Willamette Valley Vacation Rentals
Discover popular Oregon destinations
Discover the Willamette Valley
Did you know you could pet a cuddly alpaca, pick up berries and enjoy a glass of world-famous wine- all in the same place? What about taking a bicycle ride along tranquil back roads, absorbing the malty scents of hop farms, and resting with a brew along the way? Or put up a tent in a forest full of fir trees with waterways, hiking trails, and biking trails at your disposal. All these fun activities and more are possible in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Willamette Valley, nestled in the Pacific Northwest region, contains most of Oregon’s population. The valley stretches from the Portland metropolitan region up north to Eugene in the south. Willamette Valley is home to the five largest cities in Oregon (Portland, Salem, Eugene, Hillsboro, and Gresham) and is synonymous with the political and cultural heart of the state.
A trip to Willamette Valley wouldn’t be complete without checking out the iconic vineyards. This region is home to about two-thirds of Oregon’s vineyards and wineries, making it a world-famous wine region. Referred to as Oregon’s Wine Country, Willamette Valley is renowned for having over 700 wineries and over 20,000 acres of vineyards.
There’s no shortage of wine-related activities in its wine-growing appellations, each having a distinct personality and offerings. You can visit some of Oregon’s pioneer wineries, including Newberg’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Sokol Blosser in Dayton, Honeywood Winery in Salem, and The Eyrie Vineyards in McMinnville.
Willamette National Forest features so many adventurous trails that you can spend entire days exploring them. The forest also boasts of alpine lakes, hidden viewpoints, scenic drives, wildflower meadows, and pristine waterways. You can discover these and much more as you make the Willamette National Forest your base for a fun summer adventure.
The forest extends from Detroit Lake in the North to Waldo Lake down south. If you are a thrill seeker, this spot has lots to offer, including world-class mountain bike trails and off-road vehicle routes, including the Huckleberry Flats. Other activities you can enjoy include fishing, rafting, kayaking, and camping.
Silver Falls State Park is the largest state park in Oregon and one of the top tourist attractions in the state. It is widely considered the state park system’s crown jewel, and for good reasons. The beautiful park boasts standout scenic treasures, including ten spectacular falls. This is one of the few places in the state where you can walk behind a 177-foot waterfall.
The nationally recognized Trail of Ten Falls makes this possible. This 7.2-mile hiking trail is paved with hand-railed paths that make for a strenuous but fun trek with huge payoffs.
The park also boasts many miles of mountain biking and horseback back-country trails. Other amenities you can enjoy at Silver Falls State Park include picnic shelters, BBQ stands, spacious lawns, playgrounds, RV spots, tent sites, and cabins.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you can ride the country’s first official Scenic Bikeway. The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway is a challenging 134-mile route. You can take a leisurely ride or work up a sweat on the shorter round-trip stretches.
Pedaling through the quiet valley, you can make stops at wineries, coffee shops, and breweries along the bikeway. Summer is the best time to enjoy this bikeway as the hop filed are in full bloom, and you can take in the malty aroma. You can even camp at the historic Champoeg State Heritage Area.
The standout feature of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem is the 22-foot Gold Man statue that symbolizes Oregon’s pioneering spirit. Salem, Oregon’s capital, has plenty of pioneering to offer to visitors. Salem is rich in history, heritage and culture.
Within a short period, you can admire public art, down a pint at the Xicha Brewing (the first Latino-owned brewer in Oregon), and enjoy a stroll through the Marion Farm Loop spanning from Donald to Jefferson. Salem also has impressive city parks offering many miles of trails between Riverfront Park and Minto-Brown Island Park. You can explore the city’s history by checking out the Willamette Heritage Center.
There’s plenty more that Willamette Valley has to offer. If you are adventurous and seeking a thrill, you can take on the Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. If you want amazing views of the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, you work your way up to Marys Peak, enjoying the hiking, biking, and food trails.
You should also visit the Evergreen Aviation &Space Museum, which features a collection of historical aircraft, a space museum, a water park, and a theatre. If you love the water, you can check out Clear Lake for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding.
For foodies, the Willamette Valley Culinary scene is full of inventive eateries that are focused on produce from local farms. The dishes served at small-town joints, tasting rooms, and dining destinations are top-tier.
The climate in Willamette Valley is a mix of Oceanic and Mediterranean influences. The region has moderate temperatures and sometimes frequent rains and cloudiness. However, during the summer months, the weather is generally sunny and warm with cool evenings.
You can enjoy a trip to Willamette Valley all year round. However, the best time to visit would be between June and September, as they are the warmest months and experience less rain.
The closest airport to Willamette Valley is Portland International Airport (PDX). If you are big on touring the wineries, you can rent a car from the airport, as many of the wineries are relatively short drives from PDX. You can use car hire services if you’re traveling long distances and taxi-hailing services to move around the cities.
While you can find traditional accommodation throughout Willamette, the most exciting hospitality development is the slew of top-notch vacation rental homes. Gather Vacation Rentals can offer you a home base as well as more space and a wide range of luxury facilities based on your preferences/needs.
You get to choose the type of property and luxury amenities to make your trip to Willamette Valley truly special. With Gather vacation rental listings, you can stay in your dream location, access all the basics and extras you need, and fully enjoy your stay.