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It's simple mathematics: three microbreweries plus world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding, plus wineries and fruit orchards galore, plus an amazing location on the Columbia River equals perfect small town. And that's without throwing into the equation all the great restaurants and nearby hiking. Of course, you still have to find a job, and considering how difficult that is you're better off just visiting. The question is, when?

In springtime, the orchards south of town are in full bloom, an awesome sight against the backdrop of snowcapped Mt. Hood. If you prefer fruit over blossoms, come in summer, when all the U-pick farms ...

It's simple mathematics: three microbreweries plus world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding, plus wineries and fruit orchards galore, plus an amazing location on the Columbia River equals perfect small town. And that's without throwing into the equation all the great restaurants and nearby hiking. Of course, you still have to find a job, and considering how difficult that is you're better off just visiting. The question is, when?

In springtime, the orchards south of town are in full bloom, an awesome sight against the backdrop of snowcapped Mt. Hood. If you prefer fruit over blossoms, come in summer, when all the U-pick farms open for business and the fruit stands raise their flimsy wooden doors. If it's the wind you're chasing — Hood River has some of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding in the world, thanks to the ferocious winds that rip through the Columbia River Gorge — you'll want to come in summer. If you're set on hiking to the many waterfalls that plummet over forested cliffs into the gorge, shoot for late spring or summer. And if you just want to sit in a brewery (be it Full Sail, Double Mountain, or Big Horse) and guzzle pints while taking in views of the gorge — well, you can do that anytime you want.

Danny Palmerlee
About the Expert

Danny Palmerlee is the main author of numerous Lonely Planet travel guides, including Ecuador, Argentina, South America on a Shoestring, and Pacific Northwest Trips.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Hood River is located on the Columbia River in the north central part of Oregon. It is called the Windsurfing Capital of the World.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April through September