MCMINNVILLE, OREGON: WINE, DINE, AND ...

 

Named one of the “foodiest towns in America” by Bon Appetit, chosen as the most beautiful town in Oregon by Expedia, recognized as the “Best Main Street in the West” by Parade magazine AND Sunset magazine, McMinnville is the perfect spot for a weekend escape or week-long retreat.

Designated and touted as “The Heart of Oregon Wine Country” by many, McMinnville is a gotta-go-there destination for anyone who appreciates fine food, incredible wines, historic charm, and an oh-so-strollable downtown.

Oregon’s Favorite Main Street

McMinnville’s downtown, “Oregon’s Favorite Main Street,” is cared for by the McMinnville Downtown Association, and is a model for downtown regions around the country. When you stay at 726 Fourth, Historic Wortman House, you’ll be just a block from famous Third Street—packed with eclectic dining options from simple to elegant, and wineries and tasting rooms offering Oregon’s finest.

Everyone knows Oregon’s coastline is spectacular, but when you venture into the state’s wine country, you’ll be rewarded with rustic charm. McMinnville has a dreamy ambience, from its maple tree-lined streets to its green, sloping vineyards.

The destination for “passionate pinot-pursuers”

The Willamette Valley region of Oregon was chosen as the 2016 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. That’s the best in the world, eclipsing even Burgundy, France or the wine regions of Italy. McMinnville is also home to the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) a three-day event in July that’s famous around the globe as a mecca for lovers of Pinot noir and northwest cuisine.

The area's pinot-noir soaked notoriety has transformed McMinnville's Third Street into what could very well be the most interesting cross section of restaurants in the state.

- Grant Butler,
MIX magazine

Oregon’s wines, and especially McMinnville’s choices, continue to gain recognition and accolades. Brian Freedman, in a 2017 article in Forbes magazine titled How Pinot Noir From Around The World Is Changing Wine-Drinking Perceptions, wrote

… I traveled to Oregon … to explore the wines of the Willamette Valley, and in particular those being produced in McMinnville. I came away from the experience surprised. Not by the overall high quality—that was something that I fully expected—but rather by the diversity of bottlings being successfully produced there.

But really … the food is just plain amazing

It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz about Oregon wine, yet you can’t ignore the incredible quality and variety of dining options in just a few blocks in McMinnville. If you’re a foodie, this paradise.

From the James Beard award-winning Nick’s Italian Cafe to the friendly people at The Sage who offer lunches of fresh-made bread, outstanding sandwiches and warm and satisfying soups; or hand-thrown pizza at Third Street Pizza to Spanish-style tapas in a beautiful space at La Rambla; or a roof-top view and great burgers at the 1882 Grille to seasonal and distinctive creations at Valley Commissary.

There are so many choices, it can be bewildering! And it’s another reason to linger for an extra day or two. See our recommendations and favorites.

McMinnville is a chef's kitchen - fresh flowers, tomatoes, local goat cheese, melons, fresh baguettes, peppers, pumpkin sausage and local wine. There's no better time to be in the Willamette Valley.

- Kevin Max,
1859-Oregon's Magazine

Emily Grosvenor, a local writer and blogger said it so well in her post on Zester Daily,

I hope when people come to town they discover that what sets McMinnville apart is the food — not just the restaurants we love, but how differently people eat here. After all, Third Street is not just a quaint strolling village for wine-country tourists — though its antique storefronts, friendly people and the way every person crossing the street stops traffic might suggest otherwise. Third Street, our Main Street, is the backbone for the food system, and all tendrils reach out from it.

And there’s historic charm in abundance

McMinnville’s downtown exudes historic charm—framed by trees sprinkled with white lights in the winter, and strewn with explosions of blooms in huge hanging flower baskets in the summer. Unlike many other downtowns, Third Street is not the main road through town (99W). Instead, heavy traffic and trucks are absent, so downtown maintains a relaxed ambiance, perfect for strolling and exploring.

Third Street is lined with historic structures that show off the town’s history. Beautiful old homes can also be found tucked away in neighborhoods close by. Founded in 1855, the town was named after William T. Newby’s home town of McMinnville, Tennessee.

Discover more of McMinnville’s history and historic architecture here.

Learn more about McMinnville, Oregon’s Favorite Main Street

On the Visit McMinnville website you’ll find a list of restaurants, wineries, current events and things to see and do in the McMinnville area.

On the McMinnville Downtown Association website you’ll discover details about McMinnville’s annual UFO Festival and Parade (May), the Farmers Market (May to October) and other downtown events.

Interested in relocating to McMinnville? Learn more about McMinnville business from the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, or check in at the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce.

(above) The annual UFO Festival (fondly known as Alien Daze) in May draws people from around the world!

More articles about McMinnville as a not-to-be-missed destination

 

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