Spotlight: Oregon Lodging
Lodging in Oregon
Wonderful Bed-and-Breakfast inns dot every corner of Oregon's beautiful wine country, fully appointed and boasting attentive service to make each visitor's stay memorable. From the Oregon coast, a stunning region with broad beaches and quiet coves, to the North Willamette Valley, whose rolling hills and lovely views are perfect for picnicking , inviting lodgings beckon.
Oregon B&Bs offer seclusion, serenity, and relaxation. Visitors can hike in the countryside, explore nearby towns, and sample local wines at picturesque, family-owned vineyards. Ride horses, fly kites, check out old lighthouses, and sun yourself on uncrowded beaches that stretch forever.
Antiques, artwork, and creatively decorated rooms make your stay at an Oregon Bed-and-Breakfast inns comfortable and rewarding. Gracious staff prepare gourmet breakfasts each morning, often delivered straight to your bedside. Many B&Bs also offer spa treatments, extensive private suites, and many other services.
Spotlight: Oregon Wineries
Oregon Wine Country
The Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene in the south to Portland in the north and encompasses two-thirds of Oregon's population, is the largest wine-growing region in Oregon. Sheltered by the Cascade Mountains to the east and Oregon's Coastal Range to the west, and on the same latitude as France's famed Burgundy region, the valley has gained international recognition as a world-class growing district, especially for cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay.
To the northeast of the Willamette Valley are the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Valley appellations, which Oregon shares with Washington These warmer, drier appellations are well-suited to the cultivation of red varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
In the southwest of the state are the Rogue Valley, Applegate Valley and Umpqua Valley appellations. Although generally drier and warmer than the northern wine districts and well-suited to Bordeaux (Cabernet, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc) and Rhone Valley (Syrah) varieties, each contains cooler microclimates allowing for the successful cultivation of the Burgundian varieties that flourish in the Willamette Valley.
Collectively, these six wine-growing regions contain over 11,000 vineyard acres and over 200 wineries, which together produce over one million cases of wine annually.
Spotlight: Oregon Wineries
Oregon State Wineries
Most of Oregon's 200 wineries are small, family-owned operations. Roughly three-quarters are in the Willamette Valley, an appealing destination to travelers because of its temperate climate and proximity to Portland, Oregon's largest city. With a large collection of wineries, quality restaurants, and gracious accommodations, the Willamette Valley offers a wide variety of amenities to visitors.
The Oregon wine region was born during the 1840s, when Italian and Swiss immigrants began planting wine grapes and bottling wine. Like so many wine regions, Oregon's wine industry was suppressed during Prohibition, only to emerge as a productive wine-growing region in the mid-1970s.
Today, Oregon's wineries are in the national and international limelight as premier producers of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and many other varieties. Oregon wines, reflecting their generally cool growing regions, display bright, fresh fruit with an attractive crispness. They are rich, elegant, complex, and fruit-forward, wonderful accompaniments to a wide range of cuisines.
From natural wonders to kid-friendly museums and zoos, Oregon boasts numerous attractions that will interest the whole family. Multnomah Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge area of eastern Oregon, is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States, falling 620 feet from its origin on Larch Mountain into a roiling pool. In winter, this fountain of spray freezes into a majestic ice tower, a sight to behold.
The magnificent Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon offers even more diverse attractions, including canoeing, hiking, biking, and horseback-riding. The lake itself is a stunning sight, shimmering in the bowl of a six-mile wide caldera formed by the eruption of Mt. Mazama nearly 7,000 years ago. Southern Oregon also offers great river rafting, fishing and camping.
For a glimpse of both local and exotic wildlife, head to the Oregon Zoo in Portland. Established over 100 years ago, the zoo hosts 1,029 animals from 200 species. Also in Portland, the Children's Museum provides innovative, hands-on exhibits to delight all ages.
Of course, for the wine-loving adults in the family, a big attraction is Oregon's many wineries, most offering tastings and tours of their facilities and vineyards. A visit to an Oregon winery is always a treat!