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Hood River, Oregon Travel Guide
Last Updated: Mar-05-2019, Hits: 6,811, Rating: 4, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Hood River, Oregon Travel Guide Restaurants (33)
Hotels and Lodging (16)
Bars and Nightlife (11)
Attractions (56)
Services (7)
Maps (0)
Links (2)
Oregon Travel Forum (20)
Location: North America
Geography: Mountains, Forest
Vacation Type: Family, Adventure
Popularity: Moderate Tourism
Costs: Budget, Moderate
Attractions: Skiing, Scenery, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Breweries, Wineries, Windsurfing, Rafting

Facts and Stats:
City Population: 6,945
Land Area: 2.9 sq mi
Government: Constitution-based federal republic
Country Dialing Code: +1
Area Code: 541
Languages: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: United States Dollar
Time Zone: PST (UTC-8)
Current Time:

Previously, Hood River's claim to fame was their locally grown apples, pears, cherries, peaches and other fruits. While they are still known for that, they are now mostly known as one of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding destinations in the world.

Hood River is located in the Columbia Gorge nestled along the south bank of the majestic Columbia River and bordered on the east by Hood River which empties into the Columbia. It is conveniently located about 45 minutes from Portland, and even closer to many of the beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails in the area.

1 mile across the Columbia River via the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge are the communities of White Salmon and Bingen. This toll bridge was built in 1924.

Hood River is located about 20 miles west of the larger community of The Dalles.

Brief History:
The Labeasche River (now named Hood River) was discovered by Lewis and Clark on October 29, 1805. It is suggested that the original name may have been for Francis Labiche, a French-Canadian waterman. After Lewis and Clark came fur traders, trappers and settlers. In 1854, the Nathaniel Coe family settled on a government land grant that is now the location of "downtown" Hood River. By 1880, 17 families lived in the area. Nathaniel Coe planted fruit trees in the valley, however, in 1919, there was a winter freeze that killed many of the apple trees. Farmers began planting pear trees, and since, Hood River has become one of the leading producers of Anjou pears in the world.

People and Culture:
If Chicago is the "Windy City" then Hood River is the "Windy Town" that has evolved into a world class windsurfing and kiteboarding mecca since the early 1980's. It isn't just often windy here, it is reliably windy. Don't know how to windsurf or kiteboard? No problem. The town has several equipment rental shops and schools to get you going. Surprisingly, there is more to Hood River than just watersports as it is also known for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, white river rafting and is fairly close to the ski areas at Mt. Hood.

But wait, there's more. The area is also home to home to over 30 wineries within a half hour drive and 2 major Oregon Brewers (Full Sail and Double Mountain) are located right in town.

Hood River is definitely a growing town for those looking to escape big city life and embrace incredible outdoor beauty laden with activities, and the town got a big boost from National Geographic Magazine in 2008 when it was voted as the 5th best place in the west (12th overall) to live. In addition to recreation and farming, a growing industry in the area has been technology. Google opened a large plant in The Dalles located 20 miles to the east, and there are a few other high tech companies in Hood River.

Being a small community, Hood River is very safe night or day, and is a great place for families.

Food and Nightlife:
For a town of this size, they produce a surprisingly sophisticated variety and quality of food. As is common in Oregon cities, most restaurants use fresh local ingredients when available. The nightlife, however, is not surprising for a town this size, and few places stay open very late. Everybody must be too exausted after windsurfing or skiing all day. The vast majority of the restaurants and bars are located downtown on Oak and Cascade streets between 1st and 7th.

Fruits are a local specialty and doing the "Fruit Loop" tour is a great way to sample the bounty.

Money and Costs:
The cost of living in Hood River is slightly less than the national average. Home prices are on the high side, while hotels and dining are slightly less expensive than Portland.

Oregon has no sales tax. The standard tip amount in the United States is 15%.

Getting There and Around:
If you are lucky enough to have a charter flight, you will be flying into the Ken Jernstedt Airfield just outside the town. Otherwise, you will likely be making the easy and beautiful 45 minute drive from Portland on Interstate 84.

The downtown area is easily walkable, although you will need a car if you wish to explore the nearby hiking trails and waterfalls.

On average, Hood River gets slightly less precipitation than Portland, but has colder winters and comparable summers. Below are the current conditions in Hood River.

Below are the monthly temperature and rainfall averages for Hood River, Oregon.

Month Avg High Avg Low Average Rainfall
January 41 28 5.39"
February 46 30 4.36"
March 54 34 2.88"
April 61 38 1.81"
May 69 44 1.08"
June 75 50 0.79"
July 82 53 0.31"
August 82 52 0.49"
September 76 44 1.15"
October 65 37 2.21"
November 49 33 5.35"
December 41 29 5.93"

  • Police/Fire/Medical Emergency: 911
  • Non-emergency Police: 541-386-2121

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    User Reviews (1)

    Reviewed by: sloshed
    Review date: Sep-30-2010

    We've been to Hood River a couple of times in the last year, and I have to say that I am really starting to like the place, although there is still more that I need to check out. When you walk down the streets, something just feels right about the town. On top of that, you just can't beat the beauty of the Gorge and Hood River is very close to all of the waterfalls and hiking trails. I've only eaten at a couple of places so far, but have been surprised by the quality of the food. Portland is only a 1 hour drive away, so I'll be trying to make a point of getting out that way more often. 

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