The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serve as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery?then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley?in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently opened a brand new wine bar and tap room off of International Way in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room. The tap room serves as an in-town location for wine club members, but also to provide a new wine-bar-meets-tap-room experience with more than 30 wines to choose from and several local beers on tap.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. At the rustic Elmira Winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.
Splash! at Lively Park provides Oregon residents with safe, warm year-round access to watery fun. The venue features a waterslide, a flooded basketball court, lap pool, and a wave pool, amongst more relaxing activities such as splashing in the pool or enjoying a hot tub. Splash! participates in local outreach programs, such as providing swimming lessons for every fourth-grader in the Springfield school district. The enormous space accommodates rentals for events with up to 1,000 people, dishing hot eats to fill bellies from its concessions stand. During warmer months, the outside playground and sundeck provide places to soak up sunshine and feel the sea-driven breeze.
After years spent navigating the McKenzie River, the guides at McKenzie River Adventures struck upon the ideal 7-mile stretch: 28 rapids, crystal-clear waters, and forest on both shores. Today, they invite people of all ages and levels to experience the thrill of whitewater paddling. In addition to years of rafting experience, the guides tout CPR and first aid certifications as well as river-rescue training. Since they're also skilled instructors, budding paddlers can expect safety and paddling orientations before they shove off. Guides also provide all sojourners with boxed lunches, and will snap photos of rafters en route to catch pet salmon.
The trainers at International Fitness have one goal: to help their clients achieve healthy lifestyles with internationally influenced exercise routines. The roster of classes includes Indian yoga, Brazilian-influenced Zumba dance classes, and Western weightlifting. In addition to leading group fitness classes, the instructors can map out training and nutrition plans to help clients meet their fitness goals. The sessions can include climbing the gym's rock wall to build lean muscle mass or demolishing the gym's rock wall to prepare for a career as a bulldozer.
Emerald Art Center carves out a community for local artists of all skill levels, showcasing and selling masterworks from neighborhood virtuosos at their gallery and workspace. Contribute time alongside money with a Participating membership, which unlocks the perks of patronage in exchange for one day of gallery hosting per month, or five hours of equivalent service. When not running the show, members pick their way through a variety of rotating and permanent exhibits or introduce their own work to artful eyes during frequent EAC-sponsored member shows. Monthly meetings foster networking opportunities, cultivate creativity, and encourage spontaneous conga lines. Artist biographies, featured on the Emerald website and in the gallery's Artist Bio Book, delightedly divulge factoids and sample images from each member.
Axe & Fiddle combines local and regional libations with a straightforward menu of scrumptious pub fare within the inviting and historic Burkholder Woods Building. Chow down on multifaceted spuds with crinkle-cut chips and french-onion dip ($3.50) or garlic cheesy fries ($5) with a side of hollandaise sauce. The organic green salad sends pesticides packing with an extradition notice shaped out of carrots, cabbage, and green onions ($5). Venture across meaty plains with a quarter-pound burger crafted from Knee Deep 100% free-range and grass-fed beef bedecked in condiments, and paired with homefries ($8.50). Beans and greens—slathered in queso fresco, veggies, and served with corn tortillas ($6.50)—sit side by side in a copacetic show of mutual appreciation for each other’s craft.