Santa’s not the only one coming to town. The holidays also bring friends and family to your doorstep (albeit, not down your chimney). In an effort to not stay cooped up all day in the house, there are tons of local events to experience and explore during anyone’s stay. That said, a low-key morning of exploring your town like a local is often what guests want to do most. Whenever we have guests in town, we follow the never-fail combo of coffee, shopping and lunch in one of the Tualatin Valley’s sweet downtown stretches.
Old Town Beaverton
Explore Old Town Beaverton with new wave coffee. Thornton Family Coffee Roasters is truly a family operation. It just so happens that this family is chock-full of bona fide coffee masters. At the helm, Paul Thornton brings over three decades of experience in the coffee industry to make some of the best coffee we’ve ever had (no joke!).
The newly opened Spool & Pen boutique embodies the best of the “shop small” mentality. You might even get to chat with the owner about the macramé wall hangings, journals and notebooks for the perfectionists, and pretty plants to perk up any space.
Why choose one restaurant when you can choose between dozens of food carts? BG’s Food Cartel has a little something for everyone. If you’re feeling a little continental, then have an empanada as an appetizer, drunken noodles for your main entrée, and a French crepe for dessert.
Main Street Hillsboro
Smack dab in the middle of Main Street, let Insomnia Coffee Company perk you up and give you bright eyes. The coffee—roasted in-house by the café’s sister company, Dapper & Wise—fills the airy space with the heavenly smells of nutty, chocolaty espresso.
You don’t need anything, but you want everything. That is decidedly the feeling while browsing through the delightful assortment of baubles and bits at Le’Stuff Antique Mall. For 15 years, the antique hot spot has been a mecca for those who are always on the hunt for their next epic vintage find.
Grab a seat at the Hillsboro Pharmacy and Fountain. Here, people have been getting their soda shop fix since the 1890s. Continue the tradition with a patty melt and a chocolate malt.
Old Town Sherwood
From one home and into another with Symposium Café, situated in a charming historic house. There is a real sense of community at this coffee shop, and it’s one in which you are invited to join—even if you are just passing through the area. Plus, there are often house-made syrups that tempt even those who swear to only sip on black coffee.
Eco-shopping makes you and the planet feel good. Enter, Hello Gorgeous Boutique. The high-end resale shop on Main Street stocks its racks with the likes of Eileen Fischer, Chicos, and other popular ladies’ brands.
503 Uncorked not only pours great local wines but also serves a great menu to go with whatever sip you choose. Light bites include a house-made smoked salmon dip. For heartier fare, the flatbread pizzas are herby focaccia bread topped with tasty favorites like pesto, chutney or prosciutto.
Main Street Forest Grove
While you can certainly get freshly brewed coffee at Kafé, we suggest going a little outside your comfort zone with a mint Anchan latte (it’s blue!), golden chai latte (it’s yellow!), or a “purple rain” boba (we bet you can guess the color of this one!). No matter what color of the rainbow you choose, these drinks aren’t just for Instagram pics—they’re delicious, too.
For truly one-of-a-kind pieces, take some time to peruse the Valley Art Gallery. An art lovers dream, the gallery features over 200 artists from all over the Portland region. Art takes many forms here, including pottery, paintings and jewelry.
Ridgewalker Brewing has a fantastic menu that matches its hearty beer offerings. Every time we go, we always end up making an extra trip up to the bar to order something extra—our curiosity to try the whole menu simply cannot be helped. One of our favorite pairings is the braised short rib nachos washed down with Ridgewalker’s Longstride IPA.
Whether you’re hosting or being hosted in Tualatin Valley, a charming jaunt in one of our downtown streets is a sure bet for a lovely outing.