Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Willamette Valley

Famous for lush valleys and wine tasting, Willamette valley presents an opportunity for an amazingly romantic getaway. Also, known as Oregon wine country, the valley is known for its exceptional cuisine, beautiful wineries, secluded campgrounds, and its relative proximity to some of the best beaches in America including the famous cannon beach.
In this post, we will talk about everything you need to know whether you are traveling there by road or by flight.

The Best Time to Visit the Valley

If you are a wine connoisseur, then September to October is definitely the best period to visit Willamette Valley. This is the harvest time and you will find people working in the vineyards, picking ripe grapes.

If you want to visit during the dry season, then pick the months of June, July, and August. This is also the best time to go hiking and explore the outdoors.

How to Get to Willamette Valley 

Portland International Airport (PDX) is just 60 miles away and it takes a little over an hour’s drive to reach the valley via the Interstate 5.

Amtrak has passenger trains from Portland to Willamette Valley and the journey takes about an hour.

You will also find bus operators like Greyhound and Oregon Point. Check the bus timings, they usually make the journey 3 times a day from Portland.

RV travel is quite popular as there are quite a few RV parks and resorts in the region. You need to take the Interstate 5. However, keep in mind that a lot of parks and campgrounds have size restrictions for RV and it’s a good idea to call ahead.

Places to Stay

Silver Spur RV Park & Resort in Silverton is one of the best RV parks in the area and it offers both parking and hookups for RVs. The also have affordable log cabins for people who don’t have an RV. Parks like these are a great choice if you want to stay close to nature as they usually offer great views of the Silver Falls State Park.

Apart from RV parks, there are also many upscale vineyards and bed and breakfasts in the area. Most of them have free Wi-Fi and have great breakfast options.

Top 5 Things You Need to Do When You’re There

Try Your Hand at Fly Fishing

Learn how to fly fish by attending a class that takes you to the McKenzie river. Even if you don’t manage to catch anything, you are sure to admire the beautiful scenery. There are plenty of rental spots to get fishing gear, maybe take a friend along who knows a thing or two about fishing.

Explore the Calm Clear Lake by Renting a Canoe

Rent a canoe and explore the water of Clear Lake and you will know why the lake gets its name. The underwater vegetation and fallen trees are “clearly” visible from boats in all their algae-green glory. If you are not in the mood for boating, pick a bar that offers beautiful views of the lake and take it all in as you sip a glass of locally made pinot noir.

Go Hiking and Witness One of Many Majestic Waterfalls in Willamette Valley

Silver Falls State Park offers plenty of opportunities for short hikes. Some of these nature trails are loops of less than a few miles and offers majestic views of waterfalls.

If you want slightly more walking, then that popular Ten Falls trail should be your pick. It’s a 7.1-mile loop trail that offers you views of 10 waterfalls, hence its name. Be careful during the wet season as some parts of the trail can get really slippery.

Taste Some Wine

Even if you are not a wine buff, you should try a few sips of local wine when you are in the wine country. There are many vineyards that offer wine tasting tours. You can even book a private guided tour that takes you to different vineyards to taste various wines. Be sure to plan your trip during the harvest time to witness the entire process. The great thing about Willamette Valley is that it produces excellent wines and wine tasting opportunities without being as crowded as Napa.

Visit an Ancient Covered Bridge

Most people don’t know that Oregon has over 500 covered bridges. Considering that some of the wooden bridges were built over a hundred years ago, they have a unique old-world charm to them. Sadly, only a few of these bridges remain operational today, but you can still find a few near Willamette Valley. Just ask a local, they are usually very warm and friendly and will point you in the right direction.