Close Out Your Holiday Shopping at These Gorge-ous New Shops
So you want to travel but you've still got to shop for a few names left on your holiday gift list? In the immortal words of the Old El Paso girl: "Por que no los dos?"
About an hour's drive along the Gorge from Portland brings you to Hood River and White Salmon, two prime day-trip/long weekend destinations. Not only are they great places to soak in the wintry vibes this time of year, both towns have shops, boutiques, bookstores, antique stores, and more.
Here are six new(ish) shops in the area to add to your itinerary.
Technically this gallery has been around since 2018 but has moved from its initial pop-up location to the historic Butler Bank Building on Oak Street in downtown Hood River. Designed by architect A.E. Doyle in 1924, the building now houses 301 Gallery’s collective of artists who work in a vast array of mediums, from abstract pastels to landscape photography to sculpture to glasswork. To be in the new space is an experience—the rose marble entry floor, safety deposit boxes, and a towering vault door serve as remnants of the building’s past life, while local art decorates the interior. 301 Oak St, Hood River
Started by former Dakine employees over the summer after the California–based sports equipment company left Hood River after 34 years, Alpine Sea Co. sells apparel, hats, bags, and more. What’s more, the items are made in-store by shop owners Robert and Kristin Morano. Their focus at Alpine Sea Co. is on creating products that are sustainable and purposeful, and that’s what you’ll find around their shop: practical gifts for travel and life that are meant to last. While the shop sells products from makers in the region and beyond, Alpine Sea Co. has its own lineup of customizable bags and other merch. 311 Oak St, Hood River
For the jewelry lovers on your list, you’ll find tons of stuff at Arrowleaf Workshop, all designed and created by local artists. Similar to 301, Arrowleaf features a collective of artists, though here they share an emphasis on home goods and stylish accessories. Arrowleaf also acts as a collaborative art studio, and hopes to build a network of artists who work and learn together. 150 E Jewett Blvd, White Salmon
Originally located in Pennsylvania, Immersion Research has spent more than 20 years in the kayaking business, focusing on making suits, gear and equipment for kayakers. Their new location in White Salmon is prime real estate, as kayakers flock to the area each year for river adventures. At the store/repair shop you’ll find everything you need for paddling out on the river—dry suits, paddle jackets, helmets, gloves, and more—as well as lifestyle garb for cruising about the Gorge. Hurry though: December 23 will be the shop's last day in White Salmon. After that, IR is moving across the river to Hood River, opening in mid-January. 85 NE Estes, White Salmon
Pistil’s been around the block for some time now, making high-quality clothing—everything from beanies, scarves, hats, belts, bags, and headwear—from their Hood River hometown. But the crew recently opened a quaint storefront on Oak Street (across from Alpine Sea Co.) that’s worth a visit. Their thoughtful designs focus on process and patience, sweating the small stuff, down to the way each button looks. And Pistil also prides itself on being 100 percent angora- and fur-free, with a design process that’s rooted in ethics and environmentalism. 316 Oak St, Hood River
Spruce Gifts & Provisions
Spruce Gifts & Provisions’ first shop in the Gorge is in a cute white cabin near the Bonneville Fish Hatchery in Cascade Locks. But don’t sleep on their latest location in downtown Hood River, open since last October. The space in a quiet two-room shop sells gifts, home décor, books, pantry items, and more. Whichever shop you visit, they are both owned and operated by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation, whose proceeds go toward state-wide conservation efforts. 204 Oak Street, Hood River.