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Columbia Gorge

I like driving back from Walla Walla along the Columbia Gorge. Instead of going through the Tri-Cities and Yakima Valley, drive through the Wallula Gap and down along Highway 14. The journey is longer, but it's incredibly scenic and rugged and the Columbia River is stunning.

Along Highway 14 there are several wineries on the side of the road, and a few you have to drive up into the hills to get to. The road is curvy and sometimes high on a cliff, so be mindful of how much wine you consume, or better yet, designate a driver. Highway 14 takes you to I-5 for the quickest trip back to Seattle. Or, just past where the White Salmon River meets the Columbia River, there is a bridge to the Oregon side of the Columbia that I like to take to the Willamette Valley for even more wine tasting.

If you're heading back to Seattle, you can take I-205 northbound back into Washington. If you're coming back on a Sunday, be prepared for heavy traffic all the way up I-5.  Make this area your destination and do other fun stuff on the river like wind surfing. Browse through the wineries below or read more about the Columbia Gorge AVA.