January 11th, 2021

Tiny Travels: Take a Wellness Reset in McMinnville

A smoothie bowl from Local Flow Health Bar brings a bright start to the Tiny Travelers’ Day.

New Year, new place? If one of the great benefits of travel is how it resets the mind with new perspectives and habits, a quick trip might be the best way to kick off a new wellness routine. With a fresh motivation to focus on physical and mental health, the Tiny Travelers set out to deliver a choose-your-own wellness itinerary for a day trip or overnight to McMinnville. 

Here’s are their top picks:


Switching up what to eat is par for January, and McMinnville has a lot of surprises to offer anyone removing certain items from their diet. Pura Vida Cocina is the go-to spot for many who identify as gluten-free, with great options like small plates big on the flavors of South America. Classic French might not come first to mind for a reset but the fresh, produce-heavy choices at Bistro Maison like heirloom beet salad, hunter’s salad or daily GF/DF soup make it a must (takeout opens up again January 21). At Collab Kitchen, in the cool Mac Market space in the Alpine District, pick up whatever delightful dish Chef Kari Shaughnessy is making for her Goodness-to-Go menu. It’s wildly unpredictable, with some weeks featuring Korean-inspired comfort food, Mediterranean small plates, locally-sourced, veggie-forward sides, or local Drake Farms duck with chickpea tostada.  


It’s a given. You’re going to get hungry experiencing all of that small-town charm. When they get famished the Tiny Travelers like to hit up their favorite snack spots — though “snack” here might not quite capture how great. For one, there’s Local Flow, a health bar with smoothies, acai bowls, pressed juices and grain bowls to suit every appetite. Those in a hurry should grab local favorite protein balls from Betty Lou’s at Harvest Fresh Grocery & Deli (they’re made in town) or a stop for protein smoothie at the old-school counter (take out for now) at Parkway Natural Foods. Fresh salads, olives, tapenade, antipasti, and maybe some sliced coppa if you’re a meat lover — Pierano & Daughters right on 3rd Street is a savory spot to work into the schedule.


Fresh air, sunshine, a short meander or a long one: The dreaded “exercise” feels like no work at all at Miller Woods Conservation Area, a 130 acres of woodland and prairie just four miles and 10 minutes west of McMinnville. Take the long way with the moderate, 4.5-mile loop that circumnavigates the property, or just walk the ⅓ mile around the pond. Some tiny travelers like to stop for a selfie in the grove of giant oaks. Print your trail map here before you go. As of publication, you no longer need a reservation to visit, but check the website for updates.


Ironic but true — the Tiny Travelers need to plan to relax. In McMinnville that means hitting up one of the local spas or independent massage therapists for some bodywork. Book a therapist at Key to Health massage or Breathe and you’ll be able to walk downtown to your appointment. If you don’t have time for a full massage, go get a piping hot Happy Tea at Velvet Monkey, a sweet underground loose leaf tea shop with Ayurvedic blends and other quick elixirs for serenity. While most group yoga studios remain closed, private sessions are a real treat at YogaJoy.  


Just this once, the Tiny Travelers insist on accommodations with a  hot tub. Where to go? How about The Comfort Inn, which has five private hot tub suites where your own personal time machine is there in the room with you. The hotel’s hot tub and pool are currently closed, so make sure you book the hot tub suite. The Best Western McMinnville Inn also has three King bedrooms with whirlpool tubs directly in the room. 

Emily Grosvenor is the creator of Tiny Travels, Editor of Oregon Home magazine and the storyteller behind #mcminnvilledentist.