As many of you know, I am a California girl who moved to the Northwest by way of Denver just a few months ago. I am having a blast exploring all that this beautiful region of our country has to offer.

My husband, some friends, and I took advantage of a beautiful 70 degree day (which we haven’t seen many of lately) and ventured down to Hood River, Oregon. It’s just about an hour drive from Portland, and is a beautiful one at that.

First stop: Let’s EAT! We walked around the main street area for a while just to take it all in and to see what was around. There are many little cafe’s, lunch spots, and shops to peruse, but our eye caught what looked like a big mountain cabin up on the hill.

Big Horse

We made our way up to the “cabin”, greeted by friendly diners on their way out who told us we must eat there! One of them mentioned the delicious sweet potato fries, and we were sold!

This cabin is known as “Big Horse Brew Pub”. You have to venture up quite a few stairs to get to the restaurant, but the view it poses when you get to the top was well worth the hike. (And so were the sweet potatoes fries!)

Big Horse Brew PubAfter we were happily fed, it was time to walk off our yummy meal and browse the town. We stumbled into something I or my girlfriends had never seen before, a Goodwill Boutique!

Goodwill BoutiqueWe learned it is the first location for the charity in Hood River, but the organizations 48th location for this type of store. It is a luxury boutique for both women and men, and sells high-end clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry (both fine and costume), along with art. With every sale, 94 cents on the dollar directly goes to support Goodwill’s local job service programs. And we happily contributed by all purchasing some beautiful purses at a great price!

Next up: beer tasting!

Hood River houses one of Oregon’s tastiest (in my opinion) breweries called Full Sail Brewing Co. It is a large facility right on the river that houses a full service restaurant, tasting room, and even tours. To get the best out of the experience, I tried their Taster Trays: 7 four ounce samples of 7 different beers for only $7! It was a great deal, and a great way to taste a little bit of everything. (And for the not so beer-savvy, it is served on a handy-dandy tray, complete with cheat sheet).

Full Sail BreweryNext, we headed over the bridge to get down to the river. There is a beautiful park area just off the water with lots of grass, a playground, and picnic tables complete with barbecue pits for grilling. We laid down our picnic blankets, and had a very relaxing time watching dogs playing and running in and out of the river, boats sailing in the breeze, and windsurfers zooming by. We had a beautiful view of the sun setting over the mountains, and it was the perfect end to a successful adventure!

Hood River Hood River Sunset 2 Hood River sunset Hood River silhouette