lmost all of the state’s grapes—including Oregon’s most famous Pinot Noir—are grown in the idyllic Willamette Valley, south of Portland. But 200-or-so miles away in Southern Oregon, the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys are a wine-lover’s dream, growing a seemingly endless list of varieties.
All the great goods made by regional designers and craftspeople collect under one roof in Eugene at 5th Street Public Market. There, you’ll find Made In Oregon and NEWTW!ST. The bounty of the region is also represented at the eateries in this 1929 building. Oysters? Yes please. An expansion, expected to be complete in a year, will double the market’s size.
Willamette Valley Historic McMinnville, lined with verdant trees and twinkling with lights during holidays, exudes small-town super charm, particularly on Third Street. The area hosts a monthly art and wine walk and weekly farmers markets. Fun retailers like Third Street Books, high-end women’s clothier Mes Amies, and Third Street Oil and Vinegar are interspersed with a dozen tasting rooms. In 2014, the James Beard Foundation named it an “American Classic.”
Southern Oregon Since the Oregon Shakespeare Festival runs most months of the year in Ashland, the Rogue Valley town of 20,000 is forever tied to the Bard and his English heritage. The three-floor emporium Paddington Station is where shoppers go to disappear. Let’s just say the store in an historic building is filled with Oregon-sourced items. Nearby, impeccably curated Prize stocks fancy finds in a general store atmosphere. A worthwhile spot for breakfast, lunch, or wine is Hither, whereas Mäs should make your dinner list. Post prandial libations at Oberon’s are downright Shakespearean, and it’s a spot to drink mead.
TOP: The Willamette Valley provides a festive holiday setting; RIGHT: An apple spice cake à la mode at Hither
This page, Top: Fifth Street Public Market: Melanie Griffin; Bottom: Hither: Judiaann Woo. Opposite: Top Right and Bottom Left: Shutterstock.com; Middle: Sung Park.