Located a mile west of Stevenson , the award-winning Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center (990 S.W. Rock Creek Dr., 800/991-2338, www.columbiagorge.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, $7 adults, $6 seniors and students, $5 ages 6–12, free for kids under 6) looks across Rock Creek Cove to the mighty Columbia River.
Highlights include an enormous simulated basalt cliff, with its crevices filled by Native American and pioneer artifacts, a 37-foot-high fish wheel, a restored Corliss steam engine, and Native American artifacts. Another section introduces you to the spiritual side of the Columbia Gorge .
The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center also is home to objets d’art and furniture once belonging to Russian mystic Baron Eugene Fersen, along with the world’s largest collection of rosaries. Special exhibits change frequently, and a museum store features the works of local artisans.