National Neon Sign Museum

Columbia River Gorge

Housed in the magnificent, late-1800s Elks building, this fun, 'flashy' and educational museum is a fantastic new addition to The Dalles. You'll start with the invention of the lightbulb, then move on through lightbulb signage, the thorny beginnings of neon signs and into neon's heyday. The first ever neon bulb is also on display. A worthwhile stop for kids and grown-ups.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Columbia River Gorge attractions

1. Fort Dalles Museum

0.71 MILES

This museum was once part of an 1856 fort and is Oregon's oldest history museum. It's a fascinating place full of historical items; highlights include an…

2. The Dalles Dam & Lock

2.54 MILES

The Dalles Dam, built in 1957, produces enough electricity to power 800,000 homes. Access to this power came at a price, however. The dam's reservoir,…

3. Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

3.86 MILES

This excellent museum covers the history of the gorge, from its creation by cataclysmic floods to the hardships pioneers had traversing it, to early…

4. Columbia Hills Historical State Park

4.87 MILES

Some of the most famous remaining pictographs (painted figures) along the Columbia River are at this Washington state park, site of a Native American…

5. Rowena Crest

7.89 MILES

On top of Rowena Crest are spectacular views and vast meadows now preserved as a wildflower sanctuary. Governor Tom McCall Reserve, on Rowena Plateau, is…

6. Deschutes River State Recreation Area

13.73 MILES

The Deschutes River, Oregon's second largest, cuts through central Oregon and meets the Columbia at this fine state park, 15 miles east of The Dalles…

7. Maryhill Museum of Art

16.36 MILES

If you've ever wondered about that expression, 'What in Sam Hill?,' here's your answer: this museum in a hilltop mansion was founded by Sam Hill (1857…

8. History Museum of Hood River County

17.36 MILES

This worthwhile museum depicts the history of Hood River County and the mid-Columbia River region, with displays on Native American artifacts and quirky…