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Ten miles south of Hermiston, just off I-84, lies a little town at the intersection of the Oregon Trail and the transcontinental railroad. Named for founder J.H. Koontz's then 3-year-old daughter, Echo was recognized in 2007 by the international LIVCOM awards as one of the world's most livable small cities. On the short walking tour of downtown, approximately an hour, mounted plaques tell the story of the town's historic buildings, including the Chinese House/ON&R Railroad Museum (now filled with railroad artifacts) and 10 sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
The warm, wood-finished tasting room at Sno-Road Winery is a must-visit, offering sips of award-winning vino daily and occasional music on Friday evenings. If a lot of the townsfolk seem to be wearing spandex, you're probably visiting in late February or early March, when riders in the annual Echo Red to Red mountain-bike race almost double the city's population. 210 W. Main St., 97838. 541/376-0421. www.snoroadwinery.com.
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