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“A fascinating stop” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, OR 97058
+1 541-296-8600
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Visit Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum like an insider
Top Rated
$215*
and up
Columbia Gorge Adventure from Portland
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in The Dalles
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The 48,200 sq. ft. facility won an American Institute of Architects Honor Award for its appealing design. The Center is situated on a 54-acre point of land adjacent to the Columbia River and the Historic Columbia River Highway. The site provides walking trails, a pond, and scenic overlooks. Its location in The Dalles, Oregon is an ecosystem transition zone, facilitating the interpretation of both the rain forest west of the Cascade Mountains and the arid region to the east. Live raptor education programs engage all ages in issues related to habitat preservation. The area includes one of the oldest continuously occupied areas in North America (over 11,000 years), immediate proximity to one of the largest rivers on the continent, and access to the Lewis and Clark and Oregon Trails. The multimedia, interactive museum inspires appreciation and stewardship of the natural and cultural treasures of the Gorge and Wasco County. Exhibits focus on the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that created the Gorge, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and eleven thousand years of cultural history. Collections include hundreds of American Indian baskets from throughout the Pacific Northwest, photo archives (partially available on-line), and local genealogical files available in the William G. Dick Library. In addition to touring the many fascinating exhibits, visitors can spend time viewing films in the theater located on site. If you plan to spend the day at the Discovery Center and Museum, you can relax during a lunch or coffee break at the Basalt Rock Cafe.
Yakima, Washington, United States
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A fascinating stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013 via mobile

Stopped with my family this the fall. The exhibits are very well done and engaging. My children (10 and 13) enjoyed the interactive exhibits and the live raptor show. The cafe is quite good and not overly pricey. Two tumbs up!

Visited November 2013
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139 reviews from our community

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English first
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Great architectural design, ok museum”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

The entrance is stunning and the building overall is well designed. The exhibits are fairly intricate with detailed items, descriptions and imagery. It is not exactly a linear progression as you move through the museum, so there were moments where I was turned around or not sure if I had missed a room. The Lewis & Clark section was what I was looking forward to the most, however it was the worst in terms of layout. It was separated into disjointed rooms that made it difficult to immerse oneself in the experience. There are some incredible objects and facts about their trip that still stand out to me and made it worth it. Overall I recommend this for families and anyone interested in the history of this area - just take it for what it is and don't have overly high expectations.

Visited August 2013
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Stow, MA
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Don't Go Out of Your Way”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

I was disappointed in the museum especially after the glowing review in a guide book. Nice to learn the history but the exhibits were amateurish and boring. The views from the museum are fabulous and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly but I wouldn't drive out of my way to go.

Visited October 2013
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Worth the stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

On our last trip through the Columbia Gorge we stopped at the Discovery Center.
This was the second time we've stopped.
Mother-in-law was along with us and this was a new place for her to visit.

You can easily spend a couple hours looking at the various exhibits.
The exhibits range from Lewis & Clark related, to prehistoric animal exhibits, as well as native American stuff and Wasco County historical exhibits.

Visited October 2013
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Victoria, BC
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Engaging”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

The Center has some thing for all ages. I enjoyed reading about the history of the area. It took us about an hour to tour through this facility. This is also the start of the Scenic Route from The Dalles.

Visited October 2013
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