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.
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!
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
The winter chill does not keep us Portlandians from getting out! After all, Oregon is a year-round destination and you can fantastic trip to Portland any time of the year.
There is always something to do in this area, check these helpful resources to plan your trip
- www.travelportland.com @travelportland
- www.traveloregon.com @traveloregon
- www.downtownportland.org @inDowntownPDX
- www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com @WCVA
Here are just a few events The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport staff recommends checking out during your stay:
Downtown Tigard Night Out - Friday, January 18, 2013: Downtown Tigard merchants are hosting specials on local shopping, tastings, unique dining, music, classes and more! Mark your calendar for the 3rd Friday of each month from 4 to 9 p.m. for Downtown Tigard Night Out.
ChocolateFest - January 18-20, 2013: Chocolate lovers and chocolatiers come together at the Oregon Convention Center. All proceeds benefit the 501(c)(3) non profit the World Forestry Center.
Fertile Ground Festival – January 24 – February 3, 2013: 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
Chinese New Year at Lan Su Chinese Garden – February 10-24, 2013: Celebrate the Year of the Snake 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
Portland Jazz Festival – February 15-24, 2013: 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
Oregon Seafood and Wine Festival – February 1& 2, 2013: 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
The 36th Portland International Film Festival -February 7-23, 2013: 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
Our Tigard setting lets the Grand Hotel Bridgeport fill a special niche for business and leisure travel to the Portland Oregon metropolitan area. While the hotel is a short drive from the bustle of Portland’s downtown commercial and shopping districts, we enjoy Tigard’s peaceful, small-town atmosphere. It is important to us that our guests and our staff alike can enjoy the warm, friendly community that has been our home for many years.
For our guests, shopping at Tigard is worth the trip itself. The markets of Bridgeport Village, a stone’s throw from our hotel, draws visitors from around the Northwest with its diverse restaurants; upscale retailers like Saks, Apple Store and Crate and Barrel; specialty salons, an IMAX theater and a charming old-world design. At Washington Square in downtown Tigard, visitors can shop at Nordstrom, Coach and many others. Unlike downtown Portland, parking is a cinch and the markets are easy to navigate.
Our town is home to so much. Oregon has an outstanding reputation as home to some of the best artisan beers in the nation, and Tigard is no exception. We are particularly fond of McMenamins’ John Barleycorns brewery and Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub. Golfers enjoy Tigard’s Summerfield course and the RedTail course in nearby Beaverton. Tigard’s cultural offerings rival those of neighboring Portland with fun experiences like the Broadway Rose Theater Company and the Lakewood Center for the Arts. And each June, Tigard hosts the unforgettable Festival of Balloons, an annual weekend celebration of air balloons with carnival rides, a fun-run, ribs and music.
Tigard is a business-friendly, thriving community perfectly situated outside of one of the West’s favorite cities. It has treated us well over the years and we are proud to call it our home.
Fall is just around the corner and this is the perfect time to indulge in some tax free shopping and a bit of “me” time as you relax in your hotel room. While you are on your visit, we suggest that you be on the look out for some of these fun local events recommended by our staff:
Ongoing: Events, concerts and tastings at wineries throughout the region. See northwillamettevintners.org for details.
September Event Staff Picks
- Music Fest NW in Portland September 5-9
- Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival September 8
- Bridgeport Village Girls’ Night Out September 13
- Tualatin Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration September 15
- Very Engaging Bridal Event at Bridgeport Village Sunday, September 30th
October Event Staff Picks:
- North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting October 06
- The 26th Annual Great Onion Festival Saturday, October 13
- Smith Berry Barn Heirloom Apple Festival October 13-14
- Oregon Heritage Farms Apple Festival October 14
- 9th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta Sat, Oct 20th
More Portland Events:
- Art in the Pearl – Labor Day weekend
- Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival – September 6-16
- Feast Portland September 21-22
- Portland Fashion Week October 5-9
- Portland Open Studios October 13-14, 20-21
- Wordstock October 11-14 (Portland’s literary festival)
For more info, go to www.travelportland.com
Labor Day weekend is just weeks away and another summer is coming to a close. Before you put away that suitcase, there is time to book one last getaway before the summer ends.
Here are some fun local events to check out:
- Final concert of the 2012 Summer Concert Series 6:30-8:30pm in Bridgeport Village Center Court Thursday, August 30 featuring the The Beatniks (free)
- Final concert of the 2012 Tualatin Concerts on the Commons Friday, August 31 6:30-8:30 PM featuring Lino (Classical/ New Age Guitar). Concerts are held on the plaza near the lake at Tualatin Commons. (free)
- 16th annual Art In The Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival in Portland
- This event features hundreds of talented artists and is considered to be one of the top crafts festivals in the country. Northwest Portland Park neighborhoods are filled with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages.
- Shopping: Labor Day Sales at Bridgeport Village
Labor Day weekend is also a terrific time to explore Willamette Valley’s Wineries. Many of them host open house events and invite guests to come in for tastings, tours and more. You can also create your own wine tour and drive the Vineyard and Valley Tour Route (please drive responsibly):
- Anam Cara Cellars with the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Labor Day Weekend Annual Open House Walk through the vines, taste the grapes from individual blocks along with barrel samples of the wines before blending. We’ll also have current releases and an informal “picnic.” Friendly dogs are very welcome. Tastings just $10 which includes food and great company! Location: Nicholas Vineyard, 22222 SW Nicholas View Drive,97140,Sherwood
- Labor Day Open House at Arborbrook Vineyards 17770 NE Calkins Lane Newberg, OR 97132 Bid adieu to summer at the annual Labor Day Open House Sep 1st 2012 to Sep 3rd 2012
- Labor Day Weekend Open House at Archery Summit 18599 NE Archery Summit Road Dayton, OR 97114 Come out for a wonderful afternoon of Pinot Noir tasting tours and more. Sep 1st 2012 to Sep 3rd 2012
Kick it up a notch and reserve one of our packages that combine our luxurious guest rooms and suites with some of the best that the Bridgeport, Tigard and Tualatin areas have to offer. We currently offer the following packages. Visit grandhotelbridgeport.com for details:
“It’s Tee Time” Golf Package
Wine Tour Package
Bridgeport Shopping Package
Up, Up, and Away!
Lights, Camera, Action
Now that the warm weather is finally here, it is time to get out and take in the great outdoors. If hiking or biking isn’t your thing, not to worry. “Festival Going” is a sport too! Visit our post Washington County Oregon Summer Event Highlights to see a list of the top events this summer in Washington Country and Bridgeport Village.
Featured Event: Festival of Balloons in Tigard (June 22-24, 2012)
Cook Park (Tigard, Oregon)
The annual Festival of Balloons in Tigard is a summer tradition. Dozens of balloons take flight in the early morning skies, while several events and activities provide fun for the entire family. Carnival rides, helicopter scenic tours, car show and beer garden are among the festivities planned. Admission, $5-7 for a three-day pass; children ages 6 and under are free; parking is $5.
Featured Festivals in Portland
Portland, Oregon hosts some of the best festivals in the country, and there is no shortage of them in the summer months. As you plan your trip this way, considering heading into town and checking out a few on your own! Here are a just a few of our favorites from the list of annual festivals compiled by www.travelportland.com. Visit their site to see the full listing, including festivals in the Fall, Winter and Spring months.
*Hot Travel Tip*- June is Dining Month in Portland! Enjoy special three-course, prix-fixe dinners at participating restaurants through June 30. Visit www.opentable.com to learn more and to make your reservations.
Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts – June-August
Every summer, fans of folk, rock, world music and more stake out spots on the zoo’s amphitheater lawn, and enjoy performances from some of the hottest, most diverse acts performing today.
Portland Rose Festival – June
The Portland Rose Festival, which celebrated its centennial in 2007, offers three weeks of family events. Highlights include the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, the Starlight Parade, a waterfront carnival for families, dragon boat races, concerts and ﬁreworks.
Waterfront Blues Festival – July
The largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River takes place each year during Independence Day week. Portland’s Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park sets the stage with top national acts performing over ﬁve days. Large fireworks display on July 4.
The Bite of Oregon – August
Beneﬁtting Special Olympics Oregon, The Bite is one of the “Rose City’s” most popular festivals. Sample food created by local chefs and taste regional wines at the Oregon Wine Garden. Live music by national and local bands, chef demonstrations and family entertainment.
Warmer weather means one thing in Oregon: time to hit the great outdoors! Hopping on your bicycle and hitting one of the many bike paths and trails in our region is nothing less than blissful.
Fortunately for us, there is no shortage of bicycle trains to explore for all levels. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a newbie- there is something for everyone here.
Just remember to travel at a safe speed and follow the rules of the road!
L.L. Stub Stewart State Park (featured in the above video), a 1,673 acre park where outdoor lovers are invited to explore more than 20 miles of trails. Bring your horse or bicycle and spend hours exploring the far reaches of the park.
- Be sure to visit the City of Tigard’s new bicycle resource featuring bike maps, links, and a listing of upcoming events.
- Visit the WCVA’s new comprehensive bike map detailing bike trails, lanes and designated paths and routes throughout Washington County,
- Check out rideoregonride.com for featured Itineraries, events, maps, recommendations and more.
- Check out the WCVA list of local Bicycle rental and repair shops