Explore Oregon

Tributary caters well to foodies and oenophiles who cherish the food and wine of McMinnville.

Tributary Hotel

written by Kerry Newberry With eight luxurious suites set in a beautifully restored century-old building, the Tributary Hotel is an ideal place for wine country idyll. Located on a leafy street in downtown McMinnville, the recently opened destination hotel is surrounded by numerous boutiques and tasting rooms, a smattering of bakeries and the perfect small town bookstore. One of wine country’s most charming hubs, McMinnville has long been a stop for a pinot pilgrimage—many of the state’s top wine estates are a short drive away and some have tasting rooms right in town. This polished addition to the scene brings a gastronomic edge to town. The hotel suites are perched above the highly acclaimed Ōkta, an inventive restaurant led by Michelin-starred chef Matthew Lightner. Both spots share a similar ethos, focusing on exceptional hospitality and an enhanced sense of place, and intentionally debuted together. Their shared vision is to illuminate…

McMinnville’s Atticus Hotel is a fun hybrid of bunks and luxury in the heart of wine country.

Luxury Bunking for the Holidays and Beyond

written by Kerry Newberry Sometimes the winter doldrums require a weekend reprieve, an escape from the ordinary to the extraordinary for a night or two. A place packed with amenities like plush bathrobes, lobby baristas and lively restaurants just an elevator ride away. Even better when there’s room for friends. Three wine country destinations are here to serve. Each hotel offers one stylish suite decked out with luxury bunks perfect for that small group getaway. MCMINNVILLE Atticus Hotel The Bunks: Two luxurious built-in bunks, each with individual reading lights, plus a gracious king-size bed. The serenely decorated space (#designinspo) sleeps up to six. Perks: Soaring 13-foot ceilings make the stylish room feel even more spacious. Local art, a curated book selection along with a fireplace and overstuffed couches give the space polished big city vibes. The luxury bathroom has double sinks and large cubbies for six. Dining: Just off the…

Volcanic rock and wildlife are the towering themes in Eastern Oregon's Leslie Gulch.

Destination Isolation

Eastern Oregon’s Leslie Gulch is an unexpected journey in time and beauty written by Joni Kabana One of the most remote areas of Oregon has miles of sculpted rock formations that were formed millions of years ago. Getting there takes a bit of stamina and a tough vehicle, but once you arrive, there is no doubt you will feel like it was worth the planning and effort. Towering volcanic rock, in various sizes and shapes, line the road in Leslie Gulch, located east of the Owyhee Reservoir in Oregon’s Malheur County. The soil is unique in this location and is conducive to growing rare plant species. If you love watching wildlife, mule deer, California Bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain elk and assorted coyotes and bobcats frequently roam the isolated landscape. Rock hounds will feel like they are in heaven, but collection of rocks and vegetation is strictly prohibited, as well as…

Domaine Serene is one of the area wineries with a Tuscan experience and gorgeous rows of pinot noir grapes.

McMinnville

Once the middle of nowhere, this locale is now the heart of Oregon wine country written by James Sinks Fifty years ago, the editors of Sunset Books published an eighty-page Travel Guide to Oregon, chockablock with maps, photos, and lists of the Beaver State’s can’t-miss destinations, from the coast to Timberline to Hells Canyon. In it, there’s no mention of anything in McMinnville. Not even a suggestion to tap the brakes. What a difference a half century, and a few hundred wineries, can make. Today, McMinnville is the epicenter of Oregon’s wine world, and the home to 34,466 people now is a leading fixture on recommended tourist itineraries, including international bucket list destinations for aficionados. Head into the rolling countryside in any direction and you’ll find vineyards next to vineyards, and vintners ready with stories, appetizers and cuvées. The city hosts the ritzy International Pinot Noir Celebration every summer. And…

The holidays in Bovarian-themed Leavenworth are like walking into a snowglobe with good beer.

Leavenworth

Compete your holiday shopping—and find beer and deer—in the PNW’s premier Christmastown written by James Sinks Pretty much anywhere, you can open your wallet and browse for holiday gifts. Yet few places—at least, on this continent—can approach the kitschy yuletide charm of Leavenworth, the Pacific Northwest Christmastown filled with Bavarian-styled buildings, beers, bratwurst, and boutiques in Washington’s north Cascades. Festive holiday shopping is only the beginning. Surrounded by snowy and showy 8,000-foot peaks, Leavenworth offers a wonderland of winter outdoor pursuits you won’t find at any strip malls or retail websites. Fly down powdery slopes at Mission Ridge Ski Area; try nordic trails, tubing runs and ski jumping at Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; navigate sledding hills pretty much everywhere; and—once things really cool down—strap on crampons for ice climbing. If that’s not enough to convince you to start making travel plans, there also are horse-drawn sleigh rides with cocoa and…

Three seasons aren’t enough for some bikers like this one in Central Oregon.

Fat Tire Snow Biking Getaways

Central Oregon is the playground for this pursuit written by Jen Sotolongo Fat biking is a relatively new sport. The first fat bikes were released on the market in 2009. Prior to then, early snow cyclists would pin or weld together two rims to create a wider base to accommodate travel over snow and sand. While the trails aren’t quite as zippy, mountain biking enthusiasts who miss their sport during the winter months can add a little girth to their wheels and hit the snow for some fat biking fun. “Fat biking opens up a lot more of the time that you can ride because you have more float with the wider tire,” said Gary Meyer, longtime fat biker and the Winter Trail Steward for the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA). While one can take a fat bike and ride along a snowy forest service road, the place to ride…

Time stands still at The Drifthaven in Gearhart on the Oregon Coast.

The Drifthaven at Gearhart

written by Kerry Newberry There are not enough places where time stands still. Where you can be surrounded by immense beauty and immersed in simple pleasures. Where on evening beach walks, the elk outnumber the humans. Come morning, the tiny main street has one of everything you need—a bakery, a garden shop, an art gallery and that spot where you can order a perfectly made espresso. While Oregon’s coast has a smattering of these little magic towns, there’s only one Gearhart. Luckily, there’s a new place to stay when you need to reset and unwind. At the newly renovated and reimagined Drifthaven at Gearhart, you’ll find twelve seaside cottages stocked with all the provisions you need for an idyllic getaway. The Drifthaven offers its guests a bonfire kit and recreational options such as tennis and bocce. Explore town on one of the stylish beach cruisers, then circle back for a…

Wooden drift boats were the only and early form of transportation along the challenging McKenzie River.

McKenzie River Valley

Finding Blue Pool and other epiphanies in this wooded wonderland written by James Sinks In the McKenzie River Valley, it’s almost like Mother Nature saves the best for last. From the start of the snowmelt, the picturesque pocket in the central Cascades—home to dramatic waterfalls, crystalline lakes, and moonscape lava fields—attracts flocks of visitors to bike, hike, fish, paddle, soak and exhale. President Herbert Hoover, a frequent vacationer and angler here, was likely referring to the McKenzie when he wrote of Oregon in his memoirs. “Within these woods,” he said, “are never-ending journeys of discovery.” With so much to do and so much to see, you’d think it couldn’t possibly get more breathtaking. Then autumn arrives. As crowds thin, nature’s picture show begins. Like deciduous peacocks, hardwoods jockey to show off their best colors. Reds. Yellows. Oranges. In fall, you can still experience the expected and unexpected joys of the…

A sacred place for tribes, Mount Shasta has become a spiritual draw for people of the Pacific Northwest.

Mount Shasta – Metaphysical Beacon

The spiritual retreat in search of Telos written by James Sinks photography by Discover Siskiyou To some, like meteorologists, the disc-shaped lenticular clouds that frequently form on Northern California’s Mount Shasta are a perfectly natural phenomenon, caused when rising warm air is sandwiched by cooler air above. Yet to others, those actually aren’t clouds at all, but rather flying saucers touching down on the mountain—or maybe they are clouds that are hiding UFOs inside. And that’s just the beginning of otherworldly and magical happenings that are said to happen on or near the 14,179-foot Cascade Range volcano, the second-highest peak in the state. The dual-cone Mount Shasta has long been a centerpiece of spiritual legend, since it was a sacred place for the many indigenous tribes including the Shasta and Modoc who once shared the Siskiyou region, straddling the Oregon and California border. Today, the mountain and unassuming slopeside community…