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Ray Walter has been cooking almost his whole life. His latest food adventure, IndePit at Mecanico, is furthering that journey.

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You can tell it’s springtime when the Independence farmers markets kick off their seasons in April. The markets run each Saturday April through October and November.

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Oregon has become one of the top destinations for beer lovers — and Polk County is at the center of this utopia for suds seekers, with good reason.

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Spirit Mountain Casino may be the unincorporated community of Grand Ronde’s — and the state’s — most popular tourist destination, but there’s plenty more to Grand Ronde than meets the eye.

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Driving down Highway 99W, one may not realize the gem they pass through when they get to Monmouth. Turn onto Main Street and discover a historic downtown filled with shops and restaurants selling local goods and handmade fare.

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The city of Independence has a positive energy that permeates every nook and cranny of the town, from the historic downtown buildings to the thriving small businesses on Main Street, the parks, trails and schools.

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David and Cheryl Radke see vast potential in the city of Falls City, so much so that they decided to open a bed and breakfast in the town with a population of less than 1,000 people.

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Pull off Highway 22 at the Dallas exit. Drive through the picturesque farmland into town — and stay a while in Dallas.

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If you’re ready for the thrill of the hunt, look no further than Luckiamute Valley Pheasants.

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If you hear a cry of “Fore!” in Dallas City Park, don’t be surprised. Don’t look for a golf ball hurtling toward you either — what you should be watching for is a flying disc.

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Polk County is home to a different kind of golf — one that the whole family can enjoy. Puttskee’s Mini-Golf, located next to the skate park in Monmouth, offers family fun that can test your putting skills while providing a few laughs along the way.

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The centuries-old Douglas-fir trees that stand in the grove named the Valley of Giants are humbling. They tower over human guests to their isolated area, reminding visitors how small they really are.

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The rush of excitement. The moments when you’re flying through the air or completing a tight corner can be electrifying. Black Rock Mountain Bike Area, located near Falls City, offers cyclists a haven for experiencing a thrill ride.

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In August, tens of thousands will discover how great Polk County is as they descend on the area for one of the best viewing places of the Great American Eclipse, a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 at 10:17 a.m.

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Polk County has much to offer year-round for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, cyclists, pinot lovers, and members of Rogue Nation, residents and visitors alike.