We recently took a day trip to Hood River. This is one of our favorite places to go for the day. There is great wine, beer, food and views to be had in Hood River! On this outing we took our dog, Sydney, since everywhere is very dog friendly. It’s about an hour away from our house or an hour and a half away from down town Portland. You drive along the Columbia River all the way, so the views on the way are beautiful too. You’ll pass through Cascade Locks and pass quickly by Multnomah Falls, so be sure to be on the look out. On a nice day you might want to leave super early to beat the crowds and stop and see Multnomah Falls on the way to Hood River. I always joke that if its cloudy and raining in Portland, then it’s sure to be sunny in Hood River. Almost every time we have gone, the weather is clear in Hood River, but of course it can be really windy.
Places to Stay
If you want to go for the weekend, there are several places that you can stay, one of them being the Historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. Even if you don’t want to stay, you should check out the grounds and maybe stay for a meal. Sydney enjoyed her walk around the property. 🙂
Other options for places to stay would be the Best Western Plus or the Hampton Inn & Suites. Both of these hotels are right on the Columbia River and close to all the action.
Marchesi. It’s our number one place to go. The wine maker is from Italy and the wines that he makes are all of the Italian variety. Several of the wines are award wining. They have the outside area enclosed with heaters and blankets, so don’t worry about going in the winter. You’ll see the owner, Franco, outside roasting chestnuts. Sydney also enjoyed her time hanging out with us in the vineyard.
Naked Winery. This is a fun little tasting room that is in downtown Hood River. Watch out for their naughty but catchy names on the wines. This winery has good wine, but you need to go into it with an open mind. Plan on laughing a lot!
Viento. We happened across this place that you can see off the side of the freeway, same exit as the Columbia Gorge Hotel. We never thought much of it until some friends of ours had to stop for a bathroom break and they decided to go there to taste. They told us about it, so we decided to try it out the next time we were going to Hood River. It’s a cute tasting room.
There are so many breweries packed into Hood River. All of them have great food! If you want to head to the water front there is Pfreim, you can check out the kite surfers after you’re done eating or let the kids play in the big playground. Big Horse Brew Pub sits up on the hill of downtown Hood River and it has the best views and yummy fish tacos. Full Sail is a well known Pacific Northwest brewery, they have tours daily. Last but not least, Double Mountain has some great beers and pizza, we always come away from there stuffed.
Things To Do
You must head down to the water front, especially on a windy day. You’ll see the kite surfers, you can sit on the beach and watch them. Maybe you are the adventure type and try it yourself, with some lessons of course. There is a calmer inlet of water that you can rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Like I said earlier, there is a big playground for the kids to play at. Also, there is the Mount Hood Railway that you can check out for special dinners and if you go in the winter, this is where the magical Polar Express happens.
If you plan on heading to Hood River for the weekend in the late summer into fall, you can go on the “fruit loop”. Along this road you will find cider houses and fruit farms. The apples and pears are well known in this area. In the fall, it’s beautiful with all of the trees turning colors.
There are plenty of other places to visit in Hood River. Every time we go we find something new and I love the views and the beautiful drive along the Columbia River.