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Hit the Road: a 40-mile getaway to wine country

Rolling hills and sprawling vineyards to discover — wine not?

A scenic view of green wine country

Hit the road with the whole family + explore wine country. | Photo via @findingtheresa

Last month, we kicked off our summer road trip series, Hit the Road, with an outdoor adventure along the Oregon Coast. If you checked it out, we’d love to hear about it.

This month, we’re continuing the series with a 40-mile trip into wine country (Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Laurelwood + Yamhill-Carlton AVAs) for a quick getaway. From Hillsboro to Lafayette, the bucolic countryside offers a little bit of everything — making it the perfect end-of-summer vacay.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area and our insider recommendations.

Drive time: ~1 hour from downtown
Suggested route: The scenic one
Avg. high in July: 83°

An old three-story schoolhouse

Lafayette Schoolhouse Antique Mall built in 1912. | Photo via @jksmalls84

Things to do

Shopping and scenery are on the agenda.

Bald Peak State Scenic Viewpoint, 24730 SW Bald Peak Rd., Hillsboro

A stand of lofty Douglas firs shades a spot with picnic tables and a clear view of the surrounding vineyards. Though it’s always beautiful here, fog in the morning and vibrant sunset hues provide particularly dazzling vistas.

Trappist Abbey, 9200 NE Abbey Rd., Carlton

Monks with the community of Our Lady of Guadalupe live on the property and also maintain a network of hiking trails that are open to the public. Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife.

Airplane Home, 15270 SW Holly Hill Rd., Hillsboro

You’ve probably seen bird’s-eye-view photos of this Boeing 727 nestled in the woods, but did you know you can visit it? It’s a good idea to review owner Bruce Campbell’s guidelines ahead of time.

Lafayette Schoolhouse Antique Mall, 748 Third St., Lafayette

The three-story, 1912 building (complete with a slide) now houses Oregon’s largest permanent antique display, with wares from 100+ dealers. An adjacent gymnasium displays vintage oak, pine, and mahogany furniture.

Equestrian Wine Tours, 6325 NE Abbey Rd.

Giddyup and grenache, anyone?

A hand holds a glass of red win in front of a vineyard

Cooper Mountain Vineyards is a worthy early checkpoint. | Photo via @travelingfoodgirls

Places to sip

There are as many vineyards + wineries as there are grapes on a vine, so don’t be afraid to branch out.

Colene Clemens Vineyards, 22501 NE Dopp Rd., Newberg

Make an appointment to stop and taste the pinot noir that’s produced sustainably + with dry-farming practices.

Crowing Hen, 10282 NE Abbey Rd., Carlton

A farmhouse brewery in the heart of wine country? That’s almost as rare as, well, a crowing hen. Nevertheless, it’s hard to beat drinking your way through the pecking order beside the lake.

Brick House Vineyards, 18200 NE Lewis Rogers Ln., Newberg

For $60 per person, guests can schedule an immersive farm tour to learn about biodynamic winegrowing and how to distinguish a chardonnay from a pinot leaf.

MonksGate Vineyard, 9500 NE Oak Springs Farm Rd., Carlton

We’re not saying this wine is blessed, but we’re also not not saying that.

Domaine Serene Winery, 6555 NE Hilltop Ln., Dayton

Venture up the hill to visit “the world’s most-awarded winery.”

Renovated grain silos serve as B&B rooms

You’ll want to visit a-grain and a-grain. | Photo via @jonilorainephotography

Overnight accommodations

If you decide to turn this quick day trip into an overnighter, here are some spots to stay.

Abbey Road Farm, 10280 NE Oak Springs Farm Rd., Carlton

Five suites are available inside this bed and breakfast’s renovated grain silos. The working farm also has a tasting room, manicured gardens, a horse riding arena, and meeting spaces.

The Setting Inn Willamette Valley, 20300 OR-240, Newberg

Live the life of luxury at this modern hotel located just outside of Newberg. Amenities include a Peloton in the on-site fitness center, a bocce ball court, and a boutique vineyard.

The Brookside Guest Home, 8243 NE Abbey Rd., Carlton

Book this Vrbo set on 21 pastoral acres complete with a fire-pit, forested walking paths, and a stocked fishing pond.

The Dundee Hotel, 1410 N. Highway 99W, Dundee

Stylish vibes and touches of luxury, like in-room yoga mats + cozy robes, make this a charming spot to relax within walking distance of several tasting rooms.

Atticus Hotel, 375 NE Ford St., McMinnville

Spend a night (or several) in one of 36 unique rooms, each of which comes with a champagne welcome toast, locally-grown hazelnuts, coffee, bikes to take for a spin around town, and endless Instagram-worthy backdrops.

Wood fired pizza on a pan

Wood-fired pizza and wine country. | Photo via @carterhiyama

Grub to eat

Culinary creativity out here rivals the esteem of the vino.

Red Hills Market, 155 SW Seventh St., Dundee

Stacked sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas are sure to hit the spot after an afternoon of wine tasting.

ōkta, 618 NE Third St., McMinnville

Venture a little bit farther to this fine dining destination from Castagna alum Matthew Lightner.

The Horse Radish, 119 W. Main St, Carlton.

Cheese plates and live music on Saturday night is a win-win.

Martha’s Tacos & More, 440 Third St., Lafayette

Satisfy your cravings for Mexican food with authentic flavors straight from Michoacan.

Wooden Heart, 8415 NE Worden Hill Rd., Dundee (Furioso Vineyards)

Quite possibly the cutest little vintage-camp-trailer-turned-food-truck you’ve ever seen, serving brick oven pizza, cheese, charcuterie, salads + flatbread.

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