Fun Things to Do in Tualatin Valley Oregon

Tualatin Valley Oregon has something for everyone. Washington County encompasses Tualatin Valley and boasts great wine, outdoor activities, eclectic food, exciting festivals and events, oh, and it is also home to Nike.

Thank you to Washington County Visitor’s Association for hosting McCool Travel in Tualatin Valley Oregon.

Tualatin Valley map is from
Tualatin Valley map is from

Things to Do in Tualatin Valley Oregon

On a clear day in Tualatin Valley, you can see the majestic volcanic mountains. Even from the ground.

Places to Stay in Tualatin Valley

McCool Travel articles rarely list places to stay as the first thing to do in an area but Tualatin Valley is an exception. An amazingly fun hotel called McMenamin’s Grand Lodge is to blame.

McMenamin’s Grand Lodge

Where have you been my whole life? McMenamin’s Grand Lodge, in Forest Grove Oregon, is the funkiest, weirdest, most interesting hotel I have been to.

Click the above and below picture collections to see more. We stayed in a Grateful Dead themed room in the attic of McMenamin’s Grand Lodge.

Also, please check out my video of the coolness at McMenamin’s.

As a crazy final surprise, this appeared on my final day. Loved seeing these classic, mostly Subaru, antique mini vehicles. I would love seeing them on a Oregon coast scenic drive.


The Orenco Hotel

While in Oregon, we also stayed at The Orenco. Offering luxury accommodations and business support amenities, within steps of a wonderful public park, great restaurants and shops, and public rail, The Orenco is a sweet find.

Our Orenco Hotel room offered eclectic bedside reading. Which would you read first?


Tualatin Valley Wineries

Tualatin Valley winery owners and staff proudly tell visitors why Willamette Valley produces its famous Pinot Noir. Listen to the story at least once before diving into a glass or two.

Ardiri Winery

Go to Ardiri Winery for the views but stay for the wine. Or go for the wine and stay for the views. Just go! On a hilltop with views of Mt. Hood and ample comfortable outside seating with fire pits, Ardiri offers an idyllic antidote to the relative bustle in nearby Nike land.


Oak Knoll Winery

Located a little closer to Hillsboro, Oak Knoll Winery is an easy boondoggle from your Nike or Intel meeting. Shhhh, I will not tell. Oak Knoll produces the Official Portland Rose Festival wine every year since there has been one.

things to do in Tualatin Valley Oregon. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
things to do in Tualatin Valley: Oak Knoll Winery

Dion Vineyard

Dion Vineyard is a small, family owned farm in Cornelius, Oregon. Beth—owner of Dion, along with her husband Kevin—offered us fresh Hood strawberries, which are simply amazing. This is a great place to sample some small batch Willamette Valley wines, which Beth called the “best wine you’ve never heard of.”

Places to Eat in Tualatin Valley


I provide you with an inspiring photo (I hope) of a mojito but you really must try several food items at Bites Restaurant in Forest Grove. They offer clever Asian fusion small bites like Korean rib Kalbi tacos and Kickin’ Cauliflower. We split a couple of small plates and a large noodle soup. So good!

Syun Izikaya

Deemed one of the top 15 Japanese restaurants in the US by Zagat, Syun Izikaya in Hillsboro offers top quality food and sake. It was really fun to go here after visiting Sake One (see below) earlier that day.

things to do in Tualatin Valley Oregon. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
one of the best Tualatin Valley restaurants: Syun Izikaya

Yellow Llama

Peru meets Oregon at Yellow Llama in Forest Grove. Try their hand-crafted cocktails and ample home-cooked entrees. Like at Bites, we shared some appetizers and split an entree. Glad we did!


More Things to Do in Tualatin Valley

Pick Hood Strawberries

After Beth at Dion Vineyard introduced us to the amazing Hood Strawberries, we eagerly enjoyed our next stop at Unger Farms in Cornelius, Oregon. Picking a pint of fresh Hood Strawberries from the fields at Unger Farms warranted a super fresh lunch in their cafe.


Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour

Only a few weeks before my Oregon visit did I finally zip line for the first time. So, I did not know what to expect from a zip line course. Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour lasts about 2.5 hours with seven zip lines and three suspension bridges. One stop in the middle was called Patrick Sways Tree. Ha. Really fun place!

Sake One

Learn about sake production, tasting, and more at Sake One in Forest Grove. The sake tour and tasting opened my eyes (and other senses), an especially poignant and convenient visit before dinner at Syun Izikaya that evening. McCool Travel tip: I learned that you should never order Daigingo sake warm, as that masks the impurities.

things to do in Tualatin Valley Oregon. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
things to do in Tualatin Valley: Sake One

Hillsboro Farmers Market

Conveniently located behind our Orenco Hotel room on Sunday morning was the Hillsboro Farmers Market. The market vendors provided plenty of fresh produce—including more of those famous Hood strawberries. I may or may not have had a second breakfast from this stand. P.S. I did. Our farmers market goodies provided great fuel for that day’s Oregon Coast road trip to Tillamook and Cannon Beach.

things to do in Tualatin Valley Oregon. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
things to do in Tualatin Valley: Hillsboro Farmers Market

What are some of your favorite things to do in Tualatin Valley Oregon?

Sharing is caring!

18 thoughts on “Fun Things to Do in Tualatin Valley Oregon”

  1. I was just in this area about a month ago, and it is a really fun spot. I didn’t get to explore as much as y’all, but love seeing the pics from your stay at McMenamins Grand Lodge. It’s a shame you missed out on baseball season because the Hillsboro Hops are a lot of fun, too.

  2. Wow; there are so many things to do in Tualatin Valley, Oregon. It’s been years since I traveled to the Northwest…maybe it’s time!!

  3. A little something for everyone, although my faves were the micro cars and the funky hotel – definitely my kind of accommdations!

  4. Tualatin Valley in Oregon looks like a fun and quirky place to visit. We will certainly have to add it to our list. The lodge would make for a memorable stay. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I’d make this trip just for the view from the airplane window. (I realize I’d have to hope for a clear day—not always a given in the Pacific northwest.)

  6. I think I’ll go for the sake! It’s years since I roamed through this valley. Clearly, it’s time to return. Cheers! 🙂

  7. My best friend is about to move to Oregon. While I’m sad, I can look forward to visiting after reading this. Thank you for the silver lining! It all looks amazing.

  8. Lived in Portland for years before Tualatin became so interesting. Izakaya’s are a favorite and McMin…’s places are always fun. I need to follow your lead next time I’m in the area.

Comments are closed.