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.
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.
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)
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:
Here are some local summer festivals coming up that are worth checking out.
- Bridgeport Village Summer Concert Series- Each Thursday evening through August 29th
- 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.
Memorial Day has come and gone and that means summer is officially here! Summer truly is a magical time in Oregon’s Washington County. From strawberry, lavender and garlic festivals to fun, quirky and patriotic events, nearly each weekend during the season celebrates the richness of culture, agriculture and community throughout the region.
Here’s a preview of this summer’s multi-day events and festivals:
Dixie Mountain Grange Strawberry Festival, June 15-16: Sample fresh, Oregon berries at this annual Father’s Day weekend event. A tradition since 1952, the Dixie Mountain Grange hosts the popular Strawberry Festival, which features strawberry shortcake made with freshest ingredients, a quilt display, local craft booths and fresh local strawberries for purchase.
Festival of Balloons in Tigard, June 21-23: Join in an annual Tigard event offering fun for all ages. Weekend events will include a carnival, exhibitors, food, Twilight Run, Safety Safari, Festival of Cars, premiere youth soccer tournament, Rogue beer and morning hot air balloon launches (5:45 – 6:15 am) and NW Natural Night Glow launches (weather permitting)!
Oregon Lavender Festival, July 13-14: Enjoy visiting lavender farms at the height of the growing season, where each farm offers its own selection of different varieties, as well as activities special to this festival, including: lavender bouquet cutting, live music, food for purchase and other vendors. Visit each destination’s website for details. Participating locations in Washington County include: Barb’s Dutchmill Herbfarm, Helvetia Lavender Farm, Jackson School Lavender and Mountainside Lavender. Admission to the farms is free.
The 12th Annual Northwest String Summit, July 18-21: Get your bluegrass on at this four-day bluegrass and Americana music festival, held at Horning’s Hideout. This year’s festival features 26 artists–including three nights of headliner, Yonder Mountain String Band. Three-day and four-day passes are available, and tickets include primitive on-site camping and limited parking. Tickets start at $155, children 10 and under are free with a paying adult.
Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, July 19-21: For more than a half a century, Sherwood has celebrated Robin Hood, his Merry Men and Maid Marian. Medieval times come to life with Renaissance reenactments, a knighting ceremony, archery competition, castle building contest, parade, food, arts and crafts, live entertainment and other fun activities for the entire family. Admission is free.
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.
Oregon Garlic Festival, August 16-18, and the Annual Banks Bar-B-Que and Truck & Tractor Pull, August 17-19: Formerly known as the North Plains Garlic Festival, the Oregon Garlic Festival will be held in neighboring Banks, Oregon, in conjunction with the annual Banks BBQ and Truck & Tractor Pull. 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 the WCVA’s Events & Festivals Calendar.
Spring is officially here and the travel season has officially begun! Everywhere you look there are festivals, wine tastings, performances, farmers’ markets and more!
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 (April 12-14). The renowned marketplace for gemstones, beads, jewelry and more at the Washington County Fair Complex.
- 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.
- Annual Lu’au at Pacific University (April 13) features an authentic Lu’au meal and traditional Polynesian dance, music and entertainment.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
It should come as no surprise that February is one of the most popular months for couples to get engaged. In fact, roughly 10 percent of couples in the United States choose Valentine’s Day to pop the question.
If you were among the many that got engaged this Valentines Day, congratulations!
Luckily, brides-to-be have a number of dream wedding locations to choose from throughout the Portland area, especially in Washington County. From vineyards to traditional churches to historic buildings, there is something for every taste and budget.
Here are some recommendations to get you started!
- Visit the Washington County Visitor’s Association list of local venues. The WCVA’s Wedding Wonderland Page contains great suggestions for vineyards and other unique and special locations well suited for for your big day!
- Consider Hosting Rehearsal Dinners, Showers and Parties at Bridgeport Village. We love Bridgeport Village because it is elegant, unique, service oriented and convenient to our guests. The center also provides a variety of popular restaurants to suite any taste and budget. You may also want to consider booking one of their specialty salons and spas to pamper your bridal party on the big day!
- Consider the Service Options Available at The Grand Hotel in Bridgeport. There are numerous reasons we are a great choice to host your important event. Wedding guests love our amenities (Free WiFi, Indoor Pool, Hot Tub, Workout room, and hot breakfast buffet to name a few). Our committed staff will provide the outstanding service you deserve to make your day perfect. We also offer special group rates when you reserve a block of rooms.
- Utilize Local Wedding Planners and Search for Vendors Recommended by the WCVA and Local Merchants. Visit the WCVA Wedding Venue and Services Finder to locate the perfect venue and find caterers, photographers and more.
Now that summer is right around the corner, it is time to plan your next getaway to Oregon’s Washington County. We are home to a diverse range of events, from garden and agricultural events to athletic adventures.
Here are some local event highlights happening this summer (complete event calendar is available online). You can also visit the Washington County Visitors Association’s (WCVA) Facebook page or Twitter feed for the latest news and events.
Memorial Day Weekend in Wine Country (May 26-28, 2012) Various locations. Tasting fees vary
Each year during Memorial Day weekend, wineries throughout the Willamette Valley open their doors for a weekend of fun, food and entertainment. Taste new releases from some of Washington County’s award-winning wineries and partake in the weekend’s open house festivities.
June 2012 Events
18th Annual Spring Garden Tour (June 3, 2012)
Tour starts at the Old Train Station (Forest Grove, Oregon) Set in the heart of the agricultural community, Forest Grove is a culturally and agriculturally rich community. Each spring, Friends of Historic Forest Grove lead tours of the city’s best local gardens for one
day only. Cost is $12, includes refreshments.
22nd Annual Cruisin’ Sherwood (June 9, 2012) Old Town Sherwood (Sherwood, Oregon)
Car collectors and aficionados will fill the streets of Old Town Sherwood for the annual car show, Cruisin’ Sherwood. This show features more than 550 hot rods, classic collector calls and military vehicles, as well as automotive vendors, arts and crafts vendors and kids play area. Admission is free.
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.
Les Schwab Bowl (June 23, 2012) Hillsboro Stadium (Hillsboro, Oregon)
2012 marks the 65th anniversary of the annual “North vs. South” high school all-star football game, where Oregon’s top graduating high school senior football players meet face-to-face. Proceeds from the Les Schwab Bowl will benefit the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association general scholarship fund, as well as Oregon’s 5A and 6A schools. Tickets are $6-15.
Tualatin River Discovery Day (June 30, 2012) Tualatin Community Park (Tualatin, Oregon)
Discover the tranquil wonders of the Tualatin River during the annual Discovery Day, presented by the Tualatin Riverkeepers. The day’s events include a paddle trip along the Tualatin River and a community fair featuring organizations that are working to protect this natural asset. Registration opens June 1.
Stub Stewart Summer Solstice Celebration (June 30, 2012)
L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park (Buxton, Oregon) Celebrate the beginning of summer, astronomy-style, at this “star party.” Beginners and experts alike can view the stars and celestial objects (weather permitting). Admission is free; parking is $5.
July 2012 Events
Hagg Lake Triathlon & Duathlon (July 9, 2011) Hagg Lake, Gaston, OR
The annual Hagg Lake Triathlon and Duathlon, one of the nation’s oldest and longest triathlon events, returns to Oregon’s Washington County for its 32nd year. Register to compete in the Olympic Triathlon, Olympic Duathlon, Sprint Triathlon and Tri-iT (novice) Triathlon. Entry fees are $45-55 per person, per team, or $80-90 for individual participants.
Oregon Lavender Festival (July 14-15, 2012) Multiple locations throughout Washington County and neighboring counties
Explore six lavender farms in Washington County as part of this annual Festival: Helvetia Lavender Farm, Jackson School Lavender, Mountainside Lavender, and Seasonal Mary Herb and Flower Farm. Each location will feature specials and events, including u-pick lavender, food infused with lavender, and lavender plants for sale. Admission to the farms is free.
Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance (July 15, 2012) Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
Celebrate the Mercedes-Benz at this year’s annual Concours d’Elegance. The show features more than 300 antique and special-interest cars, as well as live music and food booths. Ticket prices range from $5 (youth) – $17 (adults).
Sherwood Robin Hood Festival (July 20-21, 2012) Old Town, Sherwood, OR
Sherwood continues its signature festival, which celebrates Robin Hood, his Merry Men and Maid Marian. Enjoy Renaissance reenactments, an archery contest, a parade, sword fighting, medieval kids’ area, live music, a beer garden and more. Admission to the festival is free.
Washington County Fair (July 26-29, 2012) Fair Complex, Hillsboro, OR
This annual county fair includes carnival rides, food, booths, and activities for kids. This year’s fair features shows, such as a truck and tractor pull, draft horse show and monster truck show, as well as a headline performance from Miranda Cosgrove, star of Nickelodeon’s hit series, iCarly, Friday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the fair is free; some events and shows may require separate, paid ticket; tickets to headline act are $20-25.
The Main Course (July 28, 2012) Main Street, Forest Grove, OR
This unique event showcases local food and wine with an outdoor dinner held on Main Street. Local wineries offer tastings and pairings to top off the fine dining. Participants can choose from a wine and appetizer option or the wine tasting and full dinner. Ticket prices range from $30-80.
ABOUT OREGON’S WASHINGTON COUNTY
Washington County, Oregon, is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast, and is only minutes away from downtown Portland. The county spans 727 square miles, and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, 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, from lifestyle centers and mall to boutiques and antiques. For more information about the region, visit www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon.com
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
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.
The North Willamette Vintners invite you to celebrate 2011 harvest by joining them on the North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting October 8, 2011!
This extraordinary event features a guided bus tour to three NWV wineries for complimentary tastings, nibbles and harvest activities at each. Walk the the vineyard, visit the crush pad and tour the winery to discover each step of the wine making process with the professionals. Learn more about the region from your experienced tour guide on the bus and enjoy lunch along the way, all included in your ticket.
The tour concludes at the Grand Tasting event. Enjoy a harvest evening at Garden Vineyards including tastings, appetizers and specials on wine from all 25+ NWV wineries! This event is rain or shine, please dress accordingly. Buses depart from Garden Vineyards at 10am and return for the Grand Tasting, 4pm-6pm.
Tickets are limited and can be purchased at $79 for Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting. A limited number of Grand Tasting only tickets are available for $30. North Willamette Harvest Trail tickets are now on sale at www.NWVintners.org!
The North Willamette Vintners (NWV) represents the wineries located in, or immediately adjacent to, Washington County, Oregon. Together this diverse group of wineries shapes the northern gateway to Oregon’s wine country.