Of course your next visit to Oregon Wine Country wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the best wineries and tasting rooms on the West Coast, but surely you’ll want to sneak in a few yummy meals and outdoor adventures along the way. But to be honest, this post should actually come with the headline “Top 5 Things to do in the Yamhill Carlton AVA in Oregon Wine Country.” With many of the founders of the Oregon Wine Industry in the Yamhill Carlton area, we think our AVA is a pretty great place to hang out for a day.
Being born and raised in the Willamette Valley, these are the stops I (Maija) wouldn’t want my friends to miss if they were visiting me at the winery. Added bonus: all of these stops are family friendly (as is our tasting room, btw)! Load up the kids, grab the dog leash and head on out.
1. Eat Breakfast at Carlton Corners
A favorite of the Teppola Family and Laurel Ridge Staff, Carlton Corners in downtown Carlton, Oregon offers hearty breakfasts and extra bubbly mimosas. You can’t go wrong starting your day touring Oregon Wine Country by filling your tank here! Pro Tip: get there before 8:00am for the early bird special!
2. Take a Morning Hike around Miller Woods
Donated to the City of McMinnville, Oregon in 2003, Miller Woods is a 130 acre preserve offering public hiking trails, native plant walks and other activities the whole family can enjoy! And just 3 miles west of McMinnville, this is the perfect place to hike without taking too much time away from your wine-tasting itinerary. Take your morning coffee or a bottle of wine and a lunch picnic to enjoy when you go!
3. Grab Lunch at The Horseradish in Carlton, Oregon
Food doesn’t get more Pacific Northwest-inspired than The Horseradish. Serving local meats and greens when possible, The Horseradish curates sandwiches, soups, salads, and drinks that pair amazingly with the quaint charm of downtown Carlton and Oregon Wine Country. In fact, you’ll often see Laurel Ridge staff (as well as many other area winery owners and operators) in for lunch or dinner here.
4. Walk Around Downtown Newberg, Oregon
Newberg has come a long way since my childhood when the only things to do were go to Shari’s for waffle fries or get a coffee at Newberg’s now famous Coffee Cottage on my way to school. No joke, guys, Newberg used to be pretty bleak. But with the hustle and bustle of the Oregon Wine Industry, small towns like Newberg, Dundee, Carlton and McMinnville are bursting with cute shops, amazing restaurants and lots of things to keep you busy. My top spots in Newberg are the adorable gift shop Pulp & Circumstance, Velour Vintage, Newberg Bakery, Chapter’s Books (fun fact: Chapters is owned by my Middle School Vice Principal!) and, of course, the Coffee Cottage (get the Marionberry scone or else!).
5. Eat Pizza at Red Hill’s Market
Now, Red Hill’s isn’t an off the beaten path suggestion. It’s popular and everyone eats there, and I’m suggesting it for a reason. It’s good. Really good. If you’re a pizza fan, their brick oven pizza is a MUST (um hello, they imported the brick oven straight from the motherland), but if you’re not a pizza fan, not to fear, their ever-changing menu is guaranteed to have something to please. Red Hills Market is the perfect stop after a glorious day of wine tasting.
And there you have it! My top 5 family friendly things to do in Oregon Wine Country! Be sure to visit us at the tasting room and let us know what you thought of our suggestions, and, as always, happy wine tasting!
Looking for more? Visit our posts on the History of Laurel Ridge (part 1 & part 2) to learn more about our winery and the people behind the wine. Or keep up with us on Instagram or Facebook!