What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Posts Tagged ‘Forest Grove’

Theater in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Among Tualatin Valley locals, “break a leg” is a common catch phrase due to the seemingly constant onslaught of opening night musicals, plays, concerts and reviews. From light-hearted fun to tear-jerker performances, we’re highlighting some shows that we’re especially excited to see.

The Six Gentlepersons of Verona
March 5-22 | The Venetian Theatre | $20 to $36
Bag&Baggage Productions live up to its tagline: Real. Provocative. Theatre. The re-imagined production of Shakespeare’s first comedy is performed by an all-female cast…except for the one lone male canine. The pug-mix brings silly charm and “puppy love” into the theater. (More about Bag&Baggage Productions)

The Spitfire Grill
March 6-15 | Theatre in the Grove | $12 to $14
Chefs and foodies will fall for this sweet musical. As a restaurant owner prepares to pass the reins to her small town’s only eatery, she decides to gift her business to whoever writes the best essay on why they want the Spitfire Grill. What would you write? (More about Theatre in the Grove)

69th Annual All-Northwest Barbershop Ballad Contest
March 20-21 | Forest Grove High School | $20 to $22
The harmonicas are setting the tone and sharply dressed A Capella groups are warming their pipes for this annual competition. This year’s headlining troupe, “Tone Deaf,” promises to defy its name with sweet and fun melodies.

April 16-May 24 | Broadway Rose New Stage | $20 to $42
Oh, we know you know the word. As one of the world’s most popular musicals, Broadway Rose will infuse new magic into these show tune standards. Are you a Sandy or a Rizzo? Either way, get ready to hum along. (More about Broadway Rose)

The Full Monty
April 17-May 3 | Theatre in the Grove | $12 to $14
This one is for mature audiences only as the pop-rock musical pushes boundaries to the edge with a wink and a nudge. Though the jokes may be racy, this musical has a strongly beating heart. (More about Theatre in the Grove)

When visiting the Tualatin Valley, get the inside scoop on the area from Bag&Baggage’s Artistic Director, Scott Palmer. Plus, find even more theater events here.

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

Plan Your Wedding in Oregon’s Wine Country

Posted on: February 13th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Valentine’s Day is a big deal, beyond just the roses and chocolate. Nearly a quarter of a million couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Couples from near and far choose Oregon’s Washington County: The Tualatin Valley as their place to say “I do.” And for good reason with gorgeous views, special venues, and all the accoutrement for the best day of your life.

Kick-off wedding planning with the Grand Lodge Wedding Open House (March 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free). Here, couples can envision their upcoming nuptials, from primping at the Ruby Spa, toasting at the Doctor’s Office Bar, and concocting signature cocktails options. For a glimpse into the magic: watch the video below:

McMenamins Grand Lodge Weddings from Candy Glass Productions on Vimeo.

Rustic Charm
We love the creative spirit of our brides, which shines through in their choice of venues: rustic beauty whimsically intertwines with modern style. Such is the case with historic downtown Sherwood’s Bella Via, as well as Hillsboro’s McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse & Imbrie Hall. The 1850s roadhouse includes an octagonal barn that is darn right magical when laced with twinkle lights.

Au Natural
For a joyous, boho wedding day, look no further than Horning’s Hideout. Exchange vows by the lake, along a tree-lined creek, or on a large outdoor stage with room for 700 of your closest friends. With 24 hour rentals, guests can celebrate into the night and to camp under the stars.

Vineyard Views
With great Pinot, Oregon’s Washington County ensures some of the best wedding bars. Wineries like A Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery host intimate wedding parties and rehearsal dinners.

The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club promises a picturesque black-tie affair. Lovebirds tie-the-knot on the wildflower-bordered patio. For the party, the clubhouse is like celebrating in an Oregon-style castle.

All in the Details
Nowadays, it seems like no wedding is complete without a photobooth, such as local vendor Cheesy Mugs, or an after-party food truck. Guests can chow down on the ever-popular bulgogi tacos of Koi Fusion PDX food truck. For a fun twist on Oregon wine, rent the Union Wine Company’s wine truck!

It was rustic all around at this celebration

A romantic, whimsical and outdoorsy wedding awaits, just minutes from Portland

Start planning your wedding! Get more resources on our Wedding Wonderland page–and figuring out room blocks for your guests with one of our stunning hotels!

And find more venues for your wedding, no matter your style: rustic charm, nature settings, golf courses, and vineyards and wineries.

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.

Instagram Contest Ideas

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments

What’s your favorite Instagram filter? The Winter Wonder Instagram Photo Contest is well underway and we want to see the Tualatin Valley through the lens of your—well—camera phone! When uploading photos from Oregon’s Washington County to your Instagram feed through March 20, be sure to include the following in order to have that picture entered into the contest:

  1. #mytualatinvalley
  2. @oregonswashingtoncounty
  3. Photo location (must be a hotel, nature spot, vineyard or brewery)

Read the complete rules, as well as the terms and conditions.

Now, it’s inspiration time! To get a feel for past photos that Instagrammers have taken in the Tualatin Valley, see the stunning shots below.

Valerie Huffman (Instagram account@maizey2) shows us her morning yoga routine at the McMenamins Grand Lodge.

Nature & Outdoors
Gunnar Simonsen (Instagram account @gunnarsimonsen) shows the fairy light at Cooper Mountain Nature Park.

gunnarsimonsen_coopermtnparkVineyards, Wineries and Breweries
Emma Rise Hanley (Instagram account @emmarosehanley) gives some ’70s vibes with the Vinyl at Waltz Brewing.

Savor the last weeks of winter with an end-of-season getaway to the Tualatin Valley—instagramming with #mytualatinvalley during your stay!

Read the full Winter Wonder Instagram Photo Contest Terms and Conditions here.

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.

World Wetlands Day

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Happy World Wetlands Day! That’s right, the wetlands of the earth deserve a day dedicated to their greatness—and all the good they do for our environment. These nature preserves provide vast and meaningful benefits for not only the environment, but many cultures’ societal and economic concerns, as well. If managed sustainably, our wetlands will provide a bevy of betterment to future generations, including the following:

  • Purified water
  • Replenished water supplies
  • Fish (and rice in other parts of the world) that feed billions of animals and humans alike
  • Protection from both flooding and drought by coastlines

One of the best ways to support wetlands is simply to make a point of visiting them! Lucky for us, the Tualatin Valley is rich in beautiful wetlands. Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro and the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood all offer up the chance to get up-close-and-personal with year-round wildlife of waterfowl and migratory birds.

In tune with World Wetlands Day, Fernhill Wetlands re-opens its full breadth of trails, including 90 new acres of natural treatment wetlands. The new acreage includes 180 snags and root wads creating habitat for the hundreds of species of birds that flock to the area. The new berms and flow control structures soon will be overgrown by 750,000 native plants and 3.5 billion seeds that will grow into more diverse habitat for birds and wildlife. Visitors will be able to watch these wetlands grow and flourish year after year as these new additions enrich the habitat.

Photo of Fernhill Wetlands by Mary Lane Anderson

Photo of Fernhill Wetlands by Mary Lane Anderson

You’ll be delighted by the picturesque view of the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve from its Wetlands Education Center, which includes a perfect viewing deck. Catch a glimpse of the bald eagle nest, which weighs in at a whopping 1,500 pounds!


Spot an Egret taking a morning dip!

At Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, spot an Egret taking a morning dip!

The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge—just 10 miles from Portland—welcomes over 200 species of birds and 50 species of mammals into its habitat, creating a symphony of nature sounds!


Keep Oregon green: Volunteer efforts help keep parks, nature and open spaces green and clean.

A stunning sunset at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Read more:

Fernhill Wetlands
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Winter Bird Watching in Oregon

Instagram for the Wetlands
If you visit Fernhill Wetlands or Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve before March 20, then be sure to take some pictures and enter them into our Winter Wonder Instagram Contest. When posting your Instagram, tag @oregonswashingtoncounty, along with the location and the #mytualatinvalley hashtag. You could win some serious local swag!

2015 Oregon State Championships of Cornhole

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments


Mark your calendar, book your hotel room and start warming up that arm. The Oregon State Championships of Cornhole are coming to Forest Grove May 29-30! But wait…what is cornhole?

Cornhole: A lawn game where players alternate taking turns strategically throwing bags of dried corn into a hole in a raised platform. Also known as bean bag toss, corn toss and soft horseshoes.

Sounds easy, but—despite its funny name—there is a definite art to cornhole. It’s about stance, form and a certain finesse. Whether you’ve been playing cornhole at tailgates and bars for decades or you’ve never even laid hands on a corn bag, we want you to participate in this year’s championships. Hey, why not? The championships are open to Oregon residents only, and men and women of all ages and all experience levels (as in, no experience necessary) are invited to register for the championships.  Then, get excited for two days of fun in the Tualatin Valley.

With just a $35 registration ($30, plus $5 processing fee), this might be the most affordable and fun way to play your way to a cash prize.

Friday, May 29: Pre-Tournament Festivities
Join us at the McMenamins Grand Lodge for a kick-off event! There will be free open cornhole games, as well as pay-as-you-play challenges. See which McMenamins beer helps you throw the best. The event is open to the public, and you need not have to participate in the tournament to join in on the festivities.

Saturday: Championships Tournament
This all-day event at Pacific University includes competitions for singles, doubles, women-only, juniors and seniors. All players are guaranteed a minimum of two games.

Because a cornhole champion is nothing without a good night’s sleep, be sure to book a hotel room at one the hotels offering a special rate for the weekend:

America’s Best Value Inn and Suites
Best Western University Inn
McMenamins Grand Lodge

Get more details on local (and pet-friendly!) hotels in the area.

So tell us, do you have what it takes to be the Oregon state champion of cornhole?


The Four B’s of Brand New Bars

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

BBW-polaroidBodacious boozes of beer, brandy and bourbon. Say that three times fast! The letter “B” had a banner year in the Tualatin Valley—specifically in Beaverton and the Bethany area (more B’s! Go figure!). In the tail end of 2014, three great new drinking holes emerged onto the scene. Read on for the scoop on each.

Bethany Public House is part of the growing number of upscale taphouses in Oregon’s Washington County. Of the 25 craft beers on tap, five are the public house’s own brews. Staying true to its northwest roots, the Thinker IPA boasts a variety of hops into one easy-drinking ale. On the other end of the spectrum is the Camel Brown oatmeal porter, flavored with notes of Irish steel cut oats and malted chocolate. Mix and match the craft beer alongside tasty American bites with an Italian twist.

Big Bottom Whiskey isn’t new and it isn’t a bar, but it certainly still deserves a spot in this roundup. The independent bottler of high quality whiskey has been gaining some major fandom from all other the United States. Gear Patrol even named the bottler’s 111-proof bourbon one of the best bourbons not from Kentucky. Visit the tasting room on Saturdays to find out for yourself!

Bootleggers Whiskey Bar’s historical nod to all things booze fits right into its spot in historical downtown Beaverton’s lineup of cozy-cool spots. Taking cues from the 1920s and ’30s prohibition era, the romantic and dark bar serves us old-timey cocktails and an all-star lineup of whiskey, as well as moonshine for good measure.

Brannon’s Pub & Brewery is the newest kid on the block, bringing even more freshly crafted Oregon beer to Beaverton. With nine of its own new brews on hand, you can make a night of trying their inventive takes on IPAs and other styles. Be intrigued and delighted by the Benzonator Black IPA, which infuses strong flavors of pine, lemon and roasted malt into the usually milder IPA. Don’t just come to the pub thirsty, but hungry, too. Pair the great brews with locally sourced grub from the Neapolitan pizza oven. Sports lovers will rejoice with the sheer volume of high quality viewing options here, as well, including individual screens for certain tables.

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

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.

New Year’s Eve Itinerary

Posted on: December 19th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The kitschy, yet regal McMenamins Grand Lodge is a perfect mix for New Year's Eve dancing.

The kitschy, yet regal McMenamins Grand Lodge is a perfect mix for New Year’s Eve dancing.

Let the countdown begin—we’re mere days away from saying hello to 2015. With all the holiday hullabaloo going on, it’s easy to let New Year’s Eve plans fall through the cracks. But not this year, friends! We’ve taken the busy work out of the equation—you can simply use our New Year’s itinerary for a sure-fire good time and good New Year.

First, check into a room at the McMenamins Grand Lodge or one of our other standout hotel options. Just be sure to make reservations ahead of time!

Afternoon Bubbly Excursion
Before the sun sets, hop in the car to search for some sparkling wine to pop open come midnight. Though, you won’t have to search very hard—simply head to Shafer Vineyard Cellars for the Shafer Cuveé. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the winery produces its sparkling wine in the traditional French champagne method, Methode Champenoise. Very classy, indeed.

Dinner: Small Plates on a Big Night
We’re looking into your future—near future that is—and we see dancing. Lots and lots of dancing. So make dinner light, yet delicious at small plates at 1910 Main. As the name would suggest, you and your dinner companions can share delicious morsels of creative cuisine. It’s a celebratory meal that doesn’t require a post-feast nap!

Party Time!
Back at the McMenamins Grand Lodge, a night of good music and revelry will kick off at 9 p.m. with  New Year’s Eve at the Grand Lodge. Boogie to live music from three different bands. Choose from Americana, rock or Motown beats.

Welcome to 2015!
Start the year off on the right foot, literally, with the ranger-led America’s State Parks First Day Hike at beautiful Stub Stewart State Park. Here, you’ll find fresh air and a fresh perspective.

Now that you’ve properly worked up an appetite from your hike, chow down at the Ironwork Grill. Using seasonal ingredients from local growers, your meal will fill you with meaningful sustenance for the first day of the New Year.

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