Seniors Spend Time in the Heart of the Columbia River Gorge


The city of Hood River, Oregon is at the confluence of the Hood River and the Columbia River in the heart of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Senior travelers will find Hood River 30 miles north of Mount Hood, the tallest peak in the state. Hood River has a population of around 7,500 and is approximately 60 miles east of Portland.


The Hood River toll bridge spans the Columbia River and connects the city with the communities of White Salmon and Bingen located in the state of Washington. The city, a port on the Columbia River, is named for the nearby Hood River.

Senior travelers will find apple and pear orchards and fruit packing; opportunities for windsurfing, kiteboarding, cycling and mountain biking, hiking and skiing.

The town is home to four breweries and is a popular tourist destination offering a number of attractions in addition to outdoor recreation. Options include a scenic railroad excursion, a museum of carousel art, a brewpub, and some great winery tours.


 Senior Oenophiles Visit Award Winning Wineries

Many of the local orchards and wineries, including Hood River-based The Fruit Company, are featured on Hood River’s renowned “Fruit Loop”.  I counted nine award winning wineries on the Loop. Senior oenophiles, plan to take the 35-mile, scenic drive through the valley’s orchards, vineyards, forests, farmlands, and friendly Oregon communities where hospitality and scenic beauty merge.

Sample delicious fruits and take your favorites home, visit a winery, experience fields of fragrant purple lavender, visit friendly alpacas up close, enjoy delicious baked goods, and create memories by participating in activities hosted at Fruit Loop locations throughout the year.

Historically the area was inhabited by Native Americans when the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through in 1805.  They found a campsite called “Waucoma,” or “place of big trees.” The Hood River post office was established at the site of the present city in 1858, was incorporated in 1895 and is now the county seat for Hood River County.


 Columbia River Gorge and Mt Hood Draw Seniors

The Hood River Chamber of Commerce has lots of information on the area including their Hood River Valley Harvest Fest. The Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood would both be hard to miss once senior travelers are in the area. The NY Times Travel section notes that “The Columbia River Gorge is an 80-mile marvel of moss and waterfall-laden basalt cliffs rising up to 4,000 feet above a wide waterway.”


Hood River Valley’s 15,000 acres of orchards produce approximately 45 percent of the nation’s winter pear crop. Menus at local restaurants are dotted with homegrown specialties.

A great vacation awaits the adrenaline junkie. Hood River is often called the Wind Surfing Capitol of the World with its continual winds. Plan to stop in The Hood River County Visitor Center that welcomes visitors from around the world. You will enjoy Hood River any time of the year. -jeb

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