January 14th, 2022

Make out in McMinnville: 5 cozy nooks to snuggle with your sweetheart

Are you stressing about creating the perfect experience for Valentine’s Day?  Maybe it’s because you’re trying to impress a new flame, preparing to pop the question, or maybe you’re looking to liven things up with your longtime sweetie.  Either way, if you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of the game because it means that you’re considering whisking your lover away to McMinnville, the heart of Oregon’s wine country.  Whatever you do while you’re here, we’re fairly certain you can’t go wrong.  So relax, because in McMinnville, you’ll find that it’s actually quite easy to find that sweet spot.

Two glasses of sparkling water and a plate of fresh oyster shooters are placed on a table top.  Seating nooks are blurred in the background.
It doesn’t get any fresher than this. Photo by Jamie Corff.

Red Hills Kitchen: Kick off the evening with a romantic happy hour at Red Hills Kitchen, located in the delightfully swanky Atticus Hotel.  Since they’re believed to be an aphrodisiac, a tray of NW oysters on the half shell are in order.  Be sure to pair them with the Argyle sparkling wine to get those romantic vibes bubbling up.  

Moonlight Theater: Remember those days of adolescent love when the movie theater was the place to go on a date?  Relive that teenage dream at 3rd Street Pizza’s Moonlight Theater.  Only now that you’re a grown up, you get to legitimately buy a couple pints of beer to go along with your pizza and movie.  Sit back, hold hands and rest your head on your honey’s shoulder.

Troon Biodynamic Wine Bar: For some, Valentine’s Day has a reputation for being a consumerist holiday created by greeting card companies.  If this rings true to you, don’t rest on your laurels and nix the whole idea of wining and dining your beloved on this holiday.  Instead, make your way down Third Street to Troon Vineyard’s newly opened tasting room where you can feel good about your consumption of wine.  In doing so, you’ll be supporting a winery that is biodynamically certified, requiring them to adhere to strict environmental and production standards.  Additionally, Troon is among the first wineries in the world to earn their ROC certification, which adds strident social standards as well.  Plant yourselves in one of their welcoming, warmly lit hideaways, where you can choose from several flights to share, steal a kiss between sips, and enjoy those warm fuzzies.  

One of the seating nooks at Troon tasting room.  There is a couch and a chair to sit in with an ottoman and table.  Warm lighting and a lit wooden art piece are on the walls.
This could be your tasting nook. Photo courtesy of Troon Vineyard.

Blue Moon Lounge: Has Valentine’s Day got you nervous this year?  Don’t worry: We’ve been there too, tripping on our tongue and practically sweating candy hearts.  Take the pressure off and head somewhere that will provide the conversation starters.  The locally favored dive bar, affectionately known as The Moon, is a great place to people-watch.  Have a seat in a bouncy semi-circle booth, and snack on a plate of fresh fries while your gin & tonic’s nerve-calming qualities kick in.  Bring cash, because that’s all they accept here!  

A couple sits at a copper bar with drinks in hand.
McMenamins Cellar Bar. Photo by Sionnie Lafollete.

McMenamins Rooftop or Cellar Bar: Our favorite thing about McMenamins Hotel Oregon is the undeniable, cozy kookiness to it.  Picture yourself sitting next to your paramour in a vintage wooden booth or tucked safely within a brick alcove with golden lighting and eclectic art on the walls, sipping on your favorite bevvy.  McMenamins has no shortage of nooks to settle in, but our favorites are in their Rooftop and Cellar Bars.  Both are worth visiting, but be sure to check their hours, which are somewhat limited due to the ongoing pandemic.

Make your Valentine’s Day plans in McMinnville.  We’ll provide the ambiance and charm, but the rest is up to you!

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