Glasses raised in a toast at Hop Valley Brewing in Eugene
The Goodpasture Covered Bridge at dawn
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in full bloom with Mt. Hood in the background
Whitewater rafting on the McKenzie River
The restored historic carousel in Albany
Grapevines blanketing the landscape at Willamette Valley Vineyards
Pedaling along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
A friendly winemaker welcomes guests for a tasting
Festive field and vine dinner under the stars
Bennett Vineyards & Wine Company on a fall day
Nature’s bounty on offer in Oregon Wine Country
Expertly Crafted Wine, Beer and Food
Willamette Valley’s fertile soil isn’t just for growing wine grapes. This same land also produces flavorful ingredients that round out the rest of the meal. Locally grown hops are used in craft breweries around the region and state. At Agrarian Ales, they are grown on-site, farm-to-keg style. Four varieties of white and black truffles are native to the valley and celebrated annually at the Oregon Truffle Festival. Truffles and wild-foraged fungi can be found on dinner plates at the Joel Palmer House Restaurant; Chef Chris Czarnecki personally forages for mushrooms and uses them widely in his menu. Fill your reusable bags with fresh produce, herbs and meats at a local farmers’ markets, or go straight to the farm itself and see the food still in its element.
Enjoy the Outdoors
With the flowing Willamette River bordered by the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Oregon Coast Range to the west, it’s no surprise that people here love to spend time outdoors. Explore Silver Falls State Park, beloved for its abundance of waterfalls and 56 kilometers of backcountry trails. Go canoeing, kayaking or rafting on the Willamette River Water Trail. Cycle all or part of the 215-kilometer Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, dotted with hops farms, wineries and small towns. Go skiing or snowboarding at Willamette Pass, hike to the top of 1,250-meter Marys Peak, look for dozens of bird species on the Willamette Valley Birding Trail or cycle through thick forests at Historic Champoeg State Park. Then again, you can just kick back and take in the awe-inspiring views on a hot air balloon ride. Visit in autumn or spring and you’ll be treated to a dazzling display of sunset-hued trees or fields bursting with wildflowers.
Wine Enthusiast named the Willamette Valley the Wine Region of the Year for 2016. It’s home to more than 500 wineries and known especially for Pinot noir production.
Photo: Andrea Johnson
The town of Springfield, just east of Eugene, is the real-life inspiration for the city of the same name on the long-running animated series, "The Simpsons."
Photo: Thomas Moser
Film fanatics might recognize Willamette Valley filming sites from "Animal House," "Stand by Me" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest."
Photo: Ben Schorzman/City of Eugene