Uncover The Top Attractions With Things To Do In Carlton Oregon

Things To Do In Carlton Oregon

Planning a trip to Oregon’s wine country can feel like a daunting task. Trust me, I know the struggle of trying to strike that perfect balance between unwinding and exploring all the Willamette Valley has to offer.

But here’s a little insider tip – Carlton, Oregon might just be the hidden gem you’re looking for. With its impressive collection of 50 small wine labels, this charming town offers a unique and intimate wine tasting experience.

Let me be your virtual tour guide and help you uncover the top attractions and things to do in Carlton. So grab a glass, kick back, and get ready to sip, savor, and explore this delightful corner of Oregon’s wine country!

Key Takeaways

  • Carlton, Oregon has 50 small wine labels and the most tasting rooms per capita in the U.S., making it a top wine destination.
  • Popular wineries to visit include Ghost Hill Cellars, Laurel Ridge, Soter Vineyards, Chris James Cellars, and Cana’s Feast Winery.
  • Beyond wine, Carlton offers attractions like Ladd Park, Carlton Bakery, and day trips to the Oregon Coast just a short drive away.
  • The town hosts events through the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce and is near the Willamette Valley Cheese Trail for food lovers.
  • Visitors can take hot air balloon rides with Vista Balloon Adventures or attend wine classes at Free Spirit Wine to enhance their experience.

Exploring the Charm of Small Towns: Carlton’s Place Among Oregon’s Best

Things To Do In Carlton Oregon - A picturesque main street in Carlton, Oregon, adorned with wineries and boutique shops.

Carlton stands out as a gem among Oregon’s small towns. We love its cozy charm, with just three blocks packed full of wineries, eateries, and shops. This tiny town packs a big punch in the wine world – it boasts the most tasting rooms per capita in the whole United States.

That’s right, about 50 small wine labels call Carlton home.

In 2016, Wine Enthusiast named Carlton the Wine Region of the Year. It’s easy to see why. The town offers a perfect blend of world-class pinot noir and chardonnay, friendly locals, and a laid-back vibe that’s hard to beat.

As we stroll down Main Street, we’re struck by how much Carlton offers in such a small space.

Top Attractions and Things to Do in Carlton Oregon

Carlton, Oregon offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. From sipping world-class wines to exploring charming shops, this small town packs a big punch.

Wine tasting at dozens of tasting rooms

We love exploring Carlton’s vibrant wine scene. With nearly two dozen tasting rooms in the city limits, we’re spoiled for choice. These cozy spots offer a perfect blend of small-town charm and world-class vino.

We often grab a PDF map to guide us through the area, making it easy to hop from one tasting room to another.

Carlton isn’t just any wine destination – it’s the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area. This means we get to sample some of the best Pinot Noir and other cool-climate varietals right where they’re grown.

From boutique producers to larger operations, each tasting room tells a unique story of Oregon’s wine country. We find the intimate settings ideal for chatting with winemakers and learning about their craft firsthand.

Staying in Oregon wine country

We’ve found Carlton’s wine country to be a perfect retreat for those seeking a tranquil getaway. Our favorite spots include cozy B&Bs nestled among the vines and charming vacation rentals that offer a home-away-from-home feel.

These accommodations put us right in the heart of Oregon’s wine region, making it easy to explore local wineries and tasting rooms. Many places offer special perks like welcome bottles of local wine or discounts at nearby vineyards.

We’ve enjoyed waking up to misty mornings over the vineyards and ending our days with sunset views from private patios.

Carlton’s lodging options cater to various tastes and budgets. From luxurious cottages with private hot tubs to rustic farmhouses surrounded by orchards, there’s something for everyone.

We’ve noticed that many properties provide bikes for guests to tour the countryside or offer guided wine tours. Some even have on-site tasting rooms or partner with local wineries for exclusive experiences.

Staying in wine country lets us immerse ourselves in the region’s laid-back lifestyle and rich viticultural heritage.

Following on social media for updates and events

We keep our finger on the pulse of Carlton’s vibrant social scene through their active online presence. Our favorite way to stay in the loop? Following Carlton’s Instagram account.

It’s a treasure trove of stunning images and up-to-the-minute info on local happenings. From wine tastings to seasonal festivals, we never miss a beat.

For quick questions or last-minute planning, we love using Messenger to connect with Carlton’s tourism team. They’re always ready with helpful tips and insider knowledge. It’s like having a local friend guiding us through the best of what this charming wine country capital has to offer.

Social media truly brings Carlton’s small-town warmth into the digital age.

Must-Visit Wineries and Vineyards in Carlton

Carlton’s wine scene bursts with flavor at its top-notch vineyards… Want to know more about these grape havens? Keep reading!

Ghost Hill Cellars

We love Ghost Hill Cellars, a must-visit spot in Carlton’s wine scene. This family-owned vineyard sits on land with a rich history dating back to the 1860s. The tasting room offers a cozy, laid-back vibe perfect for sipping their standout Pinot Noir.

At $8 for a tasting, it’s a great value. Plus, the friendly staff shares fun stories about how the winery got its name – hint: it involves a ghostly tale from the Gold Rush era.

Ghost Hill’s wines showcase the unique terroir of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. We’re big fans of their Estate Pinot Noir, which captures the essence of Oregon’s wine country. The views from the tasting room are stunning, overlooking rolling hills of vines.

It’s an ideal spot for those of us seeking a quieter, more intimate wine experience away from busier tasting rooms.

Laurel Ridge

Laurel Ridge stands out as a gem among Carlton’s wineries. We’ve found this place to be a hit with visitors, boasting a stellar 4.5 out of 5 rating. Open daily from 11 am to 5 pm, it’s perfect for a leisurely afternoon of wine tasting.

One of the highlights at Laurel Ridge is their mouthwatering charcuterie board – a feast for both eyes and taste buds. Here, guests can savor wines right where they’re made, getting a true taste of Oregon’s wine country.

It’s an experience that rivals even the famed vineyards of Napa or Sonoma, with a charm all its own.

Soter Vineyards

We love Soter Vineyards, a gem nestled in Carlton’s wine country. This 240-acre Biodynamic farm at Mineral Springs Ranch offers more than just wine tasting. It’s a place where we can learn about sustainable farming practices while sipping on their Estate Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and sparkling wines.

Certified by Demeter USA, Soter’s commitment to Biodynamic farming shines through in every glass.

Our visits to Soter always leave us inspired. The vineyard’s focus on education makes each tasting a chance to deepen our understanding of wine and its connection to the land. We’ve found their complex Chardonnays particularly memorable, showcasing the unique terroir of this quiet corner of Oregon.

For those of us seeking a peaceful escape and a chance to explore smaller towns, Soter Vineyards offers a perfect blend of tranquility and flavor.

Chris James Cellars

At Chris James Cellars, we craft unique wines that capture the essence of Carlton, Oregon. This family-run vineyard offers a cozy spot to sip and savor local flavors. We’ve found their tasting room to be a perfect retreat for wine lovers seeking a quieter corner of Oregon’s wine country.

Our visits to Chris James Cellars always leave us impressed by their dedication to quality. They grow several grape varieties, including Riesling, which thrives in Oregon’s cool climate.

Their wines showcase the best of Willamette Valley terroir, rivaling even some Burgundy styles. For a taste of small-town charm and world-class wine, Chris James Cellars is a must-visit stop in Carlton.

Cana’s Feast Winery

We love Cana’s Feast Winery, nestled in the heart of Carlton, Oregon’s wine country. This gem, located at 750 W. Lincoln Street, offers a delightful array of wines, including their standout Rosato and Sangiovese Grosso.

Our tasting room welcomes wine enthusiasts daily from 11am to 5pm, perfect for those seeking a relaxed afternoon sip.

Cana’s Feast isn’t just about great wine – it’s about creating a welcoming atmosphere for all. We appreciate that they’ve made their outdoor tables dog-friendly, so our furry friends can join us while we savor their excellent vintages.

The winery’s commitment to hospitality and quality makes it a must-visit spot for anyone exploring Carlton’s quieter, small-town charm.

Uncovering the Mystique: Ghost Towns Near Carlton

Near Carlton, ghost towns offer a glimpse into Oregon’s past. These abandoned settlements, once bustling with life, now stand as silent testaments to bygone eras. Our exhibit sheds light on these forgotten places, showcasing photographs, artifacts, and personal accounts that bring their stories to life.

We’ve highlighted select ghost towns that represent larger trends in Oregon’s history. Through these examples, visitors can explore the reasons behind the growth and decline of these communities.

The exhibit paints a vivid picture of life in these towns, from their heyday to their eventual abandonment. It’s a fascinating journey through time, right in Carlton’s backyard.

Other Activities and Places to Explore in Carlton

Carlton offers more than just wine. We found charming spots and fun activities that add flavor to this small town’s appeal.

Ladd Park

We love Ladd Park, a hidden gem in Carlton, Oregon. This tranquil spot offers a perfect escape for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat. We often find ourselves strolling through the park’s lush greenery, enjoying the serene atmosphere that’s ideal for picnics or quiet contemplation.

The park’s beautiful scenery provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Ladd Park truly showcases the natural beauty of Carlton. We’re always amazed by how this green space captures the essence of Oregon’s charm. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of wine tasting or exploring the town.

Whether you’re looking to relax on a bench, take a leisurely walk, or simply breathe in the fresh air, Ladd Park delivers a refreshing outdoor experience that embodies the quieter side of Oregon’s wine country.

Celestial Hill Vineyard

Celestial Hill Vineyard offers a serene escape in Carlton’s wine country. We love its peaceful setting and stunning views of the Willamette Valley. This small, family-owned vineyard specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, hand-cultivated with care.

Visitors can enjoy tastings by appointment, savoring wines that capture the essence of Oregon’s terroir.

At Celestial Hill, we appreciate the intimate atmosphere that lets us connect with the winemakers. The tasting room, housed in a former locomotive repair building, blends rustic charm with modern elegance.

It’s a perfect spot for wine enthusiasts seeking a quieter, more personal experience in McMinnville’s vibrant wine scene.

Carlton Wine Corner

We love Carlton Wine Corner, a cozy spot in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. This charming tasting room showcases wines from local producers, giving visitors a taste of the region’s best.

We find it’s a great place to start our wine adventure in Carlton, offering a diverse selection that highlights the area’s unique terroir.

At Carlton Wine Corner, we enjoy sampling wines from small, family-owned vineyards that might not have their own tasting rooms. The knowledgeable staff here helps us discover new favorites and learn about the local wine scene.

It’s a relaxed, friendly environment that perfectly captures the spirit of Carlton’s quiet, small-town charm.

Carlton Bakery

We’ve found a hidden gem in Carlton’s charming downtown – the Carlton Bakery. This cozy spot at 245 W. Main St. welcomes visitors Wednesday through Sunday, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. It’s a must-visit for food lovers seeking authentic, high-quality baked goods made the old-fashioned way.

The bakery’s star attraction? Belgian Waffle pastries crafted with Brioche and pearl sugar. These treats embody the bakery’s commitment to traditional methods and top-notch ingredients.

As we explore Carlton’s quieter streets, this bakery offers a tasty pause in our wine country adventure.

Carlton Corners

Carlton Corners sits at the heart of our charming town, offering a friendly stop for locals and visitors alike. This family-owned business has been serving our community for years, providing essential services with a smile.

We love that they offer non-ethanol gas and off-road diesel discounts, making it a go-to spot for our wine country explorers and local farmers.

But Carlton Corners isn’t just a gas station. It’s a cozy gathering place where we can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their outdoor seating welcomes our four-legged friends too, perfect for those warm Oregon afternoons.

For busy folks, they’ve made life easier with online ordering through their website. It’s these thoughtful touches that make Carlton Corners a true reflection of our small-town hospitality.

Discovering the Oregon Coast: Day Trips from Carlton

We love exploring the Oregon Coast from Carlton. It’s just a short drive away, perfect for day trips. The coastline stretches over 360 miles, offering endless opportunities for discovery.

We often pack a picnic and head out early to make the most of our coastal adventures.

Our favorite spots include quiet beaches and small seaside towns. These hidden gems let us escape the crowds and soak in the natural beauty. From rocky cliffs to sandy shores, each visit brings new wonders.

We always keep an eye out for local seafood spots and unique shops along the way.

Nearby Cities and Popular Locations for More Things to Do

Carlton’s charm extends beyond its borders. Visitors can explore nearby attractions that offer unique experiences and flavors.

Willamette Valley Cheese Trail

We love exploring the Willamette Valley Cheese Trail near Carlton. This delightful route showcases small-scale dairies and creameries, offering a tasty journey through Oregon’s artisanal cheese scene.

We’ve found that many spots welcome visitors by appointment, giving us a chance to sample a variety of handcrafted cheeses. One of our favorites is Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese, where the creamy textures and unique flavors never fail to impress.

Our trips along the cheese trail always feel like a special adventure. We get to meet passionate cheesemakers, learn about their craft, and taste the results of their hard work. It’s a perfect way for us to spend a quiet afternoon, savoring the flavors of the region and supporting local food artisans.

The trail gives us a deeper appreciation for the rich agricultural heritage of the Willamette Valley.

McMinnville Chamber of Commerce events

We’re excited to share the vibrant events hosted by the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce. These gatherings bring our community together and showcase the best of our small town charm.

From business mixers to seasonal celebrations, there’s always something happening. Our members, like McMinnville Hearth and Barbeque, often participate – adding local flavor to each event.

New faces, such as Stickmen Brewing Company and Evolution You LLC, join long-standing businesses in these festivities… creating a rich tapestry of our town’s growth and traditions.

The Chamber offers various ways for businesses to get involved and promote themselves at these events. Whether you’ve been a member for a year or a century, there’s a place for you here.

These occasions aren’t just about networking – they’re about building lasting connections in our tight-knit community. It’s where the quieter pace of small-town life meets the energy of local enterprise, right here in the heart of Oregon’s wine country.

Lafayette School House Antique Tour

We love exploring the Lafayette Schoolhouse Antique Mall, a treasure trove of vintage finds near Carlton. This former schoolhouse, built in 1912, now houses over 100 dealers spread across three floors.

It’s a top spot for antique lovers and history buffs alike. We often spend hours browsing through the eclectic mix of furniture, collectibles, and unique oddities.

The mall’s close proximity to local hotels and eateries makes it an easy addition to any Carlton itinerary. Visitors rave about the friendly staff and the well-organized displays. With its high ratings on travel sites, it’s clear why this antique mall is a must-visit for those seeking a quieter, small-town Oregon experience.

The Lafayette Schoolhouse Antique Mall offers a perfect blend of shopping and nostalgia, making it a standout attraction in the area.

Vista Balloon Adventures Inc.

Vista Balloon Adventures Inc. offers a unique way to see Carlton and the Willamette Valley. We’ve been taking folks up in the air since 1989, giving them bird’s-eye views of our beautiful wine country.

Our family-run business is celebrating 35 years in 2024 – that’s over three decades of floating above the vines!

For those looking to mark a special occasion or give an unforgettable gift, we’ve got you covered. Our gift certificates let you share the thrill of soaring over Oregon’s lush landscapes.

It’s a perfect way to see the quieter side of our region from a whole new angle. The gentle drift of the balloon lets you take in the patchwork of vineyards and rolling hills at a relaxed pace.

Free Spirit Wine – Wine Essentials Classes.

We’re excited to share one of Carlton’s hidden gems with you: Free Spirit Wine’s Wine Essentials Classes. These classes offer a fantastic opportunity to dive into the world of wine in a relaxed, small-town setting.

We love how they cater to both beginners and seasoned wine enthusiasts, covering topics from basic wine tasting techniques to food pairing principles.

At Free Spirit Wine, we’ve found that their classes strike a perfect balance between education and enjoyment. The instructors make complex wine concepts easy to understand, using clear language and hands-on tastings.

It’s a great way to expand your wine knowledge while exploring Carlton’s charming downtown area. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, these classes add an extra layer of fun to your Oregon wine country experience.

Things To Do In Carlton Oregon Conclusion

Carlton, Oregon, offers a treasure trove of experiences for wine enthusiasts and small-town explorers alike. From world-class wineries to charming boutiques, this quaint locale packs a punch in just three blocks.

Visitors can savor award-winning Pinots, stroll through historic streets, and bask in the warmth of local hospitality. Carlton’s blend of rustic charm and culinary sophistication makes it a must-visit destination in Oregon’s Wine Country.

Come discover why this hidden gem has captured the hearts of travelers and wine lovers from around the globe.

Things To Do In Carlton Oregon FAQs

1. What are the top things to do in Carlton, Oregon?

Carlton offers many attractions. Visit Lavinea Winery for wine tasting. Explore the charming downtown area. Take a scenic drive through the surrounding countryside. Enjoy local restaurants and shops.

2. How far is Carlton from McMinnville, OR?

Carlton is about 10 miles northwest of McMinnville. The drive takes around 15 minutes. Both towns are in Oregon’s wine country. They offer similar attractions for visitors.

3. Is Lavinea Winery worth visiting in Carlton?

Yes, Lavinea Winery is a must-see in Carlton. It offers premium wines. The tasting room has a cozy atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy vineyard views. The staff is knowledgeable about local wines.

4. What outdoor activities are available near Carlton?

Carlton has many outdoor options. Hike in nearby state parks. Go fishing in local rivers. Bike through scenic wine country roads. Picnic in town parks. Birdwatch in wetland areas.

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