Post Summary: The perfect Willamette Valley weekend itinerary for outdoor lovers
Looking for a great weekend trip from Portland?
Just a short drive south is the Willamette Valley, filled with gorgeous wineries, relaxing stays, and a little adventure too!
In this post, we’re highlighting some things to do for 3 days in the Willamette Valley to help you plan your next Pacific Northwest getaway!
The Perfect Willamette Valley Weekend Itinerary, Oregon (Wineries, Waterfalls, and Wellness)
This post is in partnership with the Independence Hotel. All opinions, writing, and images are our own.
Where is the Willamette Valley?
The Willamette Valley is a ~150 mile stretch of rich soil in western Oregon that runs north to south, between the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coastal Range.
This area is commonly referred to as “Oregon Wine Country” with 877 vineyards and 676 wineries covering the valley. The Willamette River flows across the entire valley creating rich, healthy soil throughout.
Several of Oregon’s biggest cities and towns run through this valley, including Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, McMinnville, Portland, Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Gresham. In nearly every town, you can find a local vineyard, winemaker, grower, or a tasting room to try.
The Willamette Valley is the ideal Portland weekend trip for a girl’s weekend, romantic getaway, or a relaxing nature escape from city life.
Wine and agriculture (fresh produce!) tend to be the most common reason people come to visit the Willamette Valley, but there are a plethora of other things to do too! From gorgeous Oregon waterfalls, access to the coast and mountains, and even steaming Oregon hot springs, there’s a ton of outdoor adventure to be had!
Keep scrolling for our example itinerary for your perfect weekend in the Willamette Valley!
Day 1: Check into the Independence Hotel
The Independence Hotel is a boutique getaway nestled alongside the Willamette River in the historic town of Independence, Oregon.
It’s the perfect place to stay for an adventurous weekend combined with a little relaxation and luxury. Each room has pretty views of the surrounding area – either the darling downtown area, outdoor amphitheater nearby, or the sleepy flow of the river beyond can be seen from the rooms.
During our Willamette Valley weekend itinerary, we stayed in one of their suites complete with a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and office! It was definitely a treat to experience such a grand room. Throughout the room, the walls and decorations were adorned by local Oregon artists and makers which made the place feel unique and special.
While in Independence, try strolling their downtown historic block which is an easy 5-minute walk from the Independence Hotel. Here, you’ll find charming bookstores, coffee shops, chocolatiers, and fun bars (The Tap Station used to be an old auto garage!).
With in-room bike storage, you can even bring your bike from home to hit the nearby trails for a Willamette Valley tour and keep it in your room at night.
Come back for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant on site, Territory. They locally source their ingredients from growers and makers in the Willamette Valley!
Territory’s Pacific Northwest-inspired artisan dishes are the perfect way to enjoy local cuisine, especially when enjoyed out on their riverfront patio overlooking the creek!
Finally, grab some drinks and head up to the rooftop deck at the Independence Hotel! Enjoy 360-degree views of the Willamette River, Riverfront Park, and the amphitheater just below.
It’s a peaceful place to wind down your evening and prepare for all the adventures ahead the next day.
Day 2: Hike To Silver Falls State Park
Seeking a little adventure on your Willamette Valley weekend itinerary?
Silver Falls State Park is one of the closest state parks to the Independence Hotel, about a 45-minute drive into the Cascade Mountains. You get to experience not one but several iconic waterfalls in Oregon in just one single park!
For a full day at Silver Falls State Park, consider hiking the famous Trail of Ten Falls, a 7.4-mile loop that tours 10 stunning falls including South Falls, North Falls, and more.
Discover more trails towards the coast: 26 Breathtaking Oregon Coast Hikes To Try This Weekend
The Trail of Ten Falls is moderate in difficulty, meaning it will take a few hours to complete, and has a bit of elevation change. However, taking the entire loop trail will bring you to some incredible Pacific Northwest gems!
You will experience walking under a few waterfalls, wandering the cool trails on the canyon floor, and maybe even dipping your toes in the creek during your lunch break. It’s a great way to spend a weekend in the Willamette Valley, especially with friends or family!
Seeking even more waterfalls? Here are other Oregon waterfalls near the Willamette Valley:
- Abiqua Falls (east of Salem, OR – requires 4WD Vehicle)
- Drift Creek Falls (towards the coast)
- McDowell Creek Falls County Park
- Downing Creek Falls, Marion Falls, and Gatch Falls (Willamette National Forest)
Day 3: Go Wine Tasting
What is a weekend in the Willamette Valley without going wine tasting?
This region is widely and commonly compared to the Burgundy region of France. Both climates experience cool conditions with generous cloud cover and have similar factors like weather and climate, each with a touch of soil acidity.
Once Oregon wines were winning awards alongside their famous French rivals, the French winemakers started buying land in Oregon!
Looking for a Willamette Valley wineries map? Click here for a fun and interactive one!
For this particular Willamette Valley weekend itinerary, we visited Johan Vineyards.
Located in the Van Duzer Corridor AVA, this 85-acre winery is a certified Biodynamic Estate. This means that the winegrowers support a holistic farming view, putting energy into microbiological diversity in the soil, sustainable farming techniques, and seeking synergy and natural cooperation with the land.
This future-oriented approach means that Johan Vineyards is constantly experimenting with wine, producing the most honest tastes and combinations that are determined by the seasons and fruits that grow that particular year.
They are constantly trying new things, which means a wine tasting here is an exciting and unique experience in the Willamette Valley. Along with their delicious experiments, you also find fan favorites here, like the Oregon darling, Pinot Noir.
Take your pick of patio space, picnic tables, or Adirondack chairs under the native oak trees that dot the vineyard!
More Vineyards and Wineries in the Willamette Valley (near the Independence Hotel):
Looking for more wineries and vineyards in the Willamette Valley to enjoy?
Here are some of the best Willamette Valley wineries to experience around the towns of Independence, Dallas, and Monmouth.
Each destination provides its own unique set of amenities, including things like restaurants, live music, family-friendly areas, and more for a curated experience just for you!
- Redgate Vineyards & Winery (small bites and live music)
- Ankey Vineyard (pizza, small bites, live music, pet & family friendly)
- Eola Hills Wine Cellars Tasting Room (yoga, food parings)
- Illahe Vineyards (patio with views, pet & family friendly, food parings, vineyard tours)
- Benedetto Vineyards & Tasting Room (vineyard tours, scenic views, patio and picnic areas)
- Salt Creek Cider House (tasting room, patio & outdoor games, hiking, family friendly)
- Left Coast Estate (pizza, vineyard tours, pet & family friendly, hiking)