If you’re visiting Portland, Oregon, the Willamette Valley is a must-see area at any time of year. It’s also a superb place for locals to enjoy a day trip out – learn all about this beautiful part of Oregon and how to get there.
What is the Willamette Valley?
The Willamette Valley runs the entire length of Oregon. Some of its most attractive regions surround Portland, OR – from the vineyards that cover low, rolling hills to mighty pine forests, it boasts some of the finest growing conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Popularized in the 19th Century as a “land of milk and honey”, it’s no wonder that most major settlements in Oregon sprung up along the valley.
How to Get to the Willamette Valley from Portland, OR
The region is huge and surrounds Portland, so you can drive or take a bus out in any direction and expect great things. Some hidden gems in the region that are accessible from Portland, OR, include:
- McMinnville. Accessible by a bus journey from central Portland or simply by driving out along the 99W, this small city is a great place to sample some top wines produced in the region.
- Located near Salem, Independence is a fantastic historic destination. There’s a direct bus to Salem, where you can change to get out to Independence.
- The Willamette River is responsible for keeping the soil in the area rich and supporting its legendary agricultural produce. It flows directly through Portland, OR, making it easy to find a nice stop along the course.
There are buses or taxis available to most great wineries along the valley. Public transport in Oregon tends to be reliable – just make sure you leave time for any cross-town connections when you plan your journey.
What to Do in the Willamette Valley
The area is renowned for its superb wines. This is a more recent development than you might expect – while it’s been known for its excellent growing conditions for centuries, the wines of Oregon have enjoyed a blossoming reputation in the past 50-60 years. It’s considered one of the best Pinot Noir regions worldwide.
You can also go boating on the river, although mind that you abide by the local waterway regulations. The river stretches the full length of the state, so there are great options near to wherever you say in Portland or further out if you prefer a longer trip.
It’s also simply a fantastic place to go for a hike. Portland, OR, is a beautiful city. If the weather’s nice, why not go a little further out and enjoy some trail walking?
Other Nearby Attractions
Are you in Portland, Oregon, for a longer stay? You can also:
- Sample the farmer’s markets and pick up some of Oregon’s world-famous produce.
- Visit the amazing Japanese Garden for a day of tranquility.
- Check out the Art Museum and discover its collection of Native art.
Visiting the Willamette Valley from Portland, OR
Locals and tourists alike will always find more to discover in this lush valley that spans Oregon state. With excellent transport links, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of wine to sample, there’s always a reason to come back for more!
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