Why Would You Leave
After moving to Louisiana, people always ask me why I would leave? There is lots of rain, the insane cost of living, and so much traffic. But there are things I do miss about PNW: my family and friends, of course, and wineries. Yes, wineries. The PNW has an amazing wine-growing climate. Both Oregon and Washington have plentiful wine tasting, whether up in the mountains or along the coast. When we go back to visit, wine tasting is always on my agenda, but there is so much more to see and do.
There are two main areas for wine tasting in Oregon: the Columbia Gorge area, which actually includes parts of Washington and the Willamette Valley. Both areas offer equally stunning views, delicious food, and of course, wine. You can spend a day or a week making your way through the different wineries.
Planning your trip is fairly easy. There are lots of resources available online and once you start your tasting day, ask the hosts of the wineries if there are restaurants or wineries they enjoy visiting and sometimes you’ll discover a hidden gem. A tasting flight is usually around $20, and if you join the wine club, the fee is waived. So if you find a wine that you love, join the club and get that wine shipped to you all year long. After a tasting, we usually grab a glass and enjoy the views.
This site actually had many of my favorite wineries in the Columbia Gorge area. If wine isn’t your thing or you want to mix it up, there are also several breweries and cideries in the area, some locations off all of the above.
Head down the coast and visit the Willamette Valley wine country. The views are a little different, but still as breathtaking and the wine and food are just as delicious. We stopped at a few wineries on our way to and from the beach this summer.
Whether it is a family trip or just a grown-up getaway, the PNW can be fun for everyone. Unless skiing and winter sports are on your agenda, I 100% recommend going in the summer (July or August). Don’t limit yourself to the cities. Unless you’re absolutely set on visiting Seattle or Portland, you can skip the cities altogether. If you’re not into alcoholic beverages, the food and views are worth the trip in itself. There are also lots of outdoor activities: windsurfing, kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, kayaking, playgrounds, and of course shopping. Some of my favorite PNW destinations include:
Oregon Coast Beaches (be mindful that even in the summer they are chilly)
The PNW is truly a wonderland. In one day, you can go from the mountains to the beach, from the city to the desert. The views and scenery are beautiful, and I do not take my growing up there for granted, but I do love my Louisiana life and scenery just as much.