Underwood, WA

How to Spend a Weekend on the Columbia River

It’s been a while since I’ve done a travel post! I almost forgot this was also a travel blog. (Ok, I didn’t, but you may have.) Anyway, a few weeks ago, I met up with my family for a weekend on the Columbia River. I know that’s kind of a weird way to refer to a place, but while we stayed in Underwood, Washington, most of the things we did were actually in Oregon. So referring to this place by the river it neighbors seems sensible, right?

It was a much needed long weekend full of rest, relaxation, wine and adventure. And the setting was absolutely breathtaking. So if you’re in need of that sort of thing, keep reading.

Instead of projectile word vomiting a full itinerary on you, I’m going to highlight a few of the things that made this trip so special. One thing I want to stress is that for a trip like this, you should build in some downtime. I’m terrible about that, but it helps you to really soak the magic of a place like this in. For us, that meant one big activity per day, plus some time to hang out at the house.

Chase Waterfalls

And by that, I mean hike. Or just drive up and look at one for a bit. Whatever you’re into. We dedicated the better part of a day to scoping out local waterfalls. The main attraction was Multnomah Falls, which happens to be the most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest!

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls

As you can see in the pictures above, Multnomah is a gorgeous pair of waterfalls with a fairy tail-esque bridge that just makes the whole area look so unbelievably picturesque. It’s pretty touristy, but also totally worth battling the crowds in my opinion. There’s a 2.5 mile hike that you can take from the welcome center, along with a restaurant and some snacks.

The area around Multnomah is also rich with hikes and waterfalls. We spent a good amount of time driving around and stopping at different waterfalls, doing short 1-2 mile hikes at each one. In one day, we managed to see Ponytail Falls, Horsetail Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Multnomah Falls. It was pretty majestic.

Ponytail Falls, OR

Bike to a Vineyard (or Two)

Underwood, WA

I was a little hesitant about this one. I’ve done the whole bike to a vineyard thing before in both France and Napa. How different could this be? To my surprise, the answer was very.

Oregon Vineyard Bike Ride

Mostly because you get a glorious turquoise river backdrop. We ended up biking about 20 miles and hit 2 vineyards along the Columbia River. We packed a picnic lunch and just had the chillest of times.

Because you’ll be biking on some serious mountain roads, I’d recommend renting an electric bike for this journey. (I promise they don’t do all the work for you.) You can either request a guided tour, or simply rent some bikes. Either way, someone at the bike shop will likely be able to point you in the direction of some vineyards.

Take it Easy

Part of the fun of a trip like this is immersing yourself in nature, but another part is simply getting away from it all. So try not to make your time there too busy. Hang out at home, cook a meal or two, hit up an outdoor brewery, and just relax. As much as I loved hiking and biking around the Columbia River, some of my favorite moments of the trip included exploring the grape vines on our rental property, sipping and snacking with my family, and taking photos of the stars with Ben.

Underwood, WA
Underwood, WA

Have you spent time around the Columbia River? How about Oregon or Washington? What were your favorite things to do? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!

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