There’s no denying that Hood River is an incredible place to be — no matter what time of the year it is. But the city sure knows how to celebrate fall and all its pumpkin glory, with a variety of community events, beautiful fall foliage, and an endless amount of apples to pick and ciders to sip.
Add these fall activities to your bucket list to enhance this already-magical season in Hood River!
Pick Apples or Pears Along the Hood River Fruit Loop
The Hood River Fruit Loop is a scenic 35-mile drive through the Hood River Valley featuring 29 member stands offering a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, food and more. The farm-fresh goodness continues well into the fall at a number of stands, including Pearl’s Place, Smiley’s Red Barn, Fox-Tail Cider & Distillery, Packer Orchards & Farm Place, Packer Orchards and Bakery, Draper Girls Cider Company, Kiyokawa Family Orchards & Fruit Stand, Mt View Orchards Cidery & Fruit Stand, and many more. Learn more about the many stands along the Hood River Fruit Loop using our complete guide.
Drink a Glass of Hard Cider
There’s nothing quite like sipping on a refreshing glass of crisp apple cider in the fall. In addition to the many cideries located along the Hood River Fruit Loop, there are plenty of places to get cider in the heart of downtown Hood River. A few favorite local spots for sampling some of the region’s best cider include Crush Cider Cafe, Golden Row Cider at Mt View Orchards, Fox-Tail Cider & Distillery, Draper Girls Cider Company and Slopeswell Cider Co.
Welcome Fall at the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Welcome fall at the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, the largest harvest celebration in the Gorge. This old-fashioned fall festival brings together more than 120 vendors offering local produce and food products, locally made arts and crafts, plus a variety of wineries and cideries, live music, eating contests, kids’ activities, and much more. This year, the festival is taking place at the Hood River Event Site from October 11–13. This multi-day celebration is the perfect way to celebrate all things autumn!
Cooler temperatures and changing leaves make fall the perfect time to explore the great outdoors. Hood River is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, who can enjoy hiking, biking, golfing and camping throughout the region during the fall. Although the town is nicknamed “Windsurfing Capital of the World,” you won’t want to consider kiteboarding past September, unless you have the proper gear. But there’s plenty of year-round activities you can do! Check out our guide to Hood River for the outdoor enthusiast to unpack all there is to do in this outdoorsy town.
Get a Head Start on Holiday Shopping
Don’t procrastinate on your holiday shopping this year! Get a major head start on your list by perusing the many locally owned shops and boutiques in the heart of downtown Hood River. A few favorites include The Ruddy Duck, The Gift House, Twiggs, Pacifica Gifts, Parts + Labour. Most of the best shops in Hood River are located along Oak Street, so grab a cup of coffee from Ground Espresso Bar & Cafe and start heading west for your shopping adventure!
Taste Local Beer at the Hood River Hops Fest
Awarded the silver medal for “best beer festival” from the Willamette Week Oregon Beer Awards, the Hood River Hops Fest is an annual celebration of a valuable beer ingredient — freshly harvested hops. Hood River County is surrounded by renowned hop-growing regions, making this the perfect place to celebrate this beloved bitter ingredient. Since 2003, brewers have gathered each September in downtown Hood River for this festival, featuring more than 40 breweries, plus a variety of food vendors, live music and more. This year’s event is taking place downtown on September 21 from noon to 8 p.m.
See Fall Foliage
The Columbia River Gorge is bursting with brilliant fall colors throughout September, October and sometimes even into early November. Take advantage of this natural display of fall foliage by embarking on a nearby hike passing through a combination of red, yellow, orange and brown leaves. Some of the best fall hikes in the Columbia River Gorge area include Dry Creek Falls, Latourell Falls Loop, Klickitat Trail and Hamilton Mountain. Or you can opt for a drive if hiking isn’t your thing! Take a cruise along the 146-mile Mount Hood Scenic Loop, which combines the Mount Hood Scenic Byway with the Historic Columbia River Highway, adorned with stunning fall colors.
Go Wine Tasting
Wine tasting is an excellent fall activity — especially in a wine-rich region like the Pacific Northwest. There are a number of wineries along the Hood River Fruit Loop, providing a nearby option for wine tasting throughout the fall. Or consider making the trek to the Willamette Valley for Wine Country Thanksgiving, a weekend of wine and good food from November 29 through December 1. More than 130 wineries throughout the valley will open their cellars and tasting rooms for special events, tastings, food pairings, live music, discounts and more.
Run a Half or Full Marathon
Photo Courtesy of Richard Hallman via the Columbia Gorge Marathon & Half Marathon
Get moving at the Columbia Gorge Marathon & Half Marathon, an action-packed race that travels from the historic Columbia River Highway, through the small town of Mosier, and up to Rowena Viewpoint, where you can take in views to the east and the Columbia River Gorge to the west. All the while, enjoy breathtaking fall foliage and crisp autumn air. The marathon ends along the banks of the Columbia River, making this one of the most scenic runs in the region! Register now for the half or full marathon taking place on October 20.
Have a Wonderful Fall in Hood River!
Looking for more things to do in Hood River all year long? Check out these major annual events in Hood River, focused on everything from live music to hard cider, and water sports to local shops.
What is your favorite thing to do during the fall in Hood River? Let us know in the comments below!