Sample Oregon's Bounty in Willamette Valley

Posted September 25, 2009 by Jamie Moore

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You'll find Oregon's land of plenty hidden in the Willamette Valley, an area with a rich agricultural countryside and the best wine in the state. Luckily you don't need plenty of cash to enjoy the valley's riches. Sip select vintages, breathe easy in a sweet-smelling garden, then treat yourself to a luxurious snooze (and pastoral views) at a farmhouse bed-and-breakfast.

Drink
The Tasting Room: Raise your glass to the wine lovers who turned an old bank into an extraordinary wine-tasting experience. Stashed in the bank vault are vintage wines from local wineries either closed to the public or open only by appointment. Twenty bucks buys you a flight of seven. The flights change frequently and are always first class—rich Chardonnays, light summer-sipping roses, and full-bodied reds. And the valley's most popular vintage, Pinot Noir, is always onboard.

Play
Red Ridge Farms: Treat your senses to an afternoon at Red Ridge Farms. It's known for growing more than 100 fragrant lavender varieties. The farm's little secret (so far) is the beautiful sight of the olive tree orchard—1,000 trees in all—and 300 different herbs. Inspire your green thumb while meandering through the carefully landscaped garden. Or boost your herb lore and discover which plants are best for flavoring food and which are good for your medicine cabinet.

Stay
Abbey Road Farm B&B: You could easily while away your whole weekend at this new bed-and-breakfast. Sleeping quarters are old grain silos updated to suit present-day visitors (think Jacuzzi tubs, iPod docks, and spectacular views of the valley). Interested in a "vocation vacation"? Put yourself to work hoeing the garden, picking fruit, or, if you're really keen, mucking out the animal stalls. There's even a tasting room. Fifty-six wines are available, and since your bed is a leisurely stroll away, you're free to try as many as you like. Luxury suites start at $210.

To search for flights and compare prices to Portland, which is home to Willamette Valley’s nearest airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Stellajune3700)

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