What’s the best time to visit the Willamette Valley?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Kerry Newberry

If you’re an oenophile, there is no season like crush to visit the Willamette Valley wine country in Oregon. Depending on the year, harvest kicks off late September and runs through early November. You’ll see the vineyard landscape dotted with crews picking grapes, and truck beds filled with bins of deep purple pinot noir grapes cruising backcountry roads.

The summertime is idyllic too; the sun is high in the sky, the days are long and leisurely and fields of green stretch at every turn. Summer is also the best time to catch a glimpse of the majestic snow-tipped peaks of the Cascade Range and the vibrant stretches of purple blooms at the peak of lavender season. 
 
For adventure seekers, summer is the best time to hit the trails for biking and hiking, or to glide along the river in a kayak. Fall brings leaf peeping, pumpkin patches and brisk country air: a hiker’s delight. The infamous rain begins in November, and usually continues until summer returns.  
  
If you have a hardy spirit, sturdy galoshes and ample Gore-Tex, you can plan a winter visit for late January around the Oregon Truffle Festival. The weekend feast, held in the college town of Eugene, is an epicure’s dream. Each activity (and dish) salutes the elusive and delicious fungus, with a grand dinner, truffle-hunting forays and cooking classes.

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