Driving to McMinnville, Oregon

This week my daughter and I took a day trip to go explore McMinnville, Oregon.  We enjoy picking a random town and heading there for no particular reason other than to explore and have lunch.  The drive there is beautiful as we tried to avoid all major highways and took the back roads over the rolling hills between Beaverton and McMinnville.  The hills were filled with orchards of hazelnuts, fields of wheat and mint, and vineyards.

We took Hwy 10 out of Beaverton and headed for Laurelwood. From there to Gaston, on to Carlton, and finally our destination of downtown McMinnville.  McMinnville is the home of Linfield college and the downtown has a bit of an artsy college town feel.  The tree-lined downtown is pretty and there are plenty of shops to visit.  Don’t pass through McMinnville on the main highway thinking it’s just a collection of big box stores and car sales lots.  Get off the main drag and find the older downtown core.  It is worth the stop.  I’d recommend lunch at Sage Restaurant in the mezzanine floor of a nice home goods store called La Bella Casa.  Don’t miss the the chocolates available in the coffee shop downstairs!  I do NOT recommend making this trip on a Tuesday, as we did, just because so many stores are closed Mondays and Tuesdays (as I now realize) in both Carlton and McMinnville.

I didn’t take a lot of photos, but will share a few:

The rolling hills of Washington County
We weren’t really going that fast, but the blurred foreground looks kind of cool
We stopped in the small town of Carlton. The old train station is now a winery.
Old railroad signal
in Carlton, Oregon
Downtown McMinnville

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