About 40 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon, in the heart of the state’s wine region, The Allison Inn and Spa is situated on straight-out-of-a-painting landscaped grounds in Newberg. I visited this property last May and fell in love with every detail: the plush bed, the filtered water in glass jars, the impossibly deep bathtub in my room, and the warm earth tones throughout the hotel made the entire place feel soothing. The running water outside of the spa, and the floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the building made me feel at peace with the lush scenery surrounding me. What's more is that the Allison’s impressive dining program somehow manages to bring diners closer to nature.
The 1.5 acre on-site garden and greenhouse is where many of the ingredients on the menu at the Inn’s signature restaurant, Jory, come from. And the restaurant is beyond impressive. I truly enjoyed everything I ate during my stay at the Allison. From local cuisine to an emphasis on wine, no detail is too small for The Allison’s dining team.
Emphasis on Garden to Table Cuisine
“There’s nothing I love more than heading out into the community and working with our local purveyors to find the best locally grown food in the region,” Executive Chef Sunny Jin says. And it’s hard not to fall in love with the Allison’s lush and green scenery. “I found myself many times driving in the car around our valley and simply saying internally, 'I love my life'. On a daily level, just checking in with our local farmers, purveyors, and artisans of their craft is something I take with certain responsibility. It's an amazing opportunity to be a part of something bigger than any one of us. To take part in the growth and sustaining development of such an inspiring region makes me proud to call this valley home.”
If you happen to be staying at The Allison for a few days, don’t worry that you’ll get bored with the dining experiences. For starters, the Inn offers a variety of memorable dining experiences at Jory. Dine alfresco on the patio when the weather’s nice. Order and enjoy your food in your room. I phoned in (room service is a must-try) a tasty crab Benedict and enjoyed it outside on my room’s balcony while I visited. Eat inside the dining room for a casual, elegant experience. Keep it very casual with a meal at the open kitchen, where you can watch the chefs prepare food over an open fire while you eat. If you’re just looking to day trip it to The Allison, you also can enjoy some of its award-winning cuisine at its gorgeous spa. I indulged in a fresh and light smoothie before digging into smoked salmon while I lounged outside in the comforting glow of the sunshine after a spa treatment. From local cuisine to an emphasis on wine, no detail is too small for The Allison’s dining team.
And if you really want to go all out, The Allison’s Chef’s Table is where you should do it. Jin will prepare a private meal for your party. While visiting, I enjoyed an amazing seven-course meal complete with wine pairings. While each course was impressive, two specific entrees are still on my mind: the chilled English pea soup, and the pan-seared Halibut. The bright green soup was rich and extra texture-rich—made possible by the inclusion of coddled hen egg, lardo, local Carlton Bakery brioche and garden herbs. The smooth halibut (a must-try in the Pacific Northwest) was accented well with black rice, smoked cashews, shiitakes, mizuna and yuzu emulsion.
Devotion to Wine
Given its location in wine country, it’s no surprise that The Allison is dedicated to showcasing the area’s world-class Pinot Noirs. “We do not use any Pinot that I would not personally have on my table,” says Jin. Wine is literally infused into certain dishes on the menu. Even if you’re not a wine fan, be sure to stop by just to have the Pinot Burger. This tender and juicy dish—topped with charred onions, house-smoked bacon, aioli, Rogue Creamery blue cheese and served with hand-cut fries—is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. And let’s face it: how often in your life can you really try one? Accompany that with a Pinot from the Willamette Valley—the wine menu is more than 30 pages long, so you’re bound to find something you love. And lastly, finish it off with the Pinot cake. This oozing chocolate concoction is the ultimate decadent treat, but not too sweet thanks to the wine. The signature burger is yet another example of how The Allison works to showcase the local area’s culinary contributions.
“The menu at JORY reflects a cumulative philosophy between food, wine and responsibility to serve wine country cuisine. It is our ambition to remain influenced by our community purveyors, the surrounding wine region and the changing seasons,” says Jin. “This promise is extended to our guests who experience JORY and, in turn, are able to connect with our story.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ll raise a glass of Pinot (from the Willamette Valley, of course) to that.
Teresa K. Tobat is a writer and editor based out the Washington, D.C. area. View her website at teresaktobat.com. Follow her tweets @ttobat88.
Ah Portland, a city renowned for rain, beverages, bridges and hipsters (thanks in part to the hit show Portlandia) is a tapestry of food, wine, beer, culture, art and outdoor experiences, all woven into one energetic &mdash albeit &ldquoweird&rdquo &mdash city. Portland, Oregon is a confluence of chaos and creativity, a city as diverse as the people who inhabit it.
In its beautiful mess of mélange, it caters to various types of visitors. Foodie? Portland has one of the best culinary scenes in the country. Craft beer connoisseur? Portland has been called the craft beer capital of the USA. Wine? We&rsquove got that too. Art? Culture? Outdoors? Yep. Yep Yep&hellip But I digress.
If you&rsquore visiting Portland bring your appetite, leave your umbrella (you want to fit in don&rsquot you?) and prepare for a whirlwind weekend &mdash there&rsquos so much to do and so little time!
But, first things first: brunch. Brunch is somewhat of a religion in Portland, and the city&rsquos breakfast establishments do it well. If patience is your virtue, Tasty & Alder is renowned for its unique brunch offerings and their innovative dishes are worth the unavoidable wait. However if you&rsquore looking for something on the lighter side, Voodoo Doughnuts boasts questionably named yet decidedly delicious doughnuts that are sure to satisfy your sweet-tooth.
From VooDoo Doughnuts, you can walk across the street to the Portland Saturday Market (the largest continually operated outdoor market in the US) or stroll along the beautiful Portland Waterfront. If you&rsquore visiting during the summer months, there&rsquos a revolving door of events that take place nearly every weekend (many at Tom McCall Waterfront Park) so be sure to do your research and avoid missing out on some of Portland&rsquos most famed festivals.
1. Hallmark Resort & Spa
Source: hallmarkinns Hallmark Resort & Spa
Family owned and operated for almost 70 years, and right on the beach, this idyllic resort is perfect for a romantic weekend away. The beauty of this Resort & Spa is that between Cannon Beach and Newport Beach, you don’t have to choose. Hallmark’s Resort spans both coastlines for the ultimate beach experience.
If you decide to go the route of Cannon Beach, you and your special someone will be able to explore the largest sea stack on America’s Pacific Coast (Haystack Rock), which garnered the title as a “Most Beautiful Place in the World” by National Geographic.
And if you venture to Newport Beach, you’ll be able to bask in all the glory of a traditional beachfront resort. Gaze out onto your private Pacific backdrop and explore the unique galleries and quaint shops along the water.
2. Portland Japanese Garden
Founded in the early 1960s by the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, the Portland Japanese Garden was created to promote and preserve a more intimate relationship between the people of Japan and those of Portland.
The garden also aims to educate visitors about the vegetation and the culture of Japan through beautiful display gardens and architectural features as well as cultural, environmental, horticultural, and charitable activities. The Garden is composed of five distinct garden styles spread over 5.5 acres: the Flat Garden, the Strolling Garden, the Tea Garden, the Natural Garden, and the Sand and Stone Garden. If you are wondering what to do in Portland, Oregon on a sunny day, this is a great place to visit.
All of the gardens boast a deep sense of tranquility and reflect the ideals of peace and harmony that are so prevalent in Japan’s history and traditional culture. This hidden gem is one of the best romantic attractions in Portland.
611 SW Kingston Ave., Portland, Oregon 97205, Phone: 503-223-1321
You are reading "25 Best Romantic Things to Do in Portland, Oregon" Back to Top
Things to do near me today, beaches with kids, romantic parks, unique places to visit in USA right now, hotels, tourist attractions: Weekend Getaways from Seattle, NC day trips, FL, Near Atlanta, AL
A group of houseless individuals have joined a class-action lawsuit filed against the city of Portland Monday, alleging contractors have been illegally discarding people’s personal belongings while dispersing homeless encampments.
As the Portland Trail Blazers continue their run in the NBA Western Conference Playoff, Gov. Kate Brown announced on Monday that the Moda Center will debut vaccinated sections this week where fully vaccinated fans will not need to physically distance.
Columbia River Gorge
On September 3rd, 2017, Oregonians everywhere watched in horror, despair, and anger as a fire ravaged one of the nation’s most beautiful scenic areas: the Columbia River Gorge. By the end of that Labor Day weekend, the fire claimed 48,000 acres of the most beloved forest in the state, taking with it some of Oregon’s most popular hiking trails, most beautiful landscapes, and most accessible wilderness.
While the Eagle Creek fire caused significant economic, emotional, and environmental damage, the Gorge as a natural wonder was neither lost nor destroyed. Today there are still numerous outdoor recreation options to explore and trails to trek. Those hoping to spend a weekend chasing waterfalls need only cross the historical “Bridge of the Gods” to find beautifully intact hiking trails that boast vista views and waterfalls. Some waterfall hikes that weren’t affected by the fire include Cape Horn Loop, Hamilton Mountain Loop, Panther Creek Falls Hike, and Falls Creek Falls Loop.
The Columbia Gorge is also home to 50-plus vineyards and a growing number of breweries, making it an ideal destination for a weekend of wine or beer tasting (don’t miss Maryhill Winery & Amphitheater). After a day of tasting or trekking around the Gorge, head to Hood River for some farm-fresh dining at Celilo Restaurant and Bar or enjoy a romantic fireside dinner at Multnomah Falls Lodge (located at the base of the famous 620-foot namesake waterfall).
Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Hood River
Where to Stay in the Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia Gorge Hotel is surrounded by beautiful grounds and scenic views complemented by a rich history and friendly staff.
Columbia Gorge Hotel
Board of directors
KRISTIN BROWNE, Chair (SHE/HER)
Kristin Browne serves on the executive team at Bridgetown Natural Foods, a B Corp that produces natural food snacks and exists to “make the food we want our families to eat”. She stewards org health initiatives, IT, events, and cross-functional work like strategic planning and B Corp recertification. Prior to this she advised students in the Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program at UWS (and eventually married a nutrition professor). Kristin joined the board because she believes Zenger does the highest priority work: providing access and education on the interdependent relationship between healthy land, food, community and personal health. In her free time she explores food in the context of a bi-racial heritage, including crafting plant-based versions of treasured Colombian recipes. Kristin has a B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as certificates in Human Resources and Project Management.
VALENTINA CHAU (SHE/HER)
Valentina is the National Program Coordinator at FoodCorps, a nonprofit working with communities to connect kids to healthy food in schools across the nation. Valentina pursued a degree in environmental and food studies at the University of Oregon. Interning at Food for Lane County cemented her desire to pursue work in food justice in her hometown of Portland. Valentina joined the Zenger Farm board because she strongly believes in community, culturally appropriate foods, and garden based education, and Zenger primarily serves the SE community her family has resided in since immigrating to the United States forty years ago. In her free time, Valentina enjoys baking, gardening, and going on long walks with her dog.
ARELY GARCIA (SHE/HER)
Arely Garcia (she/her) serves as the Senior Manager of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at FoodCorps. In her role, she has implemented the organization’s first BIPOC employee resource group, introduced its first restorative justice practices, is rolling out organizational policy that addresses microagressions, and is working through a strategic planning processes that will drastically pivot the organization into deepening it’s diversity, equity and inclusion practices. Arely’s background is in a variety of organizer and activist initiatives. While in Los Angeles, she organized the East LA community, and gained support from East LA board supervisor Hilda Solis to launch East LA’s very first health and wellness resource fair. Some of Arely’s other actions included implementing an Early Education campaign for East LA families, and several “Know Your Rights” campaigns while the community experienced ICE raids. Her food justice interest was sparked while working with Los Angeles communities experiencing food apartheid. Working at FoodCorps has allowed her to expand her Social Justice passions into food equity, and is excited to contribute, learn, and grow on Zenger Farm’s board of directors.
ALLISON O’SULLIVAN, TREASURER (SHE/HER)
AlliO is a horticulturist for Portland Parks & Recreation. She is passionate about cultivating culturally appropriate, aesthetically pleasing, and functional landscapes. She is also an ISA Certified Arborist and Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. AlliO brings more than 15 years of experience managing land in ecologically sustainable ways, as well as running outdoor education programs in many natural settings, including the desert, the redwood forest, farms and gardens, wetlands, and the ocean shoreline. In addition to her dedication to stewarding healthy environments and learning from nature, she is focused on promoting equity, inclusivity, and diversity. She loves practicing yoga, cooking from the garden, and adventuring in nature. AlliO earned a Bachelors Degree in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University and is curious about how humans interact with each other and our environments.
The Painted Hills
You’ll easily see why these famous hills are listed amongst the Seven Wonders of Oregon. This geological site is marked with dramatic splashes on rich clay, bronze, sandstone, and amber shades of earth.
You’ll feel like you’re wandering Mars as you explore the otherworldly terrain of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. If you have time, you can dig deeper into the 40 million years of history at the local learning centers.
Where to eat in Bend
When in Bend, you can’t miss the Ocean Roll pastry (cardamom, vanilla, and sugar rolled up in traditional croissant dough) at the Sparrow Bakery or the Salty Queen kouign-amann (caramelized croissant dough topped with smoked salt) at Foxtail Bakeshop , one of the 30 local businesses in the Box Factory , a dining and shopping complex in a former lumber mill on the banks of the Deschutes River. For other cheap eats, check out Bend’s well-established food truck scene, which includes a number of collectives such as the Lot, On Tap, and the Podski, where food carts like Toasty (grilled sandwiches), Tin Pig (Southern fare), and Tacos (tacos!) rotate throughout the week.
For brunch-seekers, Jackson’s Corner on Bend’s west side serves organic fare sourced from Oregon farms and local foragers. When it’s time for dinner, head to the Old Mill District, where chef Eric Rud, who left his San Francisco restaurant for Bend’s Boxwood Kitchen , makes all of his pastas, spaetzle, gnocchi, and rolls in house. Another solid choice is Cascada at the Pronghorn Resort. Here, chef Kevin Linde brings his deep experience on the Oregon Coast to six-course tasting menus paired with excellent pinot gris, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon from Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Washington’s Columbia County.
Bend has the most craft and microbreweries per capita in the state of Oregon, and the Bend Ale Trail is a great way to visit most of them. If you’d rather stay put, go to the oldest of the bunch, Deschutes Brewery , which boasts a restaurant and tasting room in the heart of downtown. For cocktails, Bend’s best speakeasy is the Broom Closet , tucked under the eaves of the McMenamins Old St. Francis School Hotel , where part of the fun is finding the Alice in Wonderland–style secret doors and hidden rooms off the crooked hallways.
Once you think you have Dirty Lettuce figured out, it&rsquos guaranteed to surprise you. That&rsquos why it&rsquos always good to keep an eye out for their specials revolving around a single ingredient that may throw you for a loop: pasta! In the early 1900s, New Orleans saw an influx of Italian immigrants coming from Sicily, bringing with them their national culinary treasure. Fast forward to 2021, and Portlanders are reaping the benefits with fusion dishes like Cajun Creamy Pasta with chicken and shrimp, and Chicken Tetrazzini, a dish that&rsquos become quintessentially Mississippi with thick linguine noodles and tender chicken in a decadent cream sauce.
Read the entire Great American Black Vegan Restaurant Tour feature in the newest issue of VegNews on newsstands now! For even more of the stories behind Black-owned vegan restaurants nationwide, follow our Black-owned restaurant web series. Don&rsquot miss our coverage on Seasoned Vegan, Mattie&rsquos Foods, Chi Chi Vegan, Vurger Guyz, Souley Vegan, Ras Plant Based, and Spoiled Vegans.
Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do ?
Get the BEST vegan recipes , travel, celebrity interviews , product picks , and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine . Find out why VegNews is the world&rsquos #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today !