Best of the Willamette Valley
Yamhill County Wine Country: Although wine grapes are now grown all over the state, the area around Yamhill County is a great place to tour some of the nation’s top pinot noir and pinot gris wineries. Look at a map and choose your route to avoid busy Highway 99W.
State Capitol: If a visit to the capitol seems like something that you should’ve gotten out of the way in grade school, think again. The art alone in the Oregon capitol building is worth the trip.
Mount Angel Abbey: The hilltop abbey is a good place for both quiet reflection and architectural tourism; the splendid abbey library was designed by famed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.
Silver Falls State Park: Aren’t waterfalls what Oregon is all about? Here a seven-mile trail passes 10 waterfalls.
Breitenbush Hot Springs: The rest of the world will slip away as you ease yourself into one of the lovely natural hot pools. Come for an organized yoga or spiritual retreat, a weekend of personal reflection, or simply an afternoon soak. Clothing, however, is a seldom-used option in the hot springs.
Alton Baker Park: This sprawling park, just across the Willamette River from downtown and the university, is home to Pre’s Trail, a four-mile trail commemorating the late great runner Steve Prefontaine. The park’s trail network hooks up with other running, walking, and biking trails — these trails along the Willamette and up into the nearby hills are a large part of what makes Eugene such a pleasant livable place.
McKenzie River National Recreation Trail: Ride the city bus (or drive your car) up the McKenzie River to the start of this 26-mile trail. The McKenzie is a magical river, with waterfalls cascading over lava rocks and lush green streamside vegetation.
Oakridge Mountain Biking: In the hills just outside this working-class mill town, you’ll find some of the state’s best mountain biking.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel