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Seven Ways to Spend Valentine's Day in the Willamette Valley

By Matt Wastradowski

Try Albany's Sybaris Bistro, a farm-to-table bistro is considered by many as one of the finest restaurants in the Willamette Valley. The gourmet menu changes each month to use delicious and fresh seasonal ingredients. 

In Eugene, Lion & Owl dishes a fine-dining menu crafted with ingredients from throughout the Willamette Valley and Pacific Northwest. Reservations are recommended at both restaurants.

Rather stay in and get cozy? Cook a meal together, and enlist a little help from local markets.

Provisions Market Hall in Eugene carries a variety of artisan items, high-end pantry goods (like local honey, infused vinegars, and the market's own housemade jams), local wines, and more.

Elsewhere in the valley, see what's new each Saturday at the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market; vendors sell baked goods, winter squash, fresh and canned seafood, cheeses, and other local goods. For more, check out our guide to indoor farmers markets across the Willamette Valley.

Granted, you never need an excuse to crack open a bottle of wine-but grab a special bottle out of the cellar this Valentine's Day. Or better yet, order something new from your favorite winery. Any Willamette Valley vineyard you visit will be pretty, but here are ten with exceptionally gorgeous vistas to perfect your Oregon Wine Country experience.

Still need inspiration? Search wineries, and see what sounds good, through the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

A night away, even if it's just down the road, can refresh the spirit. And plenty of lodgings around the Willamette Valley are eager to help you celebrate.

The Oregon Garden Resort hosts 103 guest rooms in a series of cozy, cottage-style buildings just outside Silverton; each room comes with a gas fireplace, private garden patios, comfortable beds, and a complimentary breakfast.

Inn the Ground is a luxurious bed-and-breakfast that sits surrounded by a regenerative farm in Carlton, Oregon. The two-story inn hosts nine rooms that feature comfortable bedding, offers regular farm tours, and prepares breakfast with farm-grown ingredients.

If the outdoors are calling, the Willamette Valley boasts plenty of quiet hiking trails in winter—even as the Cascades are inundated with snow.

In Albany, hikers can follow the banks of the Willamette River through the heart of town. The 6.8-mile (mostly flat) hike gains about 60 feet, passes through forests of maple and cottonwood, and offers a quick diversion to Talking Water Gardens.

The Willamette Valley is a region rich in thundering waterfalls. From the magical Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park to Proxy Falls in the heart of the Cascades—check out our guide to the Willamette Valley's waterfalls to start planning a successful hike.

Wine isn't the only thing Willamette Valley makers are shipping this season; chocolatiers all over the valley are crafting indulgent truffles, fudge, and other confections.

Just outside Amity, The Brigittine Monks Gourmet Fudge and Truffles ships their decadent fudge and several varieties of truffle (including cherry, hazelnut, and salted caramel).

And Euphoria Chocolate Company boasts a variety of chocolates to satisfy every sweet tooth—a wide range of truffles (some crafted with local Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Pinot Gris wines), chocolate sauces, gift boxes, chocolate bars, cookies, and even chocolate hearts.

Escape winter's chill and embrace relaxation by indulging in the soothing warmth of hot springs—perfect for a romantic retreat. 

Breitenbush Hot Springs sits near Detroit Lake and offers a holistic escape from the modern world with self-care and wellness activities. And along the McKenzie River, Belknap Hot Springs hosts a pair of mineral pools alongside vintage lodge rooms.

Many springs are clothing-optional, so check out our guide to Willamette Valley hot springs to find the right hot springs for you. And remember to follow Leave No Trace guidelines whenever you're recreating on public lands.

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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