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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 5000 Discovery Dr, The Dalles, OR 97058-9755
Phone Number: +1 541-296-8600
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

The 48,200 sq. ft. facility won an American Institute of Architects Honor...

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.

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$188.88*
and up
Private Tour: Columbia River Gorge Day Trip from Portland
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 278 reviews
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    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Average
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History Lesson

We Encourage Anyone looking to Learn More about the People Who Not only Lived in this Area, or Who Traveled through this Area, as a Part of History, is Shown Well, in Each Room... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
Thurman K
,
yakima, United States
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278 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 278: English reviews
yakima, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We Encourage Anyone looking to Learn More about the People Who Not only Lived in this Area, or Who Traveled through this Area, as a Part of History, is Shown Well, in Each Room. The Staff are able to Answer Qustions should You have them.

Helpful?
Thank Thurman K
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2016 via mobile

This modern museum offers history films and exhibits to explain Celilo Falls, the Barlow Road, agriculture of the area, lives of missionaries and local native people. There are exhibits which display The Dalles street scene, wharf, Seufert cannery, Native American basketry and oral histories, rail depot, fur trappers and traders, George geology, the Oregon Trail, the Columbia mammoth, walking exhibits,... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Pamela Q
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
164 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2016

Visited this museum recently on a cruise up the Columbia River. Found the live bird presentation interesting. The building itself and the grounds around it are quite spectacular.

Helpful?
1 Thank HappyTraveler1957
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2016

Have a bit of time and looking for a break from the heat? The Discovery Center gives a fun look at the history and culture of the Gorge.

Helpful?
Thank Karen Y
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
374 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2016

Beautiful center with very good historical displays of the area, covering all aspects of their history from past to present. There were many displays geared to kids, as well as us older history buffs.

Helpful?
Thank PasCaLady
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2016 via mobile

It's a cool little spot to visit. Lots of educational and interactive stuff for kids and adults. There's a little deli there as well. Beautiful views of the surrounding gorge.

Helpful?
Thank jenguertin
Avalon, New Jersey
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2016

Provides a nice overview of travails of wagon train settlers and the Lewis & Clark expedition. Good starting point for driving the Columbia Gorge Scenic Byway.

Helpful?
Thank Janet A
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
130 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2016

The exhibits are interesting and well presented. The raptor demonstration was particularly educational.

Helpful?
Thank rjay01
parts unknown
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2016

this was recommended by a friend as we travel through the area on our way to Portland. didn't know what to expect and we were there on a weekday. very few people but a great staff during the presentation. we had the only children so the staff took them to the area where the birds are stored and cared for;... More 

Helpful?
Thank travel-yea
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
68 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2016

Do take time to check out this Center! The myriad displays immerse you in the history of the area, the trials of pioneers and the contributions of innovators who shaped the Northwest. Well worth the very modest fee.

Helpful?
Thank Clare C

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?