If you’re looking for some fun and new things to do during your next vacation, you came to the right place. As locals in the area, we have a list of activities we suggest to guests looking for something out of the ordinary. There are countless unique experiences in Washington State; here are some of our favorites. Access our complimentary Vacation Guide for the inside scoop on everything you need to know about planning your getaway!
10 of the Most Unique Experiences in Washington State
Have you ever tried a huckleberry? Many people haven’t, and it’s probably because they are very rare. If you want to try these delicious berries, we’ll send you on a huckleberry picking adventure. With a Free Use Berry Permit, you can pick up to one gallon of berries per day and up to three gallons of berries per year. Head to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and get picking!
2. See the Scenery by Train
If you’re looking for a unique way to see the countryside, the Mount Hood Railroad is the way to go. This ride is gorgeous at any time of the year; in the spring and summer, you’ll pass by countless colorful blooms. In the fall, it’s an excellent way to see the stunning foliage. We recommend riding Diamond Class for table service by their exceptional staff and panoramic views in the Sky Dome car.
3. Take a Dip in the Hot Springs
The Carson Hot Springs are not your typical hot springs. Here, you’ll find a bathhouse that hasn’t been touched since the 1930s. You can soak in a vintage tub as you let the healing mineral waters ease your pain, stress, indigestion, and more. It’s the perfect activity to pair with a spa treatment at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins.
4. Pick Your Own Fruits and Flowers
There are many places you can pick your own fruits and flowers in the Columbia River Gorge, but one of our favorites is The Gorge White House. This family-run farm is part flower garden, part orchard, and part cidery. Pick a bouquet filled with a variety of dahlias; this garden is known for having 50 varieties.
Have you ever hiked an active volcano? You can when you visit the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Mount St. Helens is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, one segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Its last eruption was not too long ago; it was back in 1980. Now, you can get a climbing permit and visit one of the many trails.
6. Surround Yourself in Lavender
You’ve never seen anything like the Hood River Lavender Farm. Come here to purchase a variety of lavender products and to see the never-ending fields of this soothing plant. Carved by glaciers and water and residing on volcanic slopes, the Hood River Lavender Farm is a gorgeous and peaceful retreat in the Hood River Valley. You can spend hours breathing in the calming aroma as you watch these purple plants sway in the wind.
7. See the Stars Like Never Before
In many city and town settings, light pollution actually blocks out the light stars produce at night. In the Columbia River Gorge, it’s a different story. Our night skies shine bright on clear nights, and the result is magical. Head to the Goldendale Observatory State Park to use one of the United States’ largest, most accessible public telescopes. There are several smaller telescopes, an amphitheater, and an observatory on the 5-acre property. Stargazers can come peer through the telescopes as a guide informs them about the wonders of the night sky.
Caves are one of the many main attractions of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, but the Guler Ice Caves are by far the most unique. When you make your way down the wooden staircase into the caves, it is as if you have been transported to another planet. The cave itself is filled with beautiful stalactites that rise up like statues from the ground. Hanging from the ceiling and jutting up from the floor are the incredible ice formations. If you want to see these crystals, make sure you come in the spring or early summer before they melt.
9. Search for Bigfoot… If You Dare
Did you know that the infamous Bigfoot has been spotted in our area? Also known as Sasquatch, Yeti, and many other nicknames, it is believed that this creature roams our forests. Technically, no one has physical evidence yet, but maybe you could be the first. Keep an eye out during all your explorations!
10. Experience Our Winter Wonderland on a Sleigh Ride
Stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins during the winter to experience the magic of this snowy season. Bundle up and head out on one of our favorite winter activities: a sleigh ride. This is the perfect romantic date idea; cuddle up to your sweetheart as you hear the sound of sleigh bells as you take in the sights and sounds of the Gorge in the winter.
Book Your Adventure Today
Enjoy all these unique experiences in Washington State when you stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, we’re in an excellent spot for your adventures. Once you complete your excursion, you’ll love coming back and relaxing in your private, luxury cabin. Browse our cabins to start planning your stay. Each includes a custom-made bed, whirlpool tub, outdoor porch, and more. We can’t wait to host you!