The Tualatin Valley has a bounty of attractions for groups with a thirst for knowledge. From viewing vintage technical instruments and oscilloscopes to learning how wine and saké are produced, these attractions provide a first-hand glimpse inside how “stuff” is made.
Start the day observing a working commercial apple sorting and packing line at Oregon Heritage Farms. The farm grows 10 varieties of apples for wholesale (apples also available at their seasonal farm store), and is open during apple season, from the end of August through mid-November.
Enjoy lunch at South Store Café, a quaint sandwich shop and coffee house located in Washington County wine country in the northern Willamette Valley and housed in a century-old historical landmark.
Venture south to Sherwood to visit the Magness Memorial Tree Farm, an internationally recognized 80-acre demonstration forest and outdoor education site with a large natural area, small stream, nine comparative forest management zones, 2.5 miles of hiking trails, recreation field, picnic shelter and rustic log cabins for retreats.
Next, journey back to the “Silicon Forest” and check out VintageTek, a new museum dedicated to preserving vintage instruments, memorabilia and photographs from the high-tech company, Tektronix. Founded in 1945, Tektronix helped launch the development of high-tech manufacturing in Washington County. The museum is open Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Overnight at a Tualatin Valley hotel.
After late breakfast, the day starts with a tour of the state-of-the-art, gravity-flow winery at Ponzi Vineyards. Set atop a northwest-facing slope of the Chehalem Mountains, Ponzi’s newest winery and modern tasting room are surrounded by a majestic vineyard and views of the valley below. A variety of custom tour and tasting packages are available by appointment, and the lawn, patio and Bocce ball courts are open for use in the summer months.
Next, head west toward Forest Grove to continue your day of exploration. From rice polishing to bottling, get a bird’s-eye view of how saké, the traditional Japanese beverage, is made at SakéOne, the leading brewer of craft saké in America. SakéOne leads this fast-growing category with distinct styles, flavor infusions and a penchant for education and sharing their unique beverage. A visit to the SakéOne Kura (brewery) is an educational experience at all levels. The Kura tour and saké flights in the Japanese-influenced tasting room will enlighten and inform visitors.
The final stop of your technical tour is the Tillamook Forestry Center, the region’s largest interpretive and educational center. The center showcases the legacy of the historic Tillamook Burn and the monumental reforestation effort that took place afterward. Discover lessons of the past, present and future at this dynamic facility with hands-on learning opportunities, and develop a deeper connection with Oregon’s forests through experience and exploration. Open March to mid-November, and admission is free.