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Ruth Chausse
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Why Hood River, Oregon?


Out of all the wonderful places to live on the planet, why have so many young families, retirees and second-homeowners flocked to Hood River within the last couple of decades without ever looking back? Well, there are several reasons this small town of around 6,000 has been discovered by so many, namely the spectacular scenery, exceptional quality of life, abundant recreational opportunities, great school systems, a newly burgeoning & award-winning wine country, superb restaurants, wonderful weather with seasonal changes and unique micro-climates, and a growing sense of pride and well-being from living within minutes of endless orchards, forests, riverbanks, mountain ranges, and quaint city streets that comprise this small-town, eclectic community.

Hood River is located on the glorious Columbia River, which separates Washington and Oregon states, neatly tucked between two towering mountains in the Cascade Range –Mt. Hood in Oregon and Mt. Adams in Washington. The Mt. Hood Wilderness area, located a mere 45 minutes south of Hood River, offers year-round recreational opportunities including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, and trail running. At 11,240 ft., Mt. Hood is notably the tallest mountain peak in Oregon with a year round ski area to please snow enthusiasts everywhere.

Rain or shine, Hood River offers recreational opportunities and fun for people of all ages. Windsurfing and kite boarding are very popular sports during the summer months, along with sailboat racing, fishing, camping, mountain and road biking, horseback riding, kayaking and whitewater river rafting. For those who just like to poke around and explore, Hood River has a great downtown scene with fabulous restaurants, specialty shops, art galleries, unique coffee houses, three tasty micro-breweries, wine tasting at the local wineries, and a beautiful library, to name just a few. Venture out to the orchards for apple, cherry and pear-picking or hike to the numerous waterfalls, lakes and rivers for some quiet, peaceful respite. There are also countless music and art festivals, farmer’s markets and fun, family-centered events to enjoy throughout the entire year.

The one hour drive from Portland – which boasts a major international airport -- is stunningly breathtaking, as Hood River is protected by the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Act to the east and west, along with Oregon’s strict zoning laws, helping to prevent too much spread and sprawl. The acres of forest land to the south encompassing majestic Mt. Hood also help preserve the area’s natural beauty, keeping that small-town feel that most people fall in love with, thus returning again and again. With the progressive city of Portland only an hour away and Oregon’s beautiful coastal region just a 2 ½ hour drive, Hood River is nicely situated to accommodate people of all ages, interests and passions. Driving through downtown on a windy, sunny day, you will surely notice all the smiling faces off to experience a day’s adventure – and as smiles are infectious -- you might find yourself suddenly grinning, too. After all, it’s Hood River where the exceptional quality of life and abundance of beauty is good on the environment and good for the soul.

By Jamel Badrieh