Enjoy outdoor music, cascading waterfalls, and microbrews just half an hour east of Portland at the “Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge.”
Area code is 503.
to do and see McMenamins Edgefield A sprawling resort with outdoor soaking pools, vineyards, a vegetable garden, and a distillery—plus concerts on the sloping lawn with headliners like Ben Harper (July 5) and Emmylou Harris with Steve Martin (July 26). 2126 SW Halsey St., 669-8610, mcmenamins.com. SummerFest July 21. The town’s 40th all-day festival features a carnival at Glenn Otto Park, a rubber ducky derby down the Sandy River, and a parade with horseback riders, pit bulls in tutus, and Wild West cowboys. 669-7473. Troutdale Historical Society Museums Open third Saturdays. A trio of local antique treasure troves: the 1900 Harlow House, the Barn Museum with curios from the former county poor farm (now McMenamins), and the Rail Depot Museum. 732, 726, and 473 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 661-2164, troutdalehistory.org.
shopping Caswell Gallery Sculptor Rip Caswell is know for his life-size bronze moose, deer, and other wildlife as well as the seven-foot trout on the town’s gateway arch. 253 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 492-2473, ripcaswell.com. Columbia Gorge Premium Outlets Forty-five stores, including Gap Outlet and Guess. AAA members receive a free VIP coupon book for extra savings. 450 NW 257th Way, 669-8060, premiumoutlets.com/columbiagorge. Troutdale Farmers’ and Artists’ Market The outdoor Saturday market features farm-fresh produce, homemade tamales, painting demonstrations, and live bluegrass. 473 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy. Troutdale General Store Buy nostalgic items such as hula hoops, old-fashioned candy from glass jars, and printed aprons at this sunny replica of an early-20th-century shop. Linger over apple-bacon breakfast casserole or salmon chowder. 289 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 492-7912, troutdalegeneralstore.com.
outdoors Dabney State Park Picnic beneath big-leaf maples, fish for salmon and trout from the riverbank, toss horseshoes, or jump in the swimming hole at this 142-acre park along the Sandy River. About three miles east of Troutdale Bridge. 695-2261, oregonstateparks.org/park_151.php. Historic Columbia River Highway Plan to drive slowly and make frequent stops for short forest hikes, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and expansive views of the gorge along the country’s first scenic highway, which runs between Troutdale and Dodson. oregon.gov/odot/hwy/hcrh. Sandy River Delta Peer through the wood slats of artist Maya Lin’s elliptical bird blind for a hidden glimpse of herons, hawks, and beavers, or look up at the mountains across the river. Off Thousand Acres Road. confluenceproject.org/project-sites/sandy-river-delta.
eats and drinks Brewligans Sample over 100 Northwest microbrews served alongside hot dogs topped with blue cheese and bacon, or wasabi mayo and kimchi, in a 1970s-style living room with thrift-store couches and old-school video games. 275 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 489-5919, brewligansbottleshop.com. The Riverview Restaurant Twists on Northwest cuisine, such as seafood with coconut curry and miso-glazed salmon, with live piano and jazz and a river view. 29311 SE Stark St., 661-3663, yoshidariverview.com. Shaken Martini Lounge Channel James Bond over specialty cocktails like the Sean Connery vodka martini, while boning up on 007 trivia. 101 W. Columbia River Hwy., 512-7485. Tad’s Chicken ’n Dumplins A nearly 80-year-old local institution known for, you guessed it, chicken and dumplings. On warm days, the covered porch opens right on to the river. 1325 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 666-5337, tadschicdump.com.
Photography by Robbie McClaran; courtesy of McMenamin (Edgefield)
This article was first published in July 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.