McMinnville : Oregon


What It Is Like to Retire in McMinnville

McMinnville, know as the heart of Oregon's wine country, is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County. It has a population of approximately 33,000 and is located in a picturesque setting surrounded by farmland and vineyards at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Yamhill River in the Willamette Valley. The town was founded by William T. Newby, an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, who came from McMinnville, Tennessee, platted the area, and named it after his hometown. He also donated land to be used as a site for higher education and is now where Linfield College sits today. McMinnville is also home to Chemeketa Community College, and the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum which displays more than 80 historic aircraft, including Howard Hughes seaplane, Spruce Goose.

McMinnville has a historic downtown with many buildings preserved from the late 1800's, which today house shops and residences. The town has been popular with UFO believers since 1950, when photographs of what were thought to be UFO's were published in several newspapers and Life Magazine, and each year a UFO Festival is held here.  

Today, McMinnville is considered the capital of Oregon's wine industry with dozens of wineries  and is known as a Pinot Noir paradise, and is host to the International Pinot Noir Celebration. It has been recognized by Sunset Magazine as a top 20 "Dream Town", and Bon Appetit Magazine rated it as one of the top "Best Foodie Towns" in America. Photo of The Evergreen Aviation Museum courtesy of Wikipedia and Notkeel (public domain); photo of A-25 Mitchell bomber on the main floor of the museum courtesy of Wikipedia and Karl Dickman (public domain).


Where to Retire in McMinnville and Home Prices reports the median home value here was $344,767, in early 2020, and calls it a "Hot" market.


What Is Special about McMinnville

The town has a walkable, historic downtown, a medical center, airstrip, and is home to two colleges.  Linfield College hosts cultural and sporting events, and Chemeketa Community College offers non-credit courses which residents can attend.  There are several farm-to-table restaurants and pubs, along with galleries and parks. 



What Is Not Special about McMinnville

Cost of living is higher than the national average; the nearest large city (Salem), is over 25 miles away; winters are chilly


Who Will Like Retirement in McMinnville

Retirees who are looking for a small to mid-size town that has parks, museums, events, festivals and wineries would like living here. There are also two colleges which add to the community culturally.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Sales, Administrative Support


Climate and Physical Environment

McMinnville has a moderate four season climate which is ideal for growing wine grapes.  The average January temperature is about 40 degrees with July's average 67 degrees.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

McMinnville has a vibrant and walkable downtown with restaurants and shops, and is surrounded by wineries in the Willamette Valley; several festivals are held throughout the year. The Dragging the Gut Festival includes classic car cruising from the 1950's, and The International Pinot Noir Celebration is held each year on the Linfield College campus; The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum offers education programs, lectures, and movies concerning space history, with dozens of historic planes on display. The museum also has a waterpark with a waterslide coming out of a 747 jumbo jet.



The crime rate here is below the national average.


Medical Facilities

Willamette Valley Medical Centers services the area.



The town owns and operates a small municipal airport for private planes; The nearest large airport is in Portland, about 50 miles away.


Valuable Links

Visit McMinnville

Downtown McMinnville

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum


What people are saying about McMinnville

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