If the best view of the Columbia from a hotel room is important to you, then make reservations at Cascade Locks ’s Best Western Columbia River Inn (735 Wa-Na-Pa St., 541/374-8777 or 800/595-7108, www.bestwestern.com/columbiariverinn , $119 and up). Some rooms have hot tubs, and all rooms have microwaves and refrigerators. Many rooms also have balconies. In addition to views, there’s a fitness room with a whirlpool, a pool, and exercise facilities. With the Marine Park down the street, this property is in an excellent location.
Forget health food and haute cuisine until you get to Hood River . In Cascade Locks, you get down-home country cookin’ at a decent price. The Salmon Row Pub (500 Wa-Na-Pa St., Cascade Locks, 541/374-8511, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $6–16) is a small dark brewpub whose smoked salmon chowder, pizza, and sandwiches fill you up on the cheap.
East Wind Ice Cream (395 Wa-Na-Pa St., Cascade Locks, 541/374-8380) is a traditional stop for families on a Columbia River Gorge Sunday drive.