In the early 20th century, steamers sailing through the Columbia River would blow their whistles as soon as the Wah Gwin Gwin Hotel came into view, sounding once for each passenger aboard the ship. The hotel maids would hear the whistles and spring into action, fluffing pillows and making beds for the prospective guests. Today, approaching ships will no longer see the Wah Gwin Gwin along the riverside, but rather the striking profile of the Columbia Gorge Hotel, a Mediterranean-style bed and breakfast with a traditional white stucco exterior, orange-tiled roofs, and a tower with stained-glass windows.
The Columbia Rivers raging waters can be seen from both the restaurant and the river-view rooms. With brass or canopy beds, antique furnishings, and Victorian period artwork, each individually decorated room celebrates the style and tastes of the 1920s. The in-house Simons Cliff House restaurant supplies a touch of modern-day Pacific Northwest, as dishes are crafted using locally grown ingredients from Oregon and Washington farmers, fisherman, and winemakers.
After dinner, head over to Valentino Lounge, the hotels onsite bar, where you can indulge in a cocktail, a glass of wine, or a whiskey-filled water balloon. During your stay, you'll also receive a wine passport for tastings at nearby Cathedral Ridge Winery, Mt. Hood Winery, Phelps Creek Vineyards, and The Pines Vineyard and Winery.
About 65 miles east of Portland and just north of Mt. Hood, Hood River is a breathtaking geologic destination. Volcanoes, lava, glaciers, the Jolly Green Giant, and ice-age floodwaters tore apart the land, carving an 80-mile canyon now known as the Columbia River Gorge. The areas mountains, gushing waterfalls, and winding rivers attract adventurers for the hiking, fishing, and rafting.
Hood Rivers main draw is the wind. Widely regarded as the windsurfing capital of the world, Hood River and its stretch of the Gorge come alive with windsurfers and kitesurfers on breezy days. There are plenty of board shops in and around Hood River that offer lessons and rentals, but watching the pros from dry land is the next best thing.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
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