One perfect day biking in The Dalles, OR

Visit this lesser-known town for abundant sunshine, wine, and an exciting bike trail

Salmon Cyclery

Salmon Cyclery is the place to go for bike rentals, trail maps, spare tubes, and snacks.

John Clark

Sunshine Mill

Taste the best of Oregon's grapes at the Sunshine Mill, which used to be a factory.

John Clark

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center was built as a love letter to explorers Lewis and Clark.

John Clark

ANZAC Tea Parlour

Dig into delicious scones, crumpets, and quiches at ANZAC Tea Parlour.

John Clark

Why go now: Unlike the coast, this town gets loads of sun in May--and a new wine bar and bike trail give you a reason to stick around.

Vitamin D fix: Portland averages 2 to 3 inches of rain this month; the Dalles gets half an inch.

Lay of the land: It's 84 miles east of Portland on the Columbia River.

Say it like a local: The Dalles rhymes with "pals." Forget the "the," and it's a dead giveaway you're from out of town.

Who lives here: Winemakers, cowboys, and triathletes-in-training.

Ticket to ride: The nearly complete Dalles Riverfront Trail is boosting the area's bike cred.

If you don't have your own wheels: The closest rental is at Discover Bicycles (from $25/day; 210 State St.; 541/386-4820) in Hood River, about 20 minutes away.

Architecture fans will love: Streets chockablock with restored Queen Anne homes.

Make a night of it: Order the prime rib and listen to old-timey piano music at the Baldwin Saloon ($$; closed Sun; 205 Court St.; 541/296-5666).

Coolest place to taste wine: What used to be a flour mill with a towering grain silo is now the place for wines from local stars Quenett Winery and Copa Di Vino--and maybe a game of bocce or two. Sunshine Mill has turned a cavernous 100-year-old factory into one of the most dramatic places to taste Oregon grapes. Grab a glass of crisp Pinot Gris, then head out to the patio, where you can work on your bocce toss. $5 tasting; 901 E. Second St.; 541/298-8900.

 

A fresh way to see the waterfront: Glide or walk down the 9-going-on-10-mile Dalles Riverfront Trail (nwprd.org), a paved ribbon that hugs the blue Columbia. You can access the trail from lots of spots, including Union Street downtown. It ends at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center ($8; 5000 Discovery Dr.; gorgediscovery.org), a love letter to Lewis and Clark and the gorge scenic area.

Get road ready: Hundreds of miles of smooth roads fan out from the Dalles, cutting through orchards and hills matted with wildflowers. Pick up a free bike map at Salmon Cyclery, and stock up on spare tubes and snacks; all six rides on the map start and end here. For a workout, tackle the 46.5-mile Dalles-Hood River out-and-back along the river. Or take the scenic 17.4-mile Cherry Heights Loop. Closed Sun; 418 E. Second St.; salmoncyclery.com

Scones? Hey, you earned them: Perhaps the only thing better than a thigh-burning bike ride is the quiche, scones, and crumpets you can dig into afterward at ANZAC Tea Parlour. This teahouse in an 1865 Gothic revival does a mean Aussie meat pie too, if you're into that. Wash it down with of of the nearly 100 loose teas. $; closed Sun; 218 W. Fourth St.; 541/296-5877.

Picnic tables and a pint: There are 27 Northwest beers on tap at Clock Tower Ales, which used to be the county courthouse. Best place to down a pint: outside on the deck. 311 Union St.; 541/705-3590.

Make it a weekend: Set on a hilltop looking out on Mt. Hood, Celilo Inn always had its view going for it, but a boutiquey redo has given rooms a much-needed dust-off. At dusk, the patio is the place to be. From $109; celiloinn.com

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/travel/northwest/oregon-dalles-day-trip-00418000071663/