Head up to Washington for a fun getaway for the whole family.

Photo courtesy of Denise Castañon

While it’s only a one-hour car ride away, rattling across the Bridge of the Gods to Stevenson, Washington truly feels like a much farther getaway. The charming, cozy and extremely kid-friendly Skamania Lodge makes a great homebase. Pro tip: Adjoining rooms give your family some extra space! Enjoy the hiking trails, a fun putting course, a disc-golf course, a zipline and aerial course, and an 18-hole golf course (pictured above), all on the property. For more indoorsy members of your family, there’s also an indoor pool, spa, and a gorgeous, 85-foot-tall fireplace in the lobby. 

Photo courtesy of Denise Castañon

If the weather is cooperative, mountain-bike enthusiasts should go off the property to check out the Strawberry Island Trail in North Bonneville. Stay on the loop for an easier ride or bike up to the viewpoint for a more challenging time. Also be sure to explore the nearby Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center (pictured above). This three-level museum thoughtfully starts with displays about the Gorge’s Native peoples and continues to cover trappers, steamboats, the building of Bonneville Dam and much more. Don’t miss the 12-minute movie about the massive geological shifts that formed the Columbia River Gorge. Pro tip: Purchase a Groupon for discounted admission.

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And then see the dam in action at the Bonneville Dam and Lock Washington Shore Visitors Complex. You’ll also find exhibits that focus on electricity, hydroelectric dams and salmon. For another kid-friendly hike, head to the nearby Fort Cascade Historic Sites Trail, a flat 1.5-mile loop that takes you to the site of an ancient portage used by the Cowlitz, Siletz and Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde — an area that later became a U.S. Army fort.

Photo courtesy of Denise Castañon

On your way home, make a stop at Cascade Locks’ Eastwind Drive-In (pictured above.) It’s old-school burgers, chicken fingers and onion rings done right. And then order a kids’ or small extra-creamy soft serve (you’ve been warned!). We highly recommend the mocha cappuccino and butterscotch flavors.

Denise Castañon
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