With over 100 wineries in a 10-mile radius, Newberg, Oregon, is known as the Gateway To Oregon Wine Country. The small city has also been recognized as a culinary destination, winning USA Today’s “Best Small Town Food Scene” in 2022. Situated in the Chehalem Valley AVA and part of the nationally-renowned Willamette Valley, the strolling country roads in Newberg lead to unique vineyards. Add to that delicious craft breweries, fabulous accommodations, and fun activities, and you have the makings of a fabulous weekend in Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley. Although only 25 miles from Portland, Newberg feels like a world away. From Portland, head south on Interstate 5 to exit 294, then follow Highway 99S.
Here are 17 of my favorite activities for a fabulous weekend in Newberg, Oregon.
My trip was sponsored by Taste Newberg and the wineries and craft breweries mentioned below. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. Anam Cara Cellars
The Anam Cara Cellars tasting room is one of six in downtown Newberg. The small family-run winery is dry-farmed organically. All grapes are from their own Nicholas Vineyard. We enjoyed a vertical tasting of a pinot noir, a chardonnay, and a riesling. My favorite was the 2019 pinot noir.
Anam Cara is a Celtic term meaning “soul friend.” That is what you will feel when your visit. Consider ordering the delicious charcuterie board to compliment your wines.
Take time to wander and admire the work of local artists displayed throughout the tasting room.
2. Natalie’s Estate Winery
We enjoyed meeting the owners of Natalie’s Estate Winery, another family-run vineyard less than 4 miles from downtown Newberg. During a tour of the facility, we observed their techniques of handcrafting wine and the old European methods of winemaking. Their sustainable vineyard and winemaking practices include dry farming and preservation of the local ecosystems.
Grapes are sourced from various fine growers in the area and their own vineyard of pinot noir grapes. Visit the Montana-style tasting room for samples of a broad portfolio of wines. Look for three labels: Natalie’s Estate Winery, Rock Horse Ranch, and Big Sky Collection. Enjoy the complimentary charcuterie boards. Check the calendar of activities for special offerings such as Wine & Cheese – A Pairing Event, Fall Holiday Cooking, and Wine & Dinner.
3. The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum
A visit to the Hoover-Minthorn House Museum, the only presidential home in the Pacific Northwest, is a history lesson! Newberg was the boyhood home of the 31st President of the United States: Herbert Hoover. His house is the only presidential house in the entire Pacific Northwest.
Hoover was born in 1874. Orphaned as a young boy, he was invited to live with the Minthorn family in Newberg. He lived there for 4 years, arriving at the age of 11. As well as some original furnishings, the house has some mementos of Hoover’s presidency. Look for “The Children’s Charter” on the 2nd floor, written during Hoover’s White House Conference on Children’s Health and Rights. Note the relevancy it has today.
Step over to “The Little House” and learn about Hoover’s wife, Lou, who was also a great humanist.
Allow extra time to stroll the beautiful Herbert Hoover Park across the street. Disc golf fans — bring your discs.
4. Chehalem Cultural Center
The Chehalem Cultural Center is the community center that celebrates all that is arts and culture in Newberg. Education, exhibits, events, performances, and lectures offer activities for all ages and interests. Check the website for a calendar of upcoming events, concerts, exhibitions, and conversations with artists. Many events are free.
5. Nicolas-Jay Estate
Enter the tasting room on the second floor of the production facility at Nicolas-Jay. During harvest time, a large back door opens to view the picking table. We watched the sorting of pinot grapes and then enjoyed a brief history as we walked through the hallway. The winery results from years of friendship between the Burgundian Jean-Nicolas Meo and former music executive Jay Boberg. They joined together to create fine pinots and chose the Willamette Valley as their location.
There are two tasting rooms at Nicolas-Jay: a large beautifully decorated indoor room and an inviting outdoor patio. Inside, look for the gold records celebrating the music career of co-owner Jay Boberg. Our tasting included five wines: one rosé, one chardonnay, and three pinots. The chardonnay is served with freshly-roasted hazelnuts. Various fine cheeses and crackers complement the pinots.
6. Arborbrook By Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Over the past 2 decades, Arborbrook Vineyard has gained a reputation for quality pinot noir. Just recently, Arborbrook was acquired by Cooper Mountain Vineyards, pioneers in Oregon organic and biodynamic viticulture.
The tasting room is housed in a restored 1910 barn that offers various spaces for group meetings. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. Our tasting included rosé of pinot noir, tocai friulano, and three pinot noirs. My favorites were the pinots.
7. Chehalem Valley Brewery & Pub
Plan a visit to the Chehalem Valley Brewery & Pub for a family- and pet-friendly traditional pub experience. Order your favorite beer from the extensive list, or try a flight of different suds. Look for food specials such as Wing Wednesday and other weekend specials. We teamed our flight with the fish tacos — delicious beer-battered Oregon rockfish topped with cilantro avocado dressing. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options. The staff is very welcoming and efficient.
8. Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery
Another local favorite is the Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery. The brewery is housed in the historic Springbrook Hazelnut Farm on the eastern outskirts of town. Folks enjoy the outdoor beer garden and the uniquely crafted beers which utilize many local grains, yeast, and hops. The tap list includes such selections as Jarrebees, Honeycomb, Crushpad, and Zingiber. My two favorites were Honeycomb and Crushpad. Serving sizes are both full pours of either 6 ounces or 10.5 ounces. Families and pets are welcome and root beer is served to children.
9. Rain Dance Vineyard Tasting Room
The pathway from The Allison Inn takes you through vineyards to the Rain Dance Vineyard Tasting Room in the beautifully restored 1912 Victorian home. Known for its pinots and llamas, Rain Dance offers both indoor and outdoor tastings. The tasting room is entirely ADA-accessible. We enjoyed tasting four wines, my favorites being the 2021 Grand Oak Vineyard riesling and the 2020 Estate pinot noir Cuvee. Check the website for specials such as Music in the Vineyard and Land Rover Estate Vineyard Tours.
Looking for the llamas at Rain Dance? Head down Bell Road to find them in the field next to the red barn, the original Rain Dance Tasting Room.
10. Downtown Newberg
Enjoy strolling Newberg’s vibrant downtown center. There are six downtown winery tasting rooms where you can enjoy the area’s fine wines including Anam Cara, Artisanal Wine Cellars, Chehalem, Cliff Creek Cellars, Danu Wines, and Et Fille.
Look for art galleries, boutique shops, and antique stores in downtown Newberg as well.
11. Jem 100 Diner
On the first afternoon of our visit, we discovered Jem 100, a ‘50s-style burger and ice cream shop. What a little hidden gem! I loved the menu: “Burgers, Ice Cream, Dog Gone Good Eats, Sandwiches, and Beverages.” We enjoyed their signature cheeseburger, fries, and a corn beef sandwich. This is an excellent luncheon place.
12. Ruddick/Wood Seasonal Dining
A favorite restaurant in the downtown area is Ruddick/Wood, which offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu features locally-sourced ingredients and entrées such as chicken, pork, steak, and eggplant curry. We decided on the marinated olives and the mussels. Without a doubt, the mussels were the best I have ever eaten. The sauce is divine — with bacon, curry cream, lemon, and white wine — served with amble grilled bread for dipping. Reservations are highly recommended.
13. Rosmarino Osteria Italiana
Chef Dario cooks family recipes from northern Italy at Rosmarino Osteria Italiana. Also located downtown, Rosmarino is another local favorite. Both indoor and outdoor seating is offered and reservations are required. We enjoyed a lovely insalatona topped with a most delicious balsamic reduction. The Sunday special, bolognese gnocchi, was lip-smacking good. Look for five-course dinners paired with Oregon wines on Friday nights and Italian wines on Saturday nights.
14. Jory Restaurant At The Allison Inn & Spa
Jory Lounge and Restaurant features fine cuisine and an extensive list of Oregon and Washington wines. Both indoor and outdoor patio seating are offered. Jory’s Lounge is the casual counterpart to the restaurant. The lounge menu features a selection of starters and main courses of chicken, fish, and beef. We enjoyed Mary’s Chicken: house-made fettuccine, chicken, summer squash, pesto, and pine nut relish topped with shaved Parmigiano. Absolutely delicious!
15. The Coffee Cottage
The Coffee Cottage, Newberg’s original coffee and roasting house, remains a local favorite. It offers a variety of quiches, sandwiches, scones, and muffins. All coffee beans are roasted at the Coffee Cottage Roastery and are sourced from fair-trade coops with sustainable growing practices. Enjoy the library seating inside or the two beautiful gardens outside. Pet-friendly water dishes invite your four-legged friends to enjoy their visit, also!
16. Newberg Wine Country Suites
We enjoyed our two-night stay at the Newberg Wine Country Suites with a fabulous central location and spacious suites with full-sized kitchens. Our suite was the Noir Room; there are four suites, each decorated in a wine theme. I loved the convenient check-in with key code entry. Note that there is a steep flight of stairs with no elevator.
17. The Allison Inn & Spa
Located on a beautiful 35-acre site in Oregon Wine Country, The Allison Inn & Spa is proud to have been awarded the prestigious LEED Gold Certification. As well as luxurious rooms and suites, The Allison Spa has 12 treatment rooms, an indoor pool, and a fitness room. Take time to wander the beautiful grounds and enjoy the artwork inside and outside.
With such a variety of activities, Newberg, Oregon, is a beautiful destination. Once you make your first visit, I am confident you will want to return.
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