Seven Fun Things to Do in the Willamette Valley

1) Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

2) The Oregon Garden

3) Hike Mary’s Peak

4) Visit a Winery/Vineyard

5) Visit a Brewery

6) Homer Davenport Community Festival

7) Historic Home Tour

1) Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Lose yourself for an afternoon at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville. Heavy hitters at this museum include THE Spruce Goose, Cold War era stealth aircraft, and various space aircraft. There is also a water park for the kids, and for the adults once a year the museum plays host to the McMinnville Wine and Food classic. August 15, 16, and 17th the museum will be celebrating their 7th annual Loose Goose Hot Air Balloon Rally with morning launches, night glows, food, music, and of course wine and beer!

2) The Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden is a beautiful place to visit in Silverton. The Gardens always host fun events and their resort is a great place to stay. I have stayed there before and it was a wonderful experience. Current ongoing events at the garden are Movies in the Garden every Sunday until August 28th, Sunsets in the Garden every-other Wednesday July 16th-September 24th, and a Car Show August 24th.

3) Mary’s Peak

 Mary’s Peak is the highest peak along the Oregon Coast range. Don’t let that deter you from hiking up to the top though! At just over 4,000 ft the hike is moderate and the reward is worth every step. From the top you have a commanding vantage (see what I did there?) of most of the Willamette Valley, Coastal Range, and if the weather is anything like it has been as of late you can see the Pacific. If hiking isn’t your thing you can always drive to the top.

4) Visit a Winery/Vineyard

In case you haven’t heard, the Willamette Valley is known for our award-winning wines, specifically Pinot Noir. Argyle, Airlie, and Iris are a few of my favorites. Check out Oregon Wine Country for the full scoop and to use their interactive trip planner. I have visited many vineyards and wineries here in the Willamette Valley and have had nothing but good experiences. Should you want any personal recommendations please don’t hesitate to contact me.

5) Visit a Brewery or Distillery

Is wine not your thing? That’s fine with us – we have beer and spirits too! Here is a list of local breweries all with great selections to choose from. There is also a self guided tour here. Personally I prefer Calapooia Brewing, and I have heard good things about newcomer Deluxe Brewing and Distillery. Deluxe specializes in German style beers, and even offers a pre-prohibition style Pilsner along with the rest of their delicious variety of brews.  Here in the humble town of Albany we also have a new Tap House, Growler Garage. If you’re looking for a new spirit to try check here. Have you tried 4 Spirits Distillery‘s Whiskey yet? My review is: YUM!

6) Homer Davenport Community Festival

This weekend Silverton will be kicking off their Homer Davenport Community Festival. This small town knows how to put a great festival together. Festival activities include food courts, a parade, arts & crafts fair, cruise in, fun run, and a poker run. I haven’t listed all the activities so check out their page. I hope to see you there!

7) Historic Home Tour

Downtown Albany has a treasure trove of historical buildings and homes. I’m lucky to call the Monteith District home and love wandering the neighborhood to take in the beautiful homes and gardens.  There is a self guided tour as well as a guided tour by trolley. Hop on a trolley and learn about the area this Saturday morning, you won’t regret it.

I hope this helps you get out and enjoy all the things this beautiful valley has to offer.

Have fun!

Keith Kolkow





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