We have many out of town visitors come by the Gallery throughout the year. Often they are tourists with a limited amount of time to explore the area. Luckily, one can enjoy much of what the area has to offer in single day (with a little strategy). Since most visitors to the area want to see Multnomah Falls and Mt. Hood, with a little shopping and dining mixed in, we are happy to offer a few ideas.

Make Troutdale your first stop for a coffee and shopping. Of course, stop by Caswell Gallery, but Troutdale also has antique stores, specialty shops and a country store. If you are interested in taking the scenic route to the Falls, continue on the Old Columbia River Highway, stopping along the way at the Women’s Forum and Crown Point for magnificent views. Along the route you’ll enjoy several falls before arriving at Multnomah Falls. If this is where you tour stops, check in at the wildlife center for information on many lovely hikes in the vicinity. Definitely take the short walk up to the bridge. It’s easier than it looks, and more fun, too. If you’ve got more touring in you, continue east on I-84 and head to Hood River. There you will find restaurants, galleries, shops and all the wind surfing gear you might need. Hood River is about 50 miles from Portland, so head back directly on I-84W and you’ll be home in no time.

Another way to make this trip is to head directly to Hood River. In either direction you will be able to stop at Multnomah Falls by pulling out at the designated parking area and strolling over to the lodge. When returning from Hood River, either take the Old Highway, or stick to the freeway, but definitely stop in Troutdale to stretch your legs, shop and have dinner.

Other options for seeing the area by car are to take I-84E straight to Hood River. Pick up coffee and lunch-to-go in Troutdale. Slow down while cruising by Multnomah Falls (although we do recommend even a brief stop because you can’t really see it’s full magnificence from the road). Take a picnic at the Columbia Gorge Sailpark where you will enjoy thrilling entertainment by some of the best wind surfers and sailboarders in the countryfor free. Cruise through the town of Hood River before picking up Hwy. 35 toward Mt. Hood. On the way you’ll discover why this area is called “The Fruit Loop”. If traveling during summer or fall, stop by the many farm stands and grab some Hood River apples. After an hour or so, you’ll pick up Hwy. 26 heading west toward Mt. Hood. An easy 6 mile drive up to Timberline Lodge will not disappoint. If you’re traveling on a clear day you will be able to “see forever”. Explore this historical Lodge in all its handcrafted glory, sit by the fireplace, and have dinner or a drink. When leaving, follow Hwy. 26 westerly and you’ll end up right back in Portland in a little over an hour. This is a great trip in reverse, too!Timberline

All along these routes you’ll find natural areas, easy hikes, picnic spots and scenic splendor to rival any other part of the country. Most Troutdale businesses are veterans at offering travel tips and suggestions, so take full advantage of these local resources.  P.S. Don’t forget your camera!

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