What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Posts Tagged ‘Sherwood’

Nature Passport: Magness Memorial Tree Farm

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments


Enter an enchanted world at Magness Memorial Tree Farm, which is just minutes away from Portland.

Enter an enchanted world at Magness Memorial Tree Farm, which is just minutes away from Portland.

The Nature Passport is a treasure trove of Tualatin Valley’s nature hot spots, leading outdoor enthusiasts to the locations that look like they came straight out of a fairytale. For example, Magness Memorial Tree Farm is nestled in the woods via a tranquil nature walk that will lead you to the rustic log cabins that—if you have the right imagination—seem like they might belong to Hansel and Gretel (don’t worry, no witches here!).

Just 23 miles south of Portland, it’s easy to escape city life in favor of something a bit more earthy. Try and spot the more than 30 different species of trees. At the very least, it won’t be hard to identify the Giant Sequoia and Douglas Firs linking the 2.5 miles of hiking paths, as well as the flying squirrels jetting between them. For a little more help, take the free guided tour that is offered every Sunday at 2 p.m. Ask your guide to point out some stinging nettle, which is edible and taste like spinach!

On a dry day, Magness Memorial Tree Farm offers choice options for a picnic. Whether you’re going for a blown-out meal or simply an along-the-way snack, stop in downtown Sherwood on your way to your woodsy adventure. Symposium Coffee will give early-risers a jolt with a Stumptown coffee buzz and Sweet Story Bakery will provide a sugar rush to match.

Watch this segment from Grant’s Getaways explore the Magness Memorial Tree Farm:

Magness Memorial Tree Farm
Location: 31195 SW Ladd Hill Road, Sherwood, OR 97140
Phone: (503) 625-7471
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. September-May; Daily 9 .a. – 7 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day

With so much eye candy around you, don’t forget to pack that camera. Whether it’s capturing a deer having breakfast in the morning light, the breathtaking view of the Coast Range or an artful stargazing time-lapse, share the best pictures from your visit with us via the Focus on Autumn Nature Photo Contest. Who knows? Your picture could win you a prize package of pro-photography loot worth $2,500!

Past Nature Passport Blog Posts:
Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Cook Park
Cooper Mountain Nature Park
Fernhill Wetlands
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Loop
L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park

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

Focus on Autumn with Fall Harvest

Posted on: October 15th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

To focus on autumn means to focus on Oregon’s bounty. Focus on the gentle breeze whistling between the Tualatin Valley’s apple trees. Focus on the bright flavor of a just-picked pear. Focus on the gleeful expression of a child finding that perfect pumpkin in the patch. Focus on the sun setting in the hazelnut orchard. And don’t just focus on these precious moments—take a picture of it for the Focus on Autumn Nature Photo Contest!


A filbert farm sunset along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. Photo by Karl Samson.

A filbert farm sunset along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. Photo by Karl Samson.

The Focus on Autumn Nature Photo Contest is our way of celebrating all the ways people experience autumn in the Tualatin Valley. In addition to capturing beautiful moments, photographers are also encouraged to enter their photos for a chance at the prize package that is worth $2,500! With a first, second and third place prize (as well as an honorable mention), you could win premium and professional photography gear like a Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera and amazing editing software.

So, hang your camera strap around your neck and be ready to snap the magical moments you catch at our farms and markets, as well as on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. In case you want a creative sparkplug, we’ve included a few photography ideas below:

From Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, pumpkins are a big deal in the Tualatin Valley. Our pumpkin patches are a photographer’s dream with punchy-orange gourds resting below the mountain-scape views and barrels of hay.

The ever-photogenic poinsettias will be waiting to be photographed at the Evening of Lights (November 6 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Al’s Garden Center in Sherwood; free). Here, stroll through designer-decorated holiday trees and freshly grown poinsettias as one way to usher in the upcoming holidays.

Photo contest procrastinators can rally at the Thanksgiving Wine Weekend (November 28-November 30; varying times, locations and tasting fees). Tour some of Oregon’s best wineries for stellar wines, as well as beautiful photo-ops. Just don’t forget to submit your photos by November 30.


A winery along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route in fall. Photo by Wayne Flynn.

A winery along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route in fall. Photo by Wayne Flynn.

Find even more Tualatin Valley photography examples and inspiration!

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Amphorae Project at Beckham Estate

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Andrew Beckham explaining his handmade amphorae and the wine he ferments inside of it.

Andrew Beckham explaining amphorae and the wine he ferments inside of it.

For many of the best winemakers, their winemaking began as a passion project. For Andrew Beckham of Beckham Estate Vineyard, his process is actually a combination of two passions: wine and ceramics via handmade terracotta amphorae (i.e. vessels) that are used to ferment the estate grown wine.

The ceramics came first. As a potter and full-time high school ceramics teacher, Andrew is a bona fide clay expert. His intricate and artful vases (sold in the winery’s tasting room) are stunning and he relishes the experience of creating a level-playing field between students of all different walks of life in his ceramics classroom.

The wine…that actually came later. When Andrew and his wife Annedria moved to their hillside home in Sherwood, they quickly became friends with their neighbors of La Bonne Terre Vineyard, whom eventually supplied the first clones for their own vineyard. As the Beckham’s family grew, so did the vineyard. One fateful day, Annedria showed Andrew an article about winemaking in amphorae, which is defined as a tall Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck that dates back to as early as 10,000 B.C.

Annedria and Andrew both knew that an evolution toward their own amphorae project was inevitable—excitingly so! Just a short walk from the charming Beckham Estate tasting room stands the Beckham Estate studio. Here, Andrew creates the impressive amphorae, which are tall and weigh a few hundred pounds more than most fully-grown adults. While Andrew instructs his high school students on how to create hollows in their ceramic pieces with their thumbs, Andrew uses his full arm to create the deep belly of each amphorae, using a coiling method to build each vessel’s height.  

Here’s an important note: the amphorae isn’t just neat. It also creates great wine. Under the A.D. Beckham label, Beckham Estate Vineyard’s 2013 vintage included about 280 liters of amphorae-fermented Pinot Noir and an orange-style Pinot Gris.

We know, we’ve only scratched the surface of this fascinating project. Luckily, you can learn more about Beckham Estate Vineyard’s amphorae process here:

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Five Great Places for Outdoor Dining

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Fact: this sandwich tastes even better on the patio at Hayden's Lakefront Grill

Fact: this sandwich tastes even better on the patio at Hayden’s Lakefront Grill

In Italian, “al fresco” means in the cool air. Yes, the cool air after the high heat of the day has passed and a refreshing evening breeze begins.  Dining al fresco is one of the simple joys of summer, encouraging leisurely dinners among friends. Check out a sampling of our favorite outdoor dining options:

The Fireside Grill adds spark back into dinner time with fire pits in the middle of their patio tables. Try “The Portlander” burger: a vegan patty on a gluten free bun with hummus, served with a salad dressed in lemon chia seed vinaigrette. All that’s left is to put a bird on it!

Lake Sunsets
Hayden’s Lakefront Grill is situated along Tualatin’s Lake of the Commons, where the lake mirrors the sky’s peachy pinks and periwinkle blues. The evening is heightened by calamari and risotto cakes, followed by a lux slumber at Century Hotel.

Beer Garden
McMenamins Raleigh Hills Pub brings Bavarian summer traditions to the Tualatin Valley with a lovely outdoor beer garden. The garden sits adjacent to the pub and its pyramid-style roof, which looks just as impressive from outside as from within.

Vineyard Views
Ponzi Vineyards Winery shows how al fresco dining only requires a nibble, so long as there is good wine. The tasting room’s patio sits atop a Chehalem Mountains slope, providing sweeping views lush farmland. The antipasti plate makes for a great patio snack.

Treehouse Experience
Tree’s Restaurant lives up to its namesake as every seat has views of gorgeous greenery.  While you can sit outside with the patio heater, the al fresco lifestyle is brought indoors with large windows and thoughtful tree artwork. So settle in and enjoy the Italian-Creole fusion cuisine, including shrimp with Parmesan grits.

Farm-to-Table Events
For a truly extraordinary al fresco dining experience, sign up for a farm-to-table dinner!

Farm to Table Dinner at Nana Cardoon Farms
July 19 | 6 p.m. |$75 per person

Our Table in the Field Dinner
August 9 | 4:30 p.m. |$85 per person

Farm to Table: Celebrating Hillsboro’s Agricultural Heritage
August 22 | 5:30 p.m. |$75 per person  

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Kitschy Old World Themed Summer Events

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Meet Maid Marian and her Court at the Sherwood Robinhood Festival.  photo: Robinhood Festival

Meet Maid Marian and her Court at the Sherwood Robinhood Festival.
photo: Robinhood Festival

From the “Game of Thrones” series to the Settlers of Catan board game, there seems to be a new wave for the old world. Here in the Tualatin Valley, experience multiple kitschy summer events that fully embrace the throwback to olden and mythical times.

Sherwood Robin Hood Festival
July 18-July 19 | all-day |Old Town Sherwood |free
Dress up like the heroic outlaw—or his fair maiden—during this 60-year old Sherwood tradition. This family friendly event includes a regal knighting ceremony, quick-fire castle building competitions, and the ever-popular International Archery Tournament.

Midsummer Night Paddle
July 19 | 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. |Tualatin Community Park |$10-$50
After a rousing day jousting and jesting at the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, cap the evening with a romantic paddle down the meandering Tualatin River. With a nod to Shakespearean romance, keep an eye out for a mischievous Puck hiding in the lush flora—or you can just enjoy the serene wildlife watching.  

Oregon Renaissance Festival
August 16-September 21 | Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. |Washington County Fair Complex |$7.95-$15.95
Get ready to party like it’s the year 1499! Just a few minutes from the trendy restaurants and boutiques of Portland, you can transport yourself to a 16th century European village, complete with cackling witches, exhilarating duels and hearty food fit for a Medieval king.

Pietro’s Pizza
Year-round | Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight
If your historical daydreams have sea legs, then unleash your inner buccaneer at this pirate-themed mini-golf course and laser tag arena. The mix of blacklight and laser guns with swashbuckling pirates creates a near-steampunk atmosphere that’s easy to love.

After you’ve successfully binge-watched “Game of Thrones” and you need to quit Settlers of Catan before you and your loved ones get in an epic fight over lumber resources again, get out of the house and make a quick getaway to Oregon’s Washington County. We’ve got mystical and daring adventures in the flesh!

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Vineyards After Hours

Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
At Ardiri Winery, friends can enjoy a summer evening toast, fire and movie.

At Ardiri Winery, friends can enjoy a summer evening toast, fire and movie.

It’s the end of Oregon Wine Month, but guess what?…The grapes are still growing ,vineyard dogs are still wagging their tails and the long summer days ahead will having our wineries open into the late evening. We’re listing the best dusk-hour sipping spots below:

Ardiri Movie Nights
June 14, July 12 and August 9 | 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. | $15 per person
Cozy up to one of the winery’s patio fire pits. Your entry cost covers food, a glass of wine and a classic movie. This is a popular event; so, RSVP early to info@ardiriwine.com.

Neighbor’s Night at Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Various Fridays June-September | 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. | $8 per person
When visiting Oregon’s Washington County, locals will treat you like one of their own. Example: “Neighbor’s Night” welcomes all who enjoy live music and stellar wine (pretty sure that’s you).

Oak Knoll Toast to the Tunes
Various Thursdays June-August | 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. | $5 per person
Enjoy a leisurely wine tasting while chowing down on James Gang Dinner’s lip-smacking BBQ. Your picnic isn’t complete without a sweet serenade from a local band. Kids and leashed pups welcome, too!

Plum Hill Date Nights
Every second Friday of the month | 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. | Free
Summer lovin’, had me a blast. Summer lovin’, had me some snacks. Okay, we made up that second line, but couples keep the romance alive here with wine tastings, music and—yes—snacks.

One-Time Evening Wine Events

Field & Vine Dinner at Tualatin Estate Vineyard
June 17 | 5:30 p.m. start | $80 per person
A vineyard tour leads into an enchanting outdoor dinner. With six courses and a rustic-chic community table, foodies come together for a summer evening you’ll never forget.

Patio Grill Night at Apolloni Wines
June 20 | 6 p.m. start | $45 per person
In the last official day of spring, usher in summer with a gourmet four-course menu and wine pairings.  

Field & Vine Dinner at Beckham Estate Vineyard
August 16 | 5:30 p.m. start | $80 per person
Good food, good wine and good friends. What more could you want? Get it all at this very special outdoor dinner.

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The Four Questions

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Celebrate Hillsboro's tall trees, as well as Jewish roots, during a spring vacation.

Celebrate Hillsboro’s tall trees, as well as Jewish roots, during a spring vacation.

Chag Sameach! In Hebrew, this means happy holidays or joyous festival, which is appropriate with Passover just around the corner. For many, travel plans and Passover celebrations end up overlapping each other in the busy springtime. Whether you’re planning how to observe Passover while vacationing or just wanting to learn more about a new culture, Oregon’s Washington County has fun and unexpected ways to pay tribute to the holiday.

A traditional Passover Seder includes the asking of the four questions; however, we’ve taken some liberties and are asking—and answering!—four Passover-related questions of our own.

1. Where can I observe Shabbat Chol HaMoed?
The community-oriented Hillsboro Chabad welcomes visitors to its Shabbat services every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., followed by a traditional Shabbat Kiddush. April 19 is Shabbat Chol HaMoed, a special Shabbat during Passover, with Kosher for Passover noshing included.

2. Where can I find matzo ball soup that is almost as good as my mother’s recipe?
Being away from home during a holiday can be hard, but you shouldn’t have to miss out on its defining food. Enter the matzo ball soup at Rose’s Restaurant and Bakery. Some say this Jewish-style deli restaurant has the best matzo ball soup in Oregon.

3. What do people do with all that left over Matzah?
After Passover’s four cups of wine, you may be ready for some post-holiday hops. Though it’s not kosher for Passover, Matzah-flavored beer? You bet! While it’s not kosher for Pesach, Ambacht Brewing celebrates the end of Passover each year by brewing a batch of its famous Matzobraü. The tasty beer is made with over 50 pounds of leftover Matzah!

4. How else can I celebrate Jewish Culture during Passover?
Dance! People from all backgrounds come together Israeli Folk Dancing at Café Shalom (April 15 from 7-10 p.m. at 7045 SW Taylors Ferry Road, Portland). Learn traditional choreography to the tunes of classic Israeli music.

Happy Passover and happy spring!

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R&R, Pedal by Pedal

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

After discussing hot-to-trot running events, we’re taking on bike events next. The ultimate trick to besting your personal record? New scenery. Pedaling through the Tualatin Valley makes the ride quite literally breeze by. All the love and sweat that go into training deserves an accompanying getaway to go with it! Take your pick of bike events below with our suggestions of activities to go with it.

Pedal by agricultural splendor, like this charming farm and barn on the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway.

Pedal by agricultural splendor, like this charming farm and barn on the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway.


Race Across America Challenge Series
May 10 | 7:30 a.m. start | $55-$825 | Register Now!
The bike-friendly vibe of Portland extends into the city’s neighbors, with the first major cycling event of the season happening in Hillsboro. Compete in a 200 mile or 40 mile race, cycling in the thick of some of Oregon’s best bikeways.

Stay here: The Orenco
Do this: It’s more than just veggies at the Hillsboro Sunday Farmers Market!
Facebook: RAAM Challenge Series

Bald Peak Half Marathon
June 21 | 7:30 a.m. start | $65 | Register Now!
Cycle your way into a pastoral dream of the Chehalem Mountain. You won’t just cycle through the Willamette Valley, but open down it—pedaling up challenging hills that reward you with sweeping views of the area.

Stay here: Four local hotels are offering stellar rates for the event.
Do this: Massage calves during a movie at the plush style Cinetopia and fill a growler at The Growlerie.
Facebook: The Bald Peak Half

Wine, Women & Wheels
August 3 | 9 a.m. start | Registration info forthcoming
This stress-free ride unites women for a day of pedaling by—and enjoying the products of—vineyards, lavender fields and herb farms. End the day with a vineyard lunch at Hawks View Cellars because you deserve it!

Stay here: Century Hotel
Do this: Live music and a steak dinner at Hayden’s Lakefront Grill.
Facebook: Wine, Women & Wheels

Beaverton Banks & Beyond Bicycle Tour
August 23 | 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. | $25-$40 | Register Now!
NW Bicycle Safety Council welcomes novice to advanced riders along a scenic 100-mile, 86-mile, 64-mile or 32-mile bike tour. The ride includes some of the best of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, including beautiful farmlands and the shady-green Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

Stay here: McMenamins Grand Lodge
Do this: Get a soothing concoction at Hippocra Teas and a craft boozy one at SakéOne.
Facebook: NW Bicycle Safety & Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway

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Washington County is for Lovers!

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Your sweet day can be even sweeter here.

Your sweet day can be even sweeter here.

Love is in the air! Nearly a quarter of a million couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Couples from near and far choose Oregon’s Washington County 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 Expo (March 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $15 per couple). 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.

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!

Start planning your wedding! Get more resources on our Wedding Wonderland page.

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

Pure Heart & Good Soup

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Take home a soup-y souvenir with a vintage bowl from Rose City Modern.

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

Who knew Beethoven loved soup? He said, “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” Oregon’s Washington County is pure-hearted and—in honor of January’s claim to National Soup Month—we are simmering soup for blustery days. Get a ladle and dip into our soup roundup!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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