Albany FAM Tour #1: The Cuisine of Cascadia
Albany sits right in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, but it is also known for a cornucopia of agricultural products grown there. It’s the hops, berries, water, apples, grapes, grain and seed that make Albany an agritourism hub. You’ll enjoy meals prepared by award-winning chefs, historic home tours and much more, all making this a tour you won’t soon forget.
Meals will include Oregon wine-food pairing prepared by up-and-coming chefs from the local Culinary School (while you dine with city and tourism officials), a dinner prepared by a two-time “Chopped” winner, another dinner honoring Oregon’s Native American foods (with the same menu that was served at the James Beard House in New York), and yet another dinner by the chefs at a renowned local Hungarian restaurant.
You will tour food processing sites, meet the owners of local wineries and a blueberry farm, and sample locally crafted hard cider, brews, wines and spirits. You’ll even enjoy signature craft cocktails made just for you.
Albany has one of the largest collections of historic buildings in Oregon. You’ll tour historic homes, visit a water-powered flour mill and visit some truly unique local museums.
Dates: April 25 (after the Travel & Words Conference ends) to April 29.
4 days, 4 nights. For those traveling without a personal vehicle, transportation will be provided from Salem to Albany on April 25, and from Albany to Portland on April 29.
Albany FAM Tour #2: The Way They Were (a tour of historic sites and decadent delights)
Albany and the surrounding communities are a mecca for those seeking the history of this Willamette Valley “Land of Plenty.” The tour begins in the town of Albany itself, home to more than 700 historic buildings and the most varied collection of architectural styles in Oregon, such as the first wood frame house in the city, built by two Scotsmen who traveled west from Albany, New York, in the 1840s.
Restaurants and shops in 19th-centuty brick structures, the restored Pix Theatre (where you’ll indulge in their signature chocolate-dipped frozen bananas for dessert), and historic home tours will give you a sense of Albany’s rich history.
Just the first day of the tour includes a hard hat tour of the Carousel Museum, historic Whitespires Church, an invitation to be guests INSIDE one of the beautifully restored homes for refreshments, a guided tour of the Talking Water Garden, and dinner in a vault with city and tourism dignitaries (not to mention their Lavender infused martinis).
You’ll visit one of the most photographed covered bridges in Oregon and hear the story of how important these covered bridges were to the area. Hear the story of the Providence Pioneer Church and its adjoining cemetery. You’ll enjoy a ride in a railcar and an easy hike and views of scenic waterfalls. Tour a water-powered flour mill, one-of-a-kind museums, and a trail known for sightings of elk, deer and many types of fowl. Remember the movie, “Stand by Me?” It was filmed locally, and you’ll relive that movie with a tour and a scavenger hunt.
The sumptuous lineup of meals includes a signature dinner featuring traditional ingredients used by Oregon Native Americans, prepared by a two-time invitee to the James Beard House in New York. Another dinner features a flight of handcrafted brews and the best burgers ever. Yet another meal will be prepared by a two-time winner on “Chopped.”
When it’s time to unwind, visit a winery for a flight of wines and appetizers, and learn the winery’s fascinating back story.
Dates: April 25 (after the Travel & Words Conference ends) to April 30.
4 days, 5 nights. For those traveling without a personal vehicle, transportation will be provided from Salem to Albany on April 25, and from Albany to Portland on April 30.