As often as possible, our travels take us to Joseph, Oregon at the base of the Wallawa Mountains, one of my favorite spots in the world. Joseph is a charming historical town filled with art and culture. Thanks to the bronze foundries that opened in 1982, you’ll find gorgeous bronzes on most of its downtown corners. Brick sidewalks and hanging flower baskets lead past fun restaurants, breweries, and fine art galleries.

Embers Brewhouse downtown Joseph with views of Wallawa Mountains

It’s quite a drive from southern Oregon to the northeast corner of the state, but even though it’s an out-of-the-way spot, it’s definitely been discovered. Crowds overflow during the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo in July; the Bronze, Blues, and Brews festival in August; and Alpenfest in September. A constant draw is the beautiful Wallowa Lake, where our family has enjoyed camping, swimming, and boating for years.

The most irresistible thing for me, however, is to drive through the rolling farms by myself and find a place to stop and gaze at the Wallowa mountains, dubbed the Oregon Alps. Each time, a powerful, creative force makes my heart swell with longing. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced anywhere else.

Awe-inspiring, enchanting, captivating – no one word can capture the essence of this area.

Have you visited Joseph? Is there a place that creates a similar sensation for you?  If you are a writer, is there someplace you count on for inspiration?