Trip Planner — Union County

Union County is a mix of rugged beauty, farmland hospitality and a few surprises written by Catie Joyce-Bulay Of Oregon’s thirty-six counties, Union may not be the sexiest—you won’t find any sweeping beaches, hipsters or third-wave coffee, and the only haystacks are made of actual hay. What you will find is a nature lover’s playground spanning a diverse landscape, from high desert shrub steppe to rugged mountains, where three national forests converge over three mountain ranges, lush farmlands sprawl across valley floors and genuine local hospitality echoes the pioneering spirit of the Oregon Trail. DAY 1 MOUNTAINS • BREWS • BOUTIQUE HOTEL Oregonians are probably most familiar with I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge, but it’s no less scenic once it parts ways with the river. The stretch crossing into Union County is one of my favorite drives and a perfect example of how incredibly beautiful overlooked Eastern Oregon can…

Trip Planner: Union County

Union County is a mix of rugged beauty, farmland hospitality and a few surprises written by Catie Joyce-Bulay OF OREGON’S THIRTY-SIX COUNTIES, Union may not be the sexiest—you won’t find any sweeping beaches, hipsters or third-wave coffee, and the only haystacks are made of actual hay. What you will find is a nature lover’s playground spanning a diverse landscape, from high desert shrub steppe to rugged mountains, where three national forests converge over three mountain ranges, lush farmlands sprawl across valley floors and genuine local hospitality echoes the pioneering spirit of the Oregon Trail. DAY 1 MOUNTAINS • BREWS • BOUTIQUE HOTEL Oregonians are probably most familiar with I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge, but it’s no less scenic once it parts ways with the river. The stretch crossing into Union County is one of my favorite drives and a perfect example of how incredibly beautiful overlooked Eastern Oregon can…

Eastern Oregon Film Festival

In the small, rural town of La Grande, nestled in the Grande Ronde Valley, there’s a growing 3-day festival that spotlights a diverse array of independent cinema and music. Eastern Oregon Film Festival.

Travel Spotlight — Wallowa Lake Tramway

written by Sheila G. Miller Head for the hills this summer in Eastern Oregon. There is no shortage of mountains to climb around Oregon, but you can head for the hills this summer with ease, thanks to the Wallowa Lake Tramway. The Swiss-made tram, built in 1970, climbs 3,700 feet to the summit of Mount Howard. From the summit, you’ll be able to see Washington, Idaho and (maybe) Montana on a clear day. There are miles of trails nearby that lead to scenic overlooks, or bring your mountain bike to the top and head back down on two wheels. A more leisurely option includes the Summit Grill, which has an alpine patio just right for taking in the views and maybe a local beer or snack. The tram runs every day from June 1 to September 30, with hours in July and August running 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast…

Wild and Romantic Outdoor Getaways

Getting outside can be an aphrodisiac— turn up the heat this summer with an outdoor adventure written by Kevin Max We know you like to make travel plans around new and exciting experiences in the outdoors, so we happily brought together some of our top picks for outdoor getaways in every region of Oregon. These range from remote hike-in cabins in Eastern Oregon to hot springs resorts in Central Oregon, a fabulous Mid-century makeover in Southern Oregon, a fire lookout in the Willamette Valley and more. Here is the fruit of this exploration. Eastern Oregon » Halfway In a southwest breach of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest and 10 miles west of the Snake River lies tiny Halfway. It’s the remoteness of Halfway and the cuteness of Pine Valley Lodge that makes this a romantic outdoorsy getaway. The bed & breakfast has twelve rooms with two stand-alone cottages, one that…

Best places for a bountiful brunch

BEST PLACES FOR BOUNTIFUL BRUNCHING HUNNYMILK With both a West Burnside brick and mortar and an eastside weekends-only pop-up, this pretty prix fixe brunch cafe makes it easy to treat mom to something a little unexpected this Mother’s Day. Chef Brandon Weeks’ $23 menus rotate regularly, but the format stays the same—first, choose a drink (obviously the caramel hot chocolate with toasted milk marshmallows), then something from both the sweet and savory sections, perhaps the smoky bacon Dutch baby and key lime curd-filled poppy seed crêpe, or the crispy pork ribs and cheesy garlic grits with a honey butter-dipped fortune cookie waffle. 1981 W BURNSIDE ST. PORTLAND www.hunnymilk.com FOXTAIL BAKESHOP AND KITCHEN Part of Bend’s exciting and ever-evolving Box Factory project near the Old Mill, pastry chef-owner Nickol Hayden-Cady’s comely bakery and cafe promises an artful experience, from the gorgeous wall mural to the dazzling pastry case to the plates…

Canyon City’s Sel’s Brewery opens the bar just once a year

by Joni Kabana Oregon is full of spirited breweries, but have you ever heard of a bar operating just one weekend a year? Head to Canyon City the weekend of June 7 and 8, when the old stone Sel’s Brewery will swing open its barroom doors and let you down a pint inside this astonishing old historical landmark. Thanks to a band of brothers—the Whiskey Gulch Gang established in 1922—Sel’s Brewery has long been the gathering place for the annual ’62 Days celebration, commemorating the year gold was discovered in the area. Get ready to kick up your heels to live music, run in the Gold Rush Run, cheer for the bed race, and witness the annual staged hanging right in the middle of town. Pull up a chair next to a local, and you might even hear a story or two about this fascinating little gem of a town.