Known as the “king of roads,” the Historic Columbia River Highway winds east from Portland, past fairy-tale-like scenery of mossy stone structures, waterfalls, wildflower fields and along the Columbia River Gorge. Take the road less traveled on this Scenic Byway and head out for a day or weekend trip past Hood River to The Dalles, located about 70 miles outside of Portland. Take your time along the was as you’ll find many culinary delights and outdoor adventures that dot this route.

If it’s two-wheel travel you seek, plenty of adventures abound on the trails (both paved and dirt) that traverse the eastern The Dalles area. With loops ranging from 10 to 100 miles and more, there is a diverse variety for every level of cyclist. Find a trail at Ride Oregon Ride.

Head into town and spend an afternoon at Anzac Tea Parlour. It’s located in the historic home of legendary cattle rancher Ben Snipes (1835-1906), he built the house for his wife, Mary. In 2004 Bev and Alan Eagy moved from Australia and converted the home into a commercial kitchen and tea parlour where they make and sell their now-famous Anzac biscuits (which is just Down Under’ slang for cookie). Be sure to don your elbow-length white gloves for high tea Tuesday-Saturday. In addition to cucumber sandwiches and crumpets, they also serve a full lunch menu. Don’t leave without a stroll through their unique gift shop filled with trinkets from bygone eras.

Not to be overlooked is The Dalles wine region. The wines here are a warm weather varietal and therefor unique to Oregon including Syrah, Cabernet and Zinfandel. The Pines Winery is one of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the state, dating back over a century. A tasting tour here is unlike any other as the wineries are located in the areas most historic structures. Erin Glenn Winery is housed in The Mint, a fortress-like building commissioned by Abraham Lincoln to mint coins in the 1860s.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. James Allan says…

    I must agree the old highway is a spectacular drive. My wife and I have done it twice now and fully intend to do it again. Trouble is its a long way from the UK for a 5 hour drive, well it takes us 5 hours because we stop so often.

    Written on August 4th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
  2. gordon sears says…

    My wife and I are from the UK and we have driven the Columbia Highway. We were particularly taken with the waterfalls along the way.
    Hopefully we will have the chance again if we are able to visit friends
    who live in Beaverton.

    Written on August 10th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
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