Columbia River Gorge
Things to Do
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation – Photo Op!
The reservation is close to town and houses many great places for you to explore. The most popular is the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. For the 2014 summer, the exhibit is, “Wolves & Wild Lands in the 21st Century,” and in the fall it will be, “Greatest Photographs of the American West.” Explore the history of the region and the people who have always lived there. Indian Lake is the place to relax for a picnic or fishing in the Blue Mountains. The CTUIR Tribal Native Plant Nursery is dedicated to keeping the local ecosystem stable with traditional local plants. The Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, a gallery focusing on promoting Native Americans through the arts, is open weekdays from 8:30am-5pm.
McKay Reservoir – Photo Op!
The reservoir is popular for fishing, boating and picnicking for locals – but it’s also a great location for wildlife viewing and bird watching! Just 8 miles south of Pendleton, you’ll find a small section of habitat that is a shelter for endangered species – an oasis in the desert!
Pendleton Woolen Mills Store – Photo Op!
In 1909, the Bishops sons took over an old wool scouring plant in Pendleton and began a tradition of clothing and blankets that continues today. Public tours at the original mill at held weekdays at 9 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm and 3 pm.
Pendleton Underground Tour Recommended by a local!
Head to Pendleton’s Historic District to begin your tour of what was once the red light district. All properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll walk the sidewalks and tunnels that have existed since before the 1890’s. The tours are easy walking, but the stairs make it not handicap accessible. Tour reservations must be made in advance.
Places to Eat
Hamley Steakhouse $$$
Hamley & Co. has a tradition of saddle and leather craftsmanship dating back to Cornwall, England, but first becoming established in America in 1883. J.J. Hamley served as director for the Pendleton Round-Up for many years, after having worked hard to start the great Pendleton tradition. Now, the name has been given to a new steakhouse, providing excellent food with great service. The building itself has been put together with authentic Wild West pieces, from the original 18th-century bars to the artifacts throughout the restaurant. The Café is open from 8am-4pm daily. The Saloon is open 4pm-10pm daily, The Steakhouse is open from 5pm-9pm daily.
Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s $$
A tradition since 1959, the newly restored restaurant is a romantic view of the Wild West. Famous for steak, but full menu options are available. Open 4pm-9pm, Tuesday thru Saturday.
Famous for their homemade chicken noodle soup, Roosters is a great place for comfort food. If you’re traveling with kids, let them explore the small red barn in the middle of the restaurant – there are games and even ice cream treats. Open daily from 7am-8pm.