Tuesday, May 20, 2008
An Oregon Get-Away
If you want a weekend get-away (and still can afford the gas) I cannot say enough good things about the Portland area. Portland itself is a vibrant, beautiful city with many districts and shops to keep one occupied for days. Powell’s Books alone could keep a bibliophile busy for an entire weekend. But if you prefer rural settings I urge tourists to get off the beaten path a bit and check out rural Oregon for it has many diversions. This past weekend I did just that.
Mt. Angel is frequently a destination for me when I head south. A sweet little town named for the Monastery of the same name, it was founded by Swiss immigrants and this tiny berg has a Bavarian feel. Friday night my oldest friend and I dined at the German restaurant Glockenspiel, so named for the giant glockenspiel in the tower above the restaurant. The new apartment/business building was built to add to the Bavarian feel of this tiny town that every fall hosts the Pacific Northwest’s largest Oktoberfest.
Each summer this part of rural Oregon also hosts one of the largest lavender festivals in the NW. This weekend I got to check out the Barn Owl Nursery. Even though the lavender is two months away from being in bloom their large gift shop of all things lavender made for lots of happy shopping for two lavender lovers. I have every intention of returning for the Yamhill festival in July.
If you want a relaxing get-away, check out the many little towns of rural Oregon. There are wineries and fruit and vegetable stands galore here in this NW bread basket. The rich soil lends itself to farming of every sort including organic diaries, free range chickens, and fruit, vegetables and nuts of every sort. In addition, rural Oregon has many crafters’ shops where one can browse antiques and creations made from new and used materials. Girls’ Back Porch is just such a crafters’ mall located at 8030 Wheatland Road North, Keizer, OR, 97303, (503) 856 -8150 in Keizer, OR. The Salem area has many businesses as well as excellent Goodwills.
The many rural towns of Oregon have farmer’s markets and art festivals during the summer. Taking a weekend to tour some of these and enjoy the fresh produce (be sure to bring your cooler with you) can make for a relaxing and valuable get-away. If you want to by-pass Portland on your way to more bucolic areas get off I-5 and on to I-205 until you reach the second Oregon City exit. When you hit Canby, Oregon you will be well on your way to being out in the country. Pull out your map and breath in the fresh air.