Serious windsurfers have given Hood River a reputation as a top place to test their mettle, and it's also the gateway to a scenic and productive fruit-growing region. During the harvest season (September-October), local orchards, fruit stands and wineries offer special samplings. More than 15,000 acres of fruit-tree orchards provide 40% of the nation's pears. Be sure to take the Hood River Fruit Loop, a 35-mi/56-km scenic drive through the area's orchards, vineyards and farms.
The area is also distinguished by panoramic views of Mount Hood—at 11,235 ft/3,425 m, it's Oregon's highest point. Set on the mountain's eastern slope, Mount Hood Meadows will please all levels of skiers, with 85 trails and nearly 3,000 ft/915 m of vertical drop (another 1,700 ft/527 m are available via snowcat). The resort offers night skiing, a spring and summer season, and a number of expert trails. The more relaxed SkiBowl features a jump-littered snowboard park and the 300-acre/122-hectare Outback area with lots of steep terrain. Beginners will like the one-lift Summit Ski Area, where neither of the two runs is steep and there are plenty of affordable lessons in both skiing and snowboarding. There, and at the nearby Snow Bunny, you can even perform your descent in an inner tube. Hood River is 60 mi/100 km east of Portland.
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