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Hood River is a must-visit for any tourist to the region. The winds here make for some of the best windsurfing in the world, and during the middle of the day (when the waves are at their best), you will see many surfers on the water riding the waves.
The History Museum at Hood River contains nearly 12,000 artifacts chronicling the history of the region. Permanent displays include information about native Indians as well as Japanese family life in WWII internment camps. There are also special exhibits which vary from year to year. Hours are part time March and April, then seven days a week from May through September. The museum will be expanding in 2011, so check for current opening hours.
There is a fantastic airplane and automobile museum in Hood River. It is called the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. They boast 95,000 square feet of antique airplanes and antique and classic cars. There are about 70 airplanes and 100 cars plus motorcycles, tractors, jeeps and WWII memoribilia. You will leave this museum saying "WOW". Their web site is www.waaamuseum.com.
Another of Hood River's excellent attractions is its vast expanse of farmland. Many farmers continue their agricultural traditions, producing crops of pears, apples and other fresh produce every year. Many vineyards overlooking the valley produce their own wines and liqueurs. To see these attractions during the summer, use the Mount Hood Railroad, which utilizes cars from around 1910 and diesel locomotives to transport passengers between Mount Hood and the Columbia River ... or, drive yourself. To get your hands on some of that fresh, local produce, visit one of the following:
Hood River Lavender Farms: 3801 Straight Hill Road. Phone: 541-386-9100
Neal Creek Orchard and Gardens: 3716 Neal Creek Road. Phone: 541-354-1145.
Rasmussen Farms: 3020 Thomsen Road. Phone: 541-386-4622.
Apple Valley Country Store: 2363 Tucker Road. Phone: 541-386-1971.
A 35-mile looped drive along Highway 35, affectionately known as the Fruit Loop, will take you past many of these farms.
No visit to Hood River would be complete without visiting one of the microbreweries here. Full Sail is the largest and it also offers brewery tours which are family-friendly for children 12 and older. Two other popular brewpubs are Big Horse and Double Mountain.