Kevin Zielinski’s eyes light up as he names the apple varieties he tends at his Willamette Valley orchard, just outside of Salem. Champagne Rienette. Douce Moën. Muscadet de Lense. St. Martine. The sinuous vowels and soft consonants even sound delicious. Eventually, they become fluid when Zielinski transforms these French heirloom apples into a traditional sparkling hard cider that leaves many searching for words.
Oregon’s Highway 101 where the Lewis and Clark expedition ended—at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, where Fort Clatsop sidles up to Warrenton. Southbound travelers discover rivers, resorts, refuges, and more state parks and waysides per mile than any other stretch of Oregon road (thirteen state parks in Clatsop County alone). Hamlets spring from grassy dunes, artist colonies colonize and roadside eateries beckon travelers to Oregon’s seafood bounty. From Warrenton to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, this northern segment of Highway 101 puts travelers at the junction of sea and sand.
Wine consumers and wine tourists can raise their glasses in a toast to the times. Prices have dropped, and wineries are courting tourists through their tasting rooms and wine clubs. The industry is in the hands of hundreds of small, family-owned wineries where visitors can often meet and talk with the people who craft the wine. The state’s wild, scenic beauty, its reputation as a foodie culture and a genuine place to taste wine attract many out-of-state tourists. And instead of all roads leading to Newberg or Dundee as they did in the ’80s and ’90s, wine lovers can get their fix in tasting rooms from Hood River to Ashland.