Image: Tre Hendricks

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epending on traffic and just where you are in Portland, Hood River and its Washington-side neighbors Bingen and White Salmon might be easier to get to than Washington Square or Clackamas Town Center, and the mix of new and old shops you’ll find on these small towns’ main drags is a lot more interesting than the mall. The view of something other than a mall parking lot is an added bonus on a Gorge shopping spree.

G Williker’s Toy Shoppe 

A Hood River staple for 20 years, this family-owned toy store has all the classics (Lego sets, Corolle dolls, dress-up gear) as well as the latest trends (silicone pop-its, Nee Doh squeeze balls). Find a rack of light-up bike accessories by the door, or head downstairs for a sale room and alternating shelves of books and stuffed animals. You might not have planned to pick up a fuzzy avocado or a rainbow unicorn Squishmallow or the latest Dog Man book, but your young traveling companions insisted. 202 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, and worth a pit stop to buy a Smokey the Bear plush toy to take with you on your hike. This latest location opened in downtown Hood River last October: a quiet two-room shop with gifts, home décor, books, pantry items, and more. Both locations are owned and operated by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation, with proceeds going toward statewide conservation efforts. 204 Oak St, Hood River 

Waucoma Bookstore

Forgot to bring a book on your trip? With loads of staff recs and timely topical displays (Ukraine history, anyone?), this 46-year-old shop can be a dangerous stop for the chronic bookbuyer, easily adding a whole new to-read stack to the bedside table. Solid children’s and young adult sections join used books in the back of the store, and you can also pick up puzzles, games, blank journals, and reading glasses if you forgot yours at home. Can't decide? Gamble on a "blind date" book wrapped in brown paper, or grab a mystery bag. 212 Oak St, Hood River

Image: 301 Gallery

301 Gallery

Situated in the historic Butler Bank Building, designed by architect A. E. Doyle in 1924, the 301 Gallery features work from a collective of artists in various 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 

Alpine Sea

Started by former Dakine employees (the California-based sports equipment company left Hood River in 2020, after 34 years there), Alpine Sea Co. sells apparel, hats, bags, and more. While the shop does showcase products from other makers in the region and beyond, there’s a house line of simple zip-pocket bags with various strap colors, log carriers, and “bagpacks” (with backpack straps and a carry handle), some of it made in-store by shop owners Robert and Kristin Morano. 311 Oak St, Hood River

Bagpacks ahoy at Alpine Sea

 

 

Image: Kate Schwager

Parts & Labour

Fans of Portland’s Wildfang and its iconic modern coveralls will feel right at home at this upscale standout on Hood River’s main drag, which shares an entry with Alpine Sea Co. Structured pantsuits and overalls in neutral colors from tasteful small-batch brands are the stars here, though as summer approaches we’d put good money on a transition into rompers. The shop also has a great selection of work-from-home comfy, matching separates, spendy denim, and concert-themed tees from always-greats like Joan Jett and Willie Nelson. 311 Oak St, Hood River 

Pistil

Pistil has been around the block for some time now, making high-quality clothing—everything from beanies, scarves, hats, belts, bags, and headwear, 100 percent angora- and fur-free—in their Hood River hometown. But the crew recently opened a quaint storefront to show off their thoughtful designs, focused on process and patience, and sweating the small stuff, down to the way each button looks. 316 Oak St, Hood River

Tokki Art Supply

Stop into Tokki (look for the yellow rabbit, which is what tokki means in Korean) for painting supplies, a sketch pad, high-design pencil cases, Japanese gel pens, or local-pride stickers declaring "It's bitchin' in Bingen" (where Tokki owner Janet O'Sullivan, who worked in stop-motion animation at Laika, first opened in 2019 before moving to Hood River's bustling main drag a year later) or that White Salmon is "slammin'." Check the website for weekend and evening classes, too: embroidery, macrame, polymer clay figures and jewelry-marking for kids, mixed-media collage for adults, and much more. 409 Oak St, Hood River 

Image: Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck

Get the kids ice cream and let them clamber around in the treehouse at Mike’s next door while you poke around in this pleasantly cluttered Hood River institution, which is more gently priced than many of the other boutiques in town. We dig the on-trend selection of hair accessories, from ombre banana clips to embellished headbands, the gaily patterned, puff-sleeve nap dresses, and the display space allotted to the inclusively sized Dear John denim line. The best finds are often upstairs, where several racks of well-organized sale items await you, including super-soft tops and swingy, elastic-waist pants for easy dressing on summery days, or just knocking around the house. 504 Oak St, Hood River 

MoonMountain Highway 

Unabashedly woo-woo, this New Agey storefront is a bit of an outlier in railroad town Bingen—or maybe a harbinger of the future, given that the sort-of-tony Society Hotel is just a block or so away. When we visited, the person at the register apologized for the faint sound of drums emanating from a workshop in the attached studio space, but for our money it only enhanced the experience. Browse a solid selection of spiritually and botanically inspired products, including glorious hand-sewn duster-like robes made from brightly printed fabrics that are perfect for swanning grandly about your abode, flora-and-fauna-studded candles themed to your astrological sign from Willow & Earth, and more options for tarot cards than we knew even existed. 113 W Steuben St, Bingen 

Arrowleaf Workshop

Just up the hill in White Salmon, Arrowleaf Workshop sells pendants, earrings, and other jewelry by local craftspeople, plus extra-soft shirts, cotton canvas overalls, macrame wall hangings, and housewares in a white-walled rustic space sandwiched between a bar and a bookstore. 150 E Jewett Blvd, White Salmon 

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