Willamette Valley, Oregon

When I Went: May 7-11, 2013

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? I think it was a great time to visit. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (70s and 80s with no rain), and we were told it was right before tourist season began at Memorial Day.

Why I Went There: I was interested in visiting another U.S. wine region and have heard a lot of wonderful things about the Willamette Valley.

Who Went With Me? My boyfriend, James

We Stayed Here: In Portland, we stayed at Hotel Fifty. In McMinnville, we stayed at McManemins.

You Won’t Want to Miss: Drive along the Hood River if you can. I was fascinated by the kite and wind surfers. There are also beautiful waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls that took my breath away. Once you are in the Willamette Valley, just take time to explore. Everything is so beautiful. You can see snowcapped Mt. Hood from most of the wineries.

Eat Here: LePigeon, Tasty n Alder, Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Nick’s Italian Cafe in McMinnville

Play Here: Domaine Serene, White Rose Estate, McMenamin’s Rooftop Bar

If I Went Again: I would not fly Southwest–it took too long to get there and with too many stops. I will bite the bullet next time and fly direct. I would also pick a different hotel than McManemins. It is historic and fun but not the most relaxing place to stay. They are proud of their live music on the weekends and you can definitely hear it in the rooms.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? We flew with our miles on SW Airlines.

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: Fantastic wines, wonderful farm-to-table dining experiences, and gorgeous views.

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