Situated on a 54-acre plot of land near the Columbia River, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum chronicles thousands of years of the area?s natural and cultural history. The 48,200-square-foot facility?which received an American Institute of Architects Honor Award?features interactive and multimedia exhibits that let guests study everything from the volcanic activity and floods that created the gorge to its wildlife. Guests can stand in the shadow of a life-size, 13-foot mammoth in the Ice Age exhibit or hide from its intimidating tusks under a canvas tent modeled after the one used by Lewis and Clark.
As the official interpretive center of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area, the center celebrates the area?s indigenous flora and fauna while working to preserve them. Five acres of indigenous plants host turtles, ducks, geese, songbirds, and other native wildlife, on which guests spy as they stroll through the nature walk. At the raptor exhibit, visitors can come face-to-beak with various birds of prey, including a bald eagle, a great horned owl, and a red-tailed hawk. The Discovery Center and Museum hosts frequent educational programs and tour groups that detail ways to protect the area?s biodiversity without having to marry a tree.
No strangers to the great outdoors, the guides of Sage Canyon River Company help visitors tackle the great outdoors on whitewater-rafting, camping, and fishing expeditions. Adventures range from three-hour jaunts to multiday trips into the wilds of the Oregon frontier, giving outdoorsmen many options for experiencing nature. Thrill seekers can steer a raft or oversize rubber duck through calm waters amid desert-rock formations or crash through Class IV rapids?including the challenging Oak Springs on the Deschutes River?under the direction of a trained guide. For adventures that tend to keep the water outside of the boat, fishing trips journey into Sherars Falls and Macks Canyon in search of trout and steelhead, with fly- and reel-casting opportunities.
"Come get naked with us." It sounds like an indecent proposal, but it's really a call to action from Naked Winery?specifically a call to grab some of the cheeky winery's offerings. Its winemakers use grapes grown in both hot and dry climates and cool marine climates in Oregon and Washington to produce vintages such as Foreplay chardonnay and the sweet red Blazing Straddle.
The masterminds behind the winery, the Barringer and Michalec families, gave their creations such sassy names partly because of the wines' ability to seduce palates. But they also did it because they loved the idea of couples sipping a glass at night and sharing a laugh over the names and saucy descriptions on the label.