The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River!

The small town of Hood River may only have a population of about 8,000….but over two million people visit the surrounding Columbia River Gorge every year: & Hood River is one of the Gorge’s most popular destinations.  It’s far & away the cutest town on the Oregon side of the river, with plenty to do: wind-surfing, hiking, brunching, wine tasting, & berry-picking ~ to name a few.  Nestled in the shadow of iconic Mount Hood, directly on the Columbia River, let’s just say: Hood River is geographically blessed!  So for all the weekend planners, let’s find out how to spend the “The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River!”

**Author’s Note: Article updated as of February 2024.

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Sit back & enjoy a glass of wine with a view in beautiful Hood River. Photo by Stave & Stone Winery.

Interested in hiking the Columbia River Gorge?? Here’s a list of my all-time favorite Gorge hikes! The closest to Hood River are 1) Mosier Tunnels, & 2) Dog Mountain (my absolute FAVE).

 Itinerary for Hood River: Friday Night

The first choice you’ll need to make when visiting Hood River is where to stay.  Here’s a quick run-down of the best options in town for each category:

  • Most Romantic Places to Stay in Hood River: Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa ($188+) & Columbia Cliff Villas Hotel ($199+) ~ both have stunning cliffside locations with jaw-dropping views, lending to a very romantic feel. The grounds of Columbia Gorge are so lovely, they often host weddings here during the summer.
  • Best Places to Stay for Families in Hood River: This choice isn’t quite so romantic, but it does have a fantastic waterfront location & is pet-friendly ~ the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn ($219+). Rooms are large, with many offering sitting rooms & kitchens, making it a great choice for large groups or families. And, they’ve got an outdoor pool & hot tub too. 
  • Best “In-Town” Hotel Choice: If you’d prefer to stay right in town & walk to your morning coffee, check out the historic Hood River Hotel ($196+). Though it was built in 1888, the hotel has been recently updated with a hip new lobby & modern-everything. Rooms here are smaller than at the Best Western, but far more chic.  
  • Best B&B in Hood River: For quaint & charming, you can’t beat the Inn at the Gorge ($208+). With only five rooms, a garden & nice terrace to sip Mint Juleps on ~ this is the most intimate hotel choice in town. The bonus here is of course the fabulous breakfast that awaits you in the morning, getting you ready for a day of adventure….or leisure!

Guide to a Perfect Weekend in Hood River, Girl Who Travels the World

The most charming hotel on this list is undoubtedly the five-room B&B: the Inn at the Gorge.

Guide to a Perfect Weekend in Hood River, Girl Who Travels the World

But if you’re looking for views: head to the Columbia Cliff Villas…

Guide to a Perfect Weekend in Hood River, Girl Who Travels the World

Or, if being in town is most important to you: check into the historic Hood River Hotel.

Where to Dine Friday Night…

So you’ve picked out your hotel & checked in….next up is figuring out where you want to go for dinner!  Just head to Oak Street & you’ll find plenty of options: for Mexican food, try Love & Hominy Tacos, Modern Taco, or Lake Taco.  In the brewing category, check out Full Sail Brew Pub or Pfriem Family Brewers.  Or if cocktails are your jam, grab a table at Camp 1805 Distillery & Bar or Solstice Wood Fire Pizza Cafe & Bar. 

Click on any of the restaurant names & it will take you to their website/menu.

For a great Friday nightcap: stay right on Oak Street & step into popular Evoke Winery for a sip of their Foreplay Chardonnay or Penetration Cab…

Dining Guide for Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

The scene at Pfriem Family Brewers on a busy summer afternoon…

Dining Guide for Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Stop in for a nightcap at local’s favorite ~ the always-happening Evoke Winery (used to be called Naked Winery).

Saturday Itinerary for Hood River

It’s Saturday morning in Hood River: time for coffee & a good walk!  Try Stoked Roasters, 10 Speed Coffee Bar, or super-popular Kickstand Coffee & Kitchen (which also serves breakfast & dinner).  If you’re looking to grab a quick breakfast, check out Doppio Coffee, Pine Street Bakery, or River Daze Cafe.

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Start your day right with coffee from Doppio Coffee.

Where to Walk in Hood River

Now, where to walk in Hood River: the Indian Creek Trail runs right through the heart of town, following Indian Creek ~ catch it at 12th & Pacific Avenue or at the 8th Street Trailhead.  For a stunning 6-mile walk along the Columbia River, through old tunnels: check out Mosier Tunnels Trail.  The photo below is of my friend Nina & our dogs at Mosier; nearly flat with a slight incline, so this is more of a walk than a hike.  And the best thing about this walk, aside from the views, is how wide the trail/road is: there’s room for everyone here. 

For waterfront walks, head to Hood River Waterfront Park, or Port Marina Park for a walk in the marina.  Or start at Pfriem Family Brewers, then walk out to “The Hook,” & watch the paddle-boarders & wind-surfers.  If you’re interested in renting gear, you can walk right over to Hood River SUP & Kayak & inquire about rates for the day.

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, How to Get to Mosier Tunnels Trail, Girl Who Travels the World

Walking through the Mosier Tunnels, 4 miles past Hood River, OR.

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, Girl Who Travels the World, Kayaking

Grab your kayak & hit the Columbia River Gorge ~ or if you’re an expert, hit some of the region’s many waterfalls!

Hood River’s Famous “Fruit Loop”

If it’s summertime in Hood River, make sure to check out their fabulous “Fruit Loop.”  This is a perfect activity for families, couples, or girl’s getaways ~ everyone will enjoy taking a tour of the beautiful countryside surrounding Hood River, & stopping to pick your own fruit or sip a glass of wine!  Popular stops include Draper Girls’ Country Farm (cute stop with cider, fruits, meats, & other foods), Lavender Valley Farms (the lavender starts blooming in June ~ & they sell all kinds of organic lavender products), & my favorite: the incredibly photogenic Gorge White House, which offers hard cider, wine, farm-fresh food, a food cart with burgers & sandwiches, fruit, & fresh flowers!

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, Girl Who Travels the World, Hood River Fruit Loop

One of the most popular things to do in Hood River during the summer is to take a beautiful drive on the “Hood River Fruit Loop.” Stop at some of the area’s most beautiful farms & pick your own fruit!

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Try out all kinds of hard cider & wine at The Gorge White House…then follow it up with a burger from their food cart. Photo by The Gorge White House.

Saturday Night in Hood River

Try one of the places you didn’t try on Friday night’s list!  After, if you’re done in, head back to your hotel for some Netflix & Chill time ~ or if you’re still up for a nightcap, check out Whiskey Tango’s Hot Toddy, or try several sips at Hood River Distillers Tasting Room.  For live music, head over to Tarwater Tavern (across the river in Washington state); or in-town, try Volcanic Bottle Shoppe.

Sunday Itinerary for Hood River

Sunday is THE day to brunch: & your top choices for brunch in Hood River are Scandinavian-inspired Broder Ost (try a Danish Bloody Mary or Elderflower Mimosa here), Bette’s Place (more of a traditional American diner), or for a waterfront brunch ~ head to Riverside, set in the Best Western Hotel, for a delicious, slightly more upscale breakfast with a view.

Where to Brunch in Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Riverside (in the Best Western) is one of the ONLY places where you can brunch on the water in Hood River!

Where to Wine Taste in Hood River

If you haven’t gone wine tasting yet: now’s your chance.  You’ve got over 20 wineries to choose from here, but some of the absolute best are stunning Marchesi Vineyards (absolutely gorgeous setting), or Phelps Creek Vineyards (located by a golf course, with delicious wines & Mt. Hood VIEWS).  Or, if you don’t feel like leaving downtown ~ stop by Stave & Stone Winery & Tasting Room (they also have a winery outside of town), located on Oak Street.

The Perfect 48 Hours in Hood River, Girl Who Travels the World, Hood River Fruit Loop

After an active morning, spend the afternoon with a glass of wine, enjoying the view.

Where to Wine Taste in Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

End your weekend right: at Phelps Creek Vineyard, where you’ll find views of Mt. Hood…

Where to Hike by Hood River

If you’re headed back to Portland, make sure to save time for a hike in the stunning Gorge area.  Some of my favorites, in order from least difficult to more difficult: Oneonta Gorge (great on a hot summer day, as you’re wading thru water for most of this flat “hike”), Horsetail Falls (see photo below), & one of the area’s most popular 4-mile hikes: Angel’s Rest.  There’s also Multnomah Falls, which you can choose to either view from below the falls ~ or take the hike up & around them. 

Click on any of the hikes above & it will give you more specific information about them.

Horsetail Falls Hike, Great Hikes Oregon

You can be adventurous & take a dip in your clothes ~ or be prepared, & bring a suit to Horsetail Falls. (Hint: This view & pool are accessible STRAIGHT from the parking lot, NO HIKE involved!)


 Goodbye, Hood River….

That concludes our time in delightful little Hood River.  I picked out some of the highlights, but remember: there is SO much to do in this part of the world!!  From hikes in the Columbia Gorge, to stunning adventures around Mt. Hood, to Bend & beyond ~ leave some extra time in your schedule to explore this beautiful part of Oregon.

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: The Perfect 3-Day Weekend in Bend, Oregon

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3-Day Weekend Itinerary for Hood River, Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

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