Skip to main content
Exploring Oregon Wine Country: wine + agriculture
Video screenshot - Vineyards in Willamette Valley
View more

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.

Exploring Oregon Wine Country: wine + agriculture
Video screenshot - Vineyards in Willamette Valley
View more

Fun Fact

Looking out over the vines at Cherry Hill Winery
View more

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

A Simpsons mural in downtown Springfield, Oregon
View more

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

Aerial view of downtown Eugene, Oregon
View more

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

Must see places

Silver Falls State Park

Abundant rainfall and melting snow in the spring makes for outstanding waterfall hikes (and photo opportunities galore). Check out the Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park, a roughly 12-kilometer moderate hiking trail that meanders past 10 falls, including several that you can actually walk behind. 

Learn more

Albany Carousel

Built entirely by local volunteers, the Albany Carousel is, in a word, marvelous. Each animal, ranging from a giraffe to a dragon, is meticulously carved and painted by hand. The circa-1909 mechanical carousel structure was completely restored, from the bolts to the mirrors. You can still watch wood carvers at work and there’s a small museum featuring carousel animals dating back to 1885. It’s truly an Albany treasure.

Learn more

The Clackamas River as seen from the West Cascades Scenic Byway in Oregon

West Cascades Scenic Byway

Road trip an astonishing 346-kilometer route that weaves through old growth forests and alongside pristine mountain lakes, rushing rivers and natural hot springs. You can simply drive and enjoy the views, or stop along the way to fly fish, mountain bike, hike or paddle. Road cyclists should carve out time to pedal the 144 kilometers of the road that overlap with the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway.

Learn more

World of Speed Museum

No doubt about it – the USA is a car-centric culture. Check out the World of Speed Museum, housing a huge array of rare cars, car memorabilia, race cars, interactive displays and rotating exhibits. From muscle cars to NASCAR, speed shops to cruising music, World of Speed explores the world’s love affair with cars.

Learn more

Marys Peak

It’s the highest peak in the Oregon Coast Range and an essential hike in any visitor’s agenda. Marys Peak rises 1,250 meters and, on a clear day, you’ll be wowed with views of the Willamette Valley, the Cascade Range and the Pacific Ocean. Spring is the ideal season to visit – the wildflower displays are spectacular.

Learn more

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

If the only thing you know about aviation history is when your flight arrived in Oregon, not to worry – the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is utterly fascinating, even for the uninitiated. Check out military aircraft, helicopters and spacecraft. The museum’s crown jewel is the Spruce Goose, a massive, World War II-era plane built entirely of wood by Howard Hughes.

Learn more

An idyllic scene in Springfield, Oregon, the inspiration for the Simpsons TV show

Unofficial Simpsons Tour

Matt Groening, the creator of “The Simpsons,” is a Portland, Oregon, native and modeled the imaginary Springfield after the Willamette Valley town of the same name. You can do an unofficial, self-guided tour to see the Springfield Horseman Statue and Jebediah Springfield, take a selfie with the family statue at the Springfield Museum, see the Simpsons Mural and stop for a beer at either Max’s Tavern (the original) or Moe’s Tavern (which opened after the show debuted). Fun fact: Groening named all of the Simpsons characters after his own parents and siblings.

Learn more

Covered Bridges Tour

If you need to fill some photo frames, grab your camera and do a bicycle or driving tour of Willamette Valley’s historic covered bridges. These were built extensively in the 19th century to protect wooden bridge floors from the rain. Along the way, stop at orchards, farms and small towns that can’t help but be charming with names like Sweet Home. Pick up a map at the Albany Visitors Center.

Learn more

Kayaking the Willamette River

REI rated the Willamette one of the top seven thru-paddles in the lower 48 states. A kayak tour of “the Willy” is a great introduction to paddling for people of all ages. Several professional outfitters provide rentals and organized tours, including half- and full-day excursions, sunset paddling, craft beer and kayaking tours, and stand-up paddle boarding lessons.

Learn more

Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway

The first bikeway in the USA was the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, and what a ride it is. The bucolic, 212-kilometer trail boasts amazing scenery, wineries, hops farms and inviting small towns. This is a fantastic ride all year round, but bring warm gear for the rainy winters.

Learn more

Explore Willamette Valley destinations

La Ace Hotel Rooftop en el centro de Los Ángeles, California
View more
Explore Willamette Valley destinations

Official Willamette Valley Travel Sites