Reconnect as a family and share a weekend hiking to a hidden waterfall, snacking on cherries along Oregon’s Fruit Loop and cutting lavender from a field that hums with honey bees busy at work. I found all of this nestled along U.S. Route 30 that meanders through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, one of the best scenic routes in the country.

Cousins' Country Inn, The Dalles, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Catch the last rays of sun along U.S. Route 30, next to the Columbia River as it meanders through northern Oregon. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Driving U.S. Route 30 through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in northern Oregon is tops for scenery. A leisurely drive to-or-from Portland that offers waterfalls, orchards and lavender fields.

On my recent road trip, I stopped in historic The Dalles and spent the night at the Cousins Country Inn. A roadside lodging option that offers families with kids or pets a convenient location to spend the night along the Columbia River’s U.S. Route 30 or Interstate 84.

As I walked through the door, the front desk staff of Cousins Country Inn welcomed me with a smile and fresh-baked cookies with a cup of hot coffee. I caught a whiff of pot roast that lured me and my kids into the Cousins Country Restaurant, located next to the lobby.

Hits of Cousins Country Inn

  • Family-friendly environment
  • Full-service restaurant located on-site
  • Warm and welcoming staff
  • Budget-friendly price

Misses of Cousins Country Inn

  • Pool could be larger
  • Limited facilities, no business center or workout room
  • Rooms face busy Interstate-84

I visited Cousins Country Inn, The Dalles, Oregon, in July.

The Details

Cousins Country Inn ($-$$) is located at 2114 W. 6th St., The Dalles, Oregon. Conveniently located along Interstate 84, it’s ideal as a stopover during a road trip through the scenic Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Cousins' Country Inn, The Dalles, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,

Cousins’ Country Inn in The Dalles offers road trippers a convenient location along U.S. Route 30 and Interstate 84. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

In front of the lobby, the kids found farm animals to climb all over and a John Deere tractor. Of course we had to take pictures. The Cousins Country Restaurant was an easy option since my family had a full day of exploring the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The Hotel

Cousins Country Inn has road trippers in mind with its clean, comfortable lodging in the middle of a desirable scenic area. The features and amenities are straight-forward and basic, though I found a couple of surprises like complimentary coffee and cookies upon check-in and Tesla charging stations.

Cousins' Country Inn, The Dalles, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,

The pool at the Cousins’ Country Inn also includes an enclosed spa. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Cousins Country Inn features an outdoor pool and an enclosed spa. I used the guest laundry during my stay, a nice feature for road trippers.

The Room

My room at Cousins Country Inn featured two queen beds, a refrigerator, a microwave, an alarm clock, an iron and ironing board and a DVD player. The front desk has a large selection of movies to borrow.

Cousins' Country Inn, The Dalles, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,

My room at the Cousins’ Country Inn in The Dalles, Oregon, featured two queen beds and a mini-refrigerator, a DVD player and a microwave. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

My room included a Keurig coffee maker with mugs, a nice feature for a room in this price range. I didn’t expect real glassware with the ice bucket and ceramic mugs at this price point.

The bathroom in my room at Cousins Country Inn had a large shower, though no tub. The vanity area had one sink with a large countertop along with a hair dryer. The toiletries were nicer than I expected and featured bar soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

Cousins Country Inn, The Dalles, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,

My room at Cousins’ Country Inn featured a large shower instead of a tub. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Activities

Cousins Country Inn is located along the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, approximately 80 miles east of Portland International Airport. The Dalles is the last stop on the famed Oregon Trail.

Mount Hood is in full view from The Dalles and offers lots of recreation throughout the seasons. The Hood River Valley’s Fruit Loop, a 35-mile scenic loop with orchards and vineyards dotted with lavender fields, is a short drive away. U. S. Route 30 offers several waterfalls close by as well.

Dining at Cousins Country Restaurant

This road-weary traveler appreciated the Cousins Country Restaurant located in front of the inn. It features family favorites with a kids’ menu and a full bar. I ordered a hamburger along with a kid-pleasing brownie sundae.

Cousins' Country Inn, The Dalles, Columbia Valley Gorge National Scenic Area,

Cousins’ Country Inn doesn’t have a complimentary breakfast though I did find a cinnamon roll big enough my kids could share it for $5. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

The Cousin Country Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch as well. Along with traditional breakfast options, I found cinnamon rolls as big as my head. Lodging guests get a discount coupon for the full-service breakfast.

Tips from a TravelingMom

  • Head to the historic downtown area of The Dalles. I saw lots of brew pubs.
  • This area of the Columbia River is known for its windsurfing.
  • I found five Tesla car charging stations at Cousins Country Inn.