The Fourth Annual Hood River Hops Festival on Oct. 6th was the perfect way to spend a Saturday. Coming from Portland we headed east on I-84 down the Columbia River Gorge. This is a terrific drive anytime of the year, but especially in the fall when all the colors are changing. What makes the Columbia River Gorge great is that there are so many things to see and do. Multnomah Fallsis a sight not-to-be-missed in the Gorge with a nice hike to the top of the falls (about 1.2 miles one way). Bridal Veil Falls, Vista House, Rooster Rock State Park and other amazing sights are great places to stop while traveling the Gorge.

We however, were headed to Hood River. If you’ve never been to Hood River, GO! It is well worth it; an extremely unique downtown with lots of cute shops and restaurants. We were in Hood River for a reason other than sight-seeing, though. We were there for the Hood River Hops Festival. A day of tasting beer from local breweries made with freshly picked hops. AAAHHH…what could be better? We purchased our souvenir mugs and tasting tickets and off we went sampling brews from around the region. There were more than 15 breweries participating that offered a great variety of beers. One of my favorites was from the Fort George Brewery and Public House. They traveled all the way from Astoria to offer us a hoppy little treat called Vortex. Delicious! After deciding which our favorite beers were, we grabbed a sausage dog and sat at one of the tables to listen to music, relax and soak up the scenery. The festival was great; it had a nice, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of food vendors (kettle corn is my favorite), live music and a plethora of handmade products to purchase. Be on the lookout for next year’s festival in October- and be sure to have a designated driver if you go.

For more information on what’s happening in near Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, please visit our Upcoming Events section.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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