Not Martha

things to do between Spokane and Portland

Scott and I will be taking an end of summer road trip soon. We’ll be zipping over to Spokane where he’s playing a gig, then we’re taking a few days to work our way down to Portland. I’ve been lazily bookmarking some things to do (linked below) and hope a bit of serendipity comes into play to fill the days. Of course, if you have any recommendations on things to see if, you know, we’re nearby and have time, I’m grateful to hear them.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Know of anything we might want to check out? Beers to drink? (I like hops.) Wineries to visit? (I was a member of the Bonny Doon wine club for a long time.) Fun motels or inns to stay at? (I’m not a B&B person.) Views to see? (We own a GPS.) Things we should be sure to see before we leave the Spokane/Coeur D’Alene area? Road food we should be sure to seek out? Heritage produce we shouldn’t miss? Anyone wanna just plan the whole trip for me?

I appreciate any recommendations!

p.s. Thanks so much to every body who left podcast recommendations the other day, iTunes is telling me I cannot download any more until I free up some space on my hard drive and I couldn’t be happier.

· comments [58] · 09-19-2007 · categories:mumbling ·

58 responses so far ↓

  • 1 michelle // Sep 19, 2007 at 6:02 am

    Stonehenge. Seriously, WA has a stonehenge! It’s across from Biggs Jct (you follow directions for Maryhill museum but turn right at the top of the hill instead of left, it’s not far out of the way at all).

    If you’re thinking of Soap Lake, head up to Dry Falls as well, you can meander your way up to HWY 2 from there and then on into Spokane through Wilbur and Davenport.

  • 2 Abbie // Sep 19, 2007 at 6:09 am

    I stayed at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland when I visited last January. It is pretty cheap and the rooms are tiny. But I thought it was comfortable and I enjoyed the modern style. It’s a redone old fifties-style motel. I’d read reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere first, but I would stay there again.
    I’ve also heard good things about the pricier Hotel deLuxe.

  • 3 Mindy // Sep 19, 2007 at 6:16 am

    The stonehenge is pretty cool. I went and saw it before I saw the real one. At least you can go up to this one.
    We always stop in Arlington for some great shakes at the Pheasant. It’s a greasy little joint, but fun to break up the trip.
    If you stop in Walla Walla. do stop at the Colville St. Patisserie. It is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays, unfortunately.
    Waitsburg is an extremely tiny town that is adorable with some incredibly places. they used to have the best pizza at the “Biscuit Ridge Bakery” not sure if they still are open though.
    Be sure to stop at “Aunties Bookstore” when you’re in Spokane. you won’t be dissapointed.

  • 4 TheBon // Sep 19, 2007 at 6:41 am

    There’s a restaurant in The Dalles, Oregon called Cousins. It’s not haute cuisine, but my dad had the best bread pudding he’d ever eaten there. The door moos when you open it.

    Also, there’s Vista House which is breathtaking, although likely not to eat up a lot of time. Apart from that, enjoy the Gorge, watch out for the wind.

  • 5 Maleah // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:00 am

    What a great drive! I agree with stonehenge, Vista House (and all of the waterfalls on the Columbia River Highway, alt. to I-84), and Dry Falls.

    Ellensburg has a little brewery ( that you can drop by and have beer tasting and buy beer (fairly cheaply). It’s pretty small town, which is why I like it so much! Enjoy your trip.

  • 6 Heather // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Heather casts a third vote for Stonehenge.

  • 7 kathrine // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Check out Steppe Cellars in Sunnyside, Wa. We did a trip to the Yakima valley and this was by far the best winery we visited. Great Riesling!

  • 8 Laura // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:39 am

    A friend and I took a back-roads only road trip from Portland to Coeur d’Alene this summer- it was a blast! I had the best steak ever at the Wolf Lodge Inn just outside of Coeur d’Alene- seriously- BEST-STEAK-EVER! I would also give a big thumbs up to the faux-Stonehenge – it’s cheesy (and has the ubiquitous gift shop)- but it’s a fun stop with great views! The road on the WA side of the river is much more scenic- but the OR side is faster. There was also a really great fabric/quilt shop on the main drag in Walla Walla- definitely worth checking out! Have fun!

  • 9 lindsey // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:43 am

    I’m partial to my hometown, but Hood River is really worth a stop. For a quick visit, watch the last windsurfers/kiteboarders of the season, and be sure to get off the freeway and drive through the downtown area (Oak St) which is filled with outstanding restaurants and shops. The best hangout is Mike’s Ice Cream, on 5th & Oak. The Full Sail brewery gives free tours and has a nice little pub.

    If you have a bit more time, drive through the upper valley and stop at the fruit stands along the way. Pears and apples are coming into season! (Hood River is a major grower, visit the
    Fruit Loop
    website for more info)

  • 10 Nono // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:27 am

    If you stop at The Stonehenge make sure to also visit the Maryhill Museum of Art

    They have a fabulous art collection but my favorite is the collection of Theatre de la Mode dolls. These were made after WW2 as a way for the Paris haute couture to display their work despite shortages. 1/3 scale. Here’s what they say…
    The world renowned 1946 Theatre de la Mode French Fashion Mannequins and stage sets, conceived by leading fashion designers and artists to hail the rebirth of the fashion industry at the close of the World War II. Among the designers whose fashions are represented are Worth, Pierre Balmain, Gres, Paquin and Nina Ricci.

  • 11 Patti // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Well, you missed the Pendleton Round-Up, but if you wanted to pop over east a bit, Pendleton is home of the woolen mills. You could read Last Go-Round by Ken Kesey and Ken Babbs, for the atmosphere.

  • 12 Jen // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:54 am

    My boyfriend and I recently drove from ID to Portland. We stayed in Dayton, WA at the Weinhard Hotel – a restored Victorian inn – and ate at Patit Creek Restaurant. I highly recommend both!! The town of Dayton is dying for tourists and has several cute cafes and shops, including a library/bar that brews its own beer.

  • 13 Michelle // Sep 19, 2007 at 9:03 am

    I was going to mention Hood River too, but wasn’t sure what your proximity to lots of yummy apples and pears is like at home. Also, if you have the time I’d suggest taking the old historic highway through the Gorge as much as possible. You can stop by Pony tail Falls, Oneonta Gorge, Mutlnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Latourell Falls and I’m sure I’ve missed a few between Hood River and Vista House; There are options for short (under 5 miles) hikes plus more waterfalls once you are on the trails. You can also see alpacas in Hood River Valley if you like.

  • 14 junglegirl // Sep 19, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Check out the movie, ‘Smoke Signals’. It’s a comedy/drama about contemporary Native Am. reservation life (of the Coeur d’Aline area) and it’s so funny and one of my favorites!

  • 15 nikk // Sep 19, 2007 at 9:13 am

    You HAVE to stop at Saint Cupcake in NW Portland. They put Cupcake Royale to absolute shame.

  • 16 vespabelle // Sep 19, 2007 at 9:17 am

    There’s a mostly cheesy “underground” tour of Pendleton that’s pretty fun.

    Don’t forget the Maryhill Museum next to Stonehenge (which is a WWI memorial.)

  • 17 megan // Sep 19, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Thank you to everybody, these tips are fantastic!

    Laura – Thanks for the tip about taking the WA side of the river, that is one of those things I would have been sad to know about after we got home.

  • 18 oma // Sep 19, 2007 at 10:10 am

    there’s a great pizza place in roslyn–village pizza, i think. along with parmesan and pepper flakes, they have honey so you can dunk your crust in something sweet.

  • 19 kat // Sep 19, 2007 at 10:12 am

    In Ellensburg, check out Dick and Jane’s Spot at 101 North Pearl Street. Also, the Whoopemup cafe in Dayton is great!

  • 20 SAWII // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:07 am

    You should stop by Moscow, ID. It will be lovely this time of year.

    Go from Spokane down 195 to Pullman/Moscow and then across 26 to the tri-cities. A less boring route than going strait down 395.

  • 21 Chelee // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Waitsburg?! I’ve been there quite a bit and ..EH. I wouldn’t go out of my way. Walla Walla is great, you’ll have to go through the Tri Cities(Richland, Pasco, Kennewick)to get to Portland so you should stop in Richland. There is a great brew pub in clled Atomic Brewpub(contact me if you need the address). Very small, totally cozy, and the beer rocks.

  • 22 Chelee // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I forgot, Atomic also has wood oven pizza. Their Portabello Road pizza is freaking amazing.

  • 23 Chelsea // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Coeur d’Alene Brewing Company has some good stuff. I remember the food was pretty good too.

  • 24 Jamie // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Walla Walla and Dayton are musts! If you go to Walla Walla check out Lucious and Grapefields for food. If you stop by the tourism office you can get a map or all the wineries. K Vintners, Dusty Valley, Glenn Fiona, Abjea, aMuierce and Colvin are some my my favorites. Dayton is a cute town. The library/brewery mentioned in commetn #13 is my uncle’s. Check it out!

  • 25 Sunny // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Taco Johns in Yakima, WA. It’s a chain (mainly in the midwest – yakima is WA’s only location outside of the military base). Its amazingly yummy. Go simple with a soft taco and “potato ole’s” – little seasoned tater tots. Sinful and wonderful.

  • 26 allison // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Visit the Looff Carousel in Spokane’s riverfront park – a beautiful merry-go-round from 1909. If you like hops, you want the Full Sail IPA in Hood River. Lastly, I have friends who rave about Tad’s Chicken & Dumplings in Troutdale – about half an hour or so east of Portland. Homey, dumpling kind of food. I’m a vegetarian, so I can’t vouch for it myself… but I’ve got to say that they’ve got one of the best/worst web addresses I’ve ever seen.

    Do you need Portland recc’s as well? Maybe you’ll want to stay at the Ace Hotel (different in feel than Seattle’s Ace)?

  • 27 Sara // Sep 19, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I agree about trying to stop in Moscow, Idaho. It is a cool town, and it is very pretty this time of year. There are lots of small, independently owned shops, and the Farmer’s Market is great!

  • 28 Amye // Sep 19, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    I just moved to Walla Walla and thus far, everything that DailyCandy has is a go. Colville St. Patisserie is amazing, but don’t expect that you’ll stay at the Whitman! It’s always full now.
    Isn’t the Pacific Northwest beautiful?

  • 29 nadine // Sep 19, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    I’d love to know if you find some cool things to do in Portland. I’m going there for the first time in November and want to see all the cool sites.

  • 30 kelly nolan // Sep 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I just remembered you’re a knitter. In Coeur d’Alene there is a cool yarn store called Boucle on Fourth Street – a few blocks up from the main Street.

  • 31 michelle // Sep 19, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    I just realized I forgot to give some Spokane shoutouts (though I’m not familiar with where you’ve been, so ignore as necessary).

    Manito Park is a tourist spot for a reason. It’s *beautiful*, and make sure you find your way to the Japanese garden within the park as well. Rockwood Bakery is on 18th, about a block down from Manito and is delicious and atmospheric and bustling.

    The falls are low this time of year, but if you end up walking around downtown, make sure to experience the Monroe Street Bridge (it’s about a block from Riverfront Park). Mizuna is also a block from Riverfront, is pricey, and has an…interesting menu.

    Personally, I’d suggest you try and hit the Wild Sage Bistro. They debuted last year or so and have been receiving (deservedly so) award after award for their menu.

    A lot of people enjoy The Elk in Browne’s Addition for some reason which eludes me.

    If you end up in Ritzville on your way, check out the Blue Bike Cafe. It’s only open during the week, though.

  • 32 Kristen // Sep 19, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Have you been to Edison yet? It’s not in the same direction but it’s the cutest place in the world…well not world but perhaps Washington. It’s the smallest town but has the best stores with the cutest names. Like the Lucky Dumpster, Shop Curator and Tweets. It’s magical. Next time you go north go here…if you haven’t found out about it already.

  • 33 Kimberly // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    We always stay the Kennedy School when we’re in Portland. It’s one of the McMenamins (as in beer) properties situated in an old school building. The bedrooms are completely refurbished classrooms. They show movies in the school auditorium- you sit on comfy couches; there is a beautiful soaking pool outside and the janitors closet was turned into a tiny bar (the Detention Bar)located within the building (in addition to the restaurant and outdoor courtyard). They have other places in NW to stay but this is that only one we’ve been to. Another really nice thing is all the art work on the walls from the former students and the people in the neaighborhood.

  • 34 lulife // Sep 19, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve heard there are some amazing tacos to be found in Moses Lake. Can anyone confirm this?

    In Spokane, I’d recommend popping into the Davenport Hotel for espresso in the lobby and then walking around Riverfront Park just because it is nice to wander through. Also, Holy Threads Yarn Shop is beautiful and massive. Oh, and you may have heard of a particular (famous) pink cookie…

    If I were going with you to Coeur d’Alene, I’d make you look at Sherman Ave. and then I’d take you on the trail at Tubbs Hill (a little hike with some pretty lake views that originates right near the Resort boat launch) or we’d just stroll around the World’s Longest Floating Boardwalk (on the other side of the Resort) and look at boats. After the walking, I’d insist we go to Whispers in the Resort for a strong cocktail and spicy bar snack mix.

    I also vote for a detour through Moscow/Pullman. A slower trip, but the towns are charming and friendly. I miss shopping at the Moscow Co-Op (thinking of pesto cheese rolls)!

  • 35 Lenore // Sep 19, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    So glad others have mentioned the Maryhill Museum. It is great (and not too far from the stonehenge, if you’re into that sort of thing). There are also a ton of great hikes along the gorge on the Oregon side, should you need to get out and stretch your legs.

    I second the Kennedy School, but even more fun is Edgefield, if you’re into the McMenamin’s thing.

  • 36 Tinkerblue // Sep 19, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Oh I like the sound of the Two Days of Wine and Taco. I could talk hubby into doing that.

  • 37 kat // Sep 20, 2007 at 6:21 am

    Oops, I meant the Whoopemup is in Waitsburg!

  • 38 erica robinson // Sep 20, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Try some Hedges wine. They are located in Benton, WA. At one point, they had a shop in Issaquah outside of Seattle. I’ve never been to the winery, but it is some of the best wine we…and our friends… have ever had. Buy a couple of bottles: you’ll want to drink one, but save the other two for a couple of years (in a closet is fine).

  • 39 michelle // Sep 20, 2007 at 8:19 am

    There’s a Dick’s in Spokane. I know, Dick’s is in Seattle. But the Spokane one is not the same. As for the drive from Sea to Spokane, I try to get it done as quick as possible, but found night driving to be more interesting. The lack of city lights make the stars that much brighter.

    When I was a child, our family drove along the Columbia River and stopping to see waterfalls and trails. I’m not sure what the route was, but I remember it being the coolest thing.

  • 40 michelle // Sep 20, 2007 at 11:49 am

    portland hotel must: the ace hotel. cooler even than the jupiter and mcmenamin’s hotels. stumptown coffee on the first level, and right downtown by powells, and hip ‘living room theaters’ (repleat with bar, tapas, and indie films). go to north mississippi street for hip shops and restaurants, and also to alberta street (kickass happy hour at siam society up on alberta). have fun!

  • 41 Jennifer // Sep 20, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Best chef ever and this is her restaurant:

    I have never made anything from her cookbooks that didn’t get raves!

    Enjoy your trip!

  • 42 Susan // Sep 20, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    You should try geocaching if you have a GPS. It makes you feel like a kid.

    My son and I do it and it’s gotten us to visit places we would never have known about otherwise.

  • 43 michmg // Sep 20, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I’ll second the Portland suggestions provided by the other Michelle. Stumptown coffee is a must try. And, you can’t come to Portland without visiting Powell’s Books. Mississippi and Alberta Streets are must visits if you are looking for unique shops. St Cupcake is another great place as someone else suggested.

    If you are looking for great food – Mother’s Bistro in downtown Portland is amazing. A great breakfast place is a restaurant called Sanborn’s in SE Portland across from the Aladdin Theater.

    There are plenty of micro-breweries around Portland. But, if you’d like to have a good Guinness, I would recommend a visit to Kell’s Irish Pub in downtown. Great beer and food.

    And, if you are here on a Saturday or Sunday, check out Saturday Market located near the waterfront under the Burnside Bridge.

    Have a great trip!

  • 44 rubycakes // Sep 20, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I 3rd (or is it 4th) Dayton. It’s a charming little town.

    The Whitman Mission is also really interesting, as is seeing part of the Oregon Trail.
    Well, the Mission is interesting and a bit depressing, but visiting the site of a massacre is very powerful.

    First time my family visited, we had just finished reading Stout-Hearted Seven.

    One of the seven kids was adopted by the Whitmans, so my sister and I were completely enthralled.

  • 45 Jenny // Sep 20, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Try Chicken-n-more in downtown Spokane. The fried chicken is great, but get the brisket sandwich. They make their own babecue sauce and it’s amazing.

    I’d skip Dick’s — it’s nothing special (but the fish and chips are homemade and tasty) If you need a burger, go to D.Lish’s.

  • 46 zobars // Sep 21, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I would extend an invitation to visit my house for a nice Indian meal if you like since I like your blog so much :)

  • 47 wishcake // Sep 22, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Aw, Spokane. I get so unnecessarily excited whenever I see Spokane mentioned, because it’s where I grew up. I’m a fan.

    As far as Spokane, I see someone already mentioned the Davenport Hotel, which is absolutely amazing. It’s a historical hotel that was renovated within the last 10 years, and it’s incredible. I love that you can to sit in the lobby and have coffee and just enjoy the ambiance. You can also walk through the rest of the hotel and peek into the ginormous ballrooms and even go on the roof (if they have it open).

    Also, you should check out Riverfront Park for the sights. (I see someone mentioned the Loof carousel.) You can take a gondola ride over the falls, which is incredible. And there are marmots everywhere, which always makes me laugh, because that’s the only place I’ve ever seen a marmot. :)

    Enjoy your trip! I’m all antsy for a roadtrip myself…

  • 48 Jessica // Sep 22, 2007 at 7:51 am

    I HIGHLY recommend the Maltby Cafe. Get the cinnamon rolls! Growing up, I knew the owner’s daughter, and the owner is a great woman. She takes pride in every aspect of the cafe. Don’t miss it!

  • 49 Cate // Sep 22, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    I go to school at Whitman in Walla Walla. Walla Walla is a great small town. The Ice-Berg drive-in is wonderful. Lots of milkshake options – I am a coffee-oreo fan myself. The brewery in Waitsberg is pretty nice, as is the Whoop-em-up Cafe – great Southern food. Walla Walla has some pretty tasty food options as well. Canoe Ridge has some pretty nice wine. L’Ecole 41 is great too…right on highway 12 at Lowden, about 7-10 miles west of Walla Walla.

  • 50 Katie // Sep 22, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    I second the Maltby Cafe recommendation- the cinnamon rolls are to die for- and the size of a plate! Winery-wise, we went to Portteus several years ago- they had some pretty good reds at the time and the winemaker was great to chat with. Haven’t

  • 51 Lisa // Sep 23, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I live in Seattle and we did a big loop from here through Yakima, tri cities, Walla Walla, Wallowa Lake, Pendleton, Hood River, Portland and home on I-5. Walla Walla is WONDERFUL. Wine: L’ecole 41, Waterbrook, Canoe Ridge. There is a great native cultural center outside Pendelton – check Along the gorge, cross over to the WA side and stop in at Maryhill Winery – beautiful windy views & fab wines. In Hood River do breakfast at the Columbia Gorge Hotel. Between Hood River and Portland there are the waterfalls (Multnomah). I’d love to go stay at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutsdale (we couldn’t stay there on our trip since we had our pooch with us) – a great old inn with lots of resturants, wine, etc.

  • 52 Gina // Sep 23, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Hi there, funny coincidence! I just got back from Portland. My last three posts are about some places I ate there, and there will be a couple more. Dunno if you’ll have time to check them out, but I hope you have as much fun as I did! I’d recommend seeing Powell’s City of Books downtown if you do any shopping, too.

  • 53 Gina // Sep 23, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    I’d also recommend McMenamins’ Kennedy School, Yukis Sushi, Bernie’s Southern Bistro and Widmer Brewery for the chicken schnitzel, just in case you don’t make it over there. :)

  • 54 karla // Sep 24, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    If you need snacks while in Spokane (road trip fortification), stop by Huckleberries up on Lincoln. And you must must go to Rocket Bakery. Go to the one downtown by the old library. Shoot, I’ve been away from Spokane long enough I can’t remember the street name. (((from another Seattleite who grew up in Spokane)))

  • 55 Lyndsay // Sep 25, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Hi, I also went to school in Walla Walla and there are so many things that I miss about it. I would highly recommend visiting Creektown Cafe for dinner. The menu changes often as the restaurant takes advantage of seasonal produce. They also have a wonderful selection of desserts (many pies) that are delicious. Creektown has a much more welcoming atmosphere than the other restaurants in town (whitehouse crawford, 26 brix). I second the recommendation of Grapefields for a lunch. Also, I must tell you about the wonder of Walla Walla taco trucks. This may not fit as well into a wine tour, but you should not miss them. You can only get Walla Walla tacos in Walla Walla, which consist of sweet onions, an avocado slice, melted cheese, and your choice of meat, if desired, all for $1. I also love the abanil tacos (very spicy), pambazo, and gorditas. If you are going through Pasco, there are many taco trucks there with even better meat than the Walla Walla ones and they are just off the freeway exit. The Pasco trucks also have items such as huaraches and mulitas. I would recommend La Monarcha in Walla Walla which is located off of west rose street. Also, make sure you stop at Reininger winery. I do not know that much about wine, but it is definitely my favorite place to visit and you will pass it if you drive to L’Ecole from Walla Walla. I agree with visiting Waitsberg. The brewery is wonderful. The people there are so friendly and it’s about the only thing that stays open until 5 on a Sunday in the area. The Whoopemup Cafe is also great. Hope you enjoy your trip!

  • 56 nazilam // Sep 26, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Our dog’s breeder is in Goldendale and we have yet to do anything that interesting on our way there.

    Great ice cream at Winegars in Ellensburg with great coffee from a roaster in Cle Elum.

    I would visit Maryhill and enjoy fall in E.WA.

    I’ll be driving over on Saturday – going straight over to Goldendale via Winegars, the fruit stands by Toppenish and maybe Zillah.

    On the way home, Chinook Pass to see a gorgeous view.

    Have fun!

  • 57 pat // Sep 28, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Hello. There are so many things to see from Portland to Spokane. I’d come up the Washington side, after seeing Multnoma falls, take all of the blue highways and stop at them all. Stop by the Tri Cities, go to Walla Walla, stop at L’Ecole winery,buy some merlot, go to Dayton then North to Spokane and visit all of the art galleries. Don’t forget Coeur de’Alene. You might come up though Goldendale and stop at the inviting wineries through the valley (that will take several days) and then continue on.

  • 58 Lisa // Oct 5, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    I lived in the tri-cities (Kennewick, Richland and Pasco WA)several years ago, but I still crave the chicken cheesesteak sandwiches and Brucchis in Pasco. The best ever!!

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