To dive into the history and culture of the Gorge, and stay dry, I would recommend visiting the Hood River County History Museum or The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. Both offer a look back at the history of the Gorge through unique photos and exhibits. The Discovery Center is also the site of the Interpretive Center for the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, with several exhibits featuring the natural history and ecology of the area. I always love seeing the raptor show featuring resident birds of prey from the rehabilitation center, also housed at the Discovery Center. It is a powerful experience to see these birds up close.
Another fun historic stop in The Dalles is the Sunshine Mill Winery. The Sunshine Mill has a long, colorful history. The Sunshine Mill milled wheat for more than 130 years, and was the first building in The Dalles to have electricity, powered by a Thomas Edison Motor which can still be seen in The Mill. It is also the only designated skyscraper in The Columbia River Gorge. The Sunshine Mill now houses Quenett and Copa di Vino wineries. The original milling equipment is still preserved in the tasting room decor making this a unique place to taste wine. Grab a bottle to bring back to Sakura Ridge and enjoy in front of the fire!