How does a weekend exploring Oregon wine country while enjoying complimentary wine tastings, pairings, entertainment, and activities sound to you? Pretty nice, huh?
Members of the North Willamette Vintners (NVW) invite you to spend the weekend of April 12th–13th doing just that! From experienced wine lovers to novice wine tasters, the North Willamette Wine Trail has something for everyone.
The North Willamette Vintners represents independent wineries crafting fine wines in the northern boundary of Willamette Valley’s wine region.
You will find NVW wineries and vineyards easily accessible for either a weekend trip or a day excursion. Most of the wineries are located just outside Portland, in the nearby communities of Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Helvetia, Hillsboro and Tigard.
Need a place to stay? We can help with that! Make it a completely blissful weekend by booking The Grand Hotel Bridgeport Wine Tour Package. Please call us toll-free at 866-968-5757 for rates and availability.
Don’t Miss the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend
April 12–13, 2014 11:00am–4:00pm
$45 full-weekend, $30 Sunday only, $10 DD weekend
Discover each individual winery through tours, one-of-a-kind demonstrations, and hand-on activities. Guests will also enjoy handcrafted foods, gifts and other products by local artisans at our wineries for this special weekend.
To purchase your tickets, visit shop.northwillamettevintners.org
Photos by Kristi Reed
If you are like most people, you are probably ready for a relaxing vacation getaway! The good news is spring and summer will be here soon it and it’s time to start planning!
You know what they say….”Failing to plan is planning to fail” and when it comes to getting quality R & R, you don’t want to fail!!
There are numerous Oregon travel resources available to help you plan your Oregon adventure like Travel Oregon, Travel Portland, Downtown Portland, and many more. However, this month we are spotlighting our very own Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA).
Not long ago, WCVA launched a series of helpful interactive videos intended to give you a visual experience of the many destinations and attractions here in Washington County Oregon. This is a great resource to you plan your trip so we invite you to relax, escape or explore Oregon’s Washington County through this amazing series.
Where will your adventure take you?
ABOUT OREGON’S WASHINGTON COUNTY Oregon’s Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. The destination covers 727 square miles and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Washington County is home to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries, breweries and distilleries, an array of outdoor recreation opportunities, lush, natural and scenic wetlands and wildlife preserves, superb dining, and myriad shopping. For more information, visit the Washington County Visitors Association’s official destination website.
Willamette Valley is recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing regions in the world. This is why we have partnered with some of our finest local wineries to bring the ultimate Oregon wine tasting experience to our guests.
In this post, we shine the spotlight one of our Wine Tour Package partner vineyards, Cooper Mountain Vineyards located in Beaverton, Oregon.
Nestled on the western slopes of an extinct volcano, Cooper Mountain Vineyards operates by a simple philosophy: wine is memory of land.
The vineyard was founded in 1978 by Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine when they planted their first Pinot and Chardonnay vines. Today Cooper Mountain Vineyards farms 123 acres scattered throughout the Northern Willamette Valley and offers certified organic and biodynamic Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Chardonnay wines.
Their tasting room, located at 20121 SW Leonardo Ln. in Beaverton, is open from noon to 5pm daily. For more information, you can contact them by calling (503) 649-0027 or email them at email@example.com.
Be sure to like them on Facebook for updates and to see more photos like these:
When you reserve a Wine Tour Package at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport, not only will you tour some of the valley’s finest vineyards and wineries, you will enjoy a relaxing evening in one of our luxurious guest rooms or suites only steps away from the shopping and dining amenities at Bridgeport Village.
Our Wine Tour Package includes complimentary tastings to the winery of your choice, one bottle of local Oregon wine, Gourmet Moonstruck Chocolates and a late check out of 1pm (so sleep in!).
Our partner vineyards include: Cooper Mountain Vineyards, Oak Knoll Winery, Ponzi Vineyards, A Blooming Hill Vineyard and Ardiri Winery and Vineyards. Packages are self-guided however we also work with Grape Escape, a local Wine Tour operator who provides transportation and guidance for an additional charge. Please contact them for the details. Click here to book our Wine Tour Package or call the Front Desk at 866-968-5757.
Some of the other hotel packages offered at the Grand Hotel Bridgeport include:
“It’s Tee Time” Golf Package
Bridgeport Shopping Package
Washington Square Shopping Package
Dinner and a Movie
Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, have you made your plans?
Why not surprise your special valentine with a romantic getaway to “wine country” this month? We are located in the heart of Willamette Valley, recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing regions in the world!
That is one of the reasons we have created special Wine Tour packages at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport. This special package includes eight wine tasting vouchers to 4 of our partner wineries (listed below), one bottle of local Oregon wine, and late check out. This is the perfect way to make the most of the weekend by touring some of the valley’s finest vineyards and wineries and end your adventure with us for a night of relaxing bliss.
Our partner vineyards include:
- Cooper Mountain Vineyards
- Oak Knoll Winery
- Ponzi Vineyards
- A Blooming Hill Vineyard
- Ardiri Winery and Vineyards
Here is a sample of Valentines Day events our partner vineyards are participating in this year:
Join Alloro Vineyard, Ardiri Winery, Cooper Mountain and Raptor Ridge for a weekend of special wine tastings and pairings. If you visit all four between Friday, February 14 and Sunday, February 16, you will be entered to win a “Wine Lovers Basket”, including more than $200 in wine accessories and pairings.
Oak Knoll Winery Valentine’s Day Barrel Tasting Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11am
Tasting wine straight from the barrel while it ages is generally reserved for VIPs at wineries. Taste wines from the barrel then enjoy finished wines to witness the wines evolution from the barrel to the bottle. These delicious wines will be delightfully paired to with a special selection of cheese and chocolate. The chocolate pairing will be by Smitten Truffles.
Ponzi Vineyards Taste Local Event Saturday February 8, 2014,12-2pm
A special tasting series featuring local artisans, once a month. This month we feature delectable fresh goat cheeses from Dundee-based Briar Rose Creamery.
Valentine’s Day at Blooming Hill Vineyard February 14, 12-5pm
Enjoy a chocolate fountain with tastings of wine from Blooming Hill Vineyard and Winery.
With cozy tasting rooms and gorgeous views, the winter months are a great time to visit some of the Willamette Valley’s wineries. Visit www.willamettewines.com/events for a list of upcoming winter events and use the hashtag #bemineoregon to search for Valentine’s Day events and promotions throughout wine country! Here are some more wine events worth adding to your itinerary from the Washington County Visitor Association.
Smitten with Saké at SakéOne February 8-9, 2014 11am-5pm
Enjoy pairings of saké and artisan chocolate truffles in a romantic setting in this pre-Valentine’s weekend event.
The Wines of Love with Bag&Baggage February 9-10, 2014 7-9pm
Spend an intimate evening of wine, food and holiday-themed performances with the Bag&Baggage Theatre Company. Seating is limited; tickets available for purchase online.
Date Night at Plum Hill Vineyards February 14, 2014 5-8pm
Enjoy an evening of live music and wine tasting at this special “Date Night.”
Maialata: The Festival of the Pig at Montinore Estate February 16, 2014 11am to 4pm
Experience a pork extravaganza with Cathy Whims, chef and owner of Portland’s acclaimed Nostrana restaurant, with a meal of handcrafted (by you!) sausage and ravioli paired with Montinore’s wines, at this unique, hands-on celebration of food and wine. Reservations are required.
Bottle Up Your Love at Montinore Estate Februrary 15, 2014 12-4pm
Back again for 2014, this popular event allows visitors to make their own “love potion,” a custom-blended Pinot Noir, complete with a custom bottle and personalized label. Space is limited; reservations required.
For more events in February, including additional Valentine’s weekend happenings, please visit WCVA’s Events & Festivals page.
We could all use a little more drama in our lives (we mean the good kind)! This winter/spring, we invite you to treat yourself to a professional stage production at the Lakewood Theater topped off with a luxurious night at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport.
We wanted to make the arts more accessible to our guests, so we now offer an overnight package that brings you and a companion out for an evening of live theater in the Portland Oregon metropolitan area.
The Drama at the Grand package includes a pair of tickets to a production at the Lakewood Theatre Company and a discounted rate at any of our rooms. The glamor of a live production along with our luxurious accommodations will make a perfect night on the town for theater lovers.
The Lakewood Theater, the oldest continually operated not for profit theatre company in the Portland metro area, attracts more than 40,000 people to its shows each year. Here are some of the exciting and thrilling plays to choose from this season:
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap
Playing through February 16, 2014
Crimes of the Heart
March 7 – April 13, 2014
May 2 – June 8, 2014
Call 866-968-5757 for information on the package details and availability or click here for additional details.
Just because it’s a little chilly outside does not mean you have to stay in!
Oregon is a year-round destination and you can plan a fantastic trip to Portland any time of the year. In fact, here are just a few of the events that will get you out and about this winter season:
1. ChocolateFest – January 24-26, 2014
Chocolate lovers and chocolatiers come together at the Oregon Convention Center. ChocolateFest promises you the opportunity to sample, taste, savor, and delight in some of the finest chocolate from the Northwest and beyond.
2. Fertile Ground Festival – January 23 – February 2, 2014
Presented by Portland Area Theatre Alliance, this10-day arts festival aspires to increase the appreciation for Portland’s lush creative culture. The event showcases play premieres, art installations and events, all created by local artists. Follow their events on Facebook
3. Chinese New Year at Lan Su Chinese Garden – January 31-February 14, 2014
Celebrate the Year of the Horse at this family friendly event spanning over a 2 week period. Highlights include a lantern-viewing ceremony, lion dances, children’s activities, martial arts and cultural and historical demonstrations.
Lan Su Chinese Garden on Facebook
4. The 2014 U.S. Bank Portland Jazz Festival Presented by Alaska Airlines – February 20 March 2, 2014
A multi-venue series of jazz events presented each February within Portland, Oregon. Nationally and regionally supported as a cultural tourism initiative in celebration of Black History Month, Portland Jazz Festival is dedicated to preserving America’s indigenous art form by presenting internationally recognized jazz masters alongside local jazz musicians. A series of jazz education and outreach programs that extend into Portland’s schools and neighborhoods is at the heart of the annual event. Follow them in Twitter and Facebook
5. 2014 Oregon Seafood and Wine Festival – January 31-February 1, 2014
This winter event is a celebration of all things Oregon, but most specifically our wonderful Oregon seafood and wines. The 2 day festival features Fresh Oregon Seafood, Wines from 50 Oregon Wineries and Live Music. Follow them in Facebook
6. The 37th Portland International Film Festival -February 6-22, 2014
The biggest film event in Oregon, premiering more than 100 international shorts and feature films to Portland audiences each February. Audiences can experience a variety of parties, visiting artists, and plenty of festival adventure taking in this feast of cinematic fare. Follow them in Facebook and Twitter
7. Timbers MLS Soccer Opening Day Saturday, March 8, 2014
Portland’s professional soccer team, The Timbers, 2014 season starts in March and goes until October. The Timbers compete in the MLS league and call JELD-WEN Field their home turf. Experience home games at the stadium (or watch a game on TV in one of the many bars that show Timbers games) and you’ll get to meet the fiercely loyal Timbers Army, and find out what RCTID means from the people who live it.
There is always something to do in this area, check these helpful resources to you plan your trip!
What a great way to wrap up the new year! We heard that Portland made it to the top of real estate blog Movoto’s “America’s 10 Best Cities for 2013” list!
These are the nerdiest, smartest, hardest working, most exciting, and downright best cities in the country according to a year of studying what makes America’s metros so great.
-Movoto Content Editor, Randy Nelson
According to this list, Portland Oregon is ranked No. 1 for attracting new residents, and best city for movie lovers and second nerdiest city (not too shabby!). It placed fourth among funniest, most steampunk and best cities for food lovers.
Click here to see the entire list of cities that made the cut, and let us know what you think!
This holiday season, AAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home. That’s a lot of people on the road or in the airport in the coming weeks!
No matter how or where you travel this Christmas, packing the right stuff is essential to enjoying the holiday season and the friends and family you are traveling so far to see.
We recommend following these packing tips to avoid unnecessary hassles and stress.
1. Roll, don’t fold.
Many travel experts agree that tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they’re less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.
2. Make a packing list
Make the time to craft a complete list days or even weeks before your trip. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.
3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy
The majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights, so before you begin packing, take a peek at your airline’s website and read its baggage policy.
4. Follow the 3-1-1 rule
If you don’t follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage the TSA will likely confiscate your stuff, holding you up in line in the process. So get familiar with the agency’s rules: All liquids brought onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag.
5. Use your personal item wisely
In Five Tips for Fitting it All in a Carry-on Bag, Caroline Morse advises travelers to leverage their personal-item allowance, suggesting, “Forget wasting my personal-item allowance with a tiny purse. I’ll bring a larger tote bag that I can stash under the seat but will still give me extra storage space. This will come in handy for keeping all of the things I’ll need to be on hand during the flight within arms’ reach as well.”
6. Wash your clothes on the road
If you know your accommodations will have free laundry facilities, you’re golden. You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips. If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry services are available and how much they cost.
According to the TSA, “Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)” so that the security agent screening your bag can get a clear picture of what’s inside. The faster the TSA agent can screen your stuff, the faster you’ll get through the security line.
8. Never check essential items
Keep your valuable and essential belongings(i.e.your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables) in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage.
Happy Holidays and hope you enjoy safe travels!
Is the holiday season flying by too fast? Have you been so busy that you haven’t made time to simply enjoy the season and take in some of the many holiday sights and sounds in and around the Portland area?
You can find the holiday spirit in Bridgeport Village with events like Bridgeport Express Train, Holiday Magic Light Show and Breakfast with Santa! Visit www. bridgeport-village.com for details on all these.
If you want to take a short drive into Portland, be sure to check out some of these popular local holiday attractions. Just like Christmas, they only happen once a year, so don’t miss out!
Big thanks goes to Travel Portland for putting this helpful list together!
1. Holiday Express Train through Dec. 15, 2013
Join Santa Claus and his elves for a magical ride on Portland’s famous steam locomotives. Vintage rail cars transport you through wilderness in the heart of the city. Meet Santa in the fully decorated and steam-heated trains. www.orhf.org/about-orhf/holiday-express
2. The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights through Dec. 30, 2013
The Grotto’s most popular event, The Christmas Festival of Lights features more than 500,000 lights, 150 choral performances, a petting zoo, carolers, puppet shows and hot chocolate. www.thegrotto.org/events
3. ZooLights through Jan. 5, 2014
More than one million LED lights transform the Oregon Zoo into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. www.oregonzoo.org/events/zoolights
4. Portland Revels’ The Christmas Revels 2013 through Dec. 15, 2013
Combining instrumental and choral music, children’s songs and games, ritual and folk dance traditions, drama, poetry and audience participation, this event springs from an age-old tradition of winter solstice celebration. www.portlandrevels.org
5. Portland Christmas Ships Portland Christmas Ships Parader through Dec. 21, 2013
Each year since 1955, Portlanders have gathered along the water to view more than 50 boats decked out in lights and wintery designs. The parade traverses the Columbia and Willamette rivers every night of the two-week celebration. www.christmasships.org
6. The Nutcracker at Oregon Ballet Theatre through Dec. 21, 2013
The enduring magic of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker sets the season a-sparkle, creating memories your family will cherish. Oregon Ballet Theatre is the only company west of the Mississippi licensed to perform Balanchine’s version. www.obt.org/season_nutcracker.html
7. Winter Wonderland through Dec.21, 2013
The Portland International Raceway transforms into a Winter Wonderland each year, welcoming nearly 100,000 people to view spectacular displays of lights and animation from the comfort of personal vehicles and tour buses. www.winterwonderlandportland.com
8. A Locally Crafted Christmas at Pittock Mansion through Jan. 2, 2014
From professional artisans to do-it-yourselfers, more than 80 volunteers contributed to this exhibit. Festive decorations, lights and Christmas trees fill the 16,000-square-foot mansion, and unique décor and gifts await in the Museum Store. www.pittockmansion.org
9. Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale Dec. 14-15, 2013
Once a monthly art and craft sale, now operates a successful downtown store, Crafty Wonderland highlights its favorite local and handmade goods in this mega-sale at the Oregon Convention Center. www.craftywonderland.com/events
10. The Makery Winter Market Dec. 14-15, 2013
Shop the Makery studio collective designers plus other Oregon makers while sipping craft beverages and grooving to
unconventional holiday music. Or hang out outside at the mobile hot tub with snacks from a few local food carts. www.makerypdx.com/events
Starting December 15th:
The Lights on Peacock Lane Dec. 15—-31, 2013
Since the 1920s, each house in this quaint southeast neighborhood has been decorating for the season. The houses, mostly Tudors, are adorned with not only beautiful sparkling lights, but also thematic scenes, rotating Christmas trees and more. www.peacocklane.net
By Joseph Lawsomier
It’s almost never too early to book your thanksgiving airline tickets. In fact, you probably should have taken care of that last week. So as you prepare for your Turkey Day travel plans, here’s some tips to keep in mind that will simplify your travel days and make your fellow travelers grateful that you’re one of few travelers that actually has it together.
1. Hire a courier service for bags. If you aren’t going to be able to go all-carry-on, make a reservation with a courier service at least three days prior to your flight. The relatively inexpensive cost outweighs the convenience of having your bags arrive at your destination before you do.
2. Check in online. Most airlines offer an online check-in service that’s available 24 hours before your departure. If you’re not checking baggage you can walk straight to the security line and bypass those insane counter check-in lines.
3. Drop off from Arrivals and vice versa. Have your driver, whether family, friend, or taxi, drop you off in arrivals and pick you up in departures. You’ll skim tons of time off your schedule and you’ll avoid typical travel frustration.
4. Fly out on Thanksgiving and/or come home Friday. You can find cheap tickets if you fly on Thanksgiving. Plus traveling is a breeze, compared to the Thursday before. Look for cheap airline tickets on the Friday after the big meal to make your life so much easier. If you take an early enough flight on Thursday you can still make it in time for the feast.
5. Don’t pack wrapped presents in your bag. You run the risk of becoming that person in the security line. Just by some boxes and wrapping paper when you get to your destination.
6. Search your bags at the luggage at carousel. It’s usually too late for the airlines to catch a personnel thief if you wait to make sure nothing was stolen from your luggage once you get to your final destination.
7. Choose neighboring airports when possible. Fly into Midway instead of O’Hare, Maryland instead of Washington International, Oakland instead of San Francisco if you want less hassle and cheap flights.
8. Bring snacks. Just like there’s no reason to no book discount airfare, there’s no reason to pay airport prices for food. You can pack a whole meal if you want in your carry-on if you want and you won’t have to worry about wasting time during your layover to get food.
9. Check on your flight’s status before leaving for the airport. Don’t spend hours of your precious holiday time sitting at the airport if you don’t have to. On busy travel days it’s common for flights to get delayed and push back your departure time, so be proactive.
10. Arrive early. Sounds too simple right? Too many people think this rule doesn’t apply to them anymore, but you never know what shenanigans you’re going to run into at the airport. Maybe the kid in front of you in the security line throws up and diverting the line takes an additional 45 minutes. It’s gross, but totally plausible.
11. Start a bidding war. If the flight’s overbooked and no one is giving up their airline tickets, you are legally allowed to start your own bidding war. This only works, of course, if you have something of value to put up for bidding.
12. Take the first flight of the day. Getting up early is annoying, but you’ll be more likely to avoid delays and be able to find cheap tickets. Just remember that the earlier you get to your destination the more time you’ll have to nap before grandma asks you to help her with the green bean casserole.
13. Build in extra layover time. A lot of the discount airfare sites will offer minimal layover time. Try to manually set the time yourself on the site or call their reservation line to see if you can build in at least an hour, just in case.
14. Be prepared for security. You should know the drill by now: have your boarding pass and ID in hand, wear easily removable footwear, place all your carry-on liquids in a plastic baggy, and remove your laptop from your bag. There’s nothing more annoying than the person who takes 20 minutes at the conveyor belt because they’re not prepared.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joseph_Lawsomier