10 Day Trips from The Couve
There may be a lot to do in The Couve, but with warmer weather comes the urge to travel. There are plenty of historic, educational and recreational places that you can enjoy in a day, or a weekend if you have the time.
Gig Harbor, WA (140m)
Gig Harbor is a charming maritime village located near Puget Sound with scenic views of nearby Mount Rainier. This picturesque community has a “getaway” feeling while still being close to everything. Best known for its stunning walkable waterfront and historical maritime history, Gig Harbor offers a pleasant escape from the city.
Stroll along Harborview Avenue for views of the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier, while browsing the local shops that line the waterfront. If the water looks too inviting to resist, rent a kayak or schedule a tour with Destiny Cruises or the Gig Harbor Gondola. You can also rent your own watercraft or electric boats at Gig Harbor Yachts.
Don’t forget to take a tour of Heritage Distilling, home of the famous Brown Sugar Bourbon. You can learn how spirits are distilled on their tour and join their famous cask club.
Mount Hood / Trillium Lake, OR (100m)
One of the most picturesque landscapes in Oregon is Mount Hood, a beautiful natural wonder to explore. Known by the native Multnomah tribe as ‘Wy’east’, Mount Hood is, in fact, an active volcano. There are a range of gentle walks and more challenging hikes through the foothills, forests and along the rivers. The charming town of Hood River is home to dozens of quaint, locally run restaurants from which you can dine and marvel at the magnificence of the mountain.
Sitting at the base of Mount Hood is one of Oregon’s best kept secrets, Trillium Lake. This idyllic spot is perfect for picnics (there are plenty of safe BBQ areas). Swimming is permitted in the clean and crystal clear lake. There aren’t any kayak or paddleboat rentals, but you can bring your own.
Lavender Valley, OR (82m)
Bring a picnic, relax and enjoy a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood. Shop at their farm stand for a wide variety of hand-crafted lavender products made on-site with consciously grown lavender. Cut U-Pick flowers to make a bouquet for someone special. Create unforgettable memories while enjoying the color, splendor and aroma of lavender.
Mount St Helens, WA (61m)
Having last erupted in 2008, Mount St Helens is still very much an active volcano. At the Mount St Helens Visitor Center, you can learn about the volcano’s most prolific eruption in May 1980. You can also learn about the geology of volcanoes and see a functioning seismograph that displays the activity of Mount St Helens via a live feed. From the Johnston Ridge Observatory, you can take in amazing views of the smoldering crater.
Fruit on the Loop, OR (60m)
The Hood River County Fruit Loop is located in the beautiful Hood River Valley at the foot of majestic Mt. Hood. The Fruit Loop is approximately 35 miles of orchards, forests and farmlands. The twenty-nine member stands offer you a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, and food. Check their website to see what stands are open on your day of travel.
Willamette Valley, OR (56m)
A valley world-renowned for its wineries, a day tour of the Willamette Valley is a real treat. This area is famed for producing some of the best Pinot Noir in the world. Aside from wine tasting, you can learn about the cool-climate production process, the unique volcanic soil of the area and how these together give the wines their distinct flavors.
Bridge of the Gods, WA (45m)
According to scientific history, the first, natural Bridge of the Gods was created by an enormous landslide between the lava cliffs of Table Mountain and the North wall of the Columbia Gorge, somewhere between 1100 and 1250 A.D. The bridge dammed the river, standing between 200 and300 feet above sea level, high enough that Native Americans could safely cross the river. This natural dam created an inland sea in eastern Oregon, Washington, and into Idaho. The Bridge of the Gods collapsed around the 1690s, creating the rocky Cascade Rapids. Learn the Native American legend here: cascadelocks.com/about-cascade-locks/bridge-of-the-gods
Bonneville Dam, WA (43m)
The Bonneville Dam is a hydroelectric dam built across three islands – Robins, Bradford and Cascade – at Columbia River Mile 146. Once known as the “Cascade Rapids”, this area was a major obstacle to navigation on the Columbia. The Rapids were a result of the Bonneville Landslide, a massive landslide which gave rise to the legend of the Bridge of the Gods. This National Historic Landmark features visitor center facilities with free admission where visitors can watch salmon climb fish ladders, learn about hydropower generation, hike a trail and watch vessels pass through the navigation lock.
Vista House, OR (28m)
Vista House is a museum at Crown Point in Multnomah County, Oregon, that also serves as a memorial to Oregon pioneers and as a comfort station for travelers on the Historic Columbia River Highway. The site, situated on a rocky promontory, is 733 feet above the Columbia River on the south side of the Columbia River Gorge. The hexagonal stone building was designed by Edgar M. Lazarus in the style of Art Nouveau, and completed in 1918 after nearly two years of construction. The Vista House is located within the Corbett city limits, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Columbia River Gorge, WA (18m)
Columbia River Gorge is the largest national scenic area in the United States: a land of natural contrasts between rain forest and desert, sea-level passage and alpine meadows. Along the hiking trails, from lowlands to windy ridges, you’ll also have the chance to marvel at Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and famous Multnomah Falls – the most iconic part of the Gorge’s landscape. At the western end of the Gorge, the view from Crown Point is a front-row seat to the mighty Columbia as it unfurls and cuts through the Cascade Mountains.
During these fast-changing times, please check your destination for guidelines, closures, and updated hours.