November 11th, 2020

Embrace the chill in McMinnville

It’s official: Cellar season is here.  In the Willamette Valley, we’ve been reveling in the sweater weather, stomping the crunchy leaves, and soaking up the glorious periods of low, filtered autumn sunshine before the inevitable rains come, as they do in the Pacific Northwest.  

So what comes next?  We look for good places where we can slow down, nuzzle up, and consume some comfort food and drinks.  And McMinnville is the perfect place to do just that.

A french press in every room. Photo courtesy of the Atticus Hotel.

Your Home Base:
First things first: You’ve got to find a place to hang your knitted pom-pom hat.  There’s been all kinds of buzz about the Atticus Hotel in downtown McMinnville, from being named this year’s 12th top hotel in the US by Tripadvisor to making USA Today’s  2018’s best wine country hotels list. 

So much attention to detail went into designing this hotel, that you can stay entertained for days just looking for all of the Easter eggs placed to treat the observant guest.  But what makes the Atticus so cozy is the lush furniture, intimate atmosphere and the way you’re treated like a member of the family while you’re there.  McMinnville immediately becomes your home away from home. 

And this winter is the perfect time to check in at the Atticus because any non-specialty room that you book Sunday-Thursday is 15% off (excluding holidays) or if you want to stay through the weekend, you can stay two nights and get the third free.  See details here.

The Wine:
You cannot come to McMinnville and not enjoy some wine country views while you’re here.  Imagine yourself sitting in a homey tasting room with big windows to gaze out at the gray drizzly skies.  Many, many wineries in the Willamette Valley offer this very thing, but might we suggest heading a mere 10 minutes from downtown to Yamhill Valley Vineyards

You can also multi-task while you’re tasting if you’re looking to score some wine country gifts.  They are participating in a regional fundraising promotion called “The Giving Season”, in which the proceeds are allocated to local food banks.  What this means to guests is that you can get 20% off their 2016 Pinot Noir Trio, and as a bonus you also get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with supporting a good cause! 

There are dozens of Willamette Valley wineries that are participating, and all of the killer deals can be purchased online.

The Food:
It’s November 2020 and COVID-19 is often on our minds.  When we think about going out for a food/drink experience, we are considering the safety measures that should be put into place in order for us to have a comfortable experience.  Does an establishment follow the state’s safety guidelines regarding masks, sanitizing surfaces, and spacing out guests?  Despite regulations, does a restaurant feel spacious enough to feel comfortable?  Here are some worry-free places we recommend:

The Collab Kitchen is housed in Mac Market. Photo credit: Michael Hanson. Photo courtesy of Mac Market.

Mac Market:  Located in McMinnville’s Granary District, this community gathering place has it all.  This spacious renovated historic warehouse boasts a café, bar, bottle shop, commissary/restaurant kitchen, market store, gluten-free bakery, and a food cart patio.  

Red Hills Kitchen:  This local food-focused Oregon-style restaurant offers brunch, dinner and happy hour menus, and serves food Thursday-Sunday.  The inviting restaurant feels spacious, and they have recently installed plexiglass partitions between the tables to ease some of the anxieties brought on by COVID.  Red Hills Kitchen is located in the Atticus Hotel, and also provides room service for hotel guests.

1882 Grille’s heated rooftop patio.

1882 Grille:  Get your grub on at any of their four heated patios (we recommend the rooftop patio!).  They have a seasonal craft cocktail menu that is guaranteed to delight, and an extensive menu.

Some folks just want takeout.  These options are guaranteed to hold over for taking back to your hotel room to enjoy whilst lounging about.

Pizza Capo:  This Neapolitan-style pizza is probably some of the best you’ll eat.  Ever.  They have streamlined their to-go experience by offering online ordering and payment.  And they have formulated a crust for to-go orders.

Thai Country Restaurant:  Wasn’t Thai food made for takeout?  Get your curry or noodle fix by ordering over the phone, or in person.  During this time, their food is only available to-go.  

The Fun: 
Boutique Shopping on Third Street:  Truth be told, McMinnville retail shops offer warm and friendly service year round.  Winter never disappoints with the cheerful goods carefully curated by each retailer to make the most out of your holiday shopping experience.  With a wide variety of shops, gifts can be found for everyone on your shopping list.  Here are just a couple of ideas.

Hey…if the robots at the Vortex Record Store don’t have to abide by the 6 ft. rule,
why do they have to wear masks?

The Vortex Record Store: Sometimes all it takes is a good dose of nostalgia to warm even the coldest of hearts.  Flipping through the records and perusing the small collection of band tees is sure to bring you back to simpler times.  Don’t miss the poster room; you may just get inspired to trick out your she shed/man cave with an old school blacklight and reactive art!

So many gift ideas at Cupcake Couture.

Cupcake Couture: Stepping into this store immediately puts you in a cozy, festive mood.  Each display invites you to take it in with all of your senses.  This is the perfect place to find sweaters, boots, and even holiday pj’s!  You can also take a load off on the plushy couch while your bff is in the fitting room.

Miller Woods: So maybe shopping is not your thing.  Outdoorsy folks can get their blood pumping by going on a hike in the woods.  Located less than five miles from downtown, Miller Woods offers trails of varying lengths and difficulty to warm your body and spirits. 

Miller Woods is green and vibrant throughout the seasons. Photo credit: Jim Fischer.

So, what are you waiting for?  See for yourself this weekend.

About the Author: Jamie Corff is the Marketing Coordinator for Visit McMinnville. It’s common to find her enjoying the arts in the form of theater, music, and the written word. She is also a passionate cheerleader for her beloved Downtown McMinnville and the people and businesses that are integral to its vibrancy.