Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

Maryhill Museum

I can personally vouch that this day trip works for both moms and friends visiting from France: Head west on I-90 through the conifer-covered Cascades. At Ellensburg, turn south on 82 toward Yakima; 20 miles later, take a right on 97 and continue south, where the immense rolling yellow hills you wind among will feel like a different planet. (If in season, stop at a roadside stand for dollar-a-pound cherries.) Spend an hour or two at the highly improbable Maryhill Museum, once the mansion, imperiously overlooking the Columbia, of utilities magnate Samuel Hill, and enjoy its collection of Northwest art and (of all things) memorabilia donated by Hill's friend Queen Marie of Romania. (Hill also built, just a few minutes away, a concrete replica of Stonehenge, one of America's great roadside follies.) Take Highway 14 (or, on the Oregon side, I-84) back west to Portland, and be awed by the purple-mountain majesty of the Columbia River Gorge. Dinner in Portland, and maybe a spell at Powell's Books, will make for a full day before you head back up I-5. GAVIN BORCHERT 35 Maryhill Museum Dr., Goldendale, 509-773-3733,

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