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What Others are Saying about the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: August 31st, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

What others are saying about the Tualatin Valley

The blogosphere is loving Smith Berry Barn, SakéOne and the Old Scotch Church.

As is readily apparent, here in the Tualatin Valley we are not afraid to toot our own horn every now and again (Toot! Toot!). It’s hard not to when there is so much beauty here and so many ways to enjoy said beauty. But don’t just take our word for it! We’ve been happily overwhelmed with stories of others praising the Tualatin Valley. Below, check out a few of our favorite summer pieces about the area.

A Visit to the SakéOne Brewery in Oregon from Umami Mart
The writers of the Japanese food and drink blog, Umami Mart, extended their Portland trip to make time for a Tualatin Valley getaway to SakéOne in Forest Grove. The post takes readers through the brewery tour experience, which will only fuel your desire to visit SakéOne yourself.

An Oregon Gem: The Tualatin Valley from Going On Faith
While this is a guide for faith-based travel planners, truly anyone can take advantage of the publication’s excellent guide to Tualatin Valley’s attractions of museums, culinary adventures and the beautiful and pioneer era Old Scotch Church.

Berry Hot from Posie Gets Cozy
Alicia Paulson of the blog Posie Gets Cozy shares a sweet photo essay of her and her daughter exploring Smith Berry Barn and the South Store Café.

Six Cultures’ Favorite Junk Foods from USA Today Travel
USA Today Travel instructs readers how to upgrade their snack game, including Dutch stroopwafels from the Dutch American Market and Import Store. Take a bite of that chocolatey waffle goodness.

Stoller, Raptor Ridge Mark 20 Years from the Statesman Journal
Raptor Ridge Winery celebrates 20 years of great growth in both its vines and business—cheers!

Top 10 Local Restaurants in Tigard from The Culture Trip
The comprehensive travel website, The Culture Trip, takes a break from its globe-trotting coverage to settle into the best eats of Tigard. The post celebrates that some of the best ethnic food in the Greater Portland region is in fact, outside of Portland and into the Tualatin Valley.

Where to Wine, Dine, Recline in the Willamette Valley from the Statesman Journal
In the land of Pinot, a trip to the Willamette Valley isn’t complete without a stop at Ponzi Vineyards Winery for great wine, dazzling modern architecture and stunning vineyard views.

For more of what others are saying about the Tualatin Valley, check out this Pinterest board.

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

Labor Day Getaway Ideas Near Portland

Posted on: August 28th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Fun fact: Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday. We take great pride in that fact, which we commemorate by taking our celebrating quite seriously. While taking advantage of the Tualatin Valley and its close proximity to Portland, be sure to look out for a plethora of food, wine and art events happening throughout the holiday weekend. We’re spotlighting a few of our favorite trip ideas below.

Labor Day events near Portland

Find wine, art and food events during Labor Day weekend in the Tualatin Valley.

Wine and Art Events Near Portland this Labor Day Weekend

Beaverton First Friday
SW Broadway Street | September 4 | free
This slice of historic downtown Beaverton closes down to cars for a pedestrian-friendly evening of live music, local art galleries and tasty ethnic foods.

Horning’s Hideout | September 4-6 | $75 for Weekend Pass
This Labor Day, there will be no rest for the magical forest fairies of the Tualatin Valley! Faerieworlds is arts and music festival that celebrates all things mythical and fantastical. Horning’s Hideout, often considered the best outdoor venue in the Greater Portland region, is the perfect spot for this fairy-tastic weekend.

Fools at HART Theatre
HART Theatre | September 5-6 | $11-$15
Take in some theater with the charming comedy, Fools. Can a schoolteacher save a town from a dumbfounding curse? Playgoers will find out!

Labor Day Wine & Art Show
Plum Hill Vineyards | September 5-7 | No cover
Take in amazing views, while perusing amazing art and sipping on amazing Oregon wine—that’s a lot of amazingness!

Neighbors Night
Cooper Mountain Vineyards | September 4 | $8
This summer ritual invites neighbors and visitors alike to welcome the weekend with a glass of fantastic wine and melodic tunes.

Ponzi Summer Concert with Storm Large
Ponzi Vineyards | September 6 | $150
Portland favorite, Storm Large, performs a charity concert. Have a spectacular evening while simultaneously supporting the local non-profit, CASA for Children.

Labor Day Weekend is a golden time at Tualatin Valley farmers markets, as well, with end-of-summer and start-of-fall produce happily co-existing in the market stalls. Make a point to visit the bountiful Beaverton Farmers Market and Tigard Farmers Market.

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

Five Great Picnic Spots in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: August 19th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

The word “picnic” comes from the 17th Century French term “pique-nique,” which refers to epicureans who brought their favorite wines with them when dining out. The simple pleasures of a picnic continue in the Tualatin Valley. Pick up a great bottle of local wine at a quaint wine shop or tasting room, as well as some delectable treats at one of our bountiful farmers market. Then, head to a scenic spot for a romantic afternoon of leisure that feels eons away from Portland, but is really just a few minutes’ away!

5 best picnic spots in the Tualatin Valley

As the gateway to Oregon’s Wine Country, you can plan a winery picnic in the Tualatin Valley.

See a few choice picnic spots below:

Horning’s Fishing & Picnic Hideout
When it says “picnic” in the location name, you know it’s going to be good. This North Plains gem is nestled in an idyllic, forested canyon that is brimming with nature’s most vibrant senses. Take in the earthy smells of the plentiful trees and listen to the soft lapping of the lake as you enjoy your picnic.

Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Put that picnic in a bike basket rather than a wicker one and you’ll be ready for a celebratory meal at the end of this lovely bike trail that also syncs up to the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. Along the 21-mile trail of trestles and bridge crossings, you’ll find picnic tables dotting the way and inviting you to break bread.

Tualatin River
Here’s something new to try: a picnic in a canoe! The Tualatin River holds a soft and stable current throughout the summer and early fall. The mellow waters invite paddlers to munch on an in-route picnic—or pull over onto the banks for impromptu riverside rest.

Shafer Vineyard Cellars
Located in the foothills of the Coast Range, Shafer Vineyard Cellars offers views of the lovely rolling hills that are rich in vineyards. Grab a bottle of wine from the adjacent tasting room so that you can taste wine from the very same vines upon which you gaze.

Stub Stewart State Park
Pack a night picnic to take along to an OMSI Star Party at this wonderful camping spot. Going during the day? The dog-friendly grounds make this a picnic spot worthy of dog treats packed into your picnic offerings.

Make a picnic part of your Tualatin Valley stay, giving you time to pause and take in the beauty, tastes and energy of the region.

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

Late Summer Wine Events in the Northern Willamette Valley

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Taste the North Valley at Orenco StationOh, summer nights—we love you! As record high temperature days mellow into the warm, breezy evenings, wine lovers find a nirvana of summer’s splendor in the northern Willamette Valley. With wineries and vineyards a short drive from Portland, it’s easy to plan a last minute wine weekend. Use our wine events guide in your planning.

Northern Willamette Valley Wine Events

Neighbors Night at Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Cooper Mountain Vineyards | August 28, September 4 & 11 from 5-8 p.m. | $8
Uniquely located in a residential neighborhood, Cooper Mountain Vineyards is the best “neighbor” one could have this summer. They might not have a cup of sugar, but you can definitely get a glass of biodynamic wine.

Harvest Winemaker Dinner
Kramer Vineyards | August 22, 6-9 p.m. | $85
Taste the Willamette Valley—and think beyond just wine! Taste nibbles of local hazelnuts, cheese, vegetables and even salt. Purchase your ticket here.

Ponzi Summer Sundays
Ponzi Historic Estate | August 23 & 30, September 6 at 6 p.m. | $15
Listen to a wide array of music genres with a glass of wine in hand. For added summer flare, pack a picnic!

Taste the North Valley
Orenco Station | August 27, 4-8 p.m. | $25
Want to taste wines from 15 different wineries and vineyards all in one go? If yes, then this inaugural event is for you. Sample both red and white wines while enjoying music and bites from local food carts. Purchase tickets here.

Labor Day Wine and Art Show
Plum Hill Vineyards | September 5-7, noon to 5 p.m. | No cover charge
Art looks better when looked at while drinking wine and wine tastes better when sipped around art. View amazing artists while drinking fantastic Oregon wine.

Storm Large at Ponzi Vineyards
Ponzi Vineyards | September 6, 6 p.m. | $150
Portland’s own Storm Large puts on a phenomenal show with all proceeds going to CASA for Children. A ticket includes a gourmet meal and two complimentary glasses of Ponzi wine. Purchase tickets here.

How will you make your last summer days linger? Just like wine, the answer is on the tip of your tongue. It’s a trip to the northern Willamette Valley!

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

Five Reasons to go to Canines Uncorked Tomorrow

Posted on: August 7th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Well, hello weekend! It is so good to see you. If you’re in a summer slump or just have the itch for a last minute adventure, then hop in the car—with Fido in the back seat—and escape to the Tualatin Valley for Canines Uncorked. C’mon you know you want to. Need a little nudge? Here are five reasons to ignite the weekend jet setter in you…and your dog.

Canines Uncorked

Five Reasons to go to Canines Uncorked Tomorrow

1. All proceeds go to the Oregon Humane Society

A full 100% of the proceeds from Canines Uncorked will go toward the Oregon Humane Society and its mission of supporting pets in need. The “License to Taste” passports are $45 and can be bought tomorrow at Apolloni Vineyards, Kramer Vineyards, Oak Knoll Winery and Plum Hill Vineyards. Those donations add up! Drinking for a cause? We’re in.

2. Your ticket can be used for complimentary wine tastings for the rest of August

While Canines Uncorked lasts just one day, your “License to Taste” passport for wine tastings at participating vineyards doesn’t expire until the end of the month. So, plan a follow-up weekend to finish up those wine tastings at 15 different northern Willamette Valley locations near Portland.

3. Your dog is invited (or you can meet adoptable pooches)

There’ll be wine for you—as well as a whole lot of other perks for your pooch. Hello dog psychics, dog masseuses and dog photographers. Your pup has a day of luxury awaiting his or her visit.

4. It’s an easy last-minute (and dog-friendly) getaway.

With 35 pet-friendly lodging options in the Tualatin Valley, both you and your four-legged friend are guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

5. Win swag with the #CaninesUncorked Instagram Contest

When you visit a participating Canines Uncorked location, tag your Instagram photos with the following:

  • #CaninesUncorked
  • The name of the location

The account with the most photos at the end of August 9, 2015, will win a free copy of Wine
Dogs USA!

Have we convinced you yet? Have a weekend full of smiles and tail wags in the Tualatin Valley with us!

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

Tualatin Valley All-Outdoor Trip Idea

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Forest Grove Uncorked

Forest Grove Uncorked presents dozens of local foods, wines and brews.

Sometimes, we’ll be looking ahead into our events calendar and see a grouping of events that would make for one perfect, unforgettable weekend. Then, of course, we just have to share the itinerary we concoct with you. As you may have guessed by now, such an occurrence has entered our radar for the weekend of August 14-16. Tack on a few days to your Portland trip and explore the Tualatin Valley. Itinerary below:

Friday, August 14
“Sit by my side, and let the world slip: we shall ne’er be younger.” Live by these words from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew while watching the play at Ponzi Vineyards with the Willamette Shakespeare production company. As the show is free of charge, you can unwind with an extra glass of wine during the outdoor performance. Show begins at 7 p.m.

After the show, catch some zzz’s at a cush nearby hotel.

Saturday, August 15
We’re rolling into prime cycling weather in the Tualatin Valley via the Beaverton Banks & Beyond Bicycle Tour. Novice to advanced cyclists can sojourn the farmlands and trails in a 32, 64, 85 or 100 mile ride. Register now!

Unwind in a casual atmosphere with Forest Grove Uncorked, which features dozens of local wineries, craft breweries and restaurants on the Main Street drag. Admission is $10 and nominal tasting fees may apply.

Sunday, August 16
Choose between two great outdoor events. On the mellow side, there is the Tualatin River Family Paddle Day where one enjoys the gentle lapping sounds against a canoe or kayak on a peaceful stretch of the Tualatin River.

For a more rev-your-engines kind of day, there is the Banks Bar-B-Que and Truck & Tractor Pull that includes the happy hum of big vehicles and a jubilant parade.

What an accomplished weekend! Theater? Check! Fitness? Check? Amazing Oregon wine? Double check! Bonus points for every activity being outside, soaking up the Tualatin Valley’s rays of sunshine.

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

Drink Pink in the Northern Willamette Valley

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Raptor Ridge's rose (photo : Allison George)

Raptor Ridge’s rose (photo : Allison George)

Say it with me now: “Yes Way Rosé!”

Rosé wines are having a major moment in the Tualatin Valley. Hop in the car for an impromptu wine country weekend—it’s time to see the summer through rose-tinted glasses (and we do mean wine glasses).  Next time you’re visiting Portland, make sure to add a few days to your itinerary to try the outstanding rosé varieties at these wineries (all participating in Drink Pink):

Apolloni Vineyards
The 2014 Apolloni Rosé packs happy punches of strawberry and rhubarb. Your nose will pick up scents of honeysuckle and dried flowers.   

David Hill Vineyard & Winery
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé includes fruity aromas, including a hint of watermelon.

Elk Cove Vineyards
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé is hand-harvested from both old and young vines in the Willamette Valley that are from higher elevation vineyards on their own rootstock. The result is full flavor with lower alcohol.

Montinore Estate
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé holds a tight structure that allows for a dry, yet fruity sip of black cherry and red grapefruit notes.

Patton Valley Vineyard
The 2014 Patton Valley Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir adds citrus fun to its mix of flavors, finishing with a cream soda likeness that is downright tantalizing.

Ponzi Vineyards Winery
The Cin Cin Brut Rosé sells out quick every year as its méthode champenoise is rather irresistible. If you miss the Cin Cin, then there’s always other amazing rosé options on hand to try.

So much rosé, too little time. Make rosé your weekend agenda by booking a room at the Embassy Suites-Hillsboro or as one of our many other fantastic lodging options in the area.

10 Can’t-Miss July Events in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: July 6th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey 1 Comment

10 Can’t-Miss July Events in the Tualatin Valley

Ten Can’t-Miss July Events in the Tualatin Valley


With Independence Day in summer’s rearview mirror, continue celebrating your freedom to travel and experience new things. Whether you’re extending a business trip, tacking a few days onto a pre-existing trip to Portland or just want to plan getaway with friends, find Tualatin Valley festivals and events to make July the best. See our top 10 suggestions below.

1. Bluegrass Music

The Annual Northwest String Summit at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains is four days of soul-satisfying bluegrass and Americana music (July 16-19).

2. International Air Show

The Intel Oregon International Air Show welcomes the Blue Angels with its first woman pilot, Navy Capt. Kitty Higgins, on a C-130 Hercules aircraft.

3. Oregon Craft Beer Month

Celebrate Oregon Craft Beer Month with the 14th Annual Roadhouse Brewfest (July 18). Tour the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse brewery and chat with brewers.

4. Lavender Farms

Smell that? The Oregon Lavender Festival comes to four Tualatin Valley lavender farms (July 10-12). Frolic in the purple fields!

5. International Dancing and Fairs

Ten Tiny Dances (July 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the Beaverton International Celebration (July 25) highlights a mix of traditions from Beaverton’s diverse population.

6. Watch Dressage

Dressage of DevonWood in Sherwood boasts one of the largest dressage events in the Pacific Northwest (July 17-19).

7. Act Like Robin Hood

The Sherwood Robin Hood Festival (July 17-8) transforms Old Town Sherwood into an even older stomping ground of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. The Tualatin River’s MidSummer Night Paddle is best for those who fancy themselves mermaids over maidens (July 18). 

8. Drink Rosé

Yes way, rosé! The Drink Pink! rosé wine festival is a chance to visit 25 different Willamette Valley wineries, each offering rosy options (July 18).

9. Old Car Shows

The Tualatin Valley is a hot bed for hot rods with the Concours d’Elegance in Forest Grove (July 18-19) and The Classic at T-Hills in Beaverton (July 25).

10. Eat Crawfish

The 65th Tualatin Crawfish Festival is a quintessential Tualatin Valley summer tradition, complete with eating contests, local brews and live music (July 31-Aug 2).

Bonus: Sports fanatics can watch baseball at a Hillsboro Hops game (various dates), as well as the ASA 18 Gold Softball Championships (July 19-25). Prefer the view more than the game? Trade clubs for pianos at the Ten Grands on the Green (July 25).

How will you make the most of July? Your first step is booking a room in the Tualatin Valley!

Quiz: What Oregon Winery Should You Visit?

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Montinore Estate
It’s time to discover Oregon’s wine country. If it’s your first time visiting the northern Willamette Valley, then it can be daunting to choose which of the 30+ wineries to visit first. While we think every wine tasting trip should include multiple vineyard destinations, here’s a quiz to help you choose which winery to stop at  first.  

What type of wine do you gravitate toward?
A. Pinot Gris
B. Riesling
C. You trust a winemaker’s blend
D. Pinot Noir

Though, please note that each winery excels at multiple varietals!

What’s your favorite home décor style?
A. Sleek modernism
B. Traditional with lots of classic wood pieces
C. Open-concept with free flow between indoor and outdoor
D. Italian villa

What activity do you like to do—with a glass of wine in hand—most?
A. Bocce Ball
B. Nerding out about organic farming
C. Getting cozy by the fire
D. Discovering new herbs for creative recipes

What kind of view do you like?
A. Panoramic views of the Chehalem Mountains
B. Coastal mountain range
C. Mt. Hood
D. Colorful gardens

Who are your wine tasting companions?
A. A mellow bachelorette party
B. Someone who has only wine tasted in California before
C. Your valentine
D. Your extended family


Mostly A’s: Ponzi Vineyards
Ponzi Vineyards in Sherwood is an Oregon old-school winemaker with lots of new-school charm. The multi-generation winery serves its wines, like the 2014 Pinot Gris that was picked as an “Editor’s Choice” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, in its incredibly classy gray-hued tasting room.


Ponzi Vineyards

Ponzi Vineyards

Mostly B’s: Montinore Estate
Montinore Estate in Forest Grove has a tasting room as regal as many esteemed Napa wineries. The Oregon twist? The stately décor remains unfussy, encouraging tasters to relax, ask questions and learn about the biodynamic winemaking process.


Montinore Estate

Montinore Estate (photo: David Brunkow)

Mostly C’s: Árdíri
Árdíri Winery and Vineyards in Cornelius was voted one of the best vineyard views in Oregon, which it celebrates with lots of patio seating tucked around multiple fire pits. Try the 2011 Pinot Noir Due Stati, which blends the best of Willamette Valley and Napa Valley reds into one tantalizing sip.


Árdíri Winery

Árdíri Winery

Mostly D’s: Alloro Vineyard
Alloro Vineyard in Sherwood transports wine lovers into an Italian daydream. In addition to the winery’s standout Pinot Noir offerings, be sure to peruse the herb garden for heavenly scents and serene views.


Alloro Vineyard

Alloro Vineyard


Which winery did your quiz results reveal? Be sure to explore all of the area’s wineries, vineyards and wine shops!


Tualatin Valley People’s Choice Award Winners

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

Do you use Yelp, Trip Advisor and the like? We’ve got one more authority to add to your go-to review resources. Enter, the results of the Tualatin Valley People’s Choice Awards. We put the power to the people with our open poll and received a whopping 858 votes. Check out our People’s Choice Weekend Getaway Itinerary, as well as get some extra tips on each winner below.

ABV Public House
Favorite Restaurant: ABV Public House
Why it’s so great: Housed in an unassuming Hillsboro business park, this spot is like a modern-day speakeasy. Instead of whiskey in bathtubs, find hundreds of bottles of beers and ciders lining the perimeter of the restaurant.
What to try: Cheese curds and green chili poutine—‘nough said.
When to go: Happy hour falls 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day.
Who to go with: Take your in-laws as the brews and kitschy décor give lots of conversation fodder.

Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro
Favorite Brewery: Vertigo Brewing
Why it’s so great: With just a seven-barrel system, this Hillsboro brewery crafts an impressive array of standout beer.
What to try: Friar Mike’s IPA is a quintessential Oregonian beer with lots of Northwest hops.
When to go: A few hours before the Hillsboro Hops game for a happy-go-lucky crowd of sports fans.
Who to go with: Your sports buddies!

Ardiri Vineyards in Cornelius, Oregon
Favorite Winery Experience: Árdíri Vineyards
Why it’s so great: This Cornelius vineyard is the perfect mix of elegance and romance—without the pretentious veneer.
What to try: The 2011 Due Stati is in its peak drinking years right now. Salud!
When to go: A clear day, mid-afternoon will bring you amazing views of Mt. Hood.
Who to go with: Cuddle up with your honey around one of the vineyard’s cozy fire pits.

wine tasting in the northern willamette valley
Favorite Attraction/Activity: Wine Tasting in the Tualatin Valley
Why it’s so great: Just minutes from Portland, immerse yourself in Oregon wine!
What to try: Everything. Just try everything.
When to go: The North Willamette Vintners Association provides fantastic wine events in the region.
Who to go with: Rent a car and driver with a group of friends for an unforgettable wine weekend.

Remember, our People’s Choice Weekend Getaway Itinerary shows you how to happily go from one standout attraction to the next in one awesome weekend. We dare you to try it!