by Adam Sawyer
Winter in the Willamette Valley is wondrous. Even without alliteration, the slower pace of the “off-season” allows visitors to enjoy its sought-after offerings at a more purposeful and luxurious pace. Whether that’s a forested stroll, wine tasting or shopping, who doesn’t enjoy those things with fewer crowds and at a more leisurely pace?
As Willamette Valley destinations go, the town of Wilsonville is underrated and flanked by the undiscovered. With some of the best and most eclectic shopping options in the valley, you might want to have it on your radar come the holiday season. Add to that, some delightful close-in hiking options and a sneaky-good food and drink scene, and you’ve got yourself a pretty solid option for a winter retreat. Here are some ideas.
Consider the Hilton Garden Inn for home base. It’s a stone’s throw from the Willamette River and steps away from the multitude of outdoor recreation options of Memorial Park. On top of that, the onsite restaurant, the Parkway Grille is a splendid option for breakfast, dinner or a nightcap.
Now, let’s talk shopping. The neighboring township of Aurora is a contender for one of the best spots to go antiquing in Oregon. Check out Main Street Mercantile Antiques, Mill Creek Antique and Vintage and Aurora Antiques, among others. Meanwhile, just a few minutes south, the Woodburn Premium Outlets features 110 stores just waiting to deck out anyone in the family from head to toe.
With regard to food and drink, start off with a tasting of the chardonnays and pinot noirs at the Tumwater Vineyard & Barrel House Tasting Room, or enjoy an approachable tasting experience at Olea Vineyards. If you’re more of a craft-beer fan, check out the Ordinance Brewing Taproom or Vanguard Brewing Company for extensive beer and food options. For dinner proper, the world is quite literally your oyster with enticing ethnic offerings from, Dar Essalam Morrocan Cuisine, Abella Italian Kitchen, Kirin Ramen or the New Hunan Restaurant.
In addition to Memorial Park, walkers and hikers can find a proper leg stretch at the Graham Oaks Nature Park, the Boeckman Creek Crossing Trail, or the combination of nature, history and recreation found at the Champoeg State Heritage Area.
And if you’re in the mood for family fun, Bullwinkle’s Wilsonville offers bowling, mini golf, go-karts, an arcade, laser tag, the Kidopolis Playland and more.
Wilsonville is less than 20 miles from Portland, making it an easy spot for a day’s diversion or an overnight getaway. Learn more about Wilsonville at explorewilsonville.com.