Once again our fair hamlet has made a national magazine’s top list of the best places to live in the United States. The September issue of National Geographic Adventure touts Hood River as one of the best towns in the West to live and play. While I could go on longer about how wonderful our town is (especially as they failed to mention the plethora of fruit and fresh goods made here, but hey, that’s not the magazine’s focus. We understand.), I’ll let the magazine summarize their impression of our hometown.
5. Hood River, Oregon
A River Town’s Next Wave
The steady westerlies churning the mighty Columbia nearby have been drawing windsurfers and kiteboarders to Hood River for years. But lately an almost equal number of mountain bikers, powderhounds, and whitewater paddlers have started calling it home as well. Judging by the signs above all the new restaurants, the recent arrivals are partial to sushi joints, wine bars, and bistros with hard-to-pronounce European names. But this recreational boomtown hasn’t abandoned its roots—the focus here is still centered squarely on the action outside. Tucked between the looming basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge, an hour east of Portland, Hood River is cementing its multisport identity with a new riverside park. Plans call for a long public green, a swimming beach, and, naturally, kiteboarding and windsurfing put-ins. Kayakers dip into the placid Klickitat River, where local outfitters hold beginner lessons on the gorge’s Washington side, or navigate the gauntlet of Class IIIs and IVs on the aspen-flanked White Salmon. Landlubbers get their fat-tire fix at Post Canyon, where freeriders have been adding jumps, bridges, and seesaws. And half an hour south of town, the lifts on Mount Hood’s Palmer Glacier stay open straight on through summer, giving snowboarders and skiers access to 1,524 feet of vertical corn nearly year-round.
Median home price: $369,300
We couldn’t agree more. Almost everyone here at The Fruit Company is involved in one outdoor sport or another, all of which take place almost literally in our backyards. Between all of us you have a fair number of people who go mountain biking, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting and backpacking. We’re an active bunch!
One thing we wonder about though: what local bistros have hard-to-pronounce European names? We can’t think of a single one.