With the Coast Range to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east, the Willamette Valley is one of the top wine producing areas in the United States—not to mention one of our favourites for cycling.

Lying at the same latitude as Burgundy and featuring similar weather, it’s no surprise that the Valley is known primarily for its pinot noirs. The landscape offers over 200 vineyards as well as orchards and pine forests, comprising flats, rolling hills, and optional big climbs up Sheridan or Bald Peaks. The few small towns—McMinnville, Yamhill, and Carlton among others—boast terrific little bakeries and cafés. Don't miss lunch or dinner at Recipe Newberg, or a margherita pizza at Red Hills Market in Dundee. The Allison Inn makes for the perfect base, complete with award-winning Spa and JORY restaurant.

Further south of the Willamette Valley, between Portland and San Francisco, lies the dreamy ten-suite luxury reprieve of Ashland Creek Inn. Each of the ten suites have been carefully decorated by the innkeeper with rare antiques and artifacts brought back from his extensive global travels. Ashland is known both for its bioregional beauty and for its annual Ode to Shakespeare, a nine-month festival that’s been ranked among the top five regional theatres in the country. The Inn provides the perfect backdrop from which to begin cycling routes through the idyllic valley roads followed by world-class fine dining in Ashland. It’s no wonder guests plan years in advance to ensure a stay at the Ashland Creek Inn.

I’m just back from biking with Gray & Co. in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg was a terrific base. We biked among vineyards, forests, orchards and charming small towns. Of course, the pinot noirs and local restaurants were outstanding!
C.D., Beaufort, South Carolina

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