Hood River, Oregon is between the Columbia River Gorge between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. It has always been one of my favorite places to visit in the spring and fall months. In the spring the apple and pear trees in the orchards surrounding the town are in bloom and in the late summer and fall you can buy the delicious fruit from those trees.
The distance between the Portland Metropolitan area and Hood River traveling on Interstate 84 is 46 miles and you will see some spectacular scenery on the way. You can also get here by taking the Mt. Hood Loop from Government Camp, Highway 35. The distance going this way is 42 miles. (See map below.)
For a small town there are dozens of things to do every season of the year:
In the Columbia River you will find world-class windsurfing known all over the world among windsurfers for its amazing winds and waves. This is the narrowest part of the Columbia River Gorge and the winds are sucked through this "tunnel" from the coast by the warmth of the hot air in Eastern Oregon. Don't forget the gorge formed by the Columbia River cuts through the huge Cascade Mountain Range.
For the best places to surf according to your ability visit Gorge Online. If you are a beginner or just feel you need some instruction in windsurfing, check out Big Winds. They have equipment sales and rental for everything you need.
Pheasant Valley Winery
At Pheasant Valley Winery you can visit their tasting room, take a tour of the vineyard by foot or by horseback, or participate in one of their many holiday wine events. See up-to-date information on what's happening at Pheasant Valley Winery. The tour by horseback is for experienced riders and is arranged through Double Mountain Ranch. It includes a stop at the winery itself for tasting, the vineyards, lavender fields, orchards and a stop by the river.
Here you can enjoy tasting the wines produced by Wy'east Vineyards in either their indoor tasting room or on the patio in good weather. Tasting of six wines is $5.00 per person and this is refunded if you make a purchase. The tasting room is just south of Hood River at 3189 Hwy. 35, Hood River, OR.
Marchesi Vineyards specialize in Italian wines. Taste these delightful wines either inside or on the patio when weather permits. The winery is located at 3955 Belmont Drive, Hood River. The Gorge White House
Here you can taste wines from many of the wineries in the Columbia River Gorge for $1.00 each. The Gorge White House is a 100-year-old historic home and an actual working farm. Fruits grown are pears, apples, blueberries, strawberries, and table grapes. Flowers cover the seasons from daffodils in the spring to dahlias in late summer and fall. You can purchase cut bouquets or cut your own.
The farm store and tasting room, which is wheelchair friendly, is not open all year. The 2012 season begins on April 6th when they open for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday through May. Then they open daily from June 1st until through September. Hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Dogs on leash are welcome.
You will find The Gorge White House at 2265 Hwy. 35, Hood River, OR
Double Mountain Brew Pub
Go here for the microbrew and the pizza. They make a New York style thin-crust pizza that is loaded with toppings and baked in a high-heat brick oven. They also serve sandwiches. If you are in a hurry, choose a time when they are less likely to be busy or don't go. It is located in downtown at 8 4th Street. They open at 11:30 am and kids are welcome until 8 pm.
The interpretive center is where you can learn about the early indians who inhabited the Columbia River Gorge - The Cascade Chinook. You will see indian artifacts, ceremonial dress, tools, and learn about their customs and living style. Exhibits show how the indians were affected by their first contact with white men, the explorers Lewis and Clark and The Hudson Bay Company.
The center is open daily from 10 am ti 5 pm. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Admission is $10 for an adult and $6 for children aged six to twelve. The center is located at 990 SW Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, Washington, 98648. You will need to cross the Columbia River on the Hood River Bridge and follow the signs to Stevenson. You will be traveling west.
This is a museum with a difference in that the automobiles and airplanes still drive and fly. Automobiles on display are restored models manufactured between 1899 and the 1960's. Airplaines on display were manufactured from 1912 onward including some military aircraft.
The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. You will find the museum at Ken Jernstedt Airfield, 1600 Air Museum Road.
Golfers love the 18-hole course at Indian Creek Golf with its views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams all the way through. The course is 18 holes with par 72. You get the best deals by booking your tee time on-line or you can call (866) 386-7770. The Divots Clubhouse Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with dining inside or outside. The Hood River Valley gets much less rain than the Willamette Valley so you are most likely to find sunshine on this course April through September.