: Troutdale by Modoc Stories / hood-gorge.com

Give the Gift of Mt. Hood and the Gorge

November 18, 2020

The enchanting natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood region draws visitors from around the world. It’s a breathtaking swath of Oregon, where a National Scenic Area overlaps with Oregon’s highest volcanic peak, and the Hood, Sandy and Deschutes rivers rush down off the mountain’s flanks into the Columbia River. The foothills of Mt. Hood give way to the vibrant cities and towns of The Dalles, Cascade Locks, Hood River, Sandy, Government Camp and others, where visitors come to hike, fish, camp and ski as well as sample the culinary delights all year-round.

Anyone who loves this special place will want to share it with friends and family. This holiday season, why not delight your loved ones with a gift of the spirit of this region?

Quirky chairs and hanging decorations are displayed in a converted warehouse.
Sunshine Mill Artisan Plaza and Winery in the Dalles features food, wine and home goods. (Photo by Joni Kabana)

Shopping Districts in Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

A shopping excursion in the Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge region is an opportunity to explore its charming and walkable small towns. In Old Town Troutdale you’ll find a number of galleries, boutiques and retail shops just a stone’s throw from the Sandy River. Hood River is home to a range of boutiques, galleries, outdoor-gear shops and restaurants mostly centered on Oak Street. Downtown The Dalles is bounded by the soaring silos of the Sunshine Mill Winery to the east and the spire of Old St. Peter’s Landmark church to the west. Find Oregon’s oldest bookstore, a well-stocked music shop, an artists’ co-op and more. Many businesses offer online shopping and gift certificates when in-person shopping is not possible.

The new Hood River Marketplace allows you to purchase a variety of locally made gifts online, from lavender lotion and handpainted art to acupuncture treatments and whitewater kayaking courses. Discover more Oregon-made products online with Built Oregon Marketplace, a new directory celebrating the state’s maker culture.

Staying safe during COVID-19: New COVID-19 guidelines by the Oregon Health Authority make shopping in person safe, giving you peace of mind. During the two-week statewide freeze, retail stores are limited to a maximum of 75% capacity. If you’d rather not shop in person, many stores offer online shopping and curbside pickup. Remember to wear a face covering indoors and outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible (it’s required), and pay attention to signs that may indicate direction of traffic. 

 

A masked person holds books outside a storefront.
Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River offers curbside pick-up for its large collection of books, toys, cards and more. (Photo by Susan Seubert)

Home Gifts in Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

From one-of-a-kind keepsakes to luxury items, this region has something for everyone. At Celebrate Me Home in Troutdale, you’ll find elegant furniture and accessories, and the Troutdale General Store has old-fashioned candies, rustic home gifts, seasonal ornaments and art. At the Greene Bronze Studio in Cascade Locks, home of renowned sculptor Heather Soderberg-Greene, shop for paintings and small sculptures while admiring her larger works in progress. Twiggs in Hood River has handcrafted jewelry, fine table linens, candles and singular home accents. Along with a great selection of books, nearby Waucoma Bookstore offers an array of small stocking stuffers from scarves and socks to kitchenware, whiskey stones and wind chimes. The Dalles’ Klindt’s Booksellers, Oregon’s oldest bookstore, carries a selection of fine stationery, pens, chocolates and notebooks, while nearby Curio Plants & Other Treasures offers a variety of houseplants, vases, pots, planters and more. Mossy Rock Gifts/Nature Shop in Estacada is the perfect place to snag that hummingbird feeder or outdoor guide for the nature lover on your list. 

Clothing and Design in Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

With a bend toward the outdoors, it’s no surprise that this region corners the market on sporting gear. In the Villages of Mt. Hood, choose from a great selection of ski, snowboard and mountain biking equipment as well as stylish winter gear and boots at Otto’s Ski & Mt. Bike in Sandy and Hurricane Racing and Valian’s Ski Shop in Government Camp, among others. The Renewal Workshop in Cascade Locks (online only) carries upcycled and refurbished outdoor apparel. Hood River also is a go-to spot for all of your well-made clothing needs, with The Ruddy Duck, Plenty, Parts + Labour and Laurel & Eddie. In The Dalles, boutique lovers will find Terra Cotta and Willow + Bark Boutique

Cans of Mt. Hood Brewing beer.
Mt. Hood Brewing in Government Camp has the perfect stocking stufffer for the beer lover in your life. (Photo courtesy of Mt. Hood Brewing)

Food and Drink in Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

It’s easy to find a taste of Oregon to share here. Order a hoodie, hat or T-shirt, or pick up a growler from one of the state’s most beloved labels at Bunsenbrewer in Sandy, Mt. Hood Brewing Co. in Government Camp, Sedition Brewing Co. in The Dalles and Thunder Island Brewing Co. in Cascade Locks. Make your cider-loving friends happy with a few special bottles from Slopeswell Cider Co. in Hood River or Stone Circle Cider in Estacada and don’t miss the gourmet liege waffles at The Freckled Peach, a nearby drive-through stand. Find farm-fresh cider in flavors like blackberry and blueberry pomegranate at Boring Brewing. Oregon wine fans may want to sample the unique terroir here with bottles from Hood Crest Winery, 15 Mile Winery, Dry Hollow Vineyards or Idiot’s Grace Winery. Stop at Native-owned Brigham Fish Market in Cascade Locks to pick up fresh Dungeness crab or smoked salmon for the holiday table, and make the home cooks on your list happy with a gift from Arome in Hood River, which sells loose-leaf teas, specialty vinegars and spices. The Fruit Company ships apples, pears and specialty products — a great way to experience the Hood River Fruit Loop from home. Treat your loved one to a future visit to Grateful Vineyard in Hood River, a u-pick, winery, cidery and brewery all in one.

For the best Oregon wine deals, check out The Giving Season through Dec. 31, 2020. With the new The Dalles Gift Card, more than a dozen restaurants are on the table.

A man windsurfs on the Columbia River.
Thrill-seekers will love a lesson with Brian’s Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, SUP and Kayaks in Hood River. (Photo courtesy of Brian's Kiteboarding)

Experiences in Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

With unparalleled four-season outdoor access, the region welcomes adventurers at heart with many ways to play with loved ones. Wintertime visitors enjoy skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing at the various ski areas on Mt. Hood. For winter river views, take a snowy train ride on the Mount Hood Railroad. With a mind toward summer, you can purchase a gift certificate with Sol Rides E-Bike Tours; a SUP downwind shuttle with Big Winds; a class with Flyfishing Strategies Fly Shop; a lesson with Black-owned Brian’s Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, SUP and Kayaks; or a summer brunch aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. Here’s a wacky idea for the Bigfoot lover in your life: Sign them up for membership at the North American Bigfoot Center in Boring, which grants them behind-the-scenes looks at the virtual museum archive and other riveting sasquatch content. Yoga, anyone? Boost your mindfulness with a gift card to live-streaming classes at Flow Yoga, with studios in Hood River and The Dalles, or a guided session of yoga in the vines with MountNbarreL, based in Hood River.

The hotel lobby has checkered floors and black leather chairs.
Who wouldn't love to stay at Hood River Hotel in the heart of town? (Photo courtesy of Hood River Hotel)

Hotels in Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

This region has lodging options to suit every kind of traveler. Book a room at the grand old Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa, perched high above the river, or stay in the heart of town at the quaint Hood River Hotel. The Celilo Inn, a renovated 1950s motor lodge, has stupendous views of The Dalles. The elegant Historic Balch Hotel, towering above the wheat fields in Dufur, is in a class by itself. Stay on the mountain at the 1930s Timberline Lodge (and peruse its amazing gift shop, with locally made blacksmithed items) or Mt. Hood Oregon Resort

Find great hotel deals in Oregon at Expedia and the Mt. Hood and Columbia Gorge Regional Tourism Alliance.

About The
Author

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.