West Portland Countryside – Yamhill County in the Portland Metro area
Yamhill County of the West Portland countryside is listed as one of the 20 hottest neighborhoods to live in the Portland Metro area. It is some of the most gorgeous farmland you have ever seen – rolling patchwork hills going on and on – between Portland and the Ocean. It is less than an hour commute to the city. It is also the wine country, and there are many many wineries in all the little farming towns that dot this area. Each one is a little different, and many of them offer winetasting and their are tours you can go on. Just driving through the areas is so peaceful and beautiful. When I first moved to Portland in 1992, I used to drive out into the west countryside up into the hills whenever I would get homesick, and it would fill me with peace and joy. Not only are there wineries and grapes growing, in the spring the hills are full of bright red clover, and yellow wheat, and other crops that add so much color and almost look like patchwork quilts. The beauty of this farmland is sincerely one of the reasons my heart is tied to Portland. Not only do we have a diverse city full of colorful neighborhoods and shops and restaurants, we also have the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen in all my travels around the world! Below you can learn a little bit about each little town that makes up the west countryside. Each one has a something a little unique, and it is fun to learn what each has to offer. If you would like to see any houses in any of these neighborhoods, or just get a free neighborhood tour so you can get the feel of the neighborhood, that is what we specialize in! Just give us a call and we can set it up!
Amity is a little farming town in Yamhill County of West Portland countryside – about an hour SW of Portland. It came into being in 1880- so it’s been around quite awhile. It’s pretty small, though- the population was only 1,478 at the 2000 census. It is right off of highway 99W going west out of Portland about an hour… McMinnville is to the north and Sheridan is to the west. The way it got its name is kind of interesting. It was the middle ground between two families who were feuding about where to put the school. They ended up putting it here- and called the town Amity which means friendship.
Banks, named after dairy farmers John and Nancy. If you drive out away from Portland on highway 26 towards the coast, you will go right past Banks. It is the next town after Hillsboro and is a farming and logging community. The farmland is gorgeous – lots of rolling hills with checkered fields of different colored crops. It is about an hour to Cannon Beach and about half hour into Portland if the traffic on 26 isn’t bad!
Just north of McMinnville in the middle of beautiful farmland is the city of Carlton and they call it the Wine Capital of Oregon! It is a really small little town, just three blocks in length, but because of the dozens of wineries nearby, it has become a cute little artsy town in the West Portland countryside, as the city says on it’s website, manages to pack in more gastronomy, wineology and hospitality than most cities ten times its size. Organic cheeses, fresh meats, piquant preserves, creative desserts, and artisan chocolates are all available right on Main.
Surrounded by the forested foothills of Northwest Oregon’s coastal mountain range, the town of Clatskanie is located in the verdant valley where the Clatskanie River flows out of the mountains and into the wide plain of the Columbia River. First settled by pioneers of European descent in the 1850’s, that were drawn here by the towering forests, the fish-filled streams, and the fertile farm land. A century and a half later, it remains a close-knit, friendly community, rooted in its natural resources, but with the promise of new job-creating industries at the nearby Port Westward industrial park. While looking forward to a ber economy and modest growth in the years to come, the citizens of Clatskanie share of b sense of tradition – multi-generational families, locally-owned small businesses, the preservation and restoration of the town’s historic flavor, community spirit and volunteerism.
Dundee is right along highway 99 – just out of Newberg heading towards the coast. It is right in the heart of Oregon ‘s wine country, and is surrounded by gorgeous countryside and hillsides that are covered with vineyards – rising up out of the valley’s rolling countryside. It is becoming world famous for it’s excellent wines! Dundee is approximately 26 miles from Portland.
Gaston is a little old farming town way up in the hills in the West Portland countryside- off by itself. The land around it is really pretty- fields and woods and rolling hills. It is about an hour from Portland- and you can go south to the Newberg or McMinnville area too. In the 1860s, the census recorded only about 70 people in the Gaston area. Nonetheless, in 1866, the first Gaston School was founded! So Gaston is historic! Click here to read more about Gaston and find cool photos, links and maps
Nestled in Oregon’s wine country is the antique town of Lafayette. Lafayette is located in beautiful Yamhill County, the heart of the Willamette Valley and wine country of Oregon. Just 35 miles southwest of Portland and 25 miles north of Salem, Lafayette is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and agriculture land.
McMinnville is a charming, turn of the century country town out in the country that is only 36 miles away from Portland . It was started by William T. Newby of McMinnville , Tennessee , who came to Oregon on the first wagon train. McMinnville was a thriving agricultural center in the early days. By 1866, it was described as the “most flourishing village in the county.” It had 300 inhabitants and five stores, three blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, one photographic artist, one silversmith, one shoe shop, two doctors, two churches, one flour mill… and no licensed beer or grog saloons. In 1876, residents incorporated McMinnville as a town. Then in 1882, the citizens again incorporated McMinnville as a city.
Newberg is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Portland , Oregon on US Highway 99W on the northeast side of Yamhill County . Although it is close to the Portland metropolitan area, the community is really a separate area- not like the suburbs of Tigard, Tualatin and Beaverton. It is buffered by a greenbelt of rural forests and farmlands. The Chehalem Mountains surrounding the community and the Willamette River make a natural bowl, giving Newberg a feeling of being nestled among the hills around it.
Located conveniently in the West Portland countryside at the crossroads between two states, Rainier enjoys the patronage and favor of residents from Oregon and Washington. The town, which is just a short distance across the Lewis and Clark Bridge, was at one time a small trading post known as Eminence. That was in 1836. Fifteen years later, it became known as Rainier. Rainier was incorporated in 1885.
Scappoose is separated from Sauvie’s Island by the Columbia River Slough. It is a beautiful peaceful serene waterway that comes out of the Willamette River in Portland, veering off to the NW while the Willamette heads straight into the Columbia River. We used to take our boat up the slough, past Scappoose, all the way to St Helens, stopping to swim, or to get a bite at a riverside dock restaurant! You felt like you were out in the wilderness somewhere, you didn’t see anyone anywhere. The fields and forests line the side of the slough. It is beautiful!
Sheridan is a little farming town between Portland and the Oregon Coast in the West Portland countryside. It is 50 miles from Portland but it’s 13 miles to McMinnville- which is a pretty big city for being so far out in the country! There are two main roads that go by – Oregon 18 and Business 18. The business route runs through downtown on the north side of the Yamhill River and connects to Willamina . The bridge on Bridge Street connects the two sides of the city across the Yamhill River . Oregon 18 connects Sheridan to McMinnville , which is the county seat. It also goes on to connect to 99W which goes to Newberg, Tigard and beyond to the Portland metropolitan area.
St. Helens is the county seat of Columbia County, Oregon. It was founded by Captain H. M. Knighton, a native of New England in 1845 as Plymouth. The name of the community was changed to St. Helens in the later part of 1850, after the view of Mount St. Helens across the Columbia River in Washington.
The City of Vernonia is located in the beautiful North West coast mountain range of Oregon, in the west Portland countryside of the Columbia County. It is centrally located between the Oregon Coast and Portland Oregon and approximately 35 miles south of the Columbia River, it is just a little north of the Tillamook State Forest, and east of the Clatsop State Forest; and 44 miles NW of Portland. It is between the Willamette Valley and the Columbia River, which is north.
Yamhill The main part of town is located on the John B. Rowland donation land claim. At first North Yamhill was just a store along the stage road to Tillamook and was operated by a Mr. Jim Fryer. With the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad, North Yamhill became the starting point of the Tillamook Trail. With the need for accomodations for travelers, a hotel was built, a livery barn was needed, a postoffice was established and other businesses sprang up around the village. This development took place along the western end of what is now Third Street.