Autumn Escapes in the Pacific Northwest

Destinations and Distractions – May in Oregon

by Lauren Braden

in Travel Tips & Trends

Planning a May weekend getaway in Oregon?

If you’re in Portland this weekend, hit up the Portland Indie Wine Festival in the Pearl District. Oregon is famous for its wine, but it’s the independent, smaller wine producers that give Oregon’s wine industry its heart and soul. The wines you will be tasting at the festival (from 20 different producers each day) will have been hand-picked by judges in a blind tasting competition, so you know you’ll be in for some absolutely great wines here. They’ll go great with all the samplings of food from some of Oregon’s best chefs, too. Also, talk firsthand with the indie winemakers from across the state, and bring your credit card – you’ll be able to buy the wines you like right there. Seminars range from Natural Winemaking in the Age of Technology to Terrior 101 – Can you Taste the Place? May 2-4, 3-6pm. Tickets $60 per day, or $100 for both Saturday and Sunday. Online or call (503) 595-0891.

Portland has many great cheap sleeps, though fewer than it once had (sadly, many of the older, affordable downtown hotels, such as The Mallory, have been converted to luxury hotels in recent years.) Try for a room at Hostelling International’s Northwest Portland location in a historic house on Nob Hill. Private rooms have high ceilings, fine furniture, and lots of light. $20-$74.The UFO Festival in Oregon

Are you into crop circles? In mid-May, Oregon goes galactic for the annual UFO Festival in McMinnville. (May 16-17, McMenamins Hotel Oregon.) The Festival began in honor of the famous 1950 sighting of a UFO by two local citizens; their photographs of the object are thought to be some of the most credible evidence of UFOs to date. Are UFOs not your thing? Keep an open mind, as the festival “explores and celebrates the possibilities of life beyond Earth” (italics added). Fun!

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