Now that I’ve gotten more settled and finished my Seattle and Special Olympics roundup in my last post, it’s time for me to share my experience in Oregon! I traveled there to visit one of my godmothers and give myself an actual vacation after volunteering the week beforehand. Trust me, it was SO needed and I’m glad I took that small break for some self-care before heading back to work.
Although my godmother lives in Portland, we actually didn’t spend much time in the city. She originally grew up in Oregon in the 50s and 60s before moving to the east coast, so she took me along the coast to visit all her favorite seaside towns, to hike mountains and see waterfalls, and to experience some of Oregon’s famous vineyards. I had a total blast exploring the state!
Out of Oregon’s 725 wineries, my godmother has tried 419 (she’s my #retirementgoals), and took me to five of her favorites during the few days I was there. I had actually never been to a vineyard or wine tasting before (only brewery tours), so this experience of wine flights was completely new to me. Here’s where we went along with their vibes:
- Blizzard Wines (Sleek and small, this intimate gathering place is perfect for trying out some local wines in just a short trip outside of Portland.)
- Analemma Wines (Chill farmland vibes – this location is out of the way and the perfect spot for strolling through the grape vines and lavender fields. I swear the surroundings looked like the Italian countryside. Out of the flight, the Oak Ridge Gewurtz was my top choice to buy and bring back home.)
- Garnier Vineyards (Beautiful riverside porch views in an intimate cabin. My godmother noted that this vineyard has some of the best rose, and she was so right!)
- Domaine Drouhin Oregon (The most upscale of all the vineyards, this was the wine my parents fell in love with on their honeymoon so of course I had to go! And trust me, the wine is absolutely incredible.)
- Le Cadeau Vineyard (The most unusual of the wine tastings I went to, as this was not at a vineyard but rather part of a building that contained a few different tasting rooms from various Oregon vineyards.)
Here are some of my favorite views from the wine tastings:
I will say that the food in Oregon was quite delicious! A lot of locally grown vegetation like rare cherries and grapes as well as sustainably sourced seafood is everywhere. Here are some of the places I ate at, a fair number of which are unconventional:
La Provence (brunch/lunch) – this was the place I went to immediately after getting off the plane that morning. I highly recommend their omelettes, warm berry crepes, and fresh salads, as well as the delicious mimosa flights – you can pick any four mimosas out of the eight different flavors!)
Cornell Farm (brunch) – when my godmother told me we were going to eat brunch in a plant nursery, I was intrigued. But the hearty breakfast food and beautiful scenery soon erases all my skepticism.
Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant (dinner) – delicious soups and seafood in the heart of Portland. The fresh, local catches are fit for any pescetarian or seafood lover!
Wayfarer Restaurant and Lounge (lunch/dinner) – exquisite food (the mac n cheese is a MUST) and beautiful views of Cannon Beach can be seen from this more upscale restaurant nestled in a quaint beach town. Honestly a place I would eat for brunch, lunch, and dinner because the ambiance and location are just unbeatable.
Kyllo’s – delicious clam chowder and fish tacos can be found a this art deco-esque beachside restaurant. It was great to spend my last night in Oregon overlooking the beach!
The Inn at Spanish Head (Fathom’s Restaurant) – speaking of seaside views, the last brunch I ate in Oregon was at this beautiful restaurant. The details were so quaint and the views were unbeatable. 180 degrees of pure ocean for miles! (Also, their hash browns were amazing!)
Voo Doo Doughnuts – a truly Portland experience – these funky donuts were also delish! I recommend getting their classic chocolate topped/raspberry filled voodoo doll donut along with one of their more unusual combos (I loved the viscus hibiscus).
Blue Star Donuts – I managed to snag this Portland staple before getting on my plane (yes, there’s one in the airport for you to get some before or after traveling!) and loved the unique flavor options! I had the delicious seasonal Passionfruit Cocoa Nibs donut on house made brioche bread. Unfortunately they ran out of my top choice (creme brulee) so I guess I’ll just have to come back next time…
Ruby Jewel Ice Cream – located right across the street from Jake’s, this local ice cream shop hits the perfect sweet spot with some delicious flavors.
Locations and Places to Visit outside of Portland:
Since my godmother and I ended up driving around the Oregon countryside, I want to share all of the cool places we went with you! I did love what little time I spent in Portland, but it was honestly nice to drive around the wilderness and stay in small seaside villages. I live in a city now and spent the previous week volunteering in one, so I welcomes the change of scenery.
Tualatin Hills Nature Park – My godmother and I took a brisk walk through the lush forests of this local park as soon as I got off the plane. It felt great to stretch my legs and explore some of the local flora! This is also a very family-friendly park and is filled with lots of great running trails.
Multnomah Falls – the stunning scenery and waterfall views from a small pullover on the highway were incredible! There was so much beauty in the Oregon nature.
Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge – these breathtaking views were courtesy of a snow-capped mountain still white in July while I was comfortable in my linen sundress right below it. The Timberline Lodge was built during President FDR’s push to create work for Americans and get us out of the depression, so it has an incredibly rich history, architecture, and works of art throughout the building. This lodge was also a film location for The Shining, if any of you are horror movie aficionados! It was so beautiful and cozy that I’m already planning how I can come back here to ski one winter!
Cannon Beach and Village – this seaside village has so many beautiful views. Walking through the town gave me Nantucket Island vibes with all of the cute cottages, local shops, and beautiful flowers everywhere. And the stunning rocks jutting out of the calm beach waters take your breath away! This beach is a short drive from Ecola State Park, which offers elevated views of the rock formations.
Neahkahnie Mountain – as we drove along the coast from Cannon Beach, we came across some of the steepest cliffs I have ever seen. The vertical sides of these mountain were unreal and simply took my breath away when we stopped along the highway to read about the history of this cliffside. The mountain’s name means “Home of the Supreme Being” in a local Native American language.
Tillamook Cheese Factory and Creamery – As a cheese lover, I was so excited to check out the newly renovated (literally a month before I visited) Tillamook Cheese Factory! They had tastings, took you through the process of making cheese and ice cream, focused on animal welfare, and had a cheese-focused restaurant and ice cream shop attached. I was honestly in heaven!
Surftides Resort – If you’re looking for a quaint, unique local hotel to spend the night at the beach, look no further! This adorable hotel has it’s original pool and decor from the 1960’s and it is SO Instagramable. Also, you can walk right out onto the beach for a late night campfire or early morning stroll.
The Vintages Trailer Resort – Another overnight option (although we did not stay there) is Vintages hotel, where your guest room is a converted trailer from the 1960’s or 1970’s. I honestly need to come back just to do a photoshoot and see the interiors of these adorable rooms!
What I Wore:
Oregon is a very casual place, so the one day I wore a dress and sandals to visit vineyards (it was quite hot as well), I was definitely the most dressed up person around. However, it was nice to just chill out in jeans and a t-shirt most of the time and I especially enjoyed the cooler, less humid weather.
I hope you enjoyed my Oregon roundup! It was such a whirlwind few days coming off a week of nonstop activity volunteering so I definitely took a more chill approach to this portion of my trip. There was so much nature to be explored and so many ways to experience the outdoors everywhere I went (but especially at the vineyards). As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments about my time in Oregon. I’m always happy to help out!