Boutique Brownstone-Style Hotel in Historic Orenco Station
Near the turn of the 20th century, the fate of the town of Orenco depended on the Oregon Nursery Company, a major exporter of trees and shrubs. So much so, in fact, that the town’s moniker is an acronym of the company name. The company built up Orenco as a planned community to house its workers, but it declined during the Great Depression. Then, in the early ‘90s, the area got a successful makeover: urban planners mapped out wide, pedestrian-friendly streets and accessible mass transit, helping to revitalize and update the charming small-town feel. Trees and shrubs are still focal points of the village, too—the town center features 3 acres of ornate greenery. Today The Orenco Hotel—a brownstone-style boutique building—resides in the trendy neighborhood of Orenco Station, just steps from a Light Rail stop, shopping, restaurants, and a centralized park.
Once you arrive, the hotel has a convenient speed key check-in, which allows couples to check in on their own with an envelope of instructions. Inside the lobby, a complimentary grab-and-go breakfast is available all day and includes fresh fruit, an assortment of baked goods, oatmeal, breakfast bars, and fresh-brewed coffee, tea, and bottled water.
As part of this deal, you’ll enjoy wine tastings at vineyards in the North Willamette area. Small wineries dot the country roads of Oregon; many of them are family-operated.
Hillsboro, Oregon: Charming Small Town with Lively Arts Scene
The Orenco Hotel is tucked into the trendy Orenco Station neighborhood of Hillsboro, lauded as the Best New Burb by Sunset magazine. Adding to the appeal is its lively town center, which is filled with wine bars, restaurants, and live music. At the nexus of this area you can find the 3-acre Orenco Station Central Park, which was modeled after a French city park near Versailles.
About 4 miles northwest of the inn is the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. What began as just a husband and wife's private collection has ballooned to include more than 20,000 geological specimens, all housed in a sprawling ranch-style home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Galleries here twinkle with rubies, sapphires, an opal-filled thunder egg, as well as dinosaur fossils, meteorites, and fragments of Humpty Dumpty's shell. The crystal collection numbers more than 4,000, highlighted by the bright-red Alma Rose rhodochrosite crystal—an extremely valuable gem unearthed from a mine in Alma, CO.
Nearby, in downtown Hillsboro's Venetian Theatre & Bistro, resident theater company Bag&Baggage produces a varied lineup of quality plays. Throughout the downtown area, there’s an inviting small-town feel; crowds course through the pedestrian-friendly streets to pop into antique stores and art galleries.