Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River, Oregon, is home to eclectic and foodie-favorite local restaurants, no fewer than four breweries and a bustling downtown shopping scene. But what this little town of 7,300 is truly blessed with is plenty of outdoor adventure. From kiteboarding on the Columbia River and skiing on Mount Hood to cycling along the historic Columbia River Highway and hiking to the top of Hood River Mountain — the list of outdoor escapes in the Hood River area is a long one.
If you only have 24 hours, you won’t be able to fit it all in. But you can have one heck of a good time. Here’s an itinerary to get the most out of one day in Hood River, Oregon.
7 a.m. – Coffee, coffee, coffee
This time of year, Hood River makes a great launching point for prime skiing on Mount Hood. Get started early with a cup of Joe at Dog River Coffee or Ground Coffee to get the jolt you need for a day full of activity.
8 a.m. – Head for the mountain
About 35 miles from Hood River, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort is one of the mountain’s most popular skip spots, with an array of runs for all skill levels. Or, if you’re more of a beginner, try Cooper Spur Mountain Resort. On the north side of the mountain, about 25 miles from Hood River, this spot is much quieter and can be a great place for the less advanced. Get a few runs in and enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery as you whiz by.
1 p.m. – Lunch time
After your morning turns, head back down to Hood River and grab a bite at Sixth Street Bistro. This Hood River favorite is committed to healthy, sustainable and local menu options – so try the grilled salmon wrap or the grilled portabella sandwich while you unwind. But don’t linger too long! There’s plenty more to do in the afternoon.
2 p.m. – Tackle a quick hike or spin
Grab your hiking boots and get ready for an afternoon trek. The 2.5-mile Mosier Plateau stroll features a fantastic two-tiered waterfall — very nice this time of year. Or head north across the Columbia into Washington to try out the 7.5-mile Coyote Wall-Labyrinth Loop hike. You’ll get incredible views of the Gorge, waterfalls and stunning rock formations.
Is traveling by wheel more your style? A classic bike ride runs along the historic Columbia River Highway from Hood River to The Dalles. It’s about 25 miles one way, so you can either make a 41-mile loop out of it or arrange a car shuttle in The Dalles.
7 p.m. – Unwind over dinner downtown
However you spend your afternoon, cap off the day downtown with a healthy, satisfying meal at Three Rivers Grill. With an unbeatable view of the river, this upscale yet relaxed dining experience will be sure to impress. Try the local catch for the ultimate locavore experience.
9 p.m. – Sample the local music scene
For a casual evening out, head to Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom. After a day of active adventure, nothing beats kicking back and listening to some Jazz, blues or Bluegrass with the locals.
Header photo courtesy of Zachary Collier via Flickr. Hood River to the Dalles photo courtesy of Gabriel Amadeus via Flickr. Ramona Falls photo courtesy of Nickay3111 via Flickr. Hood River Nightscape Sand Bar photo courtesy of Leigh Anderson via Flickr.