This Willamette Valley town is known for winemaking and cuisine.
With more than 250 wineries within 20 miles, McMinnville has attracted oenophiles since the 1970s. But today it isn’t just the pinot noir that’s calling: Travelers flock here for the thriving food scene, welcoming galleries, and beautiful trails.
Sights and Events Near McMinnville, Oregon
Miller Woods Conservation Area
When the weather is nice, head northwest of town to Miller Woods Conservation Area, a 130-acre park. Its main path, the 4.5-mile Outer Loop, winds through grassy hayfields and a fir forest. Sharp-eyed hikers might spot deer and great horned owls.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
The history of American ingenuity takes flight in a vast hall where visitors can step into a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, explore a Titan II rocket, and tour Howard Hughes’s massive air boat, the Spruce Goose.
Historic Walking Tour
Take in a Carnegie library with a stained glass lunette, the Queen Anne flourishes of the brick Wright Building, and other architectural delights on a self-guided stroll along 14 tree-lined blocks.
Sip! McMinnville Wine & Food Classic
More than 6,000 epicures gather at this annual festival (usually in early March), held at the Evergreen museum, for winetasting workshops, cooking demos, and regional delicacies such as smoked bison.
Where to Eat in McMinnville
A homey eatery on Third Street, McMinnville's oldest thoroughfare—blends classic brunch recipes with coffee-shop vibes, delivering the farm-to-table fare the city does so well. Diners at convivial communal tables dig into fluffy biscuits topped with jam made from Oregon berries, or sturdy sandwiches such as a Reuben piled high with corned beef. The espresso bar—stocked with single-origin beans and house-made cardamom, chocolate, lavender, and vanilla bean syrup—provides plenty of options for a morning pick-me-up.
Serendipity Ice Cream
Even in winter Serendipity Ice Cream deserves a visit for its sweet treats and sweeter mission. Founded by a nonprofit in 2000, the old-fashioned scoop shop—featuring Victorian furnishings and vintage photos on the walls—employs adults with developmental disabilities. Enjoy a homemade waffle cone piled with coffee or mint chocolate chip as a player piano tinkles in the corner. Kids (and kids-at-heart) can customize their cone or sundae at the ‘sprinkle station.'
One of two eateries in the KAOS building (named for a former radio station), this spot shines for its weekend brunch featuring oysters on the half shell and brioche French toast.
Peirano & Daughters
A cheerful deli offers small bites, house-made pasta, and Italian imports.
Pura Vida Cocina
Try an arepa (hand-pressed corn cake) with fried pork belly and pickled red onion or the crispy-meets-creamy fried avocado at this artsy Latin American joint.
Diners from across the country come to this tiny restaurant for nostalgic cocktails and locally sourced fare including dishes like the tender duckling with celery root, black kale, and bacon.
The city’s best lunch spot delivers beautifully plated dishes such as the pork belly Cubano or creamy mac & cheese.
Gallery at Ten Oaks
From the street, the craftsman-style house on SW Baker Street near Linfield College blends into the residential neighborhood. But in fact, the property is now home to the Gallery at Ten Oaks. The friendly spot combines two local specialties—wine and art—under one roof. Sip a rosé from the McMinnville AVA or a pinot noir from the Eola–Amity Hills AVA while browsing diverse works by Oregon artists, which can include fractal prints, fanciful ceramics, delicate necklaces, and hand-turned wooden bowls.
Ward off the spring chill with ultrasoft alpaca wool products from this downtown boutique.
La Bella Casa
Pick up Oregon-made pottery, handknit scarves, jewelry, and household goods at this all-in-one crafts emporium.
Admire works in various mediums by Oregonians at this artist-owned gallery.
Third Street Oil and Vinegar
Home cooks can sample 21 types of olive oil and 26 different vinegars.
Wine Tasting Around McMinnville
Oregon Wine Village
Opened in 2015 by three local sommeliers, Oregon Wine Village offers pours from many Willamette Valley wineries in a cozy downtown tasting room. Explore the menu on your own, or—if you'd like to sample different shades of a single varietal—opt for the curated monthly wine flight. Prefer pairings? Make advance reservations for a tasting matched with bites. Just passing through? You'll find bottles of more than 400 area and international wines for sale.
Pinot noir is king in McMinnville thanks to Eyrie cofounders David and Diana Lett, who planted the first pinot vines in the valley. Their son, winemaker Jason Lett, continues the legacy with intense reds plus lighter options such as Chasselas Doré, made from a Swiss grape and best served chilled.
Grain Station Brew Works
Inside a renovated barn, a family friendly brewery serves up live music and craft beers such as crisp Haystack Gold (an American blonde ale) and creamy Grain Station Stout.
R. Stuart & Co. Wine Bar
Pair a glass of floral pinot or sparkling blanc de blancs with a cheese plate in this inviting tasting room and wine shop.
Overlooking rolling rows of organic vineyards, this family winery and inn produces wines—the robust, ruby-red 2015 Jordan Pinot Noir, say—that epitomize the McMinnville viticultural area’s earthy, dark fruit flavors.
This article was updated in Winter 2020. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to confirm information.