The McMinnville foothills west of town boast some of the best wine soil anywhere. Protected from extreme weather by the Coast Range, fruit on these vines spends more time ripening on the vine, and greater flavor results. Another plus: easy access. Try Youngberg Hill’s pinot noir, a 15 minute drive from downtown, and Yamhill Valley Vineyard’s riesling, a 10 minute drive. Or stay downtown and try a flight at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar.
McMinnville is a foodie mecca in the midst of agricultural land, boasting its own harvest brought to the table in both casual fare and formal dining. The Grain Station, in the granary district, is both brewery, serving its own craft beers, and casual restaurant. Golden Valley, also a brewery/restaurant hybrid, offers a slightly more upscale atmosphere and menu. Best of the downtown is Nick’s Italian Cafe, serving local wine and perfectly prepared Italian selections in a candle-lit setting. On the faster food side, there is Alf’s, which provides hamburgers and ice cream and the company of an actual resident monkey.
There’s no need to leave town to find things to do. The city offers two golf courses, three movie theaters — one an 8-plex, one a vintage and the third a pizza/movie combo, the Yamhill County Fair, the famous UFO Festival and parade (aliens welcome), the Turkey Rama festival, the Wine & Food Classic, also known as Sip, Evergreen Air and Space Museum and Wings and Waves Waterpark.