January 29th, 2020

Tiny Travels: A McMinnville Personal Retreat Checks All the Boxes

Here’s a fact about DIY personal retreats: You don’t need much more than a place with a desk, a bed, and a way to get food. But what about what you might want? If we are talking about a slower pace, time for creativity, access to great food, and elevated particulars, McMinnville earns a lot of checks on the retreat lover’s questionnaire. 

What you need: Accommodations.

What you really want: A place that inspires you. Whether you’re making goals for your business, taking some journaling space, or composing the next great novel, there might be no more inspiring space than The Atticus, a boutique hotel where every single detail has been thoughtfully considered for you.  It feels less like a hotel than a chance to live a more glamorous, inspired life in a place that takes care of you. 

The Atticus Hotel provides a soothing retreat in the heart of Oregon wine country.

What you need: Provisions.

What you really want: How about a single street with two dozen restaurants, a grocery store, charm galore, a foodie sensibility, and a luxury hotel with in-room delivery? Yes, please.

What you need: Pens and pencils.

What you really want: Access to the widest range of fancy modern writing implements, notebooks, and analog tools at places like an old-timey office supply store (Oregon Stationers) and an art supply store (The Merri Artist).

What you need: Books.

What you really want: All the books. At the Atticus, each hotel room has hand-selected favorites by locals. The Helen Hunt Suite has a collection of old and new classics like Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy; or you can pop down the street to Third Street Books, for well-loved, intimately curated books from across genres. The McMinnville Public Library is just a two-minute walk from downtown.

What you need: Caffeine.

What you really want: The perfect place to reflect while caffeinated. You can always write in your quiet hotel room, but creativity experts say that the best ideas happen in a setting of about 70 decibels of white noise, which means that coffee shop work really might bring you forward. For a place where the WIFI is verboten, head to Velvet Monkey Tea Shop, the novelist’s favorite haunt, or try Flag & Wire Coffee for a buzzing atmosphere. Mac Market can accommodate people who stand while writing and has a great magazine selection for use on-site. 

What you need: Exercise.

What you really want: Movement. Steven King walks every day. David Sedaris gets in  his 50,000 steps. Dani Shapiro makes yoga a part of her daily writing life. Healthy mind and healthy body can be had at three yoga studios in town: Yoga Joy, 4 Elements Yoga, and Boho Yoga. Get strong at the McMinnville Pilates Center. Walk the track at the McMinnville Community Center if it’s raining, for just $1. 

What you need: Relaxation.

What you want: A massage. And you can get one, either delivered in your hotel room, or at Breathe Body & Spa, Spa Bliss, Key to Health Massage, or any number of local licensed practitioners. 

What you need: A break.

What you want: A glass of wine. Or beer. Or even gluten-free beer. Or cider. A late-night cup of tea. Even the most diligent retreat-goer needs a break from all that reflecting. Solitary work, even if desired, can do with an injection of conviviality. Meet people at the Bitter Monk, the Hotel Oregon, Nick’s Backroom, the bar at Thistle, Blue Moon Lounge, or just walk 3rd Street and flaneur your way to a sweet escape.


Emily Grosvenor is the Editor of Oregon Home magazine and the voice behind Tiny Travels. Follow her on Instagram @emilygrosvenor.