The Weekender: Downtown Hillsboro
Downtown Hillsboro, Oregon, is emerging as the Tualatin Valley’s artistic capital, with an array of museums, shops, galleries, theatres and a wealth of eateries.
Get a taste of the region: Start your downtown Hillsboro adventure with a pint of a regionally crafted brew or glass of wine at McNally’s Taproom. McNally’s features 24 taps of beer, cider and wine, plus has a menu of snacks, sandwiches and hot dogs.
Take in a local theatre production: Bag&Baggage, a professional theatre company located in the heart of Hillsboro, is known for its re-imagining of Shakespearean tales, and provocative stagings of classic plays. The company’s highly acclaimed productions draw a mix of people from around the region. Bag&Baggage perform at its new, state-of-the-art performance space, The Vault. Also in downtown Hillsboro, the H.A.R.T. Theatre–Hillsboro Artists Regional Theatre–stages a season of plays ranging from classics to little-known titles.
Have a nightcap: Enjoy an after-show dink at Primrose & Tumbleweeds. This popular neighborhood joint is much more than a wine bar and wine shop, it has a speakeasy, Tumbleweeds Saloon, complete with a secret passcode to enter, as well as a gift shop and restaurant. Primrose & Tumbleweeds also has live music and entertainment on weekends.
Overnight in a Hillsboro hotel: Hillsboro has a large selection of hotels, from value hotels to well-appointed business hotels.
Soak in the local culture: Saturdays from May through October, downtown Hillsboro is transformed into an open-air market when the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market takes over Main Street from 8 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. As one of the longest-running farmers markets in the northwest, the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market hosts more than 100 vendors, each selling freshly picked produce, artisan goods, and more. Grab a bite to eat and enjoy the live entertainment in the entertainment pavilion.
Shop tax-free: After perusing the booths at the farmers market, stop into the shops along Main Street for a dose of tax-free shopping. Main Street features boutiques selling an array of items from antiques and jewelry to home and garden goods and toys.
Revisit history: The Washington County Museum is a hidden gem. The museum’s mission is to bring to life the history of the diverse cultures that define the Tualtin Valley. Exhibits explore the collective cultures of the regions, including “Americans All: The Bracero Program in Washington County,” which explores the first recorded influx of Mexican immigrants into Washington County, to “This Kalapuya Land,” which celebrates the history of the Atfalati band of Native Americans.
Explore nature: A little off the beaten path, and a short drive (5 minutes) from downtown Hillsboro is Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, nature park complete with hiking trails, interpretive signage and viewing areas. Perfect for an afternoon stroll, Jackson Bottom Wetlands offers some of the best birdwatching experiences in the region, with bald eagles, blue heron and other birds of prey spotted here.
Taste the Far East: Dine at Syun Izakaya, consistently ranked as one of the Portland area’s best sushi restaurants. Pair an exquisite sushi dinner or Japanese specialties with a selection from Syun’s impressive saké menu.
Tap your toes: Enjoy a concert at the Walters Cultural Arts Center, which showcases local and national musicians in a wide range of styles, from Americana and folk to opera and jazz, or Influence Music Hall, which features local performances. If there are no concerts scheduled, visit Clark’s Late Night at Clark’s Bistro and Pub for cocktails and live music.
Take the Scenic Route: Before heading back home, explore the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 60-mile driving route that takes you from the small farming community of Helvetia to the city of Sherwood.
For more information about downtown Hillsboro, visit the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership website.
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