Fall is a great time for a road trip in the Columbia Gorge. Apple picking is at its best in the Hood River Valley, wineries provide a great stop in your travels and there shouldn’t be any risk of road closures due to weather …yet. Both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River have much to offer. A few of my favorite haunts follow, along with a remodeled Motor Inn (remember those?) which looks like a classic place to stay.
The Celilo Inn in the Dalles is just the place to stop over. The renovation created 46 luxury rooms including a few suites and more spacious rooms, and some pet friendly rooms. All rooms have mini-fridges, pillow top mattresses, ipod players and more. Sweeping views of the Columbia Gorge and The Dalles Dam await.
From The Dalles you’ll have easy access to the famous and quirky Maryhill Museum. Head east on I-84 and across the I-97 bridge at Biggs Junction to the Washington side of the Gorge. You’ll have be quite close to the Maryhill Museum and grounds, and of course Stonehenge. While at Maryhill, don’t forget to see my favorite on going exhibit of International Chess Sets, who knew?
On the Oregon side, the Hood River Valley offers world class fruit picking. Take part in the Fruit Loop for great apple and pear picking. Grab a bite at the SawTooth Road House; enjoying a broad menu including pizza, pasta and apprtizers. Also on the Oregon side is the Columbia Gorge Discover Center with exhibits on Lewis and Clark, the Ice Age and Regional History, to name a few.
I’m not much of a wine person myself, but The Gorge does have a growing wine industry. I tend more toward Northwest beer myself. The Full Sail Brewery is in Hood River; with award winning beer and a yummy restaurant serving lunch and dinner. In addition, the Walking Man Brewery , across the river in Stevenson Washington has a very broad selection of beer and delicious pub fare.
Have a favorite Gorge spot you’d like to share? Leave a comment!