This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.
Planning a trip to the Gorge and wondering about the best things to do near the Gorge Amphitheatre before the show starts? Then read on!
As I have mentioned in my last couple of travel recaps, I am spending this summer living and working at Gorge Amphitheatre in Eastern Washington. Toby and I are running Oasis Glamping on site and it has been really fun so far.
Between events, I try to escape site and explore more of Washington State as much as possible but there are days when I want to stick closer to home.
It may seem like we are out in the middle of nowhere but there are actually a surprising amount of things to do around Gorge Amphitheater, from hiking and wine tasting to swimming in the Columbia River and exploring nearby towns.
And I have been making it my mission to explore all of these fun things to do near the Gorge Amphitheatre for my own entertainment and to inspire those of you that are planning to attend a show there and want to explore the area in your downtime.
So here are the best things to do near Gorge Amphitheater in Washington.
11 Best Things To Do Near Gorge Amphitheater
Check out my interactive map for the best things to do near Gorge Amphitheatre.
1) Go Wine Tasting
There are a number of wineries close to Gorge Amphitheater, including the award-winning Cave B Estate Winery which you can walk to from the venue.
Cave B Estate Winery
Cave B is the easiest winery to get to from Oasis Glamping – it is only a short walk away! Take the pathway beside the Oasis check-in and you will get there in a few minutes.
Cave B has incredible gorge views and offers a wide variety of red and white wines that are available to buy by the glass and bottle, as well as try by doing a tasting. Tastings during Gorge events are $15 and you do not need to make a reservation.
There is often live music at the small amphitheatre on-site and there is a pizza food truck set up on the lawn. You are welcome to pack a picnic to eat on the lawn just don’t bring in outside alcohol. You can purchase light snacks at the winery too.
The winery is open from Sunday to Thursday from 11am – 6pm, and from Friday to Saturday from 11am – 7pm.
Chris Daniel Winery
Located in nearby George, Chris Daniel Winery has a tasting room and offers a range of red, white and rosé wines. They are open from noon to 5pm from Friday to Sunday and you don’t need to reserve.
Visit Beaumont Cellars Tasting Room in Quincy to try their delicious wines, or for something really special, book to attend one of their Crushpad Dinners where their wines are paired with meals prepared by local chefs. Check the schedule for the dinners on their website – reservations are required.
The Tasting Room is open from Friday through Sunday 12noon till 5pm. Reservations are not required for tastings.
2) Hit the Hiking Trails
Cave B Waterfall Trail – 2.8 Miles Out and Back
This is the closest trail to the venue, and you can reach it by walking over to Cave B Winery – use the Alltrails website for the exact starting point. This trail will take you down to the Columbia River and has spectacular views and waterfalls along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for marmots and coyotes – I have seen both on this trail.
Please note that one section of the trail, just past the waterfall, is overgrown and impassable. Just go straight over the rock – it’s easy to climb up and over – and rejoin the trail on the other side.
Dusty Lake to Ancient Lakes Trail – 5.3 Miles Out and Back
This gorgeous hike is a 25-minute drive away and is a lovely trail surrounded by waterfalls, small lakes, and cliffs. Use the Alltrails website for the exact starting point.
3) Visit Gingko Petrified Forest/Wanapum Recreation Area
This recreation area is home to different types of petrified wood, beautiful Columbia River shoreline, an interpretive center, and 3-miles of hiking trails.
There are three different parts of the park – Wanapum Recreation Area, Gingko Petrified Forest Interpretive Center, and The Trailside Museum and Trees of Stone Interpretive Trail.
You will need to display a Discover Pass to visit the park, you can purchase a day pass for $10 at automated pay stations.
4) Swim in the Columbia River
There are a number of spots where you can swim in the Columbia River near Gorge Amphitheatre. One of the closest and easiest to get to is the Wanapum Recreation Area that is listed above. It’s around a 20-minute drive.
You can also swim in the river when hiking the Cave B Waterfall trail, and there is a roped-off public swimming area at Rattlesnake Cove near Phoenix Pizza Company.
5) Admire the View From Wild Horses Monument
Wild Horses Monument is a scenic lookout right off the highway, only 15-minutes south of Gorge Amphitheatre. You can get a great view over the gorge here and it is a short but steep hike up to the horse statues.
6) Explore Ellensburg, the Nearest City
Ellensburg is the closest city to Gorge Amphitheatre and it takes 45 minutes to drive here. There is a cute historic center that is very walkable and it is home to multiple breweries, street art, free museums, and a wide range of restaurants.
There is also a beautiful waterfront park with trails, as well as other hiking trails in the area.
7) Relax With a Massage or Facial
Sagecliffe Resort has a spa on-site that is available to non-guests but you do need to make a reservation. They offer massages, body treatments, and facials.
8) Visit a Covered Market and Gardens in Wenatchee
Only one hour drive from the Gorge, Wenatchee is a lovely town that is known as “the Apple Capital of the World” due to the large number of apple orchards in the Wenatchee Valley.
Stroll the historic main street and riverside trails, visit the excellent Pybus Public Market for lunch, try local beers at the breweries in town, and take some time out at the peaceful Ohme Gardens.
9) Eat Out at Nearby Restaurants
Tendrils Restaurant at the Sagecliffe Resort
Tendrils is an upscale restaurant within the beautiful Sagecliffe Resort that offers a farm-to-table focused menu and inventive cocktails. The views from the patio over the gorge are incredible too.
Reservations are recommended and they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week. It is located a little further downhill from Cave B Winery and is only a short walk from the Oasis Glamping at the Gorge.
Phoenix Pizza Company
This pizza place in a pretty lakeside community is only a 12-minute drive from the venue and offers a variety of delicious pizzas. They are open Thursday to Saturday from 4-8pm although they have been known to be closed sometimes when their website says they are meant to be open, so call first.
Fast Food and Restaurants in George
George, Washington (haha) is the nearest town to the venue and it will take you 15 minutes to drive there. There are a handful of fast-food restaurants there including Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express which offers burgers, fries and wings, Tacos Chapis which is a taco food truck, and Scalehouse Cafe which offers diner fare for breakfast and lunch.
10) Visit the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village
If you are a history nerd like me, then don’t miss the excellent Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village in the town of Cashmere, a 70-minute drive from the Gorge. I loved strolling the recreated pioneer village with historic buildings including a schoolhouse, a jail, and a train station.
The museum itself was very interesting too and had a lot of information about the Native American and pioneer history from the area, as well as natural history and geology exhibits.
Combine a visit here with lunch at Pybus Market in Wenatchee.
11) Go For a Round of Golf
If you are a golfer, then it’s your lucky day. There are actually three courses close to the Gorge that accept walk-ins but call them to ensure there is availability first.
- The Links at Moses Pointe – 18-hole course – 40-minute drive
- Colockum Ridge – 18-hole course – 15-minute drive
- Crescent Bar – 9-hole course – 35-minute drive
So there you have it folks! If you are arriving the day before the event starts or you have some time before heading home, do some of these fun things to do near Gorge Amphitheater and get to know this part of Eastern Washington better.
Where To Stay Near Gorge Amphitheatre
The best place to stay around Gorge Amphitheatre is onsite at Oasis Glamping with me and Toby! But if you aren’t lucky enough to nab a tent before they sell out, or if you are looking for something different, there are a few other options offsite.
If you have an RV and don’t want to stay at the camping onsite, the next closest is The Park at Cave B. There are no hook-ups and it is only open for RVs and only during events at the Gorge but it is literally right next door at Cave B Winery.
If you want to splurge, stay at the luxurious Sagecliffe Resort & Spa, also next door to Gorge Amphitheatre. They have a range of accommodation options including yurts, hotel rooms, condos, and lake homes. A more affordable hotel option is Microtel Inn & Suites in George.
There are a few highly rated and affordable vacation rentals within a 15-minute drive of the Gorge, here are the best:
- Two-Bedroom Home With Great Outdoor Living Space and Kitchen
- Cozy Two-Bedroom Guest House in Sunland Estates
- Brand New One-Bedroom Tiny House in Sunland Estates
If you liked this post, you should check out some of my other US content:
- Finally Falling For Seattle
- Discovering the Understated Charms of Seattle
- 8 Best West Coast National Parks To Escape the Crowds
- How to Spend the Perfect 3 Days in Denver
- Top Things To Do in the South Bay of Los Angeles
- The Best Things To Do in Telluride in Summer and Fall
- The Best Things To Do in Boston in 2 Days
- The Best Small Towns in Massachusetts
This is a really great recap. Are you still doing the oasis glamping? I am coming to oasis in June for the echos in the canyon and am trying to figure out what to do. You say most places don’t need reservations but when it’s going to be so busy, should I call ahead? Any insider tips you would recommend? Also if you have any tips about oasis glamping, I’m all ears. Flying up from the Bay Area with little camping experience. Thanks for you time!!!
Thanks Murray, I am coming back to the Gorge this year, Echoes in the Canyon is the show I’m looking forward to the most. If you want to eat at Sagecliffe while you are there you should reserve but for winetasting at the different wineries it isn’t required. Depending on when you are getting in and how far you want to explore, I would recommend spending a day in Leavenworth or Wenatchee, otherwise it shouldn’t be too hot to do one of the hikes. If you are staying with us at the Oasis, you don’t need to bring much. We have grills and cooking utensils onsite if you wanted to bring food to cook, and we have coolers and ice to borrow. We also provide breakfast. We will be sending an email out with more tips and advice the week before so look out for that.
Well I was sold after 4 reasons haha but looks like I need to plan a visit there to experience all the things on the list.
So much more to do here than you would think!