A door with a gold decorative knocker opens to reveal a cozy sitting area with tufted velvet couch and chair and an electric fireplace.

DIY Writing Retreat: McMinnville’s Best Options for a Creative Weekend

McMinnville is the perfect place to hunker down and get some creative work done. The most fun retreats involve unique lodging, local food, and inspirational walks in whatever city you find yourself in. If you’re building an itinerary for a McMinnville writing retreat–or simply want a lovely weekend in wine country–here are some great options to consider.

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A tasting room that looks like a house, rows of grape vines, and a leafless oak tree sits atop a hill, creating a silhouette against a cloudy gray sky.

Uncorking Cellar Season in McMinnville

It’s time to ditch the Netflix marathon and get away to something truly special this winter. Nestled in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, McMinnville transforms during winter into a wonderland for the senses: think crackling fireplaces, steaming mugs of locally roasted coffee, and, of course, swirling glasses of world-renowned Pinot Noir.

Read all the way to the end for exclusive lodging deals during Cellar Season.

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Diners sit at warmly lit tables in a restaurant. A server cracks pepper onto the plates of their guests.

What’s on the Menu at Hayward

A converted shoe grease factory isn’t the first place you might think of when considering one of the best restaurants in the Willamette Valley, but then you haven’t met Hayward. Stylishly designed to fit within a corner of the redesigned Mac Market space, this sophisticated yet playful restaurant opened in 2023 and provides a welcoming spot to enjoy the culinary prowess of Chef Kari Kahari. Her ability to transform local and humble ingredients with unexpected flavors and unique techniques is an art form not to be missed.

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A spread of food including tandoori chicken, naan bread, rice, and an array of sauces.

A Taste of India Comes to McMinnville

On almost any given night on Third Street, hungry patrons can be found waiting outside of the recently-opened Taste of India on Third Street. McMinnville finally has an Indian restaurant and our town is here for it. If you have yet to go, here is a little introduction to the restaurant, cuisine, and people that make it worth a visit.

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The outside of a restaurant. It has big windows and a holiday wreath on the door.

McMinnville welcomes the new restaurant, Pinch

With a name like Pinch, it’s hard not to think of the several idioms that feature that particular word and how they might apply to the newly opened restaurant in McMinnville. For instance, “Pinch me, I must be dreaming because this almond cake is ridiculously delicious;” “This is where I want to go for drinks in a Pinch (or anytime);” or “Just a Pinch (or more) of this bearnaise sauce, please.” The meaning of the name isn’t important because all of the statements work for the food and feel of this new dining space.

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A person in an apron stands behind a tray of white koji.

A Visit to ōkta Farm

In a world where the phrase “farm to table” has begun to lose impact and meaning, ōkta has doubled down and propelled the idea to the next level. Focusing on micro-seasons, the restaurant sources almost all of their produce from their own farm on the ribbon ridge in the Willamette Valley.

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