g Lime, which is made of our g Joy saké on the rocks with a slice of lime. Refreshingly tasty!

At SakéOne, what do you love most about interacting with visitors?
Enlightening visitors as to what saké really is– saké is not rice wine and it is not distilled. Saké is saké: made like beer, drinks like wine!

Other than a visit to SakéOne, what’s one can’t-miss attraction for visitors to the area?  
I’m a golfer so either the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club or Forest Hills Golf Course.

What’s a favorite “hidden gem” of the area?
The Cruise Inn Country Diner has all organic and natural ingredients– I love the ’57 Chevy BelAir Burger!

Where do you go when you want some seriously good grub? What’s the standout dish?
Nona Emilia’s Italian restaurant and the standout clam linguine dish.

What should every visitor to Oregon’s Washington County take home as a souvenir?
Momokawa, Moonstone or G saké from SakéOne!

Describe Oregon’s Washington County in 5 words or less.
Love living and working here!

Previous Ask a Local Posts:
Bag&Baggage’s Scott Palmer
Vine Gogh’s Jenny Schildan

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Summer Runnin’ Had Me a Blast

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Oregon running events are heating up with spring and longer days.

Oregon running events are heating up with spring and longer days.

How are you jump-starting spring? With light stretching longer into each passing day, we’ve been stretching ourselves and lacing up our running shoes. Longer days means longer runs, which will help us get ready for the slew of amazing running events hitting Oregon’s Washington County this summer. Which race(s) will have you hitting the pavement?

Ladybug Run
Friday, May 2 | 6:30 a.m. start | Registration $10-$35
During this 5k and 10k race, put a pep in your step with a silly costume. Even if you don’t place in the race, you can still win the costume contest while raising money for families affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

Hippie Chick Half & Quarter Marathon
Saturday, May 10| 8 a.m. start | Registration $89-$99
Flat, tree-lined streets make for a picturesque—and totally empowering—run.  Held over Mother’s day weekend, run with (or in loving support of) your mom or daughter.

Twelve Bridges Relay
Saturday, May 31| 6 a.m. start | Registration $65-$400
Up to six running friends collaboratively complete a 67-mile, 12-leg run the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, including 12 historical bridges. Thefind a team” feature will match you with other runners.

Freedomthon Run
Friday, July 4| 8:30 a.m. start | Registration $15-$30
Run or walk for the red, white, and blue…and the pancake feast waiting for you at the end of this 5k. You’ll feel super patriotic, as all runners are supplied with the mini flag to wave throughout their run.

Lake of Death 12 & 24 Hour Relay
Saturday, August 2 – Sunday, August 3| 8:00 a.m. start | Registration $100-$480
Teams of 1, 2, 4, 6, or 8 run full or half laps around the breathtaking Henry Hagg Lake by either road or trail (you choose!).

Cause + Event Hillaceous Half Marathon
Saturday, September 13 | 8:00 a.m. start | Registration $30-$70
A 5k walk, 5k and 10k timed run, and a signature half marathon makes for a busy day in the hills of Oregon’s Washington County. The Amazing Race Expo and post-run party helps, too.

Running not your thing? Don’t worry! We’ll be detailing biking and extreme sport events on the blog soon. In the meantime, find your sport in the events calendar.

 

Itinerary: Go Irish

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Chase a rainbow on The Reserve's course during the Luckython race.

Chase a rainbow on The Reserve’s course during the Luckython race.

And just like that, we’re ushered out of the month of love and into the month of luck. Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we never turn down an excuse to celebrate. Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception. Party like a leprechaun with our St. Patrick’s Day weekend itinerary.

Saturday, March 15
In other countries, the holiday is called “The Feast of Saint Patrick,” and a feast it will be with help from the Beaverton Winter Market and its accompanying St. Patrick’s Day Celebration  (12-1:30 p.m.). The closest you’ll come to a four-leaf clover will probably be in cookie form, but luscious green vegetables will be bursting from the stalls as the market transitions out of its winter harvest and into its spring one. Additionally, get into the Irish spirit with live Irish music and dance.

After filling up on super foods, chase after a pot of gold at one of Luckython’s series of runs: 5K, 10K, 15K, 15K team relay, 5K “Headlamp” nighttime run/walk at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club. The 7:30 p.m. Headlamp event is complete with green glow-in-the-dark accoutrement. Do an Irish-style reverse carbo-load with a post-run baked potato bar.

Sunday, March 16
Vacations are an excuse to go all out brunch-wise. Reedville Cafe offers a special Irish menu, including the O’Brian Scramble, mixing the classic corned beef with feta cheese.

With sustenance from breakfast, head to Henry Hagg Lake—it’s one of the best places to catch a rainbow. If the multi-colored arch doesn’t peek through the clouds, then fish for rainbow trout instead.

Of course, a St. Patrick’s Day weekend wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pub. The Thirsty Lion’s St. Patrick’s Festivals at its Tigard or Hillsboro locations include Irish-themed cocktails and live music.

Monday, March 17
Taking a long weekend in the name of St. Nick? So are the McMenamins Grand Lodge and McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse with live bagpipers and locally brewed Irish-style Stout.

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Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway: Wheel Turn #1

Posted on: February 26th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Warm up or cool off from a great ride at Rood Ridge Park.

Warm up or cool off from a great ride at Rood Ridge Park.

Cyclists are smitten with the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway and its 50 miles of cycling nirvana. While the terrain of Oregon’s Washington County is no doubt part of the bikeway’s power, any bicyclist will tell you that it’s the unexpected pleasures that take a ride from pristine to spectacular.

This is why we’re kicking off a monthly “wheel turn” series, showcasing highlights along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. And okay—we’re not going to take you painstakingly turn by turn. However, we’re thrilled to break this half-century ride into mini stretches of fun.

Many cyclists choose to begin (or end) their time on the bikeway at Rood Bridge Park and Rhododendron Garden, which is worth exploring in its own right. The über active can jump of their bikes and play a game of doubles on the tennis courts. Alternately, trade wheels for paddles with the park’s kayak and canoe ramp. After pedaling hard, a relaxed row down the lazy Tualatin River provides a nice respite.  For just a quick-stop, spend a few minutes wandering through the mix of woods and wetlands, mapping out your ride on the picnic tables, or taking in the view of fluffy pink rhododendrons.

Just down the road from Rood Bridge Park is the Meriwether National Golf Club. The club provides a great opportunity for fun-seekers who want a short ride followed by a short 9-hole course. That pairing is sure to work up an appetite for ahi tacos or BBQ pulled pork sandwiches at the Meriwether Grill.

This is just one of a multitude of ways to experience the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bike Route. Start wherever you want on the bikeway—and complete whatever feels right to you. Next month, we’ll discuss the wineries and farm stands along the SW Johnson School Road of the bikeway.  

Road Closure Notice:
The N.W. Porter Road portion of the bikeway in Forest Grove will be closed for a film production event on Saturday, March 1 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Valentine’s Day with a Twist

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Here in Oregon's Washington County, we find love and fun romance everywhere...especially the unexpected!

Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we find love and fun romance everywhere…especially the unexpected!

Last week, we talked how to wine-and-dine your Valentine. But that’s not every body’s thing. For couples or friends eschewing grandiose romance, celebrate Cupid’s favorite day without veering toward the cloyingly sweet. Instead come to Orgegon’s Washington County for endorphin-rush experiences.

Celestial Love
Love starts with the self, which RoseSprings Center for the Healing Arts knows well through its holistic care. For an other-worldly experience, the center’s mystic messages explores the idea of spirit guides (February 13, 7-8:30 p.m.). Using oracle cards, gain perspective on pressing questions. For a more down-to-earth experience, book a couples massage.

Artsy Love
Love heats up in the glass blowing studio! Don’t buy a gift for your Valentine. Instead, make a gorgeous hand-blown flower at Live Laugh Love Glass’ Valentine’s Date Night (February 14 from 7-10 p.m. or February 15 from 6-9 p.m).

Messy Love
Research shows that couples that exercise together are healthier in body and spirit. Celebrate health and love at the Inaugural My Muddy Valentine 5k (February 15, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., registration $45-$60). Looking-for-love runners can participate in a post-race speed dating event.

Green Love
The recent snowstorm will melt just in time for February’s Beaverton Winter Market (February 15, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Lovebirds looking for a low-key hangout can take home more than just veggies: home smoked pork rilletes from Feastworks Chacuterie and a rose and pistachio buttercream French Macaroon from Sterling Catering and Cookies.

Buzzed Love

Even non-romantics describe new love as a certain kind of buzz, which is exactly what you’ll get at the Zwickelmania Oregon Brewery Tour (February 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Learn about the hops, brewing process, and bottling of our favorite local brews: Ambacht Brewing, Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, Two Kilts Brewing, and Vertigo Brewing.

Pork-tastic Love
Italy is full of romantic traditions and Montinore Estate has adapted a few as its own with Maialata: The Festival of the Pig (February 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $150, reservations required). A Portland restaurant favorite, Nostrana, pairs Montinore’s wine with a day of pork-themed food-making and eating.

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