Do you have a couple of days this fall and a hankering for the outdoors? This weekend getaway guide will help you make the most of a quick visit to Hood River.
Known as “Portland’s backyard” and Oregon’s only mountain beach town, Hood River is a perfect destination to enjoy the sand, soil, wind, and water. Located where Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams converge with the mighty Columbia River, Hood River and the surrounding area offer outdoor recreation and unique experiences in abundance. But there is a lot more to Hood River than just the outdoors. The scenic landscapes and fertile valleys offer a variety of produce, artisan products, and unique experiences that might just have you booking another getaway soon after!
Fuel an early start with a bagel, freshly made each morning at the aptly named Freshies Bagels and Juice. Grab freshly squeezed juice and coffee – not just any coffee, but “The Official Coffee of the Outdoors” from local Stoked Roasters – and don’t forget to order the Cascade Lox Bagel, which uses fresh, locally caught salmon, when available.
Morning is the best time to hit the water for some paddle-powered fun. Whether standing or seated, paddling in and around the Columbia River is a Hood River local favorite. Rent a SUP or kayak, or book a tour with Gorge Paddling Center for some paddle playing on the Columbia River or in the calmer waters of Nichols Basin. Catch this experience soon; the water temps are optimal through September and early October but will cool as late fall weather sets in.
Prep for an afternoon bike ride with a stop downtown at Love and Hominy for tacos that provide a variety of globally inspired flavors. Their “Less Hate, More Love, More Tacos, More Tequila” motto says it all.
Pro Tip: The Thai tacos are bomb!
An afternoon in HR calls for a pedal in Post Canyon. Rent a bike and get the beta on Hood River area trails at Fat Tire Farm MTB Shop. And if you aren’t ready to hit the trails unaccompanied, take a guided ride from one of the many local outfitters who are eager to share their passion with eager visitors.
The Hood River experience isn’t complete without a beer and eats at the end of a long bike ride. The hummus plate, or for the carnivores, the wings at Hood River’s original brewery, Full Sail Brewing, are a perfect way to refuel. For dessert, walk up the street and grab a cone at the famous Mikes’s Ice Cream, or quench your thirst with round two at neighboring Hood River Common House.
Search for a hotel, motel, or Airbnb that suits you, or check out the Holiday Inn Express & Suites on the quieter side of town. Be sure and book early, or for last-minute availability, check out all the options here or call the Visitor Center for friendly guidance.
No matter how you define recreation, Hood River has plenty of options for day two. Take a stroll through town while you shop local and support Hood River’s boutique shops, unique makers, artists, and merchants. Or grab a coffee and hit one of the nearby hiking trails on your way out of town.
Mitchell Point is a great hike right outside of Hood River. Make your way to the top of the 2.6-mile strenuous trail for amazing Gorge views.