From wine tasting to hiking; from shopping to golfing, there is something for everyone who visits Washington County Oregon (located just outside of Portland and home to Tigard & Tualatin). We are thrilled that many new attractions and businesses have been added to our area in the past year. On your next visit, we recommend taking some time to experience some of these new additions. Here is a list of some of the newest attractions:
1. Mountain Bike Freeride Trail. Washington County’s first single-track, mountain bike freeride trail and skills area is scheduled to open at L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park in spring 2012. Spearheaded by the Westside Trail Federation and built by a grassroots group of volunteers, the freeride area will add another amenity to the four-year-old state park. Earlier this year, the park saw the completion of an 18-hole championship disc golf course.
2. Super Zip-Line. Tree to Tree Adventure Park, a seasonal aerial ropes course complete with tree-top obstacles and zip-lines that opened to much fanfare and success in 2010, will mark its spring 2012 opening with an 800-foot-long “super zip-line” and up to 10 additional lines.
3. Create Your Own Glass Art Masterpieces. Live, Laugh, Love Glass is an innovative glass-blowing studio, located in downtown Tigard. The studio, which opened May 2011, offers private and group instruction for artists of all levels. Saturday evenings, the studio hosts a unique style of dinner theatre, “Dinner Party and Hot Shop Show,” where guests participate in a group creation of a glass masterpiece, while dining on a buffet meal provided by local caterers. 12230 SW Main Street, Suite B, Tigard, Oregon; 800-913-7015 (toll-free); 503-244-7811
4. Two Kilts Brewing Company’s tasting room opened in Sherwood in 2011. In its short time, Two Kilts has amassed a following and praise from local beer enthusiasts with their India Pale Ale, Scotch Ale and other brews made with local ingredients. 14841 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Sherwood, Oregon; 503-625-1700
5. Comfort Food with a Twist. Forest Grove, Ore., welcomed its newest upscale eatery, 1910 Main – An American Bistro, in April 2011. With entrees that put modern spins on American classic comfort food, chef Russ Schillereff uses locally sourced ingredients in a menu that changes weekly. 1910 Main Street, Forest Grove, Oregon; 503-430-7014
6. Banks-Vernonia State Trail. After nearly a decade, the final portion of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, linking the towns of Banks and Vernonia, Oregon, was completed in late 2010. Construction of the 21-mile trail, which follows the route of an abandoned railroad corridor, started in the 1990s and was Oregon’s first rails-to-trails project, spearheaded by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. While parts of the trail—paved and unpaved—have been accessible to the public for several years, the opening of the trailhead in the town of Banks marks the completion of the final leg of the trail. The trail is open to all non-motorized traffic—hikers, runners, cyclists and horseback riders—and is marked by moderate and steep climbs. This scenic trail boasts 13 bridges and two 700-foot long, 80-foot high railroad trestles, popular spots for wildlife viewing and photography. Camping is available at nearby L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, which also is home to the Hares Canyon Horse Camp.
7. Blend Your Own Wine at Tigard Wine Crafters-Billed as a “local micro winery,” Tigard Wine Crafters is a new tasting room specializing in custom-made wine blending and features a range of white and red wine varietals. Guests can handcraft their own wine blends, design custom labels and receive 27-30 bottles of their own handcrafted wines after the fermentation and bottling process is complete, according to their website. The process is simple: guests create their own blends, while the winemakers at Tigard Wine Crafters ferment the custom-made blends for six weeks. Guests return after fermentation to bottle their creations and add their own specialty label. The tasting room, which opened in late 2010, also pours wines from around the world, including a merlot infused with dark chocolate and other surprising varietals. 12436 SW Main Street, Tigard, Oregon; 503-895-0538
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, 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.
Ask anyone who has lived or visited Oregon; this is a fantastic place to live, work and play. There is a reason why Oregon is a popular U.S. travel destination. We love our mountains, valleys, rivers, lush, rugged coast, arid plains and fertile fields. I think Travel Oregon sums it up best:
Why Oregon? Because Oregonians are wild, adventurous and inquisitive. Oregon is a place where people often find themselves roaming endlessly with no other goal than the next great meal, powdery slope, lighthouse view or salmon run. We encourage you to approach Oregon the way Oregonians do, with a sense of humor and adventure. So giddy-up! You’ve got some Oregon exploring to do…
So here are some facts about our state (compiled by Travel Oregon) that you may know have known:
• Oregon is the 10th largest state in the union, covering 97,073 square miles.
• The population of Oregon is only 3.4 million, with 1.5 million living in the Portland area.
• Oregon has no sales tax.
• Oregon’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1859
• The highest elevation point is Mt. Hood at 11,239 feet, and the lowest is at sea level.
• There are more than 6,000 lakes and 112,000 miles of rivers and streams.
• Oregon contains more than 5,900 registered campsites along with 230 state parks and 13 national forests.
• Nearly half of Oregon’s total area is forested – close to 30 million acres.
• There are 16 known hot springs in Oregon.
• At 1,932 feet, Crater Lake, located in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States.
• Located in the Northeastern corner of the state, Hells Canyon is the deepest river-carved gorge in North America. At 7,900 feet, it’s deeper than the Grand Canyon.
• The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the richest fossil bed sites in the world.
• In the Klamath Forest National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can view more than 1,000 majestic bald eagles – the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the U.S.
• The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest freshwater marsh in the U.S.
• Oregon has 12 commercial downhill ski areas, with 400 trails in three mountain ranges.
• Naturally carved within an outcropping of solid marble, Oregon Caves National Monument is one of southern Oregon’s oldest attractions.
• Oregon has four National Historic Trails and 14 National Historic Districts.
• Oregon has more than 7,000 bridges, including 53 covered bridges.
• There are nine lighthouses and one light ship along the Oregon Coast.
• Oregon is pronounced OR-UH-GUN, never OR-EE-GONE.
• There are currently 17 ghost towns in Oregon.
• The Oregon hazelnut is the state’s official nut, and Oregon grows 99 percent of the entire U.S. commercial crop.
• The pear is Oregon’s state fruit, ranking as the top-selling tree fruit crop.
• There are more than 700 vineyards in Oregon, planted on about 13,700 acres. In the 2004 vintage, there were 19,400 tons of wine grapes harvested, and nearly 1.2 million cases of wine made. Oregon produces more than 40 different varietals of wine grapes.
• Letting an attendant pump your gas is mandatory; you may not pump your own in the state of Oregon.
Sure it is the middle of winter, but that does not mean you can’t plan a fantastic trip to Portland! There is always something to do in Portland; here are just a few fun festivals to check out during your stay:
Fertile Ground Festival through January 29, 2012
This is a 10-day, citywide arts festival presented by Portland Area Theatre Alliance. This event showcases play premieres, art installations and events, all created by local artists.
Chinese New Year January 23-February 6, 2012
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon! This is a two-week celebration at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and includes lion dances, children’s activities, martial arts and cultural and historical demonstrations. The festival culminates with a traditional lantern-viewing ceremony. Events are free with garden admission.
Portland Seafood and Wine Festival February 3-4, 2012
This festival celebrates both the bounty harvested from the Pacific Ocean and the state’s vineyards (and scheduled smack dab in the middle of the Dungeness crab season!). Festival-goers enjoy great food, wine and live music at Oregon Convention Center.
Portland Jazz Festival February 17-26, 2012
Timed to coincide with Black History Month, the Portland Jazz Festival features performances around the city, including ticketed headline concerts, free shows and a range of educational opportunities.
Want more? Visit travelportland.com for a great list of art galleries, museums and other attractions (like Powell’s City of Books) to explore this winter.
The Grand Hotel in Bridgeport would like to say congratulations to the The Washington County Visitors Association! The WCVA and Oregon’s Washington County were recognized by readers of SportsEvents magazine in its 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.
SportsEvents is a trade publication serving the sports event industry, including event organizers, sports commissions, destination marketing organizations and other sporting event-related industries and businesses.
Sports event professionals were asked to name the sports commission, convention and visitors bureaus, or sports events venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the groups they host.
Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on the results from an online system that registered more than 3,000 votes.
2012 Readers’ Choice Award recipients represent destinations and sports venues throughout the United States. Recipients in Oregon include: Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports; Washington County Visitors Association (Beaverton) and Visit Bend
A complete list of award winners is available online, and winners are listed in the January 2012 issue of SportsEvents.
Lets face it. The middle of winter can be a bit….well……blah. So what better way to spice things up than to take advantage of special offers that grant affordable access to Portland’s vibrant creative arts scene! We think it is pretty cool that Downtown Portland promotes the performing arts in our city with the successful Blah-Buster promotion kicking off in February 2012.
For more than a month, arts groups including Portland Center Stage, Oregon Children’s Theater, Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Oregon Symphony will offer two-for-one tickets for events throughout the city.
Full details will be available later this year at www.downtownportland.org.
Other Winter Events Coming Up:
Portland International Film Festival – February 9-25, 2012
The granddaddy of Oregon ﬁlm events, the Portland International Film Festival packs 100 ﬁlms from 30 countries into a busy two weeks every February.
Oregon Seafood and Wine Festival – February 3-4, 2012
Scheduled smack dab in the middle of the Dungeness crab season, this upscale festival celebrates both the bounty harvested from the Pacific Ocean and the state’s vineyards. More than 130,000 square feet (3,962 square meters) at the Oregon Convention Center allows plenty of room for festival-goers to wander while enjoying great food, wine and live music.
Travel Oregon, in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, is proud to introduce the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund. The first statewide program of its kind, this fund will support sustainable tourism development in Oregon by connecting businesses and travelers to projects that improve the environment, support local culture and enhance the destination for future visitors.
Participating businesses throughout the state can raise funds for projects via an optional $1 donation from customers. All projects selected as beneficiaries of the fund protect Oregon’s natural assets and/or support communities in a way that improves their appeal as a destination.
“Oregonians have a rich history of stewardship of the land and love of community,” said Kristin Dahl, Travel Oregon’s Senior Manager of Destination Development. “This program is a natural fit as we will raise funds to directly improve and enhance Oregon communities. We expect this to result in enriching experiences for visitors and participating businesses.”
The Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund will work with lodging properties during the initial phase of the program, which lasts through 2012. Other types of businesses, such as restaurants, tour operators and retail stores, will be invited to participate in the next phase. Individuals and corporations can also contribute directly to the fund.
The fund will support one project from each of Oregon’s seven tourism regions. Examples include: supporting agritourism in Eastern Oregon by developing new point-of-sale options for local food products; creating a new recreation trail from the town of Rogue River to the Rogue River Valley, provided by The Rogue River Greenway Foundation; and in Portland, the Living Highways Project will plant and maintain over 5,000 trees along I-205, as part of the Greenspace Initiative. For more information and to view the full list of selected projects, go to: www.traveloregonforever.com/giveback
“We chose these projects because they represent some of the best work being done to steward the environment, build community and showcase the food and culture that make Oregon a great destination,” said Jon-Paul Bowles, Sustainable Travel International’s Vice President of Destination Stewardship.
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state’s $8.7 billion tourism industry. www.TravelOregon.com
Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International’s (STI) forward-thinking solutions strengthen the positive impacts of tourism worldwide, with a clear focus on the bottom line. The STI team specializes in connecting constituents across the value chain in order to effect change in the industry. As a result, STI partners with destinations and multi-national corporations to advance their sustainability efforts, and offers small to medium-sized businesses a suite of turnkey sustainability management tools.
Ultimately, STI’s programs help tourism businesses safeguard the authenticity of the destinations
they serve, helping to protect their natural and cultural heritage, while contributing to local
I know there are many of you who have not finished their holiday shopping right? The Washington County Oregon Visitors Association has created a helpful shopping itinerary to help you take advantage of tax-free holiday shopping! Here is how you can finish all of your holiday shopping in a single day:
Start off at Washington Square located near three of Portland’s main roadways (I-5, HWY 217 and HWY 26). With ﬁve major department stores, 170 distinctive shops, nationally recognized restaurants, such as the Cheesecake Factory, and a large food court, Washington Square is a shopper’s paradise. This shopping center even boasts Oregon’s largest Nordstrom.
Next, visit Bridgeport Village, (walking distance to our hotel) one of the Paciﬁc Northwest’s premier fashion and lifestyle shopping centers. Consisting of 500,000 square feet, the center offers one of-a-kind boutiques and well-known brands including crowd pleasers such as the Apple Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and J. Crew. Stop and have lunch at one of the dozen delectable restaurants, whether it is at a popular national chain or a one-of-a kind eatery.
Tea aﬁcionados ﬂock to the Stash Tea Retail Store, which features hundreds of varieties of loose-leaf and bagged teas made with leaves from around the globe. As one of the ﬁrst internationally recognized tea brands, Stash Tea remains to be one of the pioneers of Oregon tea.
Another option for the power shoppers: Take a drive down HWY 26 to 4 The Streets of Tanasbourne. Mixing European charm with shopping center convenience, this is a great place to meet for dinner. Enjoy tax-free shopping at more than 50 fabulous shops, or grab something to snack on at Buffalo Wild Wings or P.F. Chang’s before searching for great buys at Macy’s, REI, Abercrombie & Fitch or Coldwater Creek.
An entirely different option is Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton. This sister location to the famed Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland is an ideal addition to a Washington County shopping itinerary. At 32,500 square feet, ﬁlled with new and used books, appearances by noteworthy authors, and a knowledgeable, book-loving staff, this bookstore is a haven for bibliophiles.
For more shopping ideas and a map to these locations, download the WCVA Shopping Guide.
Portland, Oregon comes alive during the holiday with these annual events. Spend a few days here and you will see why Portland, Oregon is one of the best travel destinations in the country! There are too many local holiday events to mention in one blog post so visit downtownportland.org and plan your own outing.
Festival of Lights at The Grotto – Through Friday, December 30, 2011.. Closed Christmas Day
The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The 2011 festival features nearly 170 indoor holiday concerts and an amazing display of more than 500,000 lights. illuminates the largest choral festival A petting zoo, puppet shows and seasonal food and beverages also highlight the event.
Parade of Christmas Ships – December 8 – 20, 2011
This year marks the 57th year for the Christmas Ship Parade on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in Portland, Oregon. This ﬂeet of 55-60 brightly lit boats has staged performances on the Willamette and Columbia rivers during the holiday season. Visit the Christmas Ships website for dates, times and best viewing locations.
ZooLights Festival – Through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24 & 25)
The Oregon Zoo becomes a holiday fairyland as one of Portland’s largest light displays blazes to life. More than a million sparkling lights transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. Decorated train rides, kids’ activities, and music by community groups.
From great coffee to beautiful lights to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Portland will be merry this season!
There is a bounty of local festivals and celebrations this month in and around Portland, Oregon! Here are a few highlights of what you will find just minutes from The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport. A special thanks to the Washington County Visitors Association for sharing this great info!
Beaverton Harvest Market Saturday, Nov. 19 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Fill your cornucopia at this one-time harvest market, timed perfectly for the Saturday before Thanksgiving. In addition to seasonal foods, the market features vendors offering flowers and crafts
German Holiday Market at German American School, Beaverton
Saturday, Nov. 19 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) &
Sunday, Nov. 20 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Enjoy traditional German food, novelties, nutcrackers and live entertainment at this free, two-day event, which is in its 12th year. Admission is free. For more information, please contact the school at 503-626-9089
Thanksgiving Wine Weekend- Various Washington County wineries Friday, Nov. 25 – Sunday, Nov. 27
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend in Washington County’s wine country, when wineries are all open and often have special perks such as vintage tastings, live music and/or light appetizers.
16th Annual Holiday Ale Festival November 30th – Sunday, December 4th, 2011. Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland. Each year, the Holiday Ale Festival annually gathers up dozens of these winter warmers for a joyous five-day celebration. More than 40+ breweries will be featured at this year’s event, all of which are created specifically to bring warmth and cheer to the holiday season.
Hillsboro “Holly Days” Market Saturday, Dec. 3 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Second & Main Streets, downtown Hillsboro
This seasonal market is held in conjunction with the tree lighting and Santa visit. This year, there will be about 35 vendors, as well as live entertainment and activities for children. More info.
Hard core shoppers know there are holiday bargains to be found on Black Friday. For many, it is a holiday tradition to wake up before dawn the day after Thanksgiving and advantage of the great deals retailers offer. Lets not forget one of the perks about visiting Oregon during this time is tax free holiday shopping!
To make shoppers a bit more comfortable, we are offering a special Black Friday Package for $99 that includes an early, on-the-go breakfast. Why wake up early, skip breakfast, and travel to get to your shopping destination?
Here is a guide for travelers to find some popular local spots for holiday shopping! Enjoy!
7455 SW Bridgeport Rd.
Tigard, OR 97224
• Easy-access location just off Interstate 5 on the border of Tualatin and Tigard
• European-style, outdoor shopping area with nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurant and theater space
• Blend of upscale national and local retailers, 10 restaurants, multiplex movie theater with IMAX
Washington Square Mall
9585 SW Washington Square Rd.
Tigard, OR 97223
• Traditional major mall located in Tigard along Hwy. 217 near its junction with Interstate 5
• Built in 1974, expanded and renovated in 2005 to become one of the largest retail centers in the Portland metropolitan area
• Four anchor department stores including Oregon’s largest Nordstrom, 170 distinctive retailers including the West Coast’s only Dick’s Sporting Goods, five restaurants and 11-eatery Food Court
Woodburn Company Stores
The largest outlet center in Oregon with big-name brands and outlet savings at more than 95 stores, including: adidas, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Columbia Sportswear, J.Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike Factory Store, The North Face, Under Armour and more!
Minutes from The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport and Located just 25 minutes south of Portland, off I-5 at Woodburn Exit 271.
Please call the Front Desk directly at 866-968-5757 and ask for the “Black Friday Special” to take advantage of this offer.