About Nautilus Inc.
I have been so behind on sharing this post with you! A few weeks ago I was invited to the Nautilus Inc. headquarters with a few other bloggers for the day. Nautilus is the company behind some pretty well-known names like Schwinn and Bowflex. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials on TV at some point over the years.
I have talked quite a bit about local events and places in and around Portland and Oregon, but have never really told you about my local town. In the heart of the Willamette Valley and wine country are several quaint towns; Dayton being one of them. Seven years ago when we moved here, there really wasn’t much going on at all. Sure people lived here, but it didn’t seem like there was much of a ‘town’, but non-the-less we saw the upside to Dayton – it is very conveniently located between Salem, Portland, and the Oregon Coast. The historic town centers on a park, and I love the setup of the town. It’s also only 5 miles to McMinnville, which is also home to the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Museum. It’s 10 miles to Newberg, and there are umpteen tasting rooms along the way.
Dayton has been home to the Joel Palmer House for many years, they serve amazing cuisine with a mushroom flair. The owners also recently renovated a vacant building in our little downtown and opened up a new restaurant named The Barlow Room. Wayne and I had the luxury of popping in there for a half an hour without the kids one evening and I’m sure we will be back again just as soon as we can.
Dayton has also started becoming more of a community, and this summer they introduced something called Dayton Friday Nights. Every Friday evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day all of the small businesses gather around the City Park comes alive with music and people.
Archie’s, our local ice cream parlor and sandwich shop may have been the first to jump on the bandwagon. They opened up a couple of years ago and renovated the inside of an old building, creating a nostalgic ice cream shop on one side, sandwich shop on the other, and the inside if adorned with antiques and collectibles. Anyways, last summer they began having a classic car cruise in on Friday nights, and this year it’s expanded into this amazing get together that everyone puts together. Cars line up the streets while children play on the playground. Vendors sell snacks and one of the churches gives away popcorn. All of the restaurants stay open later and people just have a fun relaxing evening.
Last Friday in addition to our Friday Night festival, Dayton also held their Old Timer’s Get-together – including a little parade that lined the streets. Anika was at a birthday party sleepover and I was driving home and had forgotten about the parade until we pulled into town. Our main street was blocked off so I couldn’t drive through to get home, so we parked and hopped out of the car. Emma and Noah were so ecstatic over the surprise parade that was literally “right next door”.
After the parade finished we drove home and then decided to walk down to the Friday Nights for dinner. The weather was absolutely perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, and a slight breeze. The kids all ran into their classmates and we waved to our neighbors.
I love living close to the city, but there’s something about small towns that I am partial too. Knowing all of your children’s friends, all of the teachers at the school, parents looking out for each other’s kids, I just adore the sense of community. I’m so glad that 7 years ago we took a chance and decided to move here – it’s been a wonderful place to raise our kids so far.
We toured all of the levels in the Moda Center, including the suites as well as a private bar/suite that is open for the player’s friends and families.
our meal off with their Bruchetta which was topped with garlic, Roma tomatoes,
shallots, basil, and balsamic. I always order this. I decided to be adventurous and order a rosemary lemon drop. I like rosemary and I love lemon drops, and you know what? The combination was surprisingly good!
Even back in April 2012 when I began this blog to share our lives, I knew I wanted it to be more than that.
I’ve often talked about my passion for living on here, and from that stems so many topics. Learning new recipes, crafting with the kids, and some of my favorites – sharing our adventures with you.
I’ve always shared things on a local level too – having a “local living” tab so you can easily scroll through the events, places, and other things we have done here in the greater Willamette Valley.
But living locally isn’t just about Portland, Oregon. I hope that by sharing some of our adventures it will inspire you to create your own – wherever your “local” is.
Someday I would love to expand and venture out farther with the family and share local experiences from other states – but for now I will continue to share living locally in Oregon.
With that being said I wanted to write and highlight some great places and things to do here in Oregon. Spring break and summer will be here before we know it, and it’ll be time to begin looking for things to keep the kids busy. Here’s some of my favorite things we have done over the past two years:
Things to do in Oregon:
1. Visit the Oregon Zoo – The Oregon Zoo has always been one of my kids favorite day trips. There is always a new animal to see and a treats to eat. The Zoo offers a discount Tuesday once a month, and we braved the crowd last July, but my suggestion would be to skip the deal and pay full price for less crowds during the summer. For more information visit the Oregon Zoo Website.
2. Climb to the top of the Astoria Column – About a year and a half ago we finally made it to Astoria and climbed the infamous Astoria Column. They have little wooden airplanes that you can send off from the top and watch them soar all the way down. Anika had a little fear from the height of the Column, but she made it. This is my favorite photo from our trip, and you can see the comparison of the column to my husband and kids. Astoria is a very historical coastal town as far north west you can go in Oregon, and its worth spending a day and/or night it. For more Astoria adventure ideas visit their Chamber of Commerce website HERE.
3. Visit the Beach – One thing that I love about living in Oregon is the abundance of beaches we have. Sometimes when we visit my family in Southern Oregon we will just take Highway 101 down the coast and turn it into a scenic day trip. There’s many little towns and shops to explore.
4. Crater Lake – I have been an Oregonian my entire life and had never been to the Crater Lake until two summers ago! It is a must on an Oregon visit! It is the deepest lake in North America and it is simply breathtaking.
The blue is the richest blue I have ever seen.
We went in July and there was still some snow on the grounds and my kids were so elated that they were teasing me that it really was Christmas in July. We packed a full lunch and had a picnic.
5. Take a ride on the Mount Hood Railroad – Over in Hood River, which is about 2 hours east of Portland, there are lots of fun things to do, including their local Mount Hood Railroad. We rode on the railroad for the first time this past winter for their annual Polar Express Train Ride. They have afternoon excursions, dinner trains, and many other themed adventures throughout the year that look like a lot of fun. There’s also other festivals like a Cherry Blossom Festival held every year that I imagine is simply beautiful.
6. Go to a rodeo – Last summer we took the kids to see their very first rodeo in St. Paul Oregon. St. Paul is a tiny town in the Willamette Valley that really has nothing going on except for the infamous St. Paul rodeo. The town with a population of just over 400 people draws in thousands of people ever Independence Day. There’s other rodeos around throughout the summer, but the largest one around is held in Pendleton every year and is called The Pendleton Round-Up. It over in eastern Oregon and I’ve not made it out there to it yet, but its on my bucket list to do one of these years.
7. Experience the Oregon State Fair – What would summer be without attending a state fair? The Oregon State Fair is held at the end of summer every year and always has something fun for everyone, whether its the rides, animals, or concerts.
8. Visit a local farm and pick blueberries – One of my favorite things to do every July is travel to one of the many local farms in the Willamette Valley and go blueberry picking with the kids. Blueberry picking is the perfect berry to take kids picking with, because there’s no thorns, and they’re easy to pick! Afterwards we always reward ourselves to a homemade smoothie or milkshake. The Last couple summers we’ve headed over to Farmer John’s in Mcminnville for picking.
9. Stop by Southern Oregon – I was born in Southern Oregon, and there are lots of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. If you like rafting the Rogue River is a huge attraction! There is also the Oregon Caves, Fun artsy towns like Jacksonville to visit, and the Wildlife Safari in Winston, which is a large outdoor exotic animal park.
10. The Tillamook Cheese Factory: It wouldn’t be an Oregon summer without a trip to the beach and a stop to the Tillamook Cheese Factory along the way. The kids love going and watching the cheese making process and sampling a variety of their cheeses, and finishing the trip off with a large waffle cone.
I hope this gives you a few ideas of places to visit in Oregon this year! This is just a few of the great things we have done…I hope to share more with you in the near future! Do you have a favorite place to visit in Oregon?