These two verdant suburbs are where Portland’s urban growth boundary really starts to give way to the farms of the Willamette Valley and vineyards of Oregon wine country. Case in point: there are four full-fledged wineries with scenic-blessed tasting rooms in West Linn alone.
The designer toast movement is in full-swing in these parts—for proof, look no farther than the avo toast at the stylish Lark Café in West Linn, finished with chile flakes, olive oil, and Maldon salt. Over in Wilsonville, the Moroccan food and incredible décor at Dar Essalam gets high praise from locals for authentic tagines and savory chicken bastilla.
Now, about that wine, accessible without fighting the 99W traffic to Newberg and points south. You can bop from Oswego Hills Winery and its trademark white barn to the lovingly landscaped Tumwater Vineyard to Pete’s Mountain Vineyard and Winery, finishing up at Campbell Lane Winery, which has a sweeping Mount Hood view. (All wineries are within close driving distance of each other, but with an itinerary like this, you’ll probably want to tap a designated driver.)
In the spring, pop over to the Nature Conservancy–managed Camassia Nature Preserve, named for the camas lily, which blooms there in abundance every April and May along with a host of other wildflowers. Look but don’t touch from along the boardwalks and unpaved hiking trails. During the Christmas holidays, West Linn’s Maddax Woods is festooned with lights that wind through the natural area to a platform that overlooks the Willamette River below.