Wineries, aircraft and “Oregon’s favorite main street”

John Gottberg Anderson takes a two-day road trip leaving the outdoor adventure town of Bend, Oregon for the verdant wine country of McMinnville, Oregon. Follow his itinerary for his top picks for places to stay, eat and wine taste in McMinnville in this article: Northwest Travel: Exploring McMinnville

“Here’s how I recommend filling your schedule on a 48-hour visit to McMinnville:

On day one, arrive for lunch after a three-plus-hour drive from Central Oregon. (The distance from Bend, via Salem, is 159 miles.) Dine at any one of several excellent eateries, such as the new Community Plate, where you order at the counter and share a table with new friends.

Then set your radar for the Evergreen museum, where you should plan to spend a full afternoon. It’s not only the Spruce Goose, the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat (it made one abbreviated flight in 1947) has the largest wingspan (over 320 feet) of any aircraft in history. Dozens of other aircraft are exhibited in two giant hangars, one of them dedicated to space technology. A third building has an IMAX theater; a fourth houses Oregon’s largest waterpark.

Return to town to check into the Hotel Oregon, which is not McMinnville’s fanciest hotel (expect your bathroom to be down the hall) but is certainly centrally located. Most other accommodations, save for some luxury suites and a couple of bed-and-breakfast inns, are not within easy walking distance of the downtown area… The highlight of Hotel Oregon’s year comes in the middle of May with the annual UFO Festival, second largest of its type in the United States. While any day of the year is a good one for downing a beverage in the rooftop bar (literally the high point of downtown McMinnville) as you search the skies for unidentified flying objects, I am told its quirky festival parade is a don’t-miss occasion. The festival was started in 2000 on the 50th anniversary of a historic “flying saucer” sighting near McMinnville…” – Read the full article here