Explore Oregon

Oregon’s Adventure Coast

written by Sheila G. Miller Growing up in the Portland area, the Northern Oregon Coast was easier to access than other coastal areas. That was where I learned that sweatshirts were beach gear and “laying out” was something for other coastal states. But in all my years as an Oregonian, I had hardly set foot on the Southern Oregon Coast except to drive through on my way elsewhere. That changed this fall, when I spent a few days in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston. This area of the coast, like other parts of Oregon, was greatly impacted by the timber industry. In 1947, just three years after Coos Bay gave up Marshfield as its name, The Oregonian called the city the “Lumber Capital of the World.” As Oregonians know, that came to an abrupt end in the 1980s, and the area has been searching for its next big thing…

WEEKEND WANDERINGS: SOUTHERN WILLAMETTE VALLEY

We are exploring the wonders of the Southern Willamette Valley. written by Jen Stevenson EN ROUTE Junction City, known for its popular 57-year-old summer Scandinavian Festival, also has a robust wine-tasting scene, so take a scenic detour off the interstate, rochambeau to see who gets designated driver duty, and start sipping. Sample estate pinot noirs and pinot gris at Walnut Ridge, where the 25 acres of dry-farmed vineyards are surrounded by bucolic pasture land and forest, then continue up the road to Pfeiffer Winery, a former chicken ranch and sheep farm where you can sip small-lot pinots in the peaceful water garden. A cork’s throw away, a personable flock of Katahdin-Dorper sheep graze the vineyards at rustically charming appointment-only Antiquum Farm; book the tour and tasting a few days ahead of time. Five minutes north, find lushly landscaped Brigadoon Wine Company. Uncork a bottle of riesling, unpack your picnic and…

Tidbits + To-dos

Each issue we scour the state looking for the best local products and events to share with you. Here’s our list for January and February. Black Butte Ranch Jam You know Black Butte Ranch as a perfect spot for a Central Oregon getaway. Did you know it also sells its own housemade jams? Made with Oregon strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and marionberries, they’re a great gift for the Oregon fan in your life. www.blackbutteranch.com FisherPoets Gathering Since 1998, fisherpoets and their fans have gathered in Astoria to tell stories, sing songs about the commercial fishing industry, filling the area’s taphouses, galleries and restaurants from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on February 23 and 24. The event also includes workshops on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and a Story Circle, at which fisherpoets tell oral histories and show fishing films. www.fisherpoets.org wool& Discover the magic of wool clothing with wool&, a new…

WEEKEND WANDERINGS: MID WILLAMETTE VALLEY

Exploring the Mid Willamette Valley written by Jen Stevenson EN ROUTE As you fly south for the winter (weekend), detour east of Salem for a slice of caramel apple pie at the Willamette Valley Pie Company, or meander on to charming small-town Silverton for cinnamon roll pancakes and crispy fried chicken with brown butter syrup and Sriracha honey atop a golden buttermilk waffle at Gather. After a lovely late-fall hike in Silver Falls State Park, tuck into a piping-hot smoked pork shoulder and pineapple-topped Pine & Swine pizza at The Old Oak Oven food cart. Then cross the street to Silver Falls Brewery for a pint of Catamount Trail Ale. A few miles north, in Bavarian-esque Mount Angel, Oktoberfest may be over, but you can still wash down authentic handmade German-style bratwurst, bockwurst and knockwurst with an authentic German beer at Mt. Angel Sausage Company. EAT + DRINK In the…

NW Destination: Vancouver and its Foodie Secrets

Vancouver is the foodie capital of North America, and we’ve got all the secrets written by Michelle Hopkins Compared to most North American cities, Vancouver is relatively young. What it may lack in age, it certainly doesn’t lack in appeal. Mother Nature truly blessed this city of nearly 650,000 residents. Named after Captain George Vancouver, who laid claim in 1792, Vancouver has snow-capped mountains, the ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage. As one of North America’s most cosmopolitan cities, Lotus Land has an overabundance of things to see, do and enjoy. Vancouver’s historic Granville Island has long been known as a gastronomy destination. This past summer, four of Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs founded Popina Canteen. Housed in brightly colored, repurposed shipping containers, this waterfront, gourmet counter-service eatery features sustainable seafood, salads and more. Besides its bustling food market, Granville Island has also made a name for itself as a hotbed for…

Trip Planner: An International Feast in SW Portland

International Feast: Finding foodie treasures in the southwest suburbs written by Sheila G. Miller | photography by Carly Diaz In some cities, the word “suburbs” evokes images of Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel and The Olive Garden. Then there are the suburbs of Portland. That’s right—the city known for being so foodie-friendly has plenty of neighbors making names for themselves, as well. You can travel the world in the southwest suburbs of Portland. Hit up Thailand, Korea and El Salvador in Beaverton. Visit Japan, Mexico and Vietnam in Hillsboro. From Aloha to Tigard to Forest Grove, there’s no shortage of delicious international restaurants waiting—so we made a weekend of it. Day 1 BANH MI • GROCERIES • NOODLES I grew up in Beaverton, though it has certainly morphed into a new place in the years since I graduated high school. But one of the best things about this city has stayed…

Brigham Fish Market is a Hidden Gem

Brigham Fish Market is a tasty pit stop in Cascade Locks written by Kevin Max | photos by Uncage the Soul Productions On the banks of the mighty Columbia River in Cascade Locks is one of this town’s hidden gems. Brigham Fish Market is reason alone to put the brakes on and roll into this small town, especially around lunch. Hard-working sisters Kim Brigham Campbell and Terrie Campbell follow in the footsteps of their forefathers, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, by net fishing from docks and boats. Their daily catch becomes the fresh bounty for those on the other side of the counter at Brigham Fish Market. Though salmon counts are lower this year, the market is always full. Stay for the Columbia River sh and chips, the chowder and smoked Columbia salmon quesadillas, or take to go salmon, clams, oysters or halibut. If you take your…

A Wine Country Thanksgiving

Gastronomy: A Wine Country Thanksgiving in the Willamette Valley written by Jen Stevenson Eschew the mall madness and super sale insanity of Black Friday in favor of a far more elegant and enjoyable holiday season kickoff—the Willamette Valley’s 36th annual Wine Country Thanksgiving. From Friday, November 23, to Sunday, November 25, more than 150 participating wineries from Appolloni to Antiquum will feature special tastings, festive flights, food pairings, live music, winemaker meet-and-greets, artisan markets and holiday discounts, because nothing fills out a stocking better than a bottle of Dundee Hills pinot noir. With the mad scramble of harvest a near-distant memory, brilliantly hued fall foliage still clinging to the vines, and the worst of winter gales still to come, this is one of the best times of year to visit the valley. Make a weekend of it with a romantic retreat at Newberg’s tony Allison Inn and Spa, or the Atticus…

The Jennings Hotel: A Superbly Stylish Passion Project

The Jennings Hotel is a superbly stylish passion project in the lively town of Joseph written by Jen Stevenson As the autumn chill sets Eastern Oregon’s bigleaf maples ablaze and the season’s first snows paint the almighty Wallowas winter white, roll your dusty wagon down the main street of Joseph, a wee but lively Wallowa County town that’s made a name for itself as a bona fide destination for adventurers both artistic and extreme—with the boutique hotel to match. A superbly stylish passion project dreamed up by “accidental hotelier” Greg Hennes and brought to life by an ambitious Kickstarter campaign, this unlikely mecca of art, design and creative camaraderie sits on the top floor of Joseph’s Jennings Building, a two-story circa-1910 brick structure that could have been pulled straight from a spaghetti western. Inside, things get decidedly more modern—each room was designed by a different acclaimed artist, architect, or designer,…

Foraging for Dinner in Western Oregon

Foraging for dinner in Western Oregon written by Felisa Rogers With its sheltered coves and temperate rainforests, western Oregon is a foragers’ paradise. Fall and spring get the most press, but winter is the best time of year to forage for mussels, and several varieties of local mushrooms are hardy enough to withstand frosty nights. The enterprising scavenger can put food on the table all year—provided you don’t mind getting up early and getting wet. On a cold November morning, I woke up at dawn to drive to the coast. My mission? Combat the winter blues by foraging for dinner. Armed with pliers, a utility knife, gloves, a bucket and my shell sh foraging permit ($10 for residents, good for a year), I parked at Seal Rock, south of Newport. To make access easier, I’d planned my expedition for a minus tide, which occur a few times a month. The…