The Willamette Valley covers the area through which the Willamette River flows. It is bordered by the Coast Mountain Range on the west side and the Cascade Mountain Range on the east side. It runs roughly from Portland in the north to Eugene in the south.
This large fertile valley was what the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail were headed for--fantastic farmland. Today its fields grow vegetables, seed grain, hops, flowers, hazelnuts, Christmas trees, holly, nursery stock, and grapes. It's pastures are grazed by cattle, sheep, horses, and goats.
The Willamette River offers multiple recreation opportunities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The tributaries of the Willamette, Clackamas River, Santiam River and McKenzie River, offer the same but you can add whitewater rafting to the list.
Visitors enjoy touring Willamette Valley Wineries and a new industry that has popped up which is farm artisans selling artwork, handmade soaps, handspun yarns, cheese, and much much more.
The major cities in the Willamette Valley Oregon are:
Eugene has many claims to fame. It calls itself "Track City USA." It's most famous athlete was runner Steve Prefontain who once held the American record for the five distance running events in track. It was here that Bill Bowerman, track coach at the University of Oregon, and Phil Knight developed a new track shoe and started a company called Nike. Eugene was the home of Ken Kesey, author of
One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion. This is where Animal House was filmed.
The Eugene Oregon Airport is the second busiest airport in Oregon with direct flights to the major west coast cities.
If you are touring the University of Oregon Campus in Eugene or planning on being there on business visit Hotels Eugene Oregon to find a hotel in the best location for you.
Visit Oregon's history in Salem, the state capital. Tour the Oregon Capitol Building. Visit Mission Mill Museum, an old woolen mill, and other historic homes that were built by the early pioneers. Walk the beautiful campus of Willamette University, the oldest university in the western United States.
A must-see side trip from Salem is Silver Creek Falls State Park. This is the largest state park in Oregon and one of the best. You can hike the Trail of Ten Falls or parts of it and enjoy the most beautiful and refreshing rain forest with its spectacular water falls. There are camping sites for both RV's and tents, group camping sites, rustic cabins, and retreat lodges for those who want to spend the night or even several days.
Another fun side trip is a 20-minute drive to Aurora, Oregon for a visit to the Old Aurora Colony Museum. You will find five preserved buildings constructed by the early pioneers of this community along with original artifacts. The town of Aurora is full of antique shops and is Oregon's Antique Capital.
People who enjoy gardening and those who enjoy visiting beautiful gardens will like Oregon Garden . It has gardens for children and pets so the whole family can have a good time. Oregon Garden is located just outside Silverton, Oregon.
Anyone interested in aviation history will enjoy a visit to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. This is the home of Howard Hugh's famous "Spruce Goose" and many other airplanes.