Located on the shores of the Columbia River near the Deschutes River, Hood River and The Dalles are the eastern gateway to the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing and paddling to your heart’s content. Explore the towns’ rich history at one of their impressive museums, or get a taste of the region at a fruit farm or winery. The Gorge is full of flavor!
A must visit is Sunshine Mill Winery and Artisan Plaza, which was originally a wheat mill producing everything from biscuits to Cheez-its. Being the first designated “skyscraper” in the Columbia River Gorge, the Sunshine Mill is a beautifully restored building with a gorgeous tasting room, paying homage to its history by proudly displaying the original motor designed by Thomas Edison in the lobby. On the weekends, Sunshine Mill is also home to a drive-in movie theater, showing multiple movies a night, projected onto the grain silos.
Continue enjoying the sunny weather by visiting Tom McCall Nature Preserve / Rowena Plateau, a great family-friendly hike with spectacular views. The hike, which has an easy 2.2-mile loop to the edge of the bluff high above the Columbia, is a wildflower wonderland. Don’t miss the view of the famed “Rowena Loops” from the lookout point at the parking lot. Or head onto the Hood River Fruit Loop trail, a 35-mile scenic drive which includes all the farms, fruit stands, wineries, breweries and cideries that have found a knack for growing fresh fruit in Hood River. There are over 20 stops on this self-guided trail mapped, here.
For dinner, visit The Baldwin Saloon, a local favorite restaurant and gathering place in The Dalles. From breads and pastas, to more than twelve desserts, even the ice cream is made from scratch! Those traveling through The Dalles and Columbia River Gorge can enjoy staying at Hood River Hotel, offering a trendy boutique-style hotel for travelers and getaway-seekers alike.