What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Posts Tagged ‘Tualatin’

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!

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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:



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.

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.

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.


Get a Good Night’s Sleep in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: November 10th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Get your zzz's at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport, as well as at other Tualatin Valley hotels.

Get your zzz’s at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport, as well as at other Tualatin Valley hotels.

You don’t need Thanksgiving to be grateful for a good night of sleep. That precious eight hours of snooze time can be hard to come by. November is National Sleep Comfort Month, which seems as good a time as any to reclaim bedtime! Use our five tips to justify a getaway to the Tualatin Valley, where we promise relaxing days that lead into restful nights.

1. Press the re-set button before the snooze button
Jumpstart new bedtime rituals at The Orenco Hotel. The boutique hotel offers 10 homey, yet high-end rooms that are perfect for practicing your new evening routine. Whether it’s a bath in the Jacuzzi tub or a stroll through the courtyard, discover new ways to unwind. And hey—we hope you still hit the snooze button during your stay!

2. Lower the temperature
Our bodies’ heat rises during sleep, which is why sleep experts recommend lower bedroom temperatures. In the crisp days of fall, a cracked window will do; however, some tout the concentrated air conditioning as their favorite part of any hotel stay. Whether it’s a good breeze or simply a good view you’re after, the Century Hotel overlooks the picturesque Lake of the Commons.

3. Make it lux
Anything—including sleep—can be an expression of self. Sleeping in style can aid good sleep overall. Get inspiration for your own Zen space with a stay at Embassy Suites Portland-Washington Square. The hotel itself is plush and its easy access to Washington Square means you can stock-up on luxurious (and tax-free!) sheets and pajamas.  

4. Exercise
Ensure restful slumber by staying active during the day. The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport has truly plum beds, which you will happily dive into after a day of exploring the nearby Tualatin River or bike paths.

5. Relax
A nightcap can be detrimental to sleep, but an afternoon wine tasting won’t interfere with your sleep at the McMenamins Grand Lodge. Of course, you can also relax via a treatment at the Grand Lodge Ruby Spa and a post-massage dip in the saltwater soaking pool.

Find your restful getaway with all of our lodging options!

Portland Fashion Week

Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The Vault Vintage Boutique is an amazing place for style inspiration during Portland Fashion Week.

The Vault Vintage Boutique is an amazing place for style inspiration during Portland Fashion Week.

What’s your favorite trend for the season? We’re in the thick of Portland Fashion Week. Just minutes from the hubbub of runways and clothing line debuts, one can escape to the relaxing (yet expansive) shopping in the Tualatin Valley. Whether your style skews more toward the casual or avant-garde, we’re pretty sure that tax-free shopping looks good on everyone. Luckily, Oregon doesn’t impose a tax on goods and services, which is just another added perk of visiting the Tualatin Valley. With both big-name favorites and ma-n-pa boutiques, free parking a-plenty and great deals happening on the regular, it’s always a good time to plan a weekend getaway of tax-free shopping.

Meander through the European-styled Bridgeport Village. The cobblestoned pathways truly do create a little shopping haven. One of Bridgeport Village’s many strengths is its mix nationwide fashion standards alongside thoughtfully curated boutiques. Mapel Boutique mixes fashionista favorites—like BB Dakota, Citizens of Humanity and Alternative Brand—with local and independent designers gracing Portland Fashion Week. It’s hard not to go ga-ga over the local Elizabeth Perry Collection of stunning fall statement necklaces!

Yet another great place for a Portland Fashion Week shopping spree is The Streets, which is home to Portland’s beloved Clogs-N-More! That’s right, funky clogs are part of the Oregonian uniform, mixing Scandinavian style with our own casual cool. A pair of buttery leather clogs looks surprising chic when paired with a wispy dress or jeans and a forest green utility jacket.

When it comes to fashion, we all know that it’s all really a matter of “everything old is new again.” With that in mind, find your retro heaven at The Vault. The boutique is a testament to high-quality clothing never going out of style, from vintage Missoni to hand stitched gloves. For an artful mix of new and old, add a throwback broach to your of-the-moment Portland Fashion Week finds.

Extra perk: With two shopping-themed hotel packages, planning a weekend filled with non-stop (and tax-free!) shopping has never been easier or affordable.

What is the Tualatin Valley?

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Oregon's Washington County is the Tualatin Valley (and we're proud of it!).

Oregon’s Washington County is the Tualatin Valley (and we’re proud of it!).

What is the Tualatin Valley?

Geographically speaking, the Tualatin River runs through the Tualatin Valley with the Tualatin Mountains creating a north and east border for the region. In fact, the Tualatin Mountains are part of the  Northern Oregon Coast Range, which create that tickle of cool Coastal Range air that visitors love while enjoying the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway  and Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. The Tualatin Valley is lucky enough to be a part of the Northern Willamette Valley and the northern part of the Chehalem Mountains, which makes for rich soil and diverse winemaking opportunities (which our winemakers fully embrace and celebrate). The Tualatin Valley encompasses the towns and cities of Aloha, Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin. Plainly put, the Tualatin Valley is Oregon’s Washington County.

Historically speaking, the Tualatin Valley is grounded by the Native Americans and Oregon Pioneers who first called this fertile land home. The regions namesake comes from the hunting-and-gathering Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya Native Americans who lived in villages peppered throughout the valley.  The community is also known as Tualatin Native Americans. In the mid-19th Century, Oregon Pioneers came to the land and began calling it the “Twality Plains,” which had a similar mouth feel to the name of the Atfalati tribe. Over the years, Twality Plains has evolved into the name of the Tualatin Valley. Today, whether you hear the Twality Plains, Northern Willamette Valley or Oregon’s Washington County, know that all of these monikers are synonyms for the Tualatin Valley.

Poetically speaking, the Tualatin Valley is breathtaking greenery intersected by large stretches of vibrant farmland. It is the cool Coastal Range air creating soft, whispering breezes between the tombstones of Oregon Pioneers. It is the taste of juicy summer berries and the best Oregon Pinot wine. The Tualatin Valley is zip-lines through beautiful treetops and vineyard vines reaching their roots deep down into volcanic soil.

So, what is the Tualatin Valley? Quite simply, the Tualatin Valley is us. And we can’t wait to share the magic of all that is here with you.

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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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Oregon’s Washington County After Dark

Posted on: November 4th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The new shop-until-you-drop: Shop at Bridgeport Village until you drop into your luxurious Grand Hotel bed.

The new shop-until-you-drop: Shop at Bridgeport Village until you drop into your luxurious Grand Hotel bed.

We’re taking Sunday’s Daylight Savings in stride. Sure, we’ll miss late dinners al fresco, but the early sunsets are just as beautiful. Plus, our shops, museums, and restaurants are using the time change to your advantage with lots of outings meant for after dark.

Shop Nighttime Steals
No matter when you visit, shop by the glow window displays at Bridgeport Village, especially with the nearby Grand Hotel at Bridgeport and its Shopping Package, which includes a $25 gift for evening splurges. After dropping off your haul, illuminate the night with an IMAX show at Regal Bridgeport Village 18.

Science & Stars
Let’s take it to the stars with the OMSI Science Pub Hillsboro: Smashing the “Right Stuff” Fallacy (November 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Venetian Theatre & Bistro, $5 suggested). Imagine the sunrise from outer space with other space geeks.

For a different kind of star, consider the poinsettia and its star-shaped leaf pattern at the 13th Annual Evening of Lights (November 7 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Al’s Garden Center). Celebrate winter’s most festive plant while sipping champagne under twinkle lights.

Museum by Moonlight
The World Forestry Center Discovery Museum is opening its doors after hours for a special Museum by Moonlight: Lumberjacks and Libations (November 21, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., $9, 21-and-over only). The nighttime museum walk (and accompanying cash bar) makes this event the perfect symphony of photography, nature…and lumberjack beards.

Festive Lights for Holiday Nights
Nothing cheers up the night sky more than jaunty little twinkle lights. Luckily, Oregon’s Washington County goes ga-ga for all that glow, glistens, and gleams. See what holiday light events are happening when you come to town:

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Row, Row, Row…Your Pumpkin!

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Submit an entry into the Pumpkin Regatta Mascot Naming Contest.

Submit an entry into the Pumpkin Regatta Mascot Naming Contest.

Some folks jump-start fall by forcing pumpkin-flavored everything into the day-to-day as soon as September hits. We can’t help but jump on the bandwagon ourselves. So, while we’re still a month away from ghouls, ghosts, and gourds, we feel compelled to mention the 10th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta (Saturday, October 19, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4  p.m. at Tualatin Commons).

While a Giant Pumpkin Regatta may sound like a regal affair, this special day veers more to the wonderfully absurd. Pumpkin-lovers come to watch this annual race of 1,000-plus pound hallowed pumpkins—with people inside them—buoying across the water.

Upon trucks hauling giant pumpkins to the race site, the enormous gourds are fork-lifted to sit alongside each other for the 14th Annual Terminator Weigh-Off. Upon declaring a winner (last year’s winning pumpkin weighed a whopping 1,531 pounds!), the pumpkin owners engage in the most epic pumpkin carving session you have ever seen, scooping out seeds by the gallons.

Rather than filling the pumpkins with lights for a jack-o-lantern, the owners instead place themselves inside the hollowed out orange orbs. The regatta offers different races, with some focusing on speed while others are game-oriented. Giddy from the raucous of the Giant Pumpkin Regatta, the crowd moves on to a cornucopia of other activities, including a pie-eating contest, pumpkin decorating, and live music.

Not only do we hope this all has you revving to go, but also ready to submit an entry into the Pumpkin Regatta Mascot Naming Contest. Do it quick because entries must be submitted by this Friday, September 20. The winner of the contest receives a chance to paddle their own pumpkin on the big day—we’d love to root for you!

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A Vintner’s Life for Me on the NW Harvest Trail

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
During the NW Harvest Trail, you'll see wineries in the throes of crush season.

During the NW Harvest Trail, you’ll see wineries in the throes of crush season.

As wine lovers, autumn can’t help but jockey for the position of our favorite season. It is harvest time after all and the thought of freshly de-stemmed grapes being crushed into juice—quite frankly—makes us nearly giddy. Here in Oregon’s Washington County, our winemakers get that and they want to share the harvest season fun with you during the North Willamette Wine Harvest Trail event.

There’s a reason the Today Show ranked the North Willamette Wine Harvest Trail as one of “5 fall festivals worth a trip.” On October 5, 2013, this annual event will once again welcome oenophiles to peer into a vintner’s life from the ground level. Thirsty wine enthusiasts board a chartered bus at 10 a.m., but don’t get too comfortable. The bus will take guests to three wineries at different phases in the vineyard-to-barrel process. You will walk the vineyard, watch demonstrations, work the crush pad, and get insight into the inner workings of a winery.

Of course, it’s not all work and no play. Overlooking the vineyards you’re learning so much about, the day won’t be complete without a wine country lunch. Each vineyard along the way will also feature tastings and nibbles because one of the best ways to learn about wine is to taste it close to the source. Your bus tour guide will answer any lingering questions about how we make such good Pinot.

After a full day of wine making and tasting, a Grand Tasting event is in order at the Tualatin Estate Vineyard. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., guests can meet the full gamut of winemakers in the areas with over 25 North Willamette wineries ready to share tastings and appetizers.   

With limited space, register for the Northwest Willamette Harvest Trail soon. Your registration of $95 includes the full day tour. Can’t join us for the full day? No problem. A limited number of Grand Tasting-only tickets are available for $45.  All tickets include tastings from wineries, food pairings, commemorative wine glass and specials on wine.

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We’ve Got the Stuff for the History Buff

Posted on: August 21st, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The architecture of the Old Scotch Church helps tell the story of the Oregon Trail's pioneers.

The architecture of the Old Scotch Church helps tell the story of the Oregon Trail’s pioneers.

Oregon’s Washington County is the home of some of today’s pioneer winemakers, farmers, and tech gurus. These innovators are emblematic descendants of the original Oregon Trail pioneers who invigorated our land over a century ago. Whether you’re a history buff or are just looking toward the past in order to see something new, you’ll see that history is alive and well here.

Ice Age
It’s not just about the Oregon Trail here, either. Our inhabitants go way, way back—to the Ice Age! Remnants of life during the Ice Age include an impressive 14,000 year old mastodon tusk and molars, which are displayed near where they were found at the Tualatin Heritage Center.  (The 14,000 year-old skeleton of a mastadon is on display at the Tualatin Library, 18878 SW Martinazzi Ave., Tualatin, OR 97062;  wccls.org/libraries/tualatin; 503-691-3074.)

If you’re hungry for more pre-historic relics, head over to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals where you’ll find dinosaur fossils, meteorites, and the largest opal-filled thunder egg in the world.

Oregon Trail
Of course your history-infused visit won’t be complete without some Oregon Trail attractions. See living history with one of the oldest continuously-used churches in Oregon. The Old Scotch Church was built in 1878 by Scottish pioneers (some of whom are buried in the adjacent cemetery). You’ll be so enamored the Pioneer architecture of its eight-sided steeple that you’ll want to see more, which you can at Pacific University’s Old College Hall, the oldest educational building still standing in the western U.S. (See also: “Pioneer Cemeteries of Washington County“)

Old College Hall, built in 1850, is a quintessential example of Pioneer architecture with its octagonal belfry. The building now houses historical artifacts from the university’s colorful history, and the first Wednesday of the month, from 1-4 p.m., visitors are welcomed into the hall’s museum, which glimpses into the Pioneer life that set the foundations for the university.

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