20 Things To Do In Hood River

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Hood River is a port city on the Columbia River in northern Oregon. There are a myriad of things to see and do in Hood River. If you are an adventurous type, then you will love Hood River but there are also plenty of relaxing things to do as well. From picturesque lavender fields to quaint orchards and mountain views start your visit to Hood River off right by checking off some of these must visit sights.

Hood River, Oregon

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20 Things To Do In Hood River

1- Take a Stroll Through the Lavender Farms

Lavender Flower Blooming Scented Fields In Endless Rows
Visiting lavender farms is one of the scenic things to do in Mt Hood.

The Hood River area and Oregon has been referred to as “American Provence”.

The plethora of lavender fields in Oregon does feel as though you’ve entered France!

Oregon has many lavender fields and there is a farm tour weekend hosted every year to celebrate the best lavender fields in the state.

Hood River has two of the best lavender farms in the state and you can walk through them immersing yourself in a sea of purple and the fragrant smell of lavender.

Hope Ranch Lavender is a small family-run farm with many types of lavender for sale.


Then there’s Hood River Lavender Farms which is certified organic and has unmatched views of Mount Adams!

Hood River Lavender Farms is at 3823 Fletcher Dr, Hood River, OR 97031 and Hope Ranch Lavender is at 2585 Fir Mountain Rd, Hood River, OR 97031.

2- Try Watersports on the Columbia River

Athletic Wiry Surfer Guy Swims With A Paddle On A Sup Board
Paddleboarding is one of the fun things to do in Mt Hood summer.

Hood River is around 63 miles (101 km) east of Portland, but did you know it’s one of the best places to go windsurfing in the U.S?

Windsurfing may well be more synonymous with coastal cities but Hood River’s access to the Columbia River provides an excellent spot for this fun sport (with awesome views too).

Whether you want to try your hand at windsurfing or simply want to watch the experts do it, Hood River is an excellent place for watersports.

There are plenty of companies providing lessons and gear rentals, so why not give it a try?

If you are looking to try something a little more laid back, then why not opt for kayaking or paddle boarding.

Head on down to Hood River SUP and Kayak or Gorge Paddling Center for equipment rentals.

3- Explore the Hood River Waterfront Park

The Hood River Waterfront Park is an excellent city park to relax at, explore and take in the scenery.

The park is super peaceful but still close enough to the hustle and bustle of the city.

There’s plenty of room for picnicking while taking in the views of the Columbia River.

Part of the waterfront promenade provides an awesome beach area.

It is hard to imagine that the area was once used for industrial purposes.

There’s a playground, restrooms, picnic shelters, and a boat launch.

Hood River Waterfront Park is at Riverfront Park, 650 Portway Ave, Hood River, OR 97031.

4- Marvel at the Historic District

Hood Rivers scenic streets are the perfect place to enjoy some retail therapy.

There’s always something going on in downtown Hood River so simply wandering around and seeing what you discover is a good idea.

There are boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, more than 30 restaurants, cafes and even designer shops.

Most of the historic district’s best shops are on or off Oak Street.

One of the best things about Hood River’s downtown district is the view of the Columbia River at the end of the street.

It’s always nice going window shopping, while knowing there’s a wonderful view waiting for you at the end.

5- Hiking Around Mount Hood

Mt. Hood And Hood River Valley, Oregon
Hiking Mount Hood is one of the active things to do in Hood River.

Mount Hood is a picture-perfect stratovolcano that last erupted in 1865! This impressive sight is almost directly south of Hood River and can be seen up to 100 miles (160 km) away.

An excellent hike to try is the Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Trail.

The nine mile (14 km) out-and-back trail is considered challenging but with a challenge comes excellent views.

It’s one of the best hikes for incredible views in the area.

You even get to see four peaks, Mount St. Helens, Mount Jefferson, Mount Rainer and the mighty Mount Hood.

This hike starts from the Mirror Lake Trailhead.

There’s also the McNeil Point Trail which is a 10 mile (16 km) out-and-back trail that begins at Top Spur Trailhead.

It might take around 5 ½ to 6 hours to complete but the views are spectacular (perhaps some of the best around).

6- Relax at a Wine Tasting

Mt Hood Winery
Wine tasting is another of the things to do in Mt Hood.

Visit Hood River as a wine lover and you will find more than a few glasses being poured.

Hood River has an impressive 83 vineyards and 36 wineries.

The wineries in Hood River don’t have that pretentious feel, instead they feel warm, welcoming and relaxing.

You can head out along the colloquially named Fruit Loop trail to discover some of the best wineries and vineyards.

Some of the best wineries in Hood River include Wy’east Vineyards, Marchesi Vineyards, and Hood Crest Winery and Distillers.

7- Check Out the View from Vista House

Head out along the Historic Columbia River Highway and you will see the charming Vista House.

This historic landmark was built in the early 1900s and overlooks the Columbia River.

The buildings sit 222 meters (730 feet) above the river.

Though it’s called a “house” it is a museum that is also a memorial to Oregon pioneers.

Vista House sits atop Crown Point and the views are well worth stopping for.

Vista House is at 40700 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019.

8- Drive the Fruit Loop

There is a plethora of fruit orchards, flower fields and wineries in the Hood River Valley.

The fruit loop is a 35-mile scenic drive that allows you to discover 27 fruit stands, cideries and wineries.

You can pick your own apples, try top wines and clink cider glasses.

Head to Kiyokawa Family Orchards, the Fox Tail Cider and Distillery or Marchesi Vineyards.

9- Go Mountain Biking

Many will attest to the fact that Hood River has some of the best bike rails in the entire country.

Many of the best mountain biking trails are situated along the Post Canyon Trail System.

This trail system offers a variety of trails to a plethora of riders.

From newbies to experienced trick mountain bikers there’s so much to see, experience and explore.

There are more leisurely trails and skills building courses.

If you’ve got your own bike, then great but if you don’t fancy taking all your gear to Hood River then you can rent from one of the many outfitters.

Hood River Mountain Bike Adventures and Fat Tire Farm are some of the best places to rent from.

10- Hike the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

Historic Columbia River Highway Two Way Lanes In Fall
Driving the historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is of the lovely things to do in Mount Hood.

The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail comprises three sections of paved paths of Highway 30 that was around before I-84.

You can explore and access 12 miles of wonderful scenery and discover Columbia River gorge vantage points.

The west part of the trail starts at John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor by Elowah Falls and ends at Cascade Locks; it’s called the Bonneville Segment.

There are fantastic views of the Columbia River as well as a few waterfalls.

There’s also the Mitchell Point Segment which starts at the Wyeth Trailhead and ends at Viento State Park.

In this section there are plenty of waterfalls as well as the Summit Creek Viaduct.

Finally, there’s the Twin Tunnels Segment that connects Hood River to Mosier.

This is one of the most popular sections of the trail and features the Mosier Twin Tunnels and views of the river.

11- Check Out the Local Breweries

There are a myriad of fantastic breweries in Hood River and some are even considered award-winning breweries.

With so many excellent breweries it’s not recommended to just visit one, how about a brewery hopping tour instead?

Working Hands Fermentation is one of the newest breweries in the city and well worth a visit.

Full Sail Brewing Company is a hip craft brew spot with a patio that is usually full in summer.

There’s also pFriem Brewery which is a household name!

12- Go Back in Time at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum

Locally known as WAAAM, the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum is an excellent place to visit for aviation enthusiasts.

WAAAM is run by volunteers and funded by donations and ticket sales.

It’s a place where enthusiasts can come to enjoy the collection.

Founder Terry Brandt started with a personal collection of 42 flying antique aircrafts and a few antique cars.

There is a vast array of aircrafts to discover and the 1917 Curtiss Jenny JN4D is the crown jewel of the collection.

Come to admire aviation throughout the years and marvel at planes of all sizes, big and small.

Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum is at 1600 Air Museum Rd, Hood River, OR 97031.

13- Ski or Snowboard on Mount Hood

Little Cute Girl Snowboarding At Ski Resort In Sunny Winter Day
Skiing or snowboarding on Mount Hood is one of the fun things to do in Hood River OR.

Check out Mount Hood for some of the best snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest.

Skiing or snowboarding is the perfect way to spend a winter’s day.

One of the best things about skiing at Mount Hood is the long season.

It’s around seven months long!

For some of the best skiing and snowboarding around check out Mt. Hood Meadows.

This ski resort is on the southeastern face of Mount Hood and is the largest of Mount Hood’s ski resorts.

The ski resort is just a 40 minute drive from Hood River so it’s ideal if you are looking for a day trip activity or even a couple of days on the slopes.

Mt. Hood Meadows is at 14040 OR-35, Mt Hood, OR 97041.

14- Shop at Hood River Farmers Market

Fruits And Vegetables At A Farmers Market
Shopping at the Hood River Farmers Market is one of the top things to do in Hood River this weekend.

The landscape surrounding Hood River is rich and perfect for growing a vast array of wonderful produce.

There is no better place to pick up some of this produce than at the Farmers Market.

Between May and November, the downtown area is home to the Hood River Farmers Market.

Every Saturday around 50 vendors come to sell their produce, artisanal foods, arts and crafts.

There’s usually live music, activities for the kids and a bustling atmosphere that creates a real small hometown kind of vibe.

15- Panorama Point

Panorama Point County Park is one of the best places for views of the entire Hood River Valley.

From Panorama Point you can see more than 15,000 acres of vineyards and orchards.

It is a small park, but its views make up for its size.

If you visit over lunch time, be sure to pack a picnic and eat at one of the picnic tables in the park.

It’s a wonderful place for the whole family to enjoy nature and the peace and quiet.

The park also has several interpretive signs that provide the geological history of the Hood River Valley.

Panorama Point County Park is at Eastside Rd, Hood River, OR 97031.

16- Hop on the Mount Hood Railroad

The Mount Hood Railroad was built in 1906.

This railroad is a super fun way to view the scenic beauty of Hood River and the snowcapped Mount Hood.

If you are visiting Mount Hood during the festive season, then how about taking a ride on the Christmas train.

Take a scenic ride through the Hood River Valley, take photos of snowcapped mountains and rolling hills.

While you are on board drink hot chocolate and eat cookies while listening to holiday music.

If you are not visiting in the holiday season, then you will be delighted by the same views (though probably less snow!).

Trains depart from the northern depot in downtown Hood River.

The Mount Hood Railroad is at 110 Railroad Street, Hood River, OR 97031.

17- Go Fishing

A Young Man In A Yellow Cloak With A Hood Is Fishing
Fishing is one of the things to do in Mt Hood Oregon.

If fishing is one of your favorite vacation’s activities, then you will love Hood River.

Hood River is set on the banks of the Columbia River and there are plenty of excellent fishing spots as well as lake spots too.

The Columbia River steelhead and salmon (which is usually in fall).

The Hood River (by which the city has the same name) is a nice spot for catching Chinook salmon and steelhead in summer and winter.

There’s also Laurance Lake which is between Hood River and Mount Hood.

There’s also Lost Lake which not only offers wonderful views of Mount Hood but provides plenty of opportunities to catch brown trout, brook, and kokanee.

18- Visit Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Visiting Multnomah Falls is one of the things to do in Hood River Oregon.

Multnomah Falls is admittedly around 30 minutes’ drive west of Hood River but it’s well worth a visit.

Multnomah Falls is one of the most visited natural sites in the Pacific Northwest.

Around 2 million visitors stop and view the waterfall each year.

The waterfall is fed by underground springs from Larch Mountain.

The waterfall’s flow is usually highest during the winter and spring season.

The waterfall is an impressive 189 meters (620 feet).

If you are travelling from Portland to Hood River, then visiting Multnomah Falls is a wonderful stop of location.

The Multnomah Falls Lodge Visitor Center is at Cascade Locks, OR 97014.

19- Hike the Coyote Wall Trail

The Coyote Wall Trail is a 6.2-mile (9.9 km) loop trail that’s moderately difficult.

The trailhead is less than a 20-minute drive from Hood River.

As it’s on the Washington side of the gorge if you are coming from the Oregon side you will need to pay the $2 toll fee on the Hood River Bridge.

If you are searching for hiking trails with charming views of wildflowers and the ever-imposing Mount Hood, then the Coyote Wall Trail is an excellent choice.

Whether you choose to mountain bike or hike the scenery on this trail is second to none.

The Coyote Wall Trailhead is at Old Hwy 8, White Salmon, WA 98672.

20- Hood River Harvest Fest

Looking for something fun to do in the city then head on down to the Hood River Harvest Fest.

This festival brings together the valley’s best orchards and farms and all the incredible produce they have to offer.

The Hood River Harvest Fest is usually held around mid-October.

Pick from the best apples, squashes, honey, flowers, plants and more.

There are also arts and crafts, live music and epic food.

From food trucks to restaurants from Thai food to Greek food there’s plenty to enjoy at Hood River Harvest Fest.

Hood River Harvest Fest is at Hood River Event Site, Portway Avenue, Hood River, OR 97031.

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Harriet Comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!