Location: Forest Grove, Oregon
If you’re on the hunt for the best of the Pacific Northwest, then this college town is sure to charm your socks off. Less than 45 minutes from downtown Portland, Forest Grove’s perch in the foothills of the Coast Range has made it a mecca for busy urban dwellers looking to recharge. You’ll experience firsthand the birthplace of Oregon Pinot Noir with a visit to David Hill Winery; and after a scenic drive to one of the many wineries in the area, you’re sure to meet a vintner or two and come away with visions of your own winemaking future. Those of you with an adventurous spirit will delight in a Japanese-flavored tasting and tour at SakeOne, the country’s only American-owned and operated saké brewery. The wineries play host to a wide array of events and activities throughout the year, as does historic downtown Forest Grove, where you can take a leisurely stroll through the distinguished Pacific University campus, get a glimpse of the past on a historic walking tour or browse through antiques and the creative wares of local artists and artisans on and around Main Street. During the seasonal weekly farmers market, you can sample fresh produce and local treats, or you can venture out to taste something new at one of the city’s unique restaurants. If you’re looking to work up an appetite first, then you’ll want to visit one of the many local outdoor recreation sites. Bird watching enthusiasts will want to stake out a spot at Fernhill Wetlands, while active adventurers can choose to challenge their mountain biking skills at Hagg Lake Park or bring along the ATV’s for a backcountry romp in the Tillamook State Forest. The hills surrounding Forest Grove are also a welcome challenge to avid cyclists who can pedal the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route if they’re up for the 50-mile challenge. When a single day just isn’t enough time for all the fun at the city’s unique festivals, extra special events and cultural engagements, then the affordable lodging options will ensure you have lots of money left in your pocket for an extra day (or two or three) to indulge in a few more memorable moments in Forest Grove.