Overnight Trip to Bingen, WA
As things begin to open up more I had the pleasure to join three friends on a fun overnight trip to Bingen, Washington. Okay, so you’re probably asking, where is Bingen? It is near Hood River, Oregon, but on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. It’s not your typical destination, but it ended up being a hidden gem that I highly recommend!
We drove there via Highway 14 on the Washington side which is a gorgeous one lane road through the trees along the Columbia River. It’s amazing that within minutes you feel like you’re on vacation just being surrounded by the beauty of nature. Along the way we stopped in White Salmon, WA, for lunch and some walking around this charming small town in the mountains. Lunch at Feast Market & Delicatessen gave us lots of yummy choices along with views of Mt. Hood. There are many other places to eat in White Salmon, just note some are closed on various days. You could also stop at Skamania Lodge, in Stevenson or Carson Hot Springs, Washington on this route.
The big highlight of this trip is the Society Hotel in Bingen! A boutique hotel that was previously a schoolhouse, now converted to rooms with a shared bathroom in the halls, some cabins, or even hostel like bunks at a discount. I loved the calming black, white and natural wood tones of the entire campus, complete with 3 spa pools, a sauna and even an underground sanctuary. A daily soak in the pools and use of the sauna is included in your nights stay.
For dinner, we walked to Ayutlense Family Mexican Restaurant, then soaked in the pools, sweated in the sauna and shared stories of our early years growing up. This trip was a celebration of Kimberly’s birthday a couple of weeks early as she will be away in Mexico for her daughter’s wedding during her actual birthday. It was nice to each have our own rooms to return to for the night, but to also have a big living room like area with books to read, an adventure wall and a cafe offering yummy drinks and nibbles from 7 AM to 10 PM daily.
In the morning we walked to the local Columbia Gorge gluten-free Bakery, I highly recommend their quiche and was less impressed with their avocado toast as it seems like dense small bread with guacamole. We then gathered up our items, checked out and went thirty minutes east to Schriner Farms to drive through and see buffalo, camels, zebras, giraffes and impalas in a 12,000 acre sanctuary for exotic animals.
From there we ventured to Hood River for lunch and a chance to explore the downtown area. Highlights were the upscale Goodwill Store and Boda’s Kitchen. We returned home via highway 84 that passes several falls you can stop at, starting with Multnomah Falls. The Vista House at Crown Point would be another beautiful place to stop for gorgeous views for miles from this spectacular vantage point.
All in all, we were gone for about 28 hours…what a great adventure and wonderful way to celebrate Kimberly’s birthday!