The single most-asked question at wine festivals and events is, "Where is Elkton?" So I thought it would be handy to have a blog post that answers that question. I have also embraced a hashtag another local business owner (Randi Jo Fabrications) created.
I'll start off by showing precisely where Elkton is on a map:
The gold-colored line that runs north/south is Interstate-5. As you can see, Elkton is not on I-5. This is one of the main reasons even native Oregonians often don't know where Elkton is located. In fact, it appears that the pin is smack-dab in the middle of nowhere. That's because it kind of is, which is why Elkton is so cool.
Travel Oregon has the state divided into 7 distinct regions: (1) Greater Portland, (2) Mt. Hood/The Gorge, (3) Central Oregon, (4) Eastern Oregon, (5) Southern Oregon, (6) Oregon Coast, and (7) Willamette Valley. If you were to mark those divisions on this map, Elkton would fall almost precisely on the joint of (5), (6) and (7). The climate in Elkton is much more similar to that of the Willamette Valley and Oregon Coast, (rainy, cool temps, foggy); Southern Oregon tends to be more arid and hot than Elkton. This is why Elkton, Oregon is it's own distinct American Viticulture Area - technically, we are in Southern Oregon, but we're growing grapes that thrive in cool climate regions.
Now there are some people who do in fact know where Elkton is. At least 95-99.5% of these people know it because they passed through on the way to the coast (the remaining .5-5% either knew someone from Elkton, or has family here). It's true, we are halfway between I-5 and the Oregon Coast on Highway 38, and a lot of ATV riders and dunes enthusiasts pass through town. Recently I had a customer share with me that Hwy 38 is her favorite coastal connection. The reasons she listed were: (1) It's very scenic (2) There are lots of passing lanes and (3) There are no major mountain passes or twisty-turny roads. Now if you aren't familiar with all the coastal connection highways of Oregon, (first of all shame on you) this customer really nailed it on the head. The passing lane situation in particular is a huge win because of all the RVs, Trailers and semis that take these routes. So for future travel planning, if you are hopping over to the coast from I-5 be sure to go via Hwy 38.
Until #whereiselkton is trending on Twitter, or some site posts 'Oregon's 10 Best Routes to the Oregon Coast,' I imagine us Elktonites will continue to answer the question to Oregonians and tourists alike. But not to you. You are one of the elite few who can now boast, "I knew about Elkton before Elkton was a thing."
And you can take that to the bank.