Road trips are a great way to spend a weekend or week if you have extra time. Washingtonians are extra lucky because there’s so much to explore right here in our own state. Next time you’re in the mood to explore why not drive along one of our state’s most beautiful rivers? Here are 10 cool things to do along the Columbia River.

Historic Columbia River Highway


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To start a journey along the Columbia River the most logical thing to do is drive the Historic Columbia River Highway. It was the first planned scenic roadway in the USA and has beautiful stonework railings, historic bridges, and incredible viewpoints along it.

Mary Hill Museum


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The Mary Hill Museum is one of Washington’s most unique museums. It has a replica of Stonehenge and the surrounding road was the first macadam asphalt-paved road in the Pacific Northwest. Not only that but it has an amazing selection of artworks.

Where: 35 Maryhill Museum of Art Drive, Goldendale, WA
Hours: Open daily until November 15th 10 AM-5 PM
Cost: $12

Beacon Rock

If you’ve ever wanted to walk a path up a massive rock, Beacon Rock is for you. We promise it’s cool, really cool, and also unlike any other hike you can do in Washington state. We will say if you’re afraid of heights, skip this one.

Where: Beacon Rock State Park

Columbia Hills State Park


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While our state has many magnificent state parks, this is a park where you can truly do a little bit of everything. Hiking, climbing, swimming, you name it. Some of the super cool things that you can find here include ancient petroglyphs and old West wagon trains.

Where: Columbia Hills State Park

Bridge of the Gods

Don’t worry, this bridge isn’t taking you to your final destination, it’s just taking you to Oregon. It’s a unique toll bridge that allows you to drive over the river and check out the views. You can also walk or bike over it on a designated path should you desire.

Where: Port of Cascade Locks, OR
Cost: $1

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Bonneville Dam


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Sure a dam might not necessarily seem like the first place you’d want to visit but this one is pretty cool as it was the first built on the Columbia River. It was built in 1938 and operates as both a dam and locks. Plus there’s a nearby fish hatchery to check out.

Where: Bonneville, Washington
Cost: Free

Captain William Clark Park

It might be 2023 but you can still follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. The explorer duo actually camped along the Columbia River in 1806 on Cottonwood Beach which is now known as Captain William Clark Park. Why not check it out?

Where: Captain William Clark Park

The Vista House


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Roadside stops sure aren’t made the same these days. The Vista House is an exquisite hexagonal building overlooking the Columbia River that was built in 1917. If you’re planning to dip into Oregon for the day, it’s worth checking out.

Where: 40700 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR

Lyle Cherry Orchard


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If you like history a visit to Lyle Cherry Orchard is a great idea. The hike takes you through some of our state’s most beautiful landscapes. It’s located midway along the Rowena Gap, where the Columbia cuts through folded layers of basalts. The result is a spectacular scene of multiple basalt flows shorn into 1,000-foot-high cliffs. Keep in mind this hike is not considered family-friendly.

Where: Eastern Gorge, Washington

Cape Horn


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The full loop of this trail provides fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge and an intimate look at Cape Horn Falls. This trail is special because it was once supposed to be developed but was saved by people who loved the natural beauty of the area. so get out there and enjoy it!

Where: Southwest Washington, Columbia River Gorge

Have fun out there!