What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Posts Tagged ‘Forest Grove’

National Craft Month

Posted on: March 13th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The Oregon College of Art and Craft is a wonderful place to visit for National Craft Month.

The Oregon College of Art and Craft is a wonderful place to visit for National Craft Month.

You won’t find idle hands in the Tualatin Valley. We’re too busy making Oregon goods to be twiddling our thumbs. Our local goods reach beyond farm-to-table food and brews. For National Craft Month, we’re celebrating the crafters of the Tualatin Valley. Choose your craft hobby below!

If you want the softest of soft accessories, touch no further than alpaca yarn from EasyGo Farm. The farm’s alpaca herd provides a lush array of yarn options in the farm store. Plan your next craft attack with this DIY Lace Alpaca Shawl pattern.

Another must-see knitting spot is Nitro Knitting. Purchase yarn made by local dyers non-profit co-ops. Want to knit at the shop? Use the free Wi-Fi to surf for new patterns while sipping on a complimentary cup of tea or coffee.

The newly erected Quilt Barn Trail melds quilters and agricultural heritage together. This multi-year project consists of large, hand-painted blocks with quilt patterns, which are mounted on buildings throughout the rural areas of the valley. So, far there are two panels with more on the way!

For your own quilting plans, stop by the Quilter’s Corner Store for all of the supplies and expert advice you need.

Whimzee’s Scrapbook Studio includes a Kids’ Craft Mornings with Delaney. Delaney happens to be a kid herself and she loves coming up with easy projects for her peers like paper pumpkins and personalized canvas bags. Each workshop is $10 per child and parent pair. Call ahead for details: (503) 259-9130.

Support Local Crafters
The Tualatin Valley loves crafting so much that we have a whole school devoted to it! Enter, Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC). The school’s Hoffman Gallery and store showcases student and alumni bookmaking, ceramics, mixed media, fibers and wood pieces. After viewing and purchasing the stunning crafts, have lunch alongside the crafters and artists at nobleoni Cafe.

More craft goodness can be found at the Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar (April 20-25 at the Washington County Fair Complex; free admission). Find pillows made from salvaged fabric, upcycled furniture and so much more.

And just for fun, don’t forget about Oregon craft beer!

April’s North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Enjoy wine from the glass (and straight from the barrel!) during the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend.

Enjoy wine from the glass (and straight from the barrel!) during the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend.

Forget spring cleaning—let’s jump into spring drinking! While we love visiting wineries rain-or-shine, spring days give steam to our wine tasting game. With the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend April 11-12, the wineries of Oregon’s Washington County are daring us to a marathon wine weekend.  

From the North Willamette Vintners, the Wine Trail invites wine lovers to experience over a dozen wineries over two jam-packed days. What’s more, the Wine Trail weekend is actually about so much more than wine. It’s truly about our culinary community, from Oregon wine to cheese to other creative noshes. With this in mind, the Wine Trail pairs each winery with a thoughtful and unique food pairings.

One such pairing is the Apolloni Vineyards sharing some favorite Pinot Grigio, Rosé and Mélange Noir wines alongside tastes from Laurine Apolloni’s cooking demo with seasonal herbs. Additionally, Blizzard Wines defies its namesake by serving wood fired pizza from Maiale di Volo alongside its local wine blends.

Tickets can be purchased here, where you’ll be asked to identify your starting winery. A wine kit—including a glass, map, and brochure of each winery and its accompanying activity—will be waiting for you at that winery on April 11. Lunch options will also be available for purchase at many of the wineries.

Here’s the skinny on tickets:

  • $45 per person includes the two-day Wine Trail weekend with activities, wine tastings, food pairings, and wine glass.
  • $30 per person for Sunday-only ticket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; ticket includes glass, activities, wine tastings, and light food pairings.
  • $10 for a designated driver ticket

Turn the Wine Trail into a full-blown weekend getaway by booking a room at one of the awesome hotels partnering with the North Willamette Vintners:

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

Barbershop Ballad Town Itinerary

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Sound the harmonica—the 69th Annual All Northwest Barbershop Ballad Contest  is coming to Forest Grove March 20-21! Spend a melodic getaway weekend in the Tualatin Valley to find out exactly why Forest Grove is known as Ballad Town USA. With tickets between $20 and $22, you can see two days of top-notch singers for a song. See below for a weekend itinerary for you’re a capella themed weekend.

Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m.
Before jumping into action, check into your room. There are plenty of great lodging options that are close to the singing main event. Perform a quick change into some festive gear while tonight’s vocalists warm up. Here are some especially nearby hotel offerings:

Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m.
In addition to the competitive rounds of singing, the comedic quartet group, Snafu, will also perform giggle-worthy tunes.

Friday, March 20 at 9 p.m.
After tonight’s show, discuss your favorite quartet groups over a pint of beer at the King’s Head Pub. While nibbling on house-made Scotch egg or English pasty, you might be inspired to hum some English pub songs.  

Saturday, March 20 at 10 a.m.
Start your day off in the All-American way. Maggie’s Buns serves up classic breakfast plates, including gigantic cinnamon buns. Bonus: The cozy brunch spot is the perfect starting location for an early afternoon wine tasting session. Head to Apolloni Vineyards and David Hill Vineyard & Winery next.

Saturday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Before heading to the 2 p.m. round of the Barbershop Ballad Contest, pay a visit to the world’s tallest barber pole. In 1973, locals to crafted and installed a 70-foot tall barber pole, which still holds the title as the world’s tallest one today.

Saturday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m.
Fuel up before the intense final round of the contest at 7 p.m. with a soul-satisfying meal at 1910 Main. Using local ingredients, this favorite spot updates American classics with a modern, upscale twist.

Sunday, March 21
Before heading home, play a game of disc-golf at McMenamins Grand Lodge. If you work up enough of a sweat, then you’ll be able to justify a sweet treat from Sugar Mommas’ Bake Shop (pssst…get the red velvet cupcake!).

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 3 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?