Oregon’s Washington County features a host of attractions that will engage travelers. Located just minutes west of Portland, Washington County is an emerging destination offering a host of activities. There are myriad reasons to select Washington County as a travel destination; here are the top seven:
1. EXPERIENCE MORE THAN PINOT NOIR
Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley has become synonymous for its exquisite Pinot Noir, and Washington County, which is located in the northern tip of this growing region, boasts a collection of well-known and up-and-coming wineries - nearly 30 wineries in all (and most with regular tasting room hours). Washington County also has the world’s only American owned-and-operated, premium-grade, large-production saké brewery, SakéOne, which offers saké tastings and free tours daily.
2. CONQUER FEAR OF HEIGHTS
Plenty of Washington County’s attractions can test the limits of one’s fear of heights, from Tree to Tree Adventure Park, “a playground in the trees,” complete with tree-top obstacles and zip-lines, to flights over the Willamette Valley by hot-air balloon or glider plane. (Seasonal; closed/not available November-March; check individual websites).
3. TAKE LIFE BY THE HANDLEBARS
If Portland is a top destination for bicyclists in the Pacific Northwest, Washington County is a close runner-up. Tour wineries, explore nature or simply take a leisurely ride through the country. Dozens of scenic and rural bike-friendly trails, including the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, are outlined in the Washington County bike map.
4. CATCH A LIVE PERFORMANCE
Washington County has a burgeoning theater community, and is home to two premier professional theatre companies, the famed Broadway Rose Theatre Company and Bag&Baggage Productions, as well as several regional and repertory companies, such as Beaverton Civic Theater and Hillsboro Artists’ Repertory Theatre.
5. DISCOVER LOCAL ARTISTS
Local colleges and universities provide some of the area’s finest collections of art. The Oregon College of Art and Craft houses the Hoffman Gallery of Art, and Pacific University has the Kathrin Carwein Gallery of Art. Community centers and local galleries also feature outstanding art collections and exhibitions from the past to the present, such as the Washington County Museum and Glenn and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center.
6. DINE IN STYLE
While Portland’s dining scene has earned huge buzz, Washington County has laid claim to some of the region’s best ethnic cuisine. Restaurants such as Syun Izakaya, Duh Kuh Bee and Chennai Masala, have been recognized among the best restaurants in the Greater Portland region for their authentic and innovative menus.
7. PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF
With 12 public and semi-private golf courses throughout the county—many in rural, agricultural areas, including the prestigious Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club—Washington County features some of the best golf courses in the state.
In addition to the “top seven,” there are plenty of other things for visitors to see and do in Washington County, from antiquing to rock hunting. The possibilities are endless.
OREGON’S WASHINGTON COUNTY
Oregon’s Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. The destination covers 727 square miles and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Washington County is home to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries, an array of outdoor recreation opportunities, lush, natural and scenic wetlands and wildlife preserves, superb dining, and myriad shopping.