Pendleton Port is the gateway to the Wild West history of Pendleton in Northeastern Oregon. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Nation makes up most of the town’s residents. They include the Wallowas, Umatillas and Cayuses.
The town is internationally known for its Pendleton Woolen Mills; it has been distributing tapestries and locally made blankets worldwide since 1909. Pendleton is also home to one of America’s oldest and largest rodeos, the Pendleton Roundup. Stepping in to the Pendleton cruise port is like going back in time through a virtual time machine.
Aside from the colorful blankets, you can also shop for clothes made of wool at the Pendleton Woolen Mills. Since you are buying directly from the source, huge discounts typically apply. They are located at Southeast Court Plaza.
Roasted green coffee beans are sold at the family-owned Zollman’s Dark Canyon Coffee Roasters in South Main Street. On the same street is a unique gift shop, Clough’s on Main. They specialize in handcrafted wood items and rare collectibles.
If you want to go antique shopping, you can drop by at Airport Antiques and the Furniture Lady. They are situated at Northwest Street. The Anita Goudeau Designs specializes in Christian-inspired jewelry; perfect for gifts and souvenirs.
Things to See
You can take a tour inside the Woolen Mills. Headsets are provided to visitors as they are shown how the blankets are woven; using spinning machines and automatic looms.
A tour to Pendleton’s underground tunnels will take you back to the historic time of opium dens. The Underground Tours Office is located between First Street and Emigrant Avenue. The tunnels were dug by the Chinese during the 1870s and cover around 70 miles of the town center. Most of the tunnels are now restored for tourism purposes. Businesses that used to thrive underground included ice companies, bordellos, illegal saloons, opium dens and butcher shops.
The Wildhorse Resort and Casino is the highest paying casino in the region and features around 650 slot machines, an RV park and restaurants. Stories of the 3 plateau tribes in town can be found at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. They have several exhibits related to the tribes’ history and also sell items made by the tribe members. A working railroad telegraph system is displayed at the Umatilla County Historical Society Museum.
You can also visit the Round-up Hall of Fame at the Rodeo Grounds. Read through the Roundup’s history, significant people and learn some cowboy stuff.
Restaurants and Bars
One of the locally-operated restaurants in the area is Main Street Diner. They serve dishes the 1950s way. Their ice cream milk shakes are a must-try. The Golden Fountain Restaurant serves the best Chinese food in town. A favorite among the locals is their chicken fried rice. Mouthwatering meals like the crab Alfredo and homemade salad dressing are served at Cimmiyotti’s, also located in Main Street.
The Frontier Tavern on Southwest Street is the usual hangout for locals and visitors who want to grab a night cap.