About The Willamette Valley and Wine Country, OR
The Willamette (pronounced "wil-lam-it") Valley has become a wine lover’s Shangri-La, particularly in the northern Yamhill and Washington counties between Interstate 5 and the Oregon Coast, a region that is not only carpeted with vineyards but encompasses small hotels and inns, cozy restaurants, and casual wine bars.The valley divides two mountain ranges (the Cascade and Coast), and contains more than 200 wineries. The huge wine region is made up of six sub-appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge, Dundee Hills, Yamhill-Carlton, Eola-Amity Hills, and McMinnville. With its incredibly rich soil perfect for growing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling, the valley has received worldwide acclaim for its vintages. The region's farms are famous for producing quality fruits, vegetables, and cheeses that are savored in area restaurants. During spring and summer there are many roadside stands dotting the country lanes, and farmers' markets appear in most of the valley's towns. Also delicious are the locally raised lamb, pork, chicken, and beef. The valley also is a huge exporter of plants and flowers for nurseries, with a large number of farms growing ornamental trees, bulbs, and plants.The valley definitely has an artsy, expressive, and fun side, with its wine and beer festivals, theater, music, crafts, and even ballooning. Many residents and visitors are serious runners and bicyclists, particularly in Corvallis and Eugene, so pay attention while driving.The entire state is riveted by the collegiate rivalry between the Willamette Valley–based Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis and University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene. In these towns businesses think nothing of closing for the home football games, and getting a ticket to the "Civil War" game between the two is a feat in itself.
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Things You Can't Miss
Known for world-class Pinot Noir, the Willamette Valley hosts more than 300 wineries. Sample them on your own or travel with a local tour operator.
The Trail of Ten Falls winds beneath towering Douglas firs past 10 cascades (five over 100 feet high). Lush rain forest is home to abundant wildlife.
The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum near McMinnville is home to historic planes including the famed wooden “Spruce Goose” and an SR-71 spy jet.
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Find out why Samantha Brown recommends traveling with melatonin, comfy socks and other necessities.
The 80-acre Oregon Garden includes more than 20 specialty areas. Tour the adjacent Gordon House, Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright design.
Renowned for its outdoorsy residents, Eugene is justly proud of its 12-mile Willamette River Path, which links several appealing waterfront parks.
Living in one of the healthiest cities in America can help you achieve your fitness goals. These five fit cities are some of the healthiest places to live in the U.S.
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