There are so many reasons to spend a long weekend in Oregon’s lush Willamette valley south of Portland. Pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot blanc, just to name three. Hazelnuts, fresh fruit, charming farms, hiking in the nearby Coast Range, and great birdwatching are a few more reasons. And of course, a two-night stay at Gahr Farm.
Gahr Farm is situated on a 350-acre conservation farm and forest, which is managed as a native plant and wildlife reserve. There are 150 acres in forestland, and the remainder is in meadows, wetlands, and riparian areas. Several hiking trails wind through the property, so don’t forget your binoculars! Wildlife abounds. When we stayed at Gahr Farm, we got up at the crack of dawn for an early morning stroll to watch the numerous songbirds and hawks that reside in the native habitat conserved here for them.
The guest quarters are actually one of two spacious cottages that are well separated and private from the main family home. The cottage we stayed in, the older of the two, sleeps up to four. There’s a queen size bed and two twins in two separate bedrooms. A full kitchen is stocked with all the cooking supplies you need, and we brought our own fresh food to cook into a delicious dinner each evening we were there to go with the best bottle of wine we’d bought that day. After dinner, we relaxed beside the wood-burning stove to finish off the bottle. Nearby McMinnville is full of fabulous restaurants if you prefer to leave the cooking to someone else.
The Willamette Valley makes a surprisingly affordable weekend trip. Many of the tasting rooms in the Willamette are free. It seems the trend is in the other direction, though, especially with wineries closest to Portland and those with fancy new tasting rooms.
Gahr Farm’s rates simply can’t be beat for what you get — $80 for two or more nights double occupancy.
Gahr Farm 18605 Southwest Masonville Road McMinnville, OR, OR 97128 (503) 472-6960 / www.gahrfarm.com