Clifftop Lodge with Panoramic Views of the Columbia River Gorge
It was love at first sight for Lucy Cranmer when she saw a magazine photo of children playing in lush apple orchards with Mount Hood towering in the background. So, in 1954, she and her husband, Clarence, packed up their family and moved to Hood River, Oregon, where they built the original eight-room Vagabond Lodge on the cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge. Nearly 60 years later, the lodge is still owned and operated by the Cranmer family, but it's since grown into a 42-room inn situated on 5 wooded acres filled with native flora, natural rock formations, and towering ponderosa pines.
Beyond the parklike grounds, Vagabond Lodge's chief attraction is its panoramic view of the gorge. You can see the canyon from the balcony of a large-view room. These spacious rooms come decorated in rustic Pacific Northwest fashion, with exposed ceiling beams as well as gas-burning fireplaces in some rooms. The adjacent White Buffalo Wine Bar & Bistro has regional microbrews on tap. Every Thursday night, the eatery offers live music and free wine tastings of local varietals from area wineries.
Hood River, Oregon: Historical Riverside Town Where Columbia River Meets Cascade Range
Located right on the riverfront, Hood River is the epicenter of outdoor recreation at the Columbia River Gorge, and also the windsurfing capital of the world. Downtown, shops and restaurants occupy historical buildings dating back to the late 19th century. You can catch theater and dance performances at the Columbia Center for the Arts, as well as local artwork in its gallery space.
There’s also a cluster of wineries downtown. The award-winning Cathedral Ridge Winery and Springhouse Cellar Winery host tastings and talks by winemakers extolling the area’s unique grape-growing qualities and its herds of undomesticated sommeliers. If you’re looking for a beer instead, the Full Sail Brewing Company headquarters offers free, 30-minute tours of its earth-friendly craft brewery as well as $1 microbrew tasters alongside seasonal, Pacific Northwest–inspired pub fare.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.