Spending a Weekend in White Salmon

Unless you live entirely off the grid, chances are you’ve heard plenty about the Columbia Gorge  and all its majestic wonder, more specifically, Hood River, Oregon. What you may not know is  that just over the bridge in the state of Washington, lies an equally quaint little town called  White Salmon. Located just an hour east of Portland, sitting on a bluff overlooking the  Columbia River, White Salmon is one of the top destinations for whitewater rafting and  kayaking.


There is but one main street that runs through town, with not even a single gas  station, instead dotted with unique shops, restaurants and cafes, pubs and wine bars, literally  something or everyone! There is a public library and also a city park that is the focal point for  events and festivals and home to White Salmon’s Farmers Market which runs from June  through September.


For a town with just over 2,500 residents, White Salmon boasts some of  the best food, wine and craft brew in the Gorge! Here is everything you need to know to  prepare for your weekend getaway!

White Salmon Baking Company

If you’re rolling into town on the earlier side, just off the main drag lies one of the not-so-hidden  gems to land in White Salmon and my favorite spot for a latte, breakfast, lunch or a sweet treat.


Opened in 2015, the White Salmon Baking Company is without a doubt, one of the best bakeries in the state! Owners Juri Poberaj and Nina Jimenez, source their flours from small-scale Pacific Northwest mills, and boast a custom built wood fired oven. Their artisanal  breads and pastries reflect the care they’ve taken to produce high quality baked goods, while  other menu options showcase many of White Salmon’s local farms and orchards.


There is a  small patio, as well as a large indoor seating area, perfect for catching up on some work or  meeting with friends! On Monday nights, Juri and Nina host “pizza night” dinners that are not  to be missed (reservations for parties of 6 or more). Pro tip—stop by early enough to grab a  bag of English muffins to take home and maybe a loaf or two—the muffins sell out daily,  sometimes within minutes! 

WED-SUN 8:00 AM-3:00 PM 

MON pizza night 5:00 PM-8:00 PM 

White Salmon Bakery

North Shore Cafe

Just around the corner and the perfect spot for a casual brunch, is the North Shore Cafe, run  by owner Amber Nelson, whom you can find behind the counter, happily chatting with her  regulars! In 2012, Amber opened this cozy cafe that focuses on healthy options like fresh juice  and smoothies, coffee and scones. Most of what is served here is organic and grown within 80 miles of White Salmon. I highly recommend you don’t leave without trying one of their outstanding breakfast burritos!  

MON-WED 7:00 AM-2:00 PM

Everybody's Brewing

Everybody Brewing

Everybody’s Brewing sits on a  busy street corner in the center of town, but when the business opened in 2008 with a skeleton crew of 12, Everybody’s was located down the block in a much smaller space. Co-owners Christine and Doug Ellenberger, expanded the operation in 2018 and moved into the current building, which houses more than 70 employees depending on the season!


Two team members have been with Everybody’s from the outset, which says a great deal about this beloved couple, who care deeply about their business and community. Locals agree that Everybody’s put White Salmon on the culinary map, bringing delicious, locally sourced food and innovative craft brewing to town.


It’s rare to see Everybody’s without a line of guests waiting for their names to be called, as they do not  accept reservations. But not to worry, there is plenty of great beer and local wine and cider to  keep everyone content until a table is ready! Aside from the large indoor dining room and bar, there is a beautiful covered deck with a fire pit and views of Mt Hood.


Live music featuring local  performers is available year round on Monday evenings. The menu is upscale pub food and  with it’s diverse selections, you may have trouble deciding what to order, but every choice is  guaranteed to satisfy! 

OPEN DAILY 11:30 AM-9:30 PM

Henni's Kitchen and Bar

Across the street, is another standout, Henni’s Kitchen and Bar and is dinner only, including an  awesome Happy Hour! Chef-owner Christiaan Erasmus and his wife Sarah, focus on producing  stunning, casual fine dining. Along with her father, (the two are both metalsmiths), Sarah is  responsible for the beautiful copper bar and tabletops!


Opened in February 2010, with some  help from Christiaan’s father Hendrick, (hence the name Henni’s) this restaurant has a passion  for utilizing local farms and turning out seasonal dishes. They also have a great selection of  wines and craft cocktails. While reservations are recommended, they do try to accommodate  walk ins.


Grab a seat at the bar and take advantage of the Happy Hour menu, You can’t go  wrong with one of their pizza offerings (see below) and a seasonal cocktail or glass of wine,  usually under $20 bucks! They have specialty small plates as well, which is all very thoughtfully  presented.


The staff is friendly and welcoming, and you’ll likely be sitting in the dining room  with some of our very best local winemakers and small business owners, as this is a favorite  date night spot! 

WED-SAT Happy Hour 4:30-5:30 PM / Dinner 5:30-9:00 PM

Pizza Leona

Next door, you will find Pizza Leona, little sister to Henni’s. Here you can grab a slice or a whole  pie to go as well as soft serve ice cream. They specialize in New York style pizza with a slow  (48 hour) fermentation dough in a very hot oven, turning out perfectly chewy crust and fantastic  toppings! In addition, there is a small retail section stocked with imports from Europe, including  wines by the bottle. 

WED-SAT 4:00-8:00 PM


If you’re more interested in high end Mexican fare, you are in luck! The newest of White  Salmon’s restaurants is Pixán (pē-SHan) which means soul/spirit. Pixán serves up not only  tasty brunch options on Sundays but a host of specialty tacos, salsas and snacks! Their  cantina is tequila and mezcal driven to compliment the menu, but you can also order beer,  cider and wine. Sit at the bar or an indoor table, or perhaps order some food to go! There is  also a dog-friendly patio for your furry friends! 

FRI-TUES 4:00-9:00 PM 


Feast Market and Delicatessen

In what originally housed Everybody’s Brewing, sits Feast Market and Delicatessen. Feast is a  neighborhood natural food store, deli, restaurant and bar all rolled into one! You’re welcome to  take a seat at the bar or at one of the many tables, order pre-made options from the counter  along with sandwiches to go, and/or shop for other specialty items, including local wines by  the bottle. Husband and wife team Shawn and Jenessa are committed to quality, utilizing local 

farmers to source their menu items. They offer espresso, and a full selection of cocktails as  well as dinner service. 

TUE-SAT 11:00 AM-8 PM

Now we’ve covered all the bases on where to eat, let’s talk about options for quenching your  thirst as well! Everybody’s is the place to be for craft brews, but in the same stretch of town,  also lies a tavern and not one, but two wine bars with a third on the way!

White Salmon Accommodations

Le Doubblé Troubblé

Le Doubblé Troubblé or LDT tasting room, run by longtime friends Christopher Stiffler and  “Tosh” Forrence (who makes their wines) opened shop in June 2018. This is a perfect spot to  grab a comfortable corner with friends or sit at the bar and order a cheese plate or charcuterie  board to compliment your flight or glass. They also pour featured “guest” wines that rotate  occasionally, and select beer. 

THURS-MON 12:00-8:00 PM

Soča Wine Shop

Situated just off Jewett Blvd, the newly opened Soča Wine Shop is White Salmon’s newest  treasure! Housing a handful of barstools, a few bistro-style tables and a patio in the works, this  charming space sat vacant for decades, until friends turned business partners, joined forces  and began renovations. Juri and Nina (from White Salmon Baking Company) along with  Bethany Kimmel bring their expertise (each is heavily entrenched in the winemaking industry) to  this boutique retail shop, focused on small production imports. Order a bite to eat, a glass of  wine or grab a bottle or two to take home!  

THURS-SUN 12:00-8:00 PM

Tarwater Tavern

The Tarwater Tavern, a local hangout better known as the TarBar, is a friendly laid back cocktail  bar, and the perfect spot to end the night after exploring the Gorge. 


If the allure of wine tasting is more your thing, you won’t have to drive very far to find some  truly amazing wineries and gorgeous vineyards awaiting your arrival! Two of my favorite nearby  tasting rooms, just a short drive from White Salmon, are sure to win you over!

Willow Wine Cellars

The town of Underwood, a mere eight miles from White Salmon, is now home to a handful of  small production wineries, among them Willow Wine Cellars, where owners Brendan and Tarnna Simpers are involved in every aspect of their business.


Leaving his full time job in 2019,  Brendan now focuses solely on the winery which is run from their home. The casual tasting  areas are set around a fire pit or adjacent to the vineyard, where you will get to know their pups  known to roam freely amongst the guests! You can choose to taste the wines they have  available (some sell out) or purchase a bottle and grab a spot and enjoy!

Tarwater Tavern, White Salmon

Brendan and Tarnna  are truly dedicated to ensuring their wines are well crafted and delicious but are also committed to ensuring you are having a great time! Reservations recommended, but walk ins welcome  

FRI-SUN 12:00-5:00 PM

Syncline Winery

Syncline Winery

Just a few miles down the road in the nearby town of Lyle, is Syncline Winery, run by James and Poppie Mantone. Syncline, a biodynamic, limited production estate winery set on 17 acres, exudes a passion for Rhône and sparkling wines, and you’re very likely to taste a varietal you’re not familiar with! Aside from producing fantastic wines, the grounds are stunning and meticulously groomed.


There are pathways that lead to long tables, groupings of Adirondack chairs, and during the cooler months you can linger by the fire pit with your tasting flight or bottle purchase. Everyone here is friendly and knowledgable and you could quite easily spend the afternoon taking it all in. Members and local residents have  walk-in seating options to enjoy wines by the glass or bottle in the garden, and guests are  welcome by appointment. 

FRI-SUN 12:00-5:00 PM

Now that we’ve walked you through all the amazing options available in White Salmon for a  weekend of eating and drinking, you’ll surely need a place to stay and some daytime activities  to keep to make sure you’re hungry and ready for your evening! Accomodations in and around  White Salmon include a brand new upscale hotel with a ground floor wine bar and stunning  views of Mt Hood, an eco-hotel, a converted schoolhouse and a lovely five-room Inn! There are  plenty of airbnb options in town as well, and I’ve linked one here I think is just perfect! There is  absolutely no shortage of things to do in this magical little corner of Washington state, and  even if you’re visiting in the off season or white water isn’t your thing, there are a myriad of  hiking and mountain biking trails in and around White Salmon to explore! Whichever you  choose, there are plenty of options to get your blood pumping and take in the breathtaking  scenery on your visit to the Gorge, and you won’t need to drive far to do it!

Inn at White Salmon

What was previously operated as a hotel and apartment building in the late 1930’s is now the Inn of the White Salmon. Bought in 2007, with it’s beautiful brick exterior, the Inn is a 22 room eco friendly hotel within walking distance to all the great bars and restaurants in town! Private rooms are smoke free and pet free, and each has a refrigerator, cable tv and complimentary wi-fi.


Take advantage of in-house events like wine tasting, movie nights and gallery shows, and the Columbia room which is stocked with games, books and a large screen television. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase to enjoy in your room, on the patio or in the garden. A shuttle service is available from PDX by appointment. 

Ruby June Inn

The newest darling to grace White Salmon, is Ruby June Inn. This delightful Inn and wine lounge sits directly across from the White Salmon River. Owners Chris and Gretchen Wiggins relocated from Bainbridge Island to renovate in September 2019, and opened their doors to guests in 2020. Each of the five tastefully designed guest rooms (with a sixth in the works) include a private entrance and bath.

White Salmon Accomadations

On the property are  several communal spots for guests to gather and unwind, including a patio, a large fire pit area  and the 1890’s “IceHouse”, replete with vintage art and antiques from local shops. During the  Summer months, Chris and Gretchen host a chefs collective multi-course dinner series, with  optional wine pairings curated from around the globe! These dinners have been wildly  successful and will now be expanding beyond the Summer season.

The Society Hotel

Society Hotel

Set against a mountainous backdrop, just two miles away in the town of Bingen, is the Society Hotel which opened in the Spring of 2019 after a year and a half of renovations. A converted  schoolhouse, once inside the lobby, you’ll find a gorgeous communal space that contains a  fireplace, shelves of books and plenty of seating to work, relax or enjoy a cup of coffee or a  drink from the bar.

In the center of the courtyard is the resort style spa with its indoor saline  soaking pool, cold plunge, a sauna and a 104 degree outdoor hot tub/pool. For the ultimate  treat, you may want to take advantage of the massage services. The hotel has 10 private  accommodations including larger, more spacious cabins and two hostel-style 24 unit bunk  beds for the budget traveler!

Magic PNW Airbnb

Prefer to have access to a kitchen unit while in town? Maybe an Airbnb better suits your needs!  Perfect for immersing yourself in your immediate surroundings, this adorable two-room studio,  just a couple short blocks from the center of town, offers not only a private entrance, full  kitchen, hardwood floors and Smart tv, but also an outdoor shower and shared backyard  sauna!

Owners Rob Lutgens and Julie Burgmeier are active members of the White Salmon  community and have put their own special touches on this intimate space that you are sure to  revisit and tell your friends about! 

Iconica Hotel

Due to open phase one in Spring 2023, the Iconica Hotel is the brainchild of Tao Berman,  whose love for architecture and his hometown, fueled him to create this truly authentic  experience here in White Salmon. Phase one will include 16 suites ranging from studio to  penthouse, all with a full kitchen and contactless check in/out. An open-air rooftop for  socializing and taking in the sweeping views of the Columbia River and Mt Hood add to the  luxury of this stunning new development, as well as plans to host wine tastings for both guests and locals. 


White Salmon Landscape, Canyon Creek

Catherine Creek

One of the most popular is hiking trails is the Catherine Creek Recreation Area, just a 10 minute drive from the center of White Salmon. Open year round, the Catherine Creek Arch Loop is an easy 1.9 mile walk through rocks and oaks and past waterfalls. Beautiful wildflowers bloom in the Spring, but be aware of poison oak!  

The West Loop is considered a more moderate hike, about 3.4 miles in duration for those wanting a bit more distance. I recommend downloading a map from AllTrails or refer to the page below. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed.  

Coyote Wall

Known by locals as merely The Syncline, the Coyote Wall Recreation Area includes a multitude  of intersecting trails, with endless options for every skill level. With more than 30 miles to scout,  you will be rewarded with waterfalls and stunning views of the Columbia River! This area is  open year round and available to hikers as well as mountain bikers. I suggest you refer to one  of the links below for more details, as there are plenty of ways to explore this vast trail system. Your canine friends are welcome on a leash.

Weldon Wagon Wheel Trail

Just a ten minute drive up WA-141 N, is the Weldon Wagon Wheel Trail, set on an abandoned  county road built in the early 1900’s. Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, this trail is  enjoyed by both hikers and mountain bikers, as well as dogs that are leashed. This out and  back moderately challenging route, logs in at just under five miles roundtrip, where you will  take in views of the White Salmon valley and beautiful ridgetop meadows! Please be aware of  poison oak and respectful of signs indicating private property while on this trail. Trailhead starts at Indian Cemetery Road.  

I hope you enjoy these recommendations and come to visit soon! Once you see all there is to  offer, I’m sure you will want to include White Salmon in your frequent weekend getaway  rotation!

jana shepherd headshot

Jana Shepherd

Jana Shepherd has recently transplanted to White Salmon, Washington, having moved from her longtime home in the Northern California foothills. Deciding to end her nearly 40 year career in dentistry, she plans to pursue her hobbies, which include writing, travel, food and wine, photography and the myriad of outdoor activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer!


  1. Ginny on February 15, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Please stop running small towns. We don’t need help with “reporting”. We already can’t afford to live in towns we’ve been in for 25+ years because of you and California. You didn’t discover anything. Go back please.

    • MJ on February 16, 2023 at 7:05 pm

      Ginny, I’d say it’s inflation surging upwards of 10% that’s the problem with you not being able to afford living in White Salmon anymore. Large cities (not just those in CA) have seen a population loss, especially with the rise of remote work throughout an ongoing pandemic.

      Jana, thank you for highlighting multiple small, local businesses! I’m sure the last few years have been difficult on the owners, who will appreciate the attention to detail you have capturing what they all add to the community! I look forward to visiting White Salmon one day and hope to receive a warm welcome.

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