Posted Feb 08, 2020
By Gerry Frank | For The Oregonian/OregonLive
Spend this Valentine’s Day at the recently opened Independence Hotel (201 Osprey Ave., Independence; 503-837-0200; theindependencehotel.com). The small town of Independence often gets overlooked, but this new boutique hotel has every intention of changing that.
The prime historic downtown location, near Willamette River and Riverview Park, offers easy access to walking and biking trails, farmers markets as well as a plethora of wineries in Polk County. Western Oregon University visitors will also find the location to be convenient, as it’s a short 15-minute drive from campus. Whether you’re a cyclist gearing up for your next big ride, a wine enthusiast looking to explore the Willamette Valley or you’re simply looking to get some R&R, the hotel staff is very accommodating and offers more than wine tastings in the evenings, an on-site bike shop, gym and a spa room to make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible.
The 75-rooms are just as beautifully and thoughtfully appointed as the rest of the hotel with locally-made bath soaps, luxury robes and local artwork along with all of the comforts one would hope for (microwave and fridge, coffeemaker, complimentary WiFi, Flat screen TVs, in-room bike storage, etc.). The wood accents in the rooms, as well as throughout the property, are attractive and add to the nature-inspired theme and setting of this waterfront hotel. Although I suggest that you opt for a room with Willamette river views, phenomenal river views can also be enjoyed from the rooftop deck and the on-site restaurant or its riverfront patio.
The hot breakfast buffet at Territory Restaurant (territoryrestaurant.com) is complimentary for guests, but is otherwise $12 for adults and $7 for kids. They serve up quite a tasty Pacific-Northwest-inspired menu, highlighting local ingredients, for breakfast (7-10 a.m.), lunch (10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) and dinner (4-9 p.m.).
The Pink House Cafe (242 D Street, Independence; 503-837-0900) is another great option for casual dining nearby. You can’t miss this charming pink and white Victorian house adorned with gingerbread trim. Inside several rooms create an intimate, relaxing ambiance. The appealing, consistently good menu is filled with hearty breakfasts (a generous side of pan-fried spuds is included), lunches, dinners and desserts. Exceptional soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers are offered for both lunch and dinner; a serving of a green or homemade potato salad accompanies sandwiches. Dinner also offers other tasty comfort food choices, such as bratwurst, fish, ravioli or short rib entrees; save room for housemade berry cobbler, bread pudding or other desserts. With the Independence Cinema right across the street, this cafe makes for a great date night stop. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.