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Posts Tagged ‘Tualatin’

Tualatin Crawfish Festival

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Tualatin Crawfish Festival

Tualatin Crawfish Festival

Crawfish boils aren’t just for Louisiana. Nope—not for a long time! In fact, The Tualatin Crawfish Festival is celebrating its 65th year of crawfish-lovin’ fun from July 31 to August 2 at the Tualatin Commons. Whether this is your first crawfish festival or you’re a many-seasoned festival goer, this is an easy, unique and must-see weekend event. As the festival is just a short drive from Portland and has the lovely Century Hotel a stone’s throw away, your weekend getaway is as easy as it is convenient.

In addition to the traditional crawfish boil and crawfish eating contest, the festival celebrates more than crustaceans. Other favorite activities include the ridiculously cute “Atsa My Dawg” costume show, the “Corks and Kegs” area with local sips and brews, a Chef’s Mystery Box Cook-Off and an all new “Food Cart Friday.”

For go-getters and those who just want to work off all the food they’ve been eating at the festival, the Crawfish Crawl includes a 5k, 10k and half marathon option that run through Tigard, Tualatin and Durham. Every participant will receive an InCRAWdible Medal and t-shirt.

Tualatin Crawfish Festival Details:
Admission to Friday’s events is free; $4 for adults on Saturday.  Hours: 6-10pm Friday, 10am-10:30pm Saturday, and 10am-6pm Sunday.

Of course, while you’re in the Tualatin Valley you’ll want to scope out other hot happenings in the area. In addition to The Tualatin Crawfish Festival, be sure to make time for these other fun events nearby:

Come take part in the longest-running crawfish festival west of the Mississippi!

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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!

Nature Passport: Tualatin Heritage Center

Posted on: June 26th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Tualatin Heritage Center

Historical photos on display at the Tualatin Heritage Center from the excavation of the mastodon skeleton.

In the heat of summer, you can still feel a chill with a visit to the Tualatin Heritage Center and its plethora of glacial facts about the Tualatin Valley during the time of the Ice Age Floods. With prehistoric artifacts, the Tualatin Heritage Center adds some colossal fun to our Nature Passport, a complimentary guide the Tualatin Valley’s 727 square miles of nature spots. Order a free Nature Passport now!

Head inside this spot’s public library for a mounted mastodon skeleton. Need a refresher on mastodons? That would be a massive, elephant-like mammal that tromped around Oregon back—way, way, way back—in the day. The mastodon skeleton’s ginormous tusks and teeth with be on display for your ogling pleasure, which will be helpful to see as you then learn about the other plants and animals of the Ice Age that these creatures ate and shared a habitat with.

The heritage center’s interpretative center flashes forward, as well, with lots of fascinating stories from the Atfalati Native American tribe and Oregon Trail settlers that called the Tualatin Valley home. Learn how the first human inhabitants of the Tualatin Valley interacted with the nature of their cherished land.

Tualatin Heritage Center
Location: 8700 SW Sweek Drive, Tualatin, OR 97062
Phone: (503) 885-1926
Hours: Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Admission: Free

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
Magness Memorial Tree Farm
Rood Bridge Park
Tillamook State Forest
Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Interpretive Center
Tualatin River
Tualatin River National Wildlife RefugeRice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals

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

Tualatin River Bird Festival Itinerary

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Ca-caw! Hoot hoot! Tweet tweet! No matter how we say it, the May 16 Tualatin River Bird Festival at Sherwood’s Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is coming to. Novice and veteran wildlife watchers love event, which is heightened by our itinerary for it!

Friday May 15
The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport is excited to host attendees of the Tualatin River Bird Festival—read their tips!

Near the hotel is Cabela’s World’s Forestry Outfitter for last minute, tax-free outdoor gear. Then, head to Hayden’s Lake Front Grill for upscale classics and a sunset view of the Tualatin Commons and its shimmering lake.

Rise with the sun for phenomenal wildlife watching at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Rise with the sun for phenomenal wildlife watching at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Saturday, May 16
5:30 a.m. Guided Birding Trail
Meet the early birds with a guided walk-and-talk with expert Ted Buerger, FWS. Watch the world and all of its wonderful creatures wake-up and begin the day.

7:30 a.m. A Buzz of Your Own
That’s not a buzzing bee, it’s you getting your coffee fix at Sherwood’s Symposium Coffee and its baristas that have that magic latte touch.

8:30 a.m. Bird Fest Paddle
Go from dirt trails to waterways with the Tualatin River Bird Fest Paddle in Tualatin. Have a kayak or canoe view of neotropical migrant birds, including black-headed grosbeaks and lazuli buntings. Register for this event!

Noon: Feed Time
No worms for you! Head to Fat Milo’s Family Kitchen for biscuits and gravy because—after that paddle—you deserve it!

 

Catch a glimpse of heron and neotropical migrant birds.

Catch a glimpse of heron and neotropical migrant birds.

Rest of the Day: Festival Time!
Take full advantage of the Tualatin River Bird Festival and its decoy painting, archery, guided nature walks and more. What will you do first?

7 p.m. Dinner
Rally for dinner at Tree’s Restaurant. The treehouse-like setting fits into your day exploring the lush Tualatin Valley. Plus, this Creole cuisine is awesome.

Sunday, May 17
Ready for more nature goodness? A hike at Cooper Mountain Nature Walk is just the place. Cyclists can hop on a bike and traverse the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, starting at Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro.

Explore nature in an agricultural sense with Buds to Bottles at Gaston’s Plum Hill Vineyards. Plant your own Pinot Noir! For $25 year, the vineyard will tend to your vines and when the vines mature, you will receive a case of your own unique wine! Sip it while dreaming of your next visit to the Tualatin Valley.

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

Five Reasons to Play in the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole

Posted on: April 1st, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Playing cornhole is one of the early joys of warm evenings in the Tualatin Valley. We’re ready to take our love of the popular tailgating game to the next level with the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole, coming to Forest Grove May 29-30. Need a reason to join us? We’ll give you five. Online registration is now closed, but there will be onsite registration at both the Friday and Saturday events.

We'll give you five reasons to register for the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole, coming this May to the Greater Portland Region!

We’ll give you five reasons to register for the Oregon State Championships of Cornhole, coming this May!

 

1. Be as serious or silly as you want to be
The Oregon State Championships of Cornhole is a rather official sounding title—and rightly so! That said, the tournament is equally invested in participants having a great time. If you love to play cornhole in your backyard, at your favorite bar or when tailgating, then you’ll love playing in the Championships, too.

2. Cash prizes!
Being good at cornhole can really pay off—literally! There will be cash prizes for each division: singles, doubles, juniors and women-only. You’ll take home more than just pride.

3. Stay the night and win
Even if you don’t win money, you can at least still save money. Book a room at a participating hotel and receive a $20 Visa gift card. Saving money and a great weekend getaway? It’s a win-win for everyone!

4. Cornhole and craft beer are a great pair
The first 50 players to register by April 30, 2015 will get a FREE 32oz growler and a coupon for a FREE growler fill during the tournament weekend. Learn about the Tualatin Valley’s booming craft beer scene before you come.

5. It’s the perfect excuse to take a weekend getaway
There will surely be time for exploring during your stay. Take a joyride on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route or a joy-zip at one of our forest zip lines: Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour and Tree to Tree Adventure Park.

P.S. Use the #ORcornhole hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to show us pictures of you practicing for the Championships. We’ll be sending fun prizes to our favorite hashtag users!

Frozen Food Month

Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Frozen Food Month, Chamoyada from Beaverton's Ome Calle

For Frozen Food Month, try a spicy-sweet Chamoyada from Beaverton’s Ome Calle.

Get ready for a brain freeze because it’s National Frozen Food Month! Whether it’s ice cold or perfectly slushy, the Tualatin Valley’s frozen food game is on point. The Greater Portland region ranks as the 10th top-consumers of ice cream (businessinsider.com). That stat alludes to even more frosty treats that Oregonians—and visitors!—eat here year-round. Start licking your lips for these cold confections:

Snowy Shaved Ice: Momo’s Hawaiian Shave Ice (2020 NW Alocleck Drive, Hillsboro)
Move over snow cone! The real deal shave ice is in town and you cannot compete. The superiority of shaved ice comes from the special equipment that finely shaves a solid block of ice into a snow-like fluffy dream. Because of its consistency, the “snow” absorbs flavored syrup fully and perfectly. At Momo’s, we go for the Tigers blood variety (don’t worry, it’s just strawberry coconut!) with a “snow cap” of sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top

Pretty Popsicles: Ome Calle (12795 SW Canyon Road, Beaverton and 19503 SW Boones Ferry Road, Tualatin)
Ome Calli is the purveyor of all things Mexican frozen treats. From ice cream to popsicles to the famous Chamoyadas, which is a spicy-sweet frozen fruit slush (think plum and apricot chamoy flavor with mango). The refreshing drink is topped with pickled fruit, Mexican gummy candies, and chili powder. As if that’s not a powerhouse dessert all on its own, the mega-drink is finished with a popsicle of your choosing dunked into the center of your cup. Voila!—frozen upon frozen goodness! For a more refreshing—and less sinful—dessert, get a popsicle on its own in a surprising flavor like hemp or cucumber.

Grand Gelato: Strada (10124 SW Washington Square Road, Tigard)
Of course when it comes to frozen treats, we cannot forget about gelato. Enter, the restaurant Strada. The concept? Street food of Italy. A no brainer? The salted caramel gelato. Afterward, hunt for Italian-inspired fashion at the nearby Washington Square.

Moo-rific Milkshakes: Smith Berry Barn (24500 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Hillsboro)
Since this frozen treat comes out of a straw, beware of the brain freeze! Still, the milkshakes at Smith Berry Barn cannot be beat. Try a caffe umbria espresso milkshakes for a milky buzz. Come berry season, lookout for more fruit-packed options made from farm-fresh berries.

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.

Celebrate Irish Culture in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments
Finnegan, the bar dog at Three Mugs Brewing, is an Irishman (err, Irishdog) at heart.

Finnegan, the bar dog at Three Mugs Brewing, is an Irishman (err, Irishdog) at heart.

The saying goes “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.” Whether or not your lineage can be traced back to the Emerald Isle, double your luck—Irish style—in the Tualatin Valley. The greater Portland region holds strong ties to Ireland as many Irish families escaping famine immigrated to America and eventually traversed the Oregon Trail. The late 1800s marked the Irish community as the largest foreign-born community in the Portland region.* Celebrate Irish culture year-round with these local haunts.

For an Irish Jig
The Winds of Donegal Ceili teaches a new Irish dance every Friday, October through May. The drop-in class welcomes beginners and is open to all, ages 8 and older. Admission is $5, which is a steal considering the class includes live Irish music.

For Irish Flare in a Nano-Brewery
Three Mugs Brewing Co. brews seriously good beer in an unpretentious, quirkily-Irish taproom. The husband, wife and son team has lived all over the world, but remembers to pay tribute to their Irish roots with patriotic posters and a bar dog named Finnegan. The Fiery Wench Imperial Red gives a playful nod in name, color and taste to the family’s Irish heritage.

For the Sports-Crazed Irishman

J.B. O’Brien’s Irish Pub revels in its Irish roots. Pairing Irish pub fare with American pro sports is a long-loved bar standard that JB O’Brien’s does just right.

For Chasing the Rainbow
Henry Hagg Lake—it’s one of the best places to catch a rainbow. If the multi-colored arch doesn’t peek through the clouds, then fish for rainbow trout instead. We cannot promise a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or fishing line, but the golden-hour sunsets shimmering off the lake is just as good.

For St. Patrick’s Day Events
With Friday the 13th and St. Patrick’s Day falling within a week’s span of each other, there’s no better time to take a fortuitous foray into Oregon’s Washington County. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the coming weeks, then be sure to check out the many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

*Irish in Oregon history via www.oregonirish.org

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

Watch Basketball and Shop for Tax-Free Deals During March Madness

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
There are plenty of shopping options in Washington County to ensure you get what you need to send your kids to school in style.

Let your favorite college basketball teams score the best shots, while you score the best deals with tax-free shopping.

Come March, who will you be rooting for in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament? If you’re lucky enough to be cheering on your team from inside Portland’s Moda Center during the second and third rounds of the championships, then make sure to create some good team juju by having a great time during all of your stay to the greater Portland region. With MVP-worthy lodging options, you can be a short drive from both the basketball events and tax-free shopping.

Book a room at the Embassy Suites Portland-Washington Square. Here, you’ll maximize your game-watching, shopping and leisure time with a shopping-themed hotel package. For getting to the Moda Center, the hotel’s nearby MAX Light Rail station is ready to take you straight to the action. And when you’re not watching slam dunks, this Embassy Suites is located beside the Washington Square shopping center, which is home to Oregon’s largest Nordstrom store. Of course, you can always pick up more game-day gear at the expansive Dick’s Sporting Goods. For those who have enough wearables, think big with a visit to the Washington Square Tesla showroom. Yes—it is as cool as it sounds.

Book a shopping package at the Grand Hotel at Bridgeport, which is one of the Tualatin Valley’s newest luxury hotels with modern room and suite designs. Between games, unwind at Bridgeport Village’s European-style shopping and leisure spot. The huge Anthropologie and Saks Off 5th stores are a shopper’s dream—except we promise that tax-free shopping really is the reality here!

The brand new Embassy Suites Portland-Hillsboro is a true stunner. The sleek, yet welcoming two-room suites are perfect for buddies traveling together for the game, especially with the free Wi-Fi and large flat screens for post-game stats. Nearby, The Streets of Tanasbourne offers stellar deals on top brands, including REI and Banana Republic.

P.S. Get even more ideas of activities to do while visiting Oregon for March Madness games!

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

The Naughty or Nice Guide to the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

naughty nice collage

It’s a little late to change your status on Santa’s “Naughty and Nice List.” As you travel to the Tualatin Valley in the New Year, however, your adventures can fall in either the naughty or nice camp. Truthfully, we don’t care either way because your getaway should be as healthy or gluttonous as you’d like! Below, find our own Naughty and Nice List:

Nice

Naughty

Eat Syun Izakaya offers premier sushi and Japanese fare to those who appreciate creative, clean tastes. Not only is the food outstanding, but the heavy dose of Omega-3 makes it healthy, too. Cruise In Country Diner has all the classics you love in an old school setting: burgers, fries and shakes. Though—gotcha!—this spot isn’t all naughty with its focus on organic ingredients and healthy oils.
Drink  

Stash Tea has a flagship store filled with hundreds of delightful tea options. It’s near impossible to go overboard with tea and its health benefits put it firmly on the “Nice List.”

 

Bootleggers Whiskey Bar will have you feeling like a rule-breaker with its prohibition themed cocktails and décor. Feel like a bad boy as you order moonshine to sip in a dark, romantic corner.

Be Merry ME SPA will melt stress away with its premium spa services. The spa is conveniently located in Bridgeport Village, making time for both pampering and tax-free shopping. Glowing Greens is a 3-D miniature golf course with neon extraterrestrials lurking around every hole. The alien vibe will have you feeling like you’re in a scene of MIB. Don’t worry, we’re pretty sure the aliens don’t bite.
Buy  

Wine, wine and more wine! Why not when you can be nice to your wallet and skip hefty baggage fees with the “Oregon Wines Fly Free” promotion from Alaska Air?

 

Cabela’s has all those outdoor toys that you really want, but also really do not need. Go ahead—be bad—and get that sporty gadget from a leading outdoor retailer (tax-free, too!).

We wanted to include places to sleep in our Naughty and Nice list, but all of our hotels truly make the Nice List. So, book a hot deal for a luxurious getaway.