The Dalles Story Tip Sheet
Can’t let summer go or face the winter rain? Come to ‘sunsational’ The Dalles, Oregon this autumn or winter, where visitors will be greeted with blue skies (only 14″ of annual rain compared to Portland’s 38″) and fall colors. The wineries will be rolling out their burgundy carpets, as will the trails and roads, which welcome hikers and cyclists.
For a completely different view of The Dalles, visitors can check out the area’s haunted side through the new Gorge Paranormal Society Tours (see below), which take people on a ghost hunt. (The Dalles is known for its invisible population!)
Please see the below for our latest stories ideas and calendar of events. Let me know if you need any additional information or images for these stories ideas.
Fall in Love with the Dalles-Area Wineries this Autumn
The wine scene in the Columbia River Gorge continues to grow, and The Dalles has a number of wineries nearby, from the historic Sunshine Mill, which features Quenett Wines and Copa Di Vino, to the beautiful Maryhill Winery, located across the Columbia River in Goldendale, Washington. Other outstanding wineries include Jacob Williams Winery with its new tasting room that boasts a spectacular Mt. Hood view, Dry Hollow Vineyards, tucked in the hills above The Dalles, and The Pines Vineyard. There are many other fantastic wineries in the area with special events this fall, and Columbia Wine Tours offers small group and private tours on both sides of the river.
Special Thanksgiving Weekend Events
In the grand winery tradition, many of the local wineries will be holding special Thanksgiving weekend tastings. Here’s a sampling:
DRY HOLLOW VINYARDS
November 29 & 30 and December 1, 12-5 pm.
This idyllic winery, set high in the hills among the vineyards, will feature wines made from The Dalles-area grapes during extended wine tasting hours on Thanksgiving Weekend. They will also be making wreaths with grape vines. Guests may make their own wreath, or purchase one for $5. GO
JACOB WILLIAMS WINERY
November 29 & 30 and December 1, 10 am- 6 pm.
Come celebrate Thanksgiving weekend at this family-owned winery, whose new tasting room has views of Mount Hood, with hors d’oerves (12-5pm) and special discounts on wine purchases. GO
November 23 & 24, 1-5 PM; November 29, 30 and December 1, 1-5 pm.
Kick off the holiday season at this gorgeous winery, perched on the edge of the Gorge, with up to 30% off wine sales. GO
THE PINES VINEYARD & WINERY
November 29, 30 and December 1, 12-7 pm.
Enjoy a festive weekend of wine tasting at The Pines tasting room, including sampling some new releases. Get your holiday shopping started with a special 20% discount on 6+ bottle purchases this weekend only. GO
Winter Workouts: Cycle in the Sun & Hike in the Hills
Calling all cyclists who want a respite from the rain and gloom of the Pacific Northwest winter. Roadies will love The Dalles’ dry conditions and beautiful views as they ride from The Dalles into the hills. For a map with all the area classic rides, visit Salmon Cyclery (418 E. 2nd Street, The Dalles).
Mountain bikers can check out the unique Klickitat Trail, a 31-mile trail created from the rail line that connected the towns of Lyle and Goldendale, WA. Nowhere else is there a rail trail that starts in a remote, beautiful tributary canyon, winds along a nationally designated Wild & Scenic River, and finishes in one of the nation’s only National Scenic Areas. For more information, go to www.klickitat-trail.org.
For those who prefer boots to pedals, there are a number of amazing hikes for every level, from the family-friendly trails at the Tom McCall Preserve, which offer stupendous views of the Gorge, to the more ambitious Lyle Cherry Orchard trail or The Dalles Mountain Ranch trails. The Friends of the Gorge website (gorgefriends.org) is a great resource for hikes in the Eastern Gorge and beyond.
The Dalles Fun Facts
Some of what makes The Dalles so unique:
- There are only nine cities in the United States (and just one in Oregon) that start with the word “The.”
- For each mile you drive away from Hood River and towards The Dalles, you get one less inch of rain a year. (A key fact for Portanders and others to keep in mind during the long rainy season.)
- Klindt’s Booksellers and Stationers is the oldest continuously running bookstore west of the Mississippi.
- There are Class 4 rapids for thrill-seeking river rafters just 45 minutes from The Dalles. September is a great time to raft without all the crowds. Check out the Imperial River Company.
- The site of The Dalles was a major trade center for Native Americans for at least 10,000 years, and the surrounding area comprise one of the most significant archaeological regions in North America. Visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center to learn more.
- Located just across the bridge, on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, the Columbia Hills State Park is home to a remarkable collection of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs.
- Wasco County (of which The Dalles is the county seat) was once the largest county in the nation, extending to the border of Yellowstone National Park and including western Montana and southern Idaho. Visit the Wasco County Historical Museum (co-housed with the Columbia Gorge Discover Center) to learn more.
GORGE PARANORMAL SOCIETY TOURS
This Halloween…or anytime…visitors with a taste for the ghostly can explore The Dalles’ renowned spooky side with the new tours offered by the Gorge Paranormal Society.
Ghost-hunters can join Jeff and Johna Gadley as they lead a late night tour around town. Participants get to try to capture other-worldly signs with a digital voice recorder, spirit box, night-vision camera, ghost meter, video camera, etc. They will be sent a DVD all the findings, plus an analysis by the experienced leaders. The two-hour tour is limited to six participants per group.
Cost: Adults: $35 ($40 with dinner); children 12 and under: $25.
Call for current tour schedule and to make a reservation.
RECONNECT TO THE RIVER (Saturday, October 5, 2013, 9 AM-7 PM; Lewis & Clark Festival Park) The Dalles celebrates its long tradition of being a river town with the second annual “Reconnect to the River” community event on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The day-long festival celebrates the deep rich history of The Dalles and the Columbia River through the “History Row,” where local museums and historic venues offer historic demonstrations as well as a mini Chautauqua series of stories once every hour. There’s also live music and a vendor’s market with local artists, crafters and merchants. http://www.visitthedalles.com/reconnect-to-the-river/
THE DALLES STARLIGHT PARADE (Friday, November 29, 2013) – Join The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce as they usher in the holiday season on November 29 with the 24rd Annual Starlight Parade! The themed parade starts at 6 PM at 6th and Webber streets and winds its way downtown then over to 2nd Street to the chamber office. Hot chocolate and chili will be served and several stores will be open that evening.
FESTIVAL OF TREES (Friday, December 6, 2013) – 35 specially-themed and decorated trees are gathered at The Dalles Civic Auditorium with a tree decorating day on Wednesday, December 4 and the Live Auction on Friday, December 6 at 7 PM. Saturday is the family-friendly Community Day from 9 AM to noon. Call Mid-Columbia Health Foundation at 541-296-7275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information.
About the Dalles
Located at the sun-drenched eastern entrance of the Columbia River Gorge, just 75 miles east of Portland, The Dalles is one of Oregon’s best escapes that is just beginning to be discovered. With 300 days of sun a year and fantastic recreational and cultural opportunities, it’s a wonderland for cyclists, hikers, river rafters, wildflower fanatics, fishers, art lovers, history buffs and wine aficionados.
About the Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce represents its entire diverse community, with members from business and industry, civic and non-profit organizations, social service agencies, education, government, home-based businesses and individuals. Nearly 500 members representing 2,000 individuals believe that Chamber membership is an important component to business growth, job development, and a healthy economy.
The Chamber and its activities are managed by the Executive Director and a professional staff under the leadership of a 17 member Board of Directors, who serve without compensation and are elected by the membership. Through countless volunteer hours, members accomplish much of the work of the Chamber by serving on committees and task forces.