The Weekender: Helvetia
Mingle with the Stars
Located north of Hillsboro, Helvetia (pronounced Hel-VAY-sha) is a rural, agricultural area with strong roots. This area was settled—and named—by Swiss immigrants in the 19th century. Helvetia has a tight-knit farming community, and several acclaimed farms, and a Smithsonian-affiliated museum all make their home here.
Start the weekend picking pumpkins at Roloff Farms. Home of the Roloff family, made famous by the television series “Little People, Big World,” the farm is only open to the public in October during pumpkin season, where visitors can pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, take a wagon tour of the farm, play like a kid in the all-ages “Adventure Area,” and more.
Have dinner at ABV Public House. Voted “Favorite Tualatin Valley Restaurant” in 2015, this restaurant has a sizable menu and a rotating beer, wine and cider taplist of more than 30 taps.
Swing over to the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals. This Smithsonian-affiliated museum houses an impressive collection–the largest in the Pacific Northwest–of rocks, fossils, petrified woods, gems and other natural wonders. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, and admission is $10 for adults, $7 for military, veterans and students.
Fuel up with a burger and a beer at the venerable Helvetia Tavern, consistently ranked among the best burgers in Portland. The tavern serves lunch and dinner and offers burgers, onion rings and fries that bring people from miles around. Credit cards are not accepted, so remember to bring cash or check.
Next, sip some Oregon wine at Helvetia Winery. Helvetia Vineyards provides a country winery experience in the historic Helvetia area. Taste award-winning wines and relax in this bucolic setting. Helvetia Winery produces a variety of wines, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and more.
Enjoy an evening at the Tualatin Valley’s wildly-popular, state-of-the-art attraction: Topgolf, located in Hillsboro. This impressive, three-story golf driving range provides a fun experience for golfers and non-golfers alike.
Before heading home, take a drive along the Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 60-mile driving tour of the Tualatin Valley’s agricultural areas. See historic sites in Helvetia such at the Old Scotch Church, which is the oldest continuously-used church west of the Mississippi.
The Tualatin Valley--a stone's throw from Portland, Oregon, and a quick trip to the Oregon Coast--is the perfect getaway in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more and plan your trip today.
The Tualatin Valley hosts some of Oregon’s best festivals, including art festivals, agricultural and culinary events, fall festivals and harvest events, live theater and performing arts, and much more.