Blog, Portland Travel, Upcoming Events

7 Awesome Portland Events to Help You Beat the Winter Blues

Jan 21, 2014
Photo Source: The 2014 Portland Jazz Festival

Photo Source: The 2014 Portland Jazz Festival

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.
www.facebook.com/ChocolateFestPDX

2. Fertile Ground FestivalJanuary 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 FestivalJanuary 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!

Things to Do and See this Month: November 2013

Nov 01, 2013

The autumn months give way to a host of agricultural harvest, wine and food festivals, while tree lightings, holiday events and quilt and gem fairs are popular in the winter - OregonsWashingtonCounty.com

Christmas tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square,

Christmas tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square,

 

Taking a trip to the Portland, Oregon area this month? You are in for a treat! There are dozens of wonderful things happening here in November, so bring on the holiday season!

We have listed some suggestions to choose from this month but encourage you to visit the following sites to help plan your upcoming trip! As always, we are here to help!

www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com
www.travelportland.com
downtownportland.org

The Northwest Food & Wine Festival November 16, 2013  

A wine and food celebration created to present a rich rewarding experience for wine lovers and gourmet food enthusiasts. Guests can expect a floor filled with over 600 wines and 50 restaurants and gourmet food tastes which feature an incredible array of options for guests. 800-422-0251

Upcoming Events at Bridgeport Village

  • Ducks vs. Beaver Pep Rally: Nov. 27 from 5:30-7:30pm
  • Light Up The Night Tree Lighting and The Beatniks Concert: Nov. 29 from 6-8pm
  • Bridgeport Express Train: Nov. 29 -Dec. 21 from 11am-2pm and 3pm-5pm daily
  • Holiday Magic Light Show: Nov. 29-Dec. 31 On the hour from 5-9pm daily. Watch as Center Court transforms into a Winter Wonderland of snow flurries. You won’t want to miss this magical show of light, sound and snow! Snow Shows every night at 7pm in Center Court

From TravelPortland.com

  • Holiday tree lighting: On the day after Thanksgiving, thousands of people gather in downtown’s Pioneer Courthouse Square to see the ceremonial lighting of the spectacular 75-foot-tall tree and celebrate the official start of the holiday season.
  • Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival: The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival presents features, documentaries and short films by independent Northwest film and video makers. The offerings are chosen from more than 400 entries by a prominent member of the independent film community. Past judges have included local luminaries Gus Van Sant, Matt Groening and Todd Haynes. Founded in 1973, the festival attracts more than 6,000 attendees annually.
  • Wine Country Thanksgiving: During Wine Country Thanksgiving, more than 160 wineries and tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley open their doors for special tastings and holiday festivities over Thanksgiving weekend (Friday-Sunday), offering an opportunity to visit some of the region’s small, family-owned wineries that aren’t usually open to the public. Meet winemakers, enjoy specialty food pairings and live music, all while savoring the region’s acclaimed wines.Full article 
  • Holiday light displays: Some of Portland’s bright spots include ZooLights, a display of more than a million lights at the Oregon Zoo, and the Christmas Ship Parade, featuring brilliantly decorated boats on the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Many start the day after Thanksgiving, so you can enjoy the holiday cheer in November, too. Full article

The 10th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta Coming in October!

Sep 30, 2013
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Photo Source: City of Tualatin on Facebook

Have you ever seen anyone race a giant pumpkin across a lake in a quirky costume? If the answer is no, you don’t want to miss the award-winning West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta Saturday, October 19, 2013 10am-4pm.

Spectators come from all over the United States and Canada to partake in the festivities which include pumpkin boat races, contests, music, food, The Regatta Run (a 5K), and more!

Photo Source: West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta on Facebook

Now in it’s 10th year, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta has grown into one of Oregon’s more popular seasonal events. The 2013 great pumpkin races will be held in conjunction with Tualatin’s Centennial Celebration!

The event has drawn international attention and been featured by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Travel Channel, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, and Food Network Magazine.

So mark your calendars, book your hotel rooms (we are a short distance from this event)! This is a race you won’t want to miss!

The 10th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Saturday, October 19, 2013 10am-4pm
Tualatin Lake of the Commons – 8325 SW Nyberg St

Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway to Officially Launch!

Sep 12, 2013

Photo @Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway

Biking in Oregon is about to get even better!

The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA), along with elected officials and cycling representatives, will officially launch the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway during a ribbon cutting and sign unveiling, Monday, September 16, 2013 at 9:00 a.m., at the River House at Rood Bridge Park (4000 SE Rood Bridge Road, Hillsboro, Ore.).

The bikeway was a multi-year effort among the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Travel Oregon, and the WCVA, in concert with representatives from biking and community groups throughout the region.

“The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway will position Washington County as a premier cycling destination in Oregon,” said Carolyn McCormick, president and CEO of the WCVA. “This new recreational asset will attract a new segment of visitors to our area, which will, in turn, increase visitor spending at our wineries, restaurants, lodging properties and other attractions.”

Set in the heart of Washington County, the 50-mile bikeway features the best of the northern Willamette Valley, from friendly downtowns to fertile farmlands and lush natural areas, and includes the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. For more information about the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, please visit the Oregon’s Washington County website or Ride Oregon’s website.

Photo @Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway

Download a PDF of one or both of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway Maps:

For more information, updates and road closures along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, “like” them on Facebook. For more information about this and other scenic bikeways in Oregon, visit Ride Oregon Ride.

Story Source: Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA)

Book Your Trip for the 2013 North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting

Sep 12, 2013

Photo @North Willamette Vintners

North Willamette Valley is considered by many to be the gateway to Oregon’s wine country. In fact, this region has earned a strong reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir in the country!

The annual North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting, hosted by the North Willamette Vintners, is an opportunity for Oregon wine lovers to spend a day tasting and experiencing all that goes into making your favorite wines.

Photo @North Willamette Vintners

Photo @North Willamette Vintners

The 2013 North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting is coming up Saturday October 5th. Buses will depart from Tualatin Estate Vineyards at 10am for a tour of three vineyard wineries and return for the Grand Tasting at 4pm – 6pm.

Harvest Trail guests are treated to a comfortable guided bus tour to three NWV wineries for complimentary tastings, nibbles, and hands-on harvest activities at each winery. Tickets include a wine country lunch with four different menu options, courtesy of 1910 Main – An American Bistro! The day will conclude with a Grand Tasting event (4-6pm), including tastings from more than 25 NWV wineries, appetizers, a NWV wine glass, and specials on wine from all NWV wineries!

Ticket prices to the event are $95 full-day tour and Grand Tasting / $45 Grand Tasting only. For more info email info@NWVintners.org or call 503.941.0609. Click here to purchase tickets.

Why not make a weekend of it in one of our luxurious rooms and suites? Please email us at reservations@grandhotelbridgeport.com for rates and availability. You can also reach us by phone locally (503) 968-5757 or toll-free at (866) 968-5757.

Local Events to Inspire You to “Fall” for Portland & Washington County Oregon!

Aug 23, 2013
Photo Source: Oregon Renaissance Festival

Photo Source: Oregon Renaissance Festival

Fall is just around the corner, and the local festivals and fun is just getting started!  Here is a local round up of some of the many events happening Labor Day through the end of September!  Let us help you plan your trip!  Please feel free to contact us and inquire about one of our many hotel packages and specials.

Late Summer/Early Fall Events in Portland

Source www.travelportland.com

Art in the Pearl – Labor Day weekend
Beginning August 31 through September 2, 2013 more than 130 artists will gather in the North Park Blocks, with food vendors, musicians and family activities rounding out the offerings. Considered one of the nation’s premier art festivals, Art In The Pearl features the jury-selected work of artists from across the USA and Canada.

Musicfest NW – September 3-8, 2013
Now in it’s thirteenth year, MusicfestNW will showcase local musicians, bring in national acts and benefit children’s music education in Portland.

Feast Portland – September 19-22, 2013
Portland’s own world-class celebration of food, drink and everything else that makes Portland awesome. At the heart of the festival is a mission to end childhood hunger in Oregon and in our country. This international culinary festival taps into the wealth of renowned Portland chefs — and welcomes noted culinary stars from around the world — to make the most of Oregon’s bounty.

Coming up at Bridgeport Village

Very Engaging Bridal Event Sept. 29 from 11am-4pm. Presented by Portland Bride & Groom magazine and Bridgeport Village.
More than 100 retailers and wedding professionals for all your wedding needs…Shop, sip, and savor your way through Bridgeport Village as you connect with over 100 retailers and wedding professionals.

Late Summer/Early Fall Events in Oregon’s Washington County

Source: www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com

Just minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon’s Washington County offers events ranging from wine tasting and farmers’ markets to live music and community festivals. Enjoy unique festivals every season in Washington County, guaranteed to offer seasonality, community and entertainment. The autumn months give way to a host of agricultural harvest, wine and food festivals.

Oregon Renaissance Festival Open Weekends & Labor Day August 24 – September 29, 2013 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
The village of Hillsboro recreates a 16th century European village for 13 days of merriment weekends beginning in August through September. Enjoy talented artists, non-stop amazing stage entertainers, food, crafts, pageantry and more.  History comes alive with this renaissance of the Renaissance!

First Wednesday Wed, September 4, 2013 in Forest Grove, OR
First Wednesday on Main Street in Forest Grove offers fun, community events, vendors, and activities to enjoy. Shop the Farmers’ Market, view the works of artists, taste wines and be entertained with live music. It’s great way to celebrate Forest Grove!

Apple Harvest Festival September 28, 2013 Tigard, OR
The Apple Harvest Festival comes alive at The John Tigard House Museum with live music, quilt evaluations, a display of historic farm tools and, of course, traditional apple cider. The band, Fadedblue, will be performing and Amelia Endorf, a quilt evaluator, will be on hand answering quilt questions. If you have a favorite historical quilt, bring it along and she will tell you when it was stitched, with what materials, what occasion and even how many people worked on it.

Whole Farm Dinner at Alloro Vineyard Sat, September 7, 2013 Sherwood, OR
Award-winning Chef Jason Barwikowski, Executive Chef of the Woodsman Tavern, will prepare a feast with over 90% of the ingredients sourced from the Alloro Vineyard. This intimate candlelit dinner will be centered around Spring Lamb and glorious summer vegetables and fruits, paired with estate wines. The dinner is $125/person and seating is limited to 30 people. Contact the winery to sign up for this delicious event.

Celebrate Tualatin’s 100th Birthday at the Tualatin Crawfish Festival Aug 9-10, 2013

Jul 24, 2013
Photo @ Tualatin Crawfish Festival

Photo @ Tualatin Crawfish Festival

Talk about a “claws for celebration”!

This year marks the Centennial Celebration for the City of Tualatin which will be celebrated at the 2013 Tualatin Crawfish Festival August 9th & 10th.

The Tualatin Crawfish Festival is the nation’s oldest crawfish festival west of the Mississippi.

Whether or not you are a fan of crawfish (and there is plenty of it) this is two-day, fun-filled family event has something for everyone: arts, crafts, services, retail products, food complete with fireworks on Saturday evening.

The theme picked to tie in Tualatin’s 100 year old birthday with this years Crawfish Festival is “Tualatin Centennial Claws for Celebration” (so we can’t take credit for the clever pun in the opening sentence).

https://www.facebook.com/TualatinCrawfishFestival/photos_stream

Make a weekend of it and book a room at Grand Hotel at Bridgeport! Enjoy the convenience of our close proximity to the festival along with a complimentary breakfast buffet, indoor pool, workout room, comfortable over-sized rooms and suites, complimentary high-speed internet access (either hard-wired or wifi), refrigerator, microwave, coffee station complete with organic NW coffee and local teas and more.

Let us help you! Please feel free to email us at reservations@grandhotelbridgeport.com or reach us by calling (503) 968-5757 or toll-free at (866) 968-5757.

Local Festival Round Up

Jul 22, 2013
Photo @ Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival

Photo @ Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival

Have you let this summer pass by without planning a little R & R for yourself?  Don’t worry, summer is technically not over until September 21st so there is plenty of time to plan a much needed getaway to Oregon’s Washington Country/Portland area.

Need some help planning your trip? Our front desk staff will be happy to give you recommendations on fun attractions and events!  You should can check the following resources for additional ideas:

Washington County Visitors Association
Travel Oregon
Travel Portland 
Visit Downtown Portland 
Oregon Festival and Events Association 
Bridgeport Village

Here are some local summer festivals coming up that are worth checking out.
Source www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com

  • Washington County Fair, July 25-28: The annual Washington County Fair returns to the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro with a weekend of carnival rides, live music and entertainment, food and more. Admission is free; individual events may have admission fees.
  • 2013 Oregon International Air Show, July 26-28: The Oregon International Air Show is one of the premier aviation events in the Pacific Northwest, and features some of the best in aviation from all over the United States and Canada. The Entertainment Center, KidZone and Military Village offer exciting displays and fun for kids and adults alike. Local vendors will be on hand selling everything from souvenirs to tasty food. Tickets start at $20 ($25 after July 19); discounts for seniors, military and kids, ages 6-12.
  • Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival, August 9-10: The fifth annual Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival returns to Washington County to showcase Oregon’s culinary culture with dozens of world-class wineries, restaurants and numerous culinary artisans.
  • Summer Fest & Garlic Out West, August 9-11: Experience two evenings and three days of good music, food, entertainment, and fun at the 2013 Summer Fest & Garlic Out West.  This event offers a 10k Run with Oregon Road Runners, a vintage Car Show, old fashioned parade down Main Street and a Pancake Breakfast. Kids can enjoy a full-size playground, exciting inflatables play area and rock wall. Free admission. 
  • Tualatin Crawfish Festival, August 9-10: Celebrate good eating–and the city of Tualatin’s 100th birthday–at the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, the nation’s oldest crawfish festival, west of the Mississippi. This is a two-day, fun-filled family event with a variety of food, entertainment, contests, activities for all ages and more.
  • Annual Banks Bar-B-Que and Truck & Tractor Pull, August 17-19: This popular community event must be seen to be believed, and features a combine destruction derby, parade, car show, truck tug-of-war, garden tractors and more. General admission is free. Grandstand admission starts at $10 for adults, $5 for kids, ages 6-16.
  • Oregon Renaissance Festival, Weekends, Saturday, Aug. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 29: Transport yourself to a 16th century European village at the inaugural Oregon Renaissance Festival, in town for 13 days of merriment. Enjoy talented artists, non-stop stage entertainers, food, crafts, pageantry and encounter beautiful maidens, wandering minstrels, joking jesters and jugglers. Magicians, acrobats, comedians, swordfighters, pirates and fairies will entertain and delight. Be sure to meet the “washing well wenches” and daily performance of an armored jousting. Feast on renaissance-inspired food and drink, including: savory turkey legs, steak on a stake, bangers & mash and chocolate-covered cheesecake.

 

For a complete list of summer events, including one-day annual events and special events, please visit our Events & Festivals Calendar.

 

 

 

Spring is in Full Bloom at The Grand Hotel Bridgeport!

Apr 03, 2013

Spring is officially here and the travel season has officially begun!  Everywhere you look there are festivals, wine tastings, performances, farmers’ markets and more!

Photo: Tualatin River Bird Festival

Photo: Tualatin River Bird Festival

There are numerous reasons to stay at The Grand Hotel Bridgeport, whether it is for business, visiting family and friends, a wedding, a reunion, or just to get away.  No matter the reason for being here, we encourage our guests to get out and enjoy what our local community and nearby towns have to offer!

We are of course just minutes from downtown Portland where you will always find a special event or festival, or you can explore some of these local gems (no pun intended!):

Gem Faire Apr 12 - 14 Washington County Fairgrounds Photo: Gem Faire

Gem Faire Apr 12 – 14: Washington County Fairgrounds
Photo: Gem Faire

  • 9th annual Storytelling Festival (April 13-20) featuring professional storytellers, workshops and more! Check site for locations; admission is free.
  • North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend (April 13-14) This annual event celebrates the best of Oregon Wine Country and features wine tastings, pairings, and entertainment, tours, hands-on activities, gifts and other locally crafted artisan products.

Wine Weekend

  • Broadway Rose Theatre Company presents Always…Patsy Cline (April 18 – May 19).   Based on a true story, ‘Always…Patsy Cline’ tells the true story of the country music legend’s unlikely friendship with fan Louise Seger and features many of Cline’s timeless hits.
Photo Credit: Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Photo Credit: Broadway Rose Theatre Company

 

  • Favorite 5 Country Farms Spring Tour (April 19-21) Self-guided tour of farms in Sherwood, Tualatin and Wilsonville featuring friendly animals, good food, home & garden decor, art & crafts, antiques and more.
  • Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar (April 23-27) features more than 100 vendors selling handcrafted gifts, collectibles and antiques, gourmet foods, and garden, floral and seasonal decor.
  • Earth Day weekend (April 20-21) Various Earth Day activities and events are scheduled throughout the area.
  • Ed Asner as FDR” (April 21) Ed Asner stars in this one-man show as Franklin Delano Roosevelt for one night only at Pacific University in Forest Grove.
  •  Faire in the Grove (May 4-5) The whole family with enjoy the merriment at this medieval featuring food, performances, dance, music, storytelling, merchants, and more.
Faire in the Grove (May 4-5)

Faire in the Grove (May 4-5)

  • Tualatin River Bird Festival (May 18) A celebration of wildlife featuring outdoor fun and activities, entertaiment, guided bird walks and more at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.
Tualatin River Bird Festival

Photo: Tualatin River Bird Festival

 

Check out the Visit Washington County Visitors Association Events & Festivals Calendar for a complete list of upcoming events. You can also visit the spring performing arts calendar and spring cultural arts calendar for more listings.

photo credit: eyeliam via photopin cc

The North Willamette Vintners Host 5th Annual Wine Trail Weekend

Mar 07, 2013
Photo: NorthWillametteVintners

Photo: North Willamette Vintners

Love Oregon’s Wine Country?  The North Willamette Vintners invite you to spend a weekend exploring dozens of local wineries

Now in it’s 5th year, the annual wine-touring weekend takes place Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 11-4 each day.

Guests are treated to complimentary wine tastings, pairings, entertainment and activities at EACH participating winery along with food, local art and live entertainment.  Each winery has partnered with a local artisan food producer, cookbook author, artist or craftsperson to showcase Oregon’s northernmost wine region and its artisan community.

Make it a weekend getaway by booking  The Grand Hotel Bridgeport Wine Tour Package 

To purchase your tickets, visit shop.northwillamettevintners.org

TICKETS: (On Sale Now)

Saturday & Sunday, April 13-14, 2013 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • $45 per person includes the two-day Wine Trail weekend with activities, wine tastings, light food pairings, North Willamette Vintners wine glass, and canvas tote bag for wine purchases.
  • $30 per person for Sunday only ticket from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ticket includes Willamette Vintners logo glass, activities, wine tastings, light food pairings and canvas tote bag for wine purchases.
  • $10 for Designated Driver ticket includes a wine trail kit with a bottle of water, beverage bottle and snacks in a reusable tote bag.

About North Willamette Vintners
Located near the northern boundary of Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine region, North Willamette Vintners is a cluster of independent wineries crafting finewines from the valley’s most fertile land. Passionate, creative and diverse, this young industry association is made up of 43 members representingwineries, tasting rooms and wine tourism partners throughout the northern reaches of the valley. Most of the wineries are located just outside Portland, in the nearby communities ofBeaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Helvetia, Hillsboro and Tigard. On the way to Oregon’s scenic coast and to the heart of the Willamette Valley, the North Willamette Valley wine region is easily accessible for a day trip or weekend excursion. For more information or a list of member wineries, please call 503-941-0609 or visit www.nwvintners.org. Follow North Willamette Vintners on Facebook and Twitter at @NWVintners.

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