A treasured local amusement park in Turner, Oregon.
The park was created and hand built by Roger Tofte over a period of seven years in the late 1960s. The park’s many expansions over the last half-century, mostly built again by Roger, by hand. The Tofte family still owns and operates the 20-acre park, with three generations of the family involved in the day to day operations. The park sees an average of 200,000 guests a year. Attractions such as the Ice Mountain Bobsleds roller coaster, the Haunted House, and the Big Timber log ride, the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
Located in McMinnville, and home to the Spruce Goose wooden aircraft built by Howard Hughes. Did you know that it weighs 300,000 lbs.? Its exhibits include the Hughes H-4 Hercules, the SR-71 Blackbird, the Titan II Rocket, and more than fifty military & civilian aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and spacecraft. There is also the Wings & Waves Waterpark. Open daily from 10:00 – 5:00.
The Willamette Valley, here in Oregon, is well known for its temperate climate, and when mixed with the volcanic soil of the Cascade Range yields fantastic wines, and produces stunning tulips, peonies, hops, and the State Flower:
Tall Oregon Grape (which is a yellow cluster with shiny green leaves).
Homes in the Willamette Valley are well familiar with the many gardens displaying a wide variety of beautiful local flowers.
- Adelman Peony Gardens
- Brooks Gardens Peonies
- Inspiration Garden at Mountain Fir Park
- Keizer Iris Festival
- Dancing Oaks Nursery and Gardens
- Bush’s Pasture Park Rose Garden & Rhododendron Hillside Garden
- Deepwood Museum and Gardens
- Gaiety Hollow
- Lord & Schryver Conservancy
- Marion Demonstration Garden
- Schreiner’s Iris Gardens
- Sebright Gardens
- Willamette University Gardens
- Oregon Garden
- Cecil and Molly Smith Rhododendron Garden
- St. Paul
- Adelman Peony Gardens
- Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
The Willamette Valley is world renowned for its award-winning Pinot Noirs, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc. The unique soils of Jory, the basalt-based volcanic soil, WillaKenzie, a sedimentary soil, and LaurelWood Loess, made up of silt. In the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area, its marine sediments are perfect for viticulture.
There are nine American Viticultural Areas within the Willamette Valley AVA. The largest concentration of wineries is in Yamhill County, west of the Willamette River, on the leeward slopes of the Coast Range. With over 600 wineries in the Willamette Valley, here are several of the top choices to visit.
Chehalem Mountains AVA
Colene Clemens Vineyards
Dundee Hills AVA
Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery
Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Brooks Vineyard and Winery
Evening Land Vineyards
Willamette Valley Vineyards
This award winning winery in Turner, Oregon, delivers a Pinot Noir clonal blending experience. WVV gives you the controls to be a winemaker by crafting and tasting your own custom blends from barrel-aged Pinot Noirs with guidance from one of their knowledgeable Winery Ambassadors.
Ribbon Ridge AVA
Utopia Vineyard & Winery
Silver Creek Falls
Where else can you walk behind a waterfall? Check out the famous South Falls and see what a 177-foot curtain of water looks like from behind. It’s part of the Trail of Ten Falls, a spectacular, nationally recognized hiking trail that weaves through a dense forested landscape. The trail passes a series of breathtaking waterfalls along a rocky canyon, and descends to a winding creek at the forest floor.
People call it the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you know why. Silver Falls State Park is the kind of standout scenic treasure that puts Oregon firmly onto the national—and international—stage. Its beauty, boundless recreational opportunities and historic presence keep it there.
The park, about 30 minutes east of Salem, offers more than 35 miles of backcountry trails for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding. Bring your horse and stay in the horse campground!
Minto-Brown Island Park
Minto-Brown Island Park spreads out over 1,200 acres of lush, open, and wooded areas. This makes Minto-Brown Island Park not only the biggest park in Salem, but also larger than Central Park in New York City.
There is a 30-acre, designated off-leash dog area that provides plenty of room for your dog to roam, play, and visit with other dogs. This park also serves as a waterfowl and wildlife sanctuary, which you can enjoy from the observation platforms along the sloughs. Blue herons, ospreys, squirrels, and rabbits are among the many different wetland creatures that call this park home.
Walk, run, or bike any of the 29 miles of trail that make up nine loops. You can also access Riverfront Park via the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge. You can also volunteer to join the park patrol!
Covered bridges are a sweet vestige of the past, when transport across these hand built bridges was essential for people going about their daily business. Lane County is home to the largest collection of remaining covered bridges in the West, many of which are open to car traffic while others are open to bicycles and pedestrians only. Spend an hour or two exploring the Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour Route, which takes you to many of these sweet barn-like structures, including the county’s oldest — the 90-foot-long Mosby Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, which you can still drive across. If you have an electric vehicle, this EV route highlights all the charging stations along the way. For a pedal-powered escape, take the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway, the mildest ride of all the Oregon Scenic Bikeways, largely on a car-free former railroad bed. Don’t forget a stop for caffeine and a treat at Creswell Bakery, part of the South Willamette Valley Food Trail; they also make fantastic sandwiches to go for a riverside picnic.
Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
You’re making history as you ride the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, the first official Scenic Bikeway in the United States. The 134-mile route is moderately difficult, but there are lots of shorter round-trip stretches that make for excellent day trips. Work up a sweat or take a leisurely pace as you pedal through the tranquil valley, with plenty of stops at coffee shops, wineries and brewpubs in friendly towns along the way. You can pitch a tent at the historic Champoeg State Heritage Area — where settlers gathered in the 1850s, to start the creation of the state of Oregon. Summer is the ideal time to ride, as the Willamette Valley is typically dry, with the malty aroma of hop fields in full bloom. Further down the bikeway, consider a diversion near Independence for a ride on the Buena Vista ferry. The 21-mile stretch from Albany to Shedd (42 miles round-trip) is especially flat and scenic, while Armitage County Park to Coburg is a satisfying 13 miles round-trip.
Black Rock Mountain Bike Area
If it sounds hardcore, that’s because it is: Black Rock Mountain Bike Area (BRMBA) is for mountain bikers of intermediate to extreme skill levels only. This phenomenal trail system is one of two areas in the Willamette Valley recognized by the International Mountain Bicycling Association; the other is the well-known Oakridge trail system. What makes it so special? Its four areas offer both free-riding and human-built features, all with ride-arounds to help you get down safely. One of the areas is called Basic Training, to help you get acquainted with the mountain.
If not everyone in your party is up for the ride, there are great places in the woods to camp out and watch the action. When you’re out adventuring in this area, find plenty of options for great food and drink along the new Great Oaks Food Trail. Check out Yeasty Beasty for craft brews and wood-fired pizza in Monmouth, artisan baked goods and patio dining at The Bread Board in Falls City, and riverside fine dining at the Independence Hotel’s Territory Restaurant.
The Timberline Lodge
Built in 1937, Timberline Lodge, featured in the movie The Shining, is a glorious throwback to the early 20th century log cabin chalet luxury. Experience the magnificent and expansive high-alpine environment of Mt. Hood. The comfort and warmth of the Lodge is like stepping back into simpler times, yet with all modern conveniences discreetly available.
Active military and veterans get 15% off all room types any time of year on all Timberline hotel rooms and condos. ADA Accessible.
Steam Locomotives – Oregon Railroad Heritage Foundation
Brought to you by the volunteers of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.
During the holidays, join Santa Claus and his elves for a magical ride behind Portland’s famous steam locomotives. Vintage rail cars transport you along the Willamette River in the heart of Portland. Trains run on the hour – please arrive 20 minutes early. Tickets typically sell out, so it’s best to purchase them in advance. FYI – you can hop on board and join the group of dedicated and talented volunteers. See their website for details.
The Willamette Valley is home to the University of Oregon, Eugene Ducks, and the Oregon State University, Corvallis Beavers. The jaw-dropping coastline of Oregon is an hour and a half away. In and around Salem (no witch trials here, ever) are craft breweries, wineries, cideries, orchards, farm lands, lumber mills, fishing, hunting, mountains, rivers, lakes, boating and hiking.