What to Eat, Drink, & Do In Oregon’s Willamette Valley Wine Region

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What to eat, drink, and do in Willamette Valley wine country in Oregon. You'll find the best wineries, restaurants, and things to do between drinks while exploring this popular US wine region.

Every fall my family and I take a long weekend to explore some the best Pacific Northwest wineries. I’m bummed that this year we won’t be able to go. But I guess I shouldn’t complain, considering we’re not going because I’ll be galavanting around Italy and Stockholm instead. Whoops!

Luckily, my boyfriend and I were able to squeeze in an earlier wine trip. This time it was exploring the Willamette Valley wine country in Oregon. In just a 4 hour drive from Seattle, we were able to explore one of the best regions for pinots in the world. But the Willamette Valley is so much more than just the wine. That’s why I’m outlining not only what to drink, but also what to eat and do between winery visits.

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Travel Guide: How to Spend 36 Hours in Olympia, WA

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View of the Marina Plaza Park water views in Olympia, WA.

We all know that Olympia is the capital of Washington state, but how many of us have really ever been there? I hadn’t until last month. My boyfriend and I wanted to take a quick weekend trip, but we needed it to be 36 hours or less so we’d have time do some life things that weekend, too.

Enter Olympia. Our state capital is about a 1.5 hour drive from Seattle, which makes it a great day or one-night trip. And there’s a whole lot more to do than just visit the capitol building. In fact, it’s a tight-knit community that shares a lot of my values: celebrate local farms, make good beer, and get outside.

Have a day or two to spare? Here are 8 ideas for how to spend 36 hours in Olympia, WA.

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Blueberry, Corn, & Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe

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Israeli couscous salad with fresh corn, blueberries, and tarragon.

Blueberry season is among us! Every year I like to go blueberry picking at Mercer Slough in Bellevue, Washington. My family goes complete ham and comes home with pounds and pounds of blueberries. A lot of them end up in my morning smoothies, but I like to reserve some for no or minimally-cooked dishes during the dog days of summer.

Enter this Israeli couscous salad recipe. When mixed with corn and high-quality extra virgin olive oil, the blueberries add a glorious burst of juice and sweetness to an otherwise savory dish.

Read on for an easy salad recipe that’s about to become your new summer staple.

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A Local’s Guide to the Best Woodinville Wineries

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This is JM Cellars, one of the wineries that made it onto my list of the best Woodinville wineries.

If you’ve seen my past guides to PNW wineries, you know I have a near reverence for wine. I’m constantly researching places to try and sipping my way through the best wineries in the region.

Washington is home to some of the best wine in the world, and people living or exploring Seattle have a great wine tasting area nearby: Woodinville. This wine-loving town is about a 30-minute drive from Seattle and has more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms.

I’ve explored most of the wine districts in the area, so I’ll break down the areas and give you a local’s perspective on the best Woodinville wineries.

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The 5 Best Cocktails In Seattle

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The best cocktails in Seattle. Some of them come with a view, like this one at the Smith Tower Observatory.

If you’ve read any of my recent travel guides, you know I love wine. But I also love me a good cocktail. There are a ton of craft cocktail places in Seattle with really excellent bar programs. I’ve been to enough that I’ve started to identify the best places to go and, most importantly, the best drinks to order.

I’m always sharing with my friends what drinks to seek out, but it’s time I share it with everyone else. Here is the list of some of my favorite bars and the best cocktails in Seattle you must try.

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