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Marci Sischo | 07/29/2020 | Arts and Culture, Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries, Fall, Family Friendly, Hotels & Lodging, Restaurants, Tours & Tour Guides

50 Mid-Willamette Valley Adventures to Explore

The mid-Willamette Valley offers a lot to enjoy, from hiking and biking trails to boutique shopping in cute downtown areas, from afternoons relaxing in beautiful vineyards to amazing meals in intimate, locally-owned restaurants - and that's just for starters.

One thing there's plenty of in our area is farm living. The mid-Willamette Valley is dotted with local farms both large and small, taking advantage of our moderate climate and the fertile earth of the valley floor to produce a fantastic bounty. Fresh, local fruits and vegetables to fill our plates and pantries, good grazing to raise animals ranging from sheep to alpacas, sweeping fields full of wildflowers feeding happy bees to create honey, rich, luscious wine grapes growing in the shadow of Marys Peak, and so much more.

This harvest supplies our local restaurants and breweries, stocks our farmers markets, and paves the way for dozens of small businesses here in the Willamette Valley. It brings us closer to nature, and closer to each other, and connects us to our food and the Earth. The folks who work our farms, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and small businesses love what they do, and love sharing what they do and create.

Explore the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail and experience the rewards of rural life in the valley.

IronWater Ranch, Albany, Oregon, by Kristi Crawford - A sheep and her baby wait to greet you in their pen at IronWater Ranch.IronWater Ranch, Albany, Oregon, by Kristi Crawford.

1. Spend a summer Friday evening enjoying great food, Oregon wine, and live music. (Emerson Vineyards)

2. Pack a picnic, bring the dogs, and relax the afternoon away surrounded by beautiful scenery. (Airlie Winery)

3. Attend the annual Federweisser Festival in Linn County, featuring food, bonfires, live music, dancing, and more. (Spring Hills Winery)

4. Savor an award-winning Turkish Coffee Liqueur. (Vivacity Spirits)

5. Visit for twilight yoga, cider pressing, and Halloween festivals. (Midway Farms)

6. Come for the Pork Belly Fries, stay for the farm-to-table goodness filling every entree. (Frankie's Restaurant)

7. Sample hand-crafted, small-batch, unique spirits, and easy-drinking lagers and ales. (Deluxe Brewing & Sinister Distilling)

8. Relax by a roaring fireplace while you enjoy a gourmet, locally-sourced meal. (Sybaris Bistro)

9. Browse an adorable gift shop packed full of garden-themed items created by local artisans. (Urban Ag Supply)

10. Savor locally-sourced, flavorful, made-from-scratch food. (Honeybrine Market)

11. Stay the night in the heart of downtown Albany at a historic boutique hotel which is over 100 years old. (206 1/2 Historic Hotel)

12. Shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, baked treats, and more, all sourced from our area. (Albany Farmers Market)

13. Try a divine "Bourbon-Style" Apple Brandy - aged in charred American oak barrels instead of toasted French oak barrels. (Spiritopia)

14. Bring a basket and the family and spend a lazy summer afternoon picking your own no-spray blueberries. (Bryant Family Farm)

15. Explore the Harris Covered Bridge and try sweet dessert wines. (Harris Bridge Vineyard)

16. Discover stunning views while enjoying Oregon wine in a "big ol' barn" that used to be part of an old dude ranch. (Lumos Wine Co.)

17. Enjoy an arts and crafts class, including painting, needle felting, fiber art, and more, down on the farm. (Iron Water Ranch)

18. Let the culinary students of Linn-Benton Community College treat you to a fine dining experience. (Santiam Restaurant)

19. Shop locally produced foods, garden items, and flowers and hand-crafted goods made by local artisans at one of western Oregon’s oldest weekly indoor winter markets. (Corvallis Indoor Farmers Market)

20. Browse natural and organic food in a community-oriented store and gather local food for a picnic lunch. (First Alternative Co-op)

21. Toss back a few Bad Apples in Pearadise. (2 Towns Ciderhouse)

22. Enjoy a great meal and an amazing view, along with some excellent craft beers, in a rooftop restaurant. (Sky High Brewing)

23. Shop fresh, local fruits, veggies, meats, and more while enjoying live music, wine tastings, dancing, and other fun festivities. (Corvallis Farmers Market)

24. Enjoy French and European comfort cuisine with a Creole and Pacific Northwest flair. (Castor Kitchen & Bar)

25. Relax in a European-inspired public house while sipping regional craft beers and locally sourced foods. (Caves Bier & Kitchen)

Block 15 by Reed Lane Photography

26. Relax in a fun downtown pub and doodle on the chalkboard tabletops while you wait for your tasty Pub Burger to arrive. (Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery)

27. Enjoy live music and a signature wood-fired pizza baked in an old-fashioned earthen oven. (FireWorks Pub & Pizza)

28. Stay the night at a working Christmas tree farm, and browse the wares in the owner's ceramic studio. (Donovan's Place)

29. Enjoy the taste of Oregon Wine while you help break in a new tasting room. (Pheasant Court Winery)

30. Explore award-winning wines and sparkling wines during arts and wine education classes. (Compton Family Wines)

31. Enjoy a homemade, seasonal breakfast so good it'll make your head spin. (The Dizzy Hen)

32. Sit down to darn good food and amazing BBQ - both so good you'll never realize they're 100% gluten-free. (Eats & Treats Cafe)

33. Relish a gourmet dinner cooked from ingredients grown right on the farm you're visiting. (Gathering Together Farm)

34. Take gardening classes and workshops or bring the kids to a family morning gardening activity, or just show up to help out and enjoy a dinner made from ingredients grown right in front of you. (SAGE Garden)

35. Create the perfect bouquet. (Peoria Road Farm Market)

36. Enjoy views of Marys Peak while you try Nebula, a dark oat stout, or Sticky Hands, a hoppy ale. (Block 15 Brewery & Tap Room)

37. Tip back a specialty cocktail on a hot summer afternoon. (4 Spirits Distillery)

38. Bring the family for U-pick blueberries all summer long. (Kiger Island Blues)

39. Spend a Thursday evening browsing fresh, local fruits and veggies, and live music. (Lebanon Downtown Farmers' Market)

40. Savor a cup of fresh coffee made from Portland's Cascadia Coffee Roasters, along with homemade pastries and treats, in a friendly, fun cafe. (Mugs Coffee House)

41. Enjoy free live music and great craft beer any Saturday evening. (Conversion Brewing)

42. Tour Oregon's last water-powered mill and see 160 years of history in action. (Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site)

43. Hike, enjoy a picnic, and sample luscious pinot noir on a beautiful century farm. (Tyee Wine Cellars)

44. Spend a few hours picking delicious, organic strawberries to enjoy with your family. (Fairfield Farm)

45. Visit a beautiful little conservatory to see a massive Angel's Trumpet in bloom, and stick around after dark to enjoy the glowing, silvery Moon Garden. (Thyme Garden)

46. Order yourself a fresh, handmade, 10-inch pie to enjoy. (Benton County Pie Co.)

47. Stay the weekend on a working farm - plan your visit for lambing season to see lots of baby lambs - and pitch in with the chores if the mood takes you. (Leaping Lamb Farm Stay)

48. Spend a Tuesday afternoon browsing local fruits and veggies and enjoying live music in a cute little town. (Sweet Home Farmers Market)

49. Visit a gorgeous vineyard that boast views of rolling hills and and enjoy Oregon wine. (Bluebird Hills Cellars)

50. Learn about sustainable dry farming and shop for handmade gifts in an adorable gift shop. (Lilliputopia)

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