The dynamic town of Hood River is one of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding destinations in the world. Strong river currents, prevailing westerly winds and a vast body of water provide the perfect conditions for these wind sports, attracting sometimes hundreds of photogenic enthusiasts who zip back and forth across the wide Columbia River.
But Hood River offers more than awesome winds. The city has a bustling commercial core, with shops, bars and restaurants lining a few steeply angled streets.
South of town, the Hood River drains a wide fertile valley planted with orchards. In spring the area fills with the scent and color of pink and white blossoms, and roadside fruit stands sell apples, pears, cherries, berries and vegetables.
Premier wineries have also taken hold in the region, providing good wine-tasting opportunities.