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Willamette Valley Neighborhoods

Browse my definitive community guides for the best neighborhoods in Willamette Valley, including Salem, Lake Oswego, West Linn and more beautiful Oregon cities. Explore things to do in Willamette Valley and places to see.

Explore the Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley’s downtown area is tricky to pin down, with some claiming it’s found in historic downtown McMinnville. But the best thing about living in Willamette Valley is that residents have access to multiple downtown centers, whether they’re visiting Salem or Turner, stopping by Eugene, or taking a day trip up to Portland. Various eclectic housing styles are present throughout the valley, from modern farmhouses to historic Victorians to charming Tudor cottages. 

What to Love

  • More than 600 wineries
  • Less than an hour from Portland
  • Lush, peaceful surroundings
  • Plenty of hiking trails, bike paths, and golf courses

Local Lifestyle

The local lifestyle in Willamette Valley is centered around getting outdoors and enjoying the lush, green landscape. With a suburban feel close to the larger cities and a rural feel in-between, Willamette has plenty of spread-out spaces where residents can bask in the breathtaking beauty of the countryside. Rows of crops and vineyards line the main roads in the valley, and though the winters get cool and rainy, the rest of the year is relatively dry and moderately warm.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Dining in Willamette Valley goes hand in hand with the area’s incredible wineries. The Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner is known for its award-winning kitchen, while the Bryn Mawr Vineyards are a pet-friendly place for tastings and tours. Brooks Wine is famous for its Pinot Noir Rose and Pinot Blanc, or there’s Rex Hill, a sustainable luxury winery that pairs tasting flights with shareable menu items. 
Aside from wineries, the valley has some of the best restaurants around. At the top of the valley, near Portland, you get the Painted Lady, a classy, upscale New American eatery in Newberg. In Dayton, the Joel Palmer House Restaurant is true elegance at its finest, serving gourmet American fare in a historic farmhouse setting. Closer to Salem, there’s DaVinci Ristorante, a high-end Italian spot, and del Alma for Latin American bites. Down by Eugene, Rye is a delicious French restaurant, or you can get a taste of the Mediterranean at Cafe Soriah.
For entertainment in the valley, Sessions Music Hall is a great live music venue in Eugene with a cozy lounge space, food, and drinks. The McDonald Theatre, also in Eugene, is a stunning venue for concerts and live theater set in a 1920s movie house. Orchestral performances can be enjoyed at the Beall Concert Hall, while plays and musicals are regular parts of the yearly rhythm at both the Willamette University Theatre and the Kenneth W. Ford Hall
Shopping options in the valley range include the Willamette Village, Willamette Marketplace, and the Woodburn Premium Outlets, which feature more than 350,000 square feet of shopping space along with stores like Coach, Hugo Boss, and the North Face. Residents can also stop by a number of farmers' markets, from the Happy Valley Farmers Market to the north, the Albany Farmers Market and Peoria Road Farm Market south of Salem, and the Lane County Farmers Market towards Eugene. 

Things to Do

Willamette Valley is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with adventures around every corner. As one of the top spots in the country to tour covered bridges, Willamette Valley features the Milo Academy Bridge, the Currin Bridge, and the Larwood Bridge, just to name a few. 
When it comes to hiking trails, Willamette Valley has more than a dozen. The Newberg Lavender Trail is a unique path that takes hikers through beautiful lavender fields. Visit in the summertime to catch the full fragrance of the new blooms. In July, the nearby Chehalem Cultural Center also hosts the Willamette Valley Lavender Festival
The Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail takes locals on a journey through thick woodland and wide-open fields as they trek west toward the Oregon coast. The Rim Trail to the Huckleberry Trail Loop is another local favorite, or families can spend a day exploring the Spring Valley State Park
For the kids, Willamette Valley has the Enchanted Forest, a bespoke amusement park in Turner that first opened in the early 1970s. The park features a log ride, a bobsled roller coaster, bumper cars, and a haunted house, among other rides. A few of the park’s attractions invite kids to let their imaginations ignite along Storybook Lane, Western Town, and the Old European Village. Indoor entertainment can be found at Salem’s Awesome Indoor Playground, or families can take a trip across the river on a Canby Ferry ride.
Museums in the area range from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, which houses more than 15 aircraft, to the Lane County History Museum, which hosts eclectic exhibitions of local and national history. The Willamette Heritage Center in Salem is a five-acre plot with 14 historic buildings, shops, art studios, and a whole host of artifacts from Willamette’s history. 
Golf lovers can become members at the Willamette Valley Country Club to play on their championship-grade 18-hole course in Canby. Or, there’s the Langdon Farms public course a few minutes south of Portland. Willamette Valley also has the Reserve Vineyard and Golf Club west of Portland and the Charbonneau Golf Club
Budding horse-lovers can take riding lessons at Oregon Dream Ponies or learn the art of equestrianism at Fiddlestix Ranch. The latter features horseback riding lessons and a full equestrian facility with two arenas, a bullpen, and a party pavilion. 
If you are looking for homes for sale in the Pacific Northwest, Clackamas County, and Marion County in Oregon, then you are in the right place! Learn more about Rebecca Donaldson, a Salem Real Estate Agent.  Explore the best homes and houses in Oregon today!

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